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Home / Articles / Columnists / Happy Motoring /  Hot August Nights
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Thursday, October 4,2012

Hot August Nights

By Teresa Aquila  

 

I always find myself like a kid in a candy store when every I participate in or attend Car Shows. Since my husband and I have several vintage automobiles, we can relate to many of those who have the love for keeping the memories of the past alive. We are not just focused on the ´50s, but earlier years, as well. Most of you remember the Movie American Graffiti and many of you may not know, but most of that movie was filmed in Petaluma and Santa Rosa, Calif., in 1972. There were a few shots in the Modesto area, but only portions of Mel´s Diner.

 

I have yet to participate in the American Graffiti car show held yearly in Petaluma but I do have it in my future plans. The town still has its early-years feel and the people that put on the show will make you feel at home. I have, however, participated in every year of Hot August Nights (HAN) since inception. If you have never been to HAN, personally I feel you are missing out. The entire town of Reno and Sparks Nev., turns into the biggest ´50s through ´60s car show. Some 6,500 registered vintage machines from all over the country converge on Reno, not to mention thousand of others who arrive just to enjoy the festivities. Almost every major casino in town is packed with cruises, drag racing and show and Shine. The city of Sparks, turns the entire downtown area into a nightly cruise where people line the streets in hopes of seeing their favorite hot rod or memories of a similar car they used to own. Women and young girls dress up in poodle skirts, men roll up their T-shirt sleeves just like James Dean did. On Thursday-Saturday, there is a large swap meet with everything from old car parts to a car corral with cars for sale.

Over the years while attending this great event we have met many HAN participants who are from out of town with thesame interests and bringing beautiful cars with them. It is a great place to enjoy and appreciate everyone’s automobile whether it is restored to like-new condition or those being restored and ones that are survivors. It is all about the love for the classics.

During this week you can enjoy concerts by groups like Herman’s Hermits, Bill Medley, Paul Revere And The Raiders to name a few and most of these concerts are free. There is definetely a good time for all. The unfortunate part is that the entry cost has risen over the years and it will now set you back $175.00 per entry. This fee helps to pay for many of the great things we enjoy.

I know that there are other shows that actually have more entries than this one, but when you see how many more classics that show up and all there is to do, the hurt doesn’t seem so bad. You cannot go anywhere in the area without running into one of these beauties. For me, no matter what the size of the car show might be or whether the car is complete, in restoration or a survivor, I love hearing the stories and feasting my eyes on them all. Keeping the history of the automobile alive is worth every minute.

 

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