One of our favorite parts of rolling into a new year is setting up our event schedule for the months to come. Being a vendor at car shows and other automotive events is one of the most fun aspects of our line of business, because we sincerely love hanging out with our customers, talking cars and building relationships...we'd get pretty lonely if Model Citizen were strictly an online endeavor!
Being based in southern California, there's no shortage of great events in our region to choose from, both for vendors like us and enthusiasts like you. As our calendar starts to take shape, here are five of our favorite shows that are worthy of your attention in 2017, starting with the earliest:
1. SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO - C.A.R.E. CAR SHOW
It seems that almost every small town in So Cal has its own local car show, but the SJC-CARE show is one of the very best. Because of its park-on-the-grass setting and the quality and variety of the cars it attracts, this is less of a cruise-in and more of an "everyman's concours." The usual local show crowd of street rods and muscle cars is well represented, but into the mix you can add a healthy dash of classic British roadsters, modern supercars, and even a phalanx of Mercedes Gullwings (three or four usually show up each year). As an added bonus, the show benefits the Capistrano Animal Rescue Effort, and in keeping with such a worthy cause, well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome at this event. Model Citizen will be there for a third consecutive year, as the fun atmosphere and great people involved make it an easy choice for us to kick off our annual event schedule.
(Saturday, February 4, 2017, 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. San Juan Capistrano Community Center/Sports Park, 25925 Camino Del Avion, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675. Admission: $5 adults, $2 kids 11-17, free for kids under 11.)
2. PORSCHE LIT & TOY SHOW
Porsche models are one of our specialties at Model Citizen, so this giant indoor celebration of all things P-Car is a natural fit for us. The Porsche Lit & Toy Show is an annual swap meet that draws vendors of all manner of Porsche and vintage Volkswagen paraphernalia, from vintage posters and rare books to small parts...and of course, thousands of scale models! Held in two huge ballrooms at the LAX Hilton, the event's location and high-quality merchandise draws a crowd that often includes luminaries like Jerry Seinfeld and Magnus Walker. As a bonus, the parking garage at the Hilton comes to resemble a classic car show unto itself during the event. For Porsche enthusiasts, this show rates as "unmissable."
(Saturday, March 4, 2017, 9 a.m. LAX Hilton, 5711 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045. Admission: $10 adults, free for kids under 12.)
3. AUTOMOBILIA MONTEREY
For one week in August every year, Monterey, California turns into Mecca for car enthusiasts. Beginning in the 1950s with the famed Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and growing in the 1970s with the Monterey Historics vintage auto races at Laguna Seca, Monterey Car Week has mushroomed to include dozens of high-end shows, gatherings and auctions to sate the passion of any petrolhead. Since 2002, an early highlight of "The Week" has been Automobilia Monterey, conceived by Tony Singer of Vintage Auto Posters as America's answer to France's famed Retromobile. Automobila Monterey brings together approximately 45 vendors of the finest automotive art and collectibles in the country. Focusing on authentic original vintage artwork and literature, Automobilia Monterey has established a reputation for offering only the very best items for sale. Model Citizen's participation in this year's event is not yet confirmed, but we treat merely being considered for an event of this caliber as an honor. Proceeds from the event go to benefit Monterey Rape Crisis Center. If you are planning on attending Monterey Car Week this year, Automobilia Monterey MUST be a part of your agenda.
(Tuesday, August 15 and Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside, 1441 Canyon Del Rey, Seaside, CA 93955. Admission: $15 for one day, $20 for both days.)
4. JAPANESE CLASSIC CAR SHOW
First held in 2005 as a small gathering of friends, Japanese Classic Car Show has grown to become the premiere event for vintage Japanese cars in the United States. As appreciation for these vehicles has exploded in recent years, so too has the size and scope of JCCS which now draws over 300 of the finest Japanese classics on our shores to a scenic bayside locale in the shadow of the Queen Mary. Manufacturer participation has been a mainstay of the event, with Toyota, Honda and Mazda regularly hauling out treasures from their corporate collections for public consumption. So important has JCCS become in car culture at large that the show now includes new model unveilings: last year, Nissan revealed their 2017 NISMO GT-R to the public there. In 2016, Model Citizen did double duty at JCCS: not only did we bring our specialized selection of classic Japanese diecast, but our president Patrick Strong served as the event's M.C. To say we care deeply about Japaense Classic Car Show would be putting it very mildly.
(Event date TBD. Harry Bridges Memorial Park, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, CA 90802.)
5. BEST OF FRANCE AND ITALY
One of L.A.'s last car shows of the year is also one of the best: the annual Best of France and Italy gathering at Woodley Park in Van Nuys. This low-key, free-admission event brings out an eclectic display of vehicles from (wait for it) France and Italy that range from project-car Peugeots to multi-million dollar Ferraris, and everything in between. Of special note are the seemingly endless rows of Alfa Romeos and Fiats, usually including models rarely seen in America. Perhaps the most attractive aspect of Best of France and Italy, however, is the casual atmosphere. Those project Peugeots and priceless Ferraris? Their owners mingle freely and without attitude...the vibe is more family reunion than car show. Model Citizen has been a part of Best of France and Italy for the past two years, and we look forward to doing it again this November!
(Sunday, November 5, 2017, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Woodley Park, 6100 Woodley Avenue, Van Nuys, CA 91406. Free admission to the public.)