Posted by Josh Mackey
There was a time when the Northwest was over run by car shows, I believe it was 2003 when Hot Import Nights decided to come up here on two different dates. Those are two major car shows in one year for Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, but that wasn’t it. The same crew that developed HIN, had also produced a different day time show called Import Revolution. IREV as it was dubbed, was the “test” show for the Seattle market the year prior, and killed it with a sold out show venue and attendances.
It only made sense to the producers to do another one the next year and bring HIN along with it, so 3 major car shows in one season from the same group for Seattle. One word to explain it? Overkill. Look at this way, everyone wanted their sink their teeth in the ever growing tuner industry as well. KUBE93, going on it’s second year producing an annual car show, brought the Global Import Car Show back after a successful 2002 event. Major Show total = 4. The madness doesn’t stop there, the industry was blowing up, there was no fear of a recession, Fast & Furious was still producing sequels, life was good if you were making tuner parts.
Before we knew it, there were little car shows almost every weekend somewhere up and down the Puget Sound area. Import Showoff, a show annually held in Vancouver, BC was the 5th major show in the Pacific Northwest that year. There were other shows, ancillary to other major shows, IE: Import Motion along side the major Auto Show in Portland with the hot rods along with tons of different meets and races. Shows have in a way started to die off in Seattle. Hot Import Nights came back only a handful of times after that and poor attendance at the IREV events eventually led to the demise of that series. Same thing with the Global Event, general dis-interest in the car show scene coupled with an economy going down the toilet led to a lot of sponsors withdrawing or event producers shifting focus to more popular areas, IE: Socal and Vegas.
Aside from the traveling circus that comes to town that I like to call Formula Drift, there isn’t one true car show that all car builders in our region want to gear up for. Most of the focus has shifted from car shows to meets, less informal, no awards, little bragging rights and most often a wet rained on car since most meets happen in public parks or lots. So reflecting on a few years of limited car shows, producing our own small event last summer, the main question is… do we need to bring back the major tuner car show?
The region has been starving for something of significance for sometime now, not everyone wants to drive 3-4 hours to Vancouver or 18 hours to California for car shows. A well produced car show with proper marketing will draw the crowds that sponsors are after. Simply put, having a small side car show act along side a drift race in the middle of no where is not what people want. I’m not saying that it doesn’t work, or it doesn’t serve it’s purpose, but it needs to be bigger, more focused and more central.
We have dreams and aspirations of producing a car show, we have the plans, the people and the marketing know how to do it. If you’re a sponsor and want more info, please contact David Fotheringham for more information.