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How to get the best out of classic car meet-ups

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A car meet-up (or meet) is a gathering of car owners and car lovers at a certain place, at a set time, to show off their pride and joy and to share a passion for the cars present. The more organised events can involve competitions and even trophies for the winners in different categories, however an equally common occurrence is for groups of people to just congregate in local carparks, pub grounds or similar places, with a more informal approach to the process.


Classic car meet-ups are a fantastic way to celebrate a variety of different cars and their history and workmanship, and to connect with fellow enthusiasts whilst showing off your beloved vehicle (if you have one). Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the classic car scene, we’ve got some tips below to help you get the best out of these events.


Before the event


1. Research meet-ups


Its a good idea to start by gathering information about local meet-ups that you might want to go to - you can look online at car forums or join a classic car club or two (both online and in person). Be clear about the event's schedule, location and the types of cars expected, so that you know exactly what to expect. This will help you plan your day effectively and ensure you don't miss any highlights, too.


2. Get out the polish


If you're bringing your own classic car, make sure it's clean and well-presented. A polished car will attract more attention and, no doubt, positive feedback. Consider giving it a thorough clean and polish just before the event.


3. Gather supplies for the long haul


Do pack essentials such as cleaning supplies for any touch-ups, folding chairs for your own comfort so that you’re not standing all day long, a camera or phone for capturing memories, and any cards or leaflets with your details on if you're thinking of actually selling your car.




At the event


1.  Arrive in good time


An early arrival ensures you get a good parking spot and that you have ample time to set up without rushing - bear in mind you might not get a good spot otherwise and might feel like you’re on the outskirts. It also gives you the chance to explore the event before it gets crowded.


2.  Engage - don’t be shy!


Classic car meet-ups are as much about the community as they are about the cars. Do take the time to engage in conversations with other car owners and enthusiasts, and exchange knowledge, experiences and contact information as needed. You can often get really good advice - for example on repairs and sourcing parts - from meet-ups - and you never know when you might need a rare part in the future. It’s also a nice opportunity to say thank you, too, to those that have gone to such effort to get their classics there and have them looking in fabulous condition.


3.  Attend talks and workshops


Many events feature guest speakers, workshops or demonstrations. These sessions can also provide valuable insights and tips for maintaining or restoring classic cars, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn from experts. Check in advance if you need a ticket for these, or if you have to book.


4. Participate in competitions


If the event has a competition or show-and-shine contest for the best in show, do consider entering your car. It's a great way to show off your vehicle, gain some recognition, and perhaps even win an award!


5. Take some photos and videos


It’s a great idea to document the event, both for your own memories and to share with the classic car community online. Try to capture different angles and details of the cars to help create a visual record of the meet-up.


6. Network, baby…


Do use the opportunity to network with sellers, parts suppliers and restoration experts who often attend these events. Building these connections can be incredibly beneficial for future projects and on-going maintenance.


7. Be courteous


To ensure that meet-ups continue to be a thing, it’s important to be courteous to both those in the vicinity and the land owners. Don’t rev engines loudly or play loud music, and respect the location in terms of litter and what you leave behind. Be sure to leave at the designated time, too. Don’t take up more than your allocated space, and park where you are told to. Do ask for permission from the owner before getting in or touching any car, and always treat it with the utmost care and respect.




After the event


1. Follow up with those you met


It’s a great idea to keep in touch with the new contacts you've made. Networking can lead to valuable resources, advice, and also friendships with people who share you passion for classics. A quick text or email can help maintain these connections.


2. Share your experience


Post your photos and stories on social media or classic car forums, as sharing your experience can inspire others and contribute to the thriving classic car community. You never know - your insights and observations might help others enjoy future events even more, and get to hear about meet-ups they weren’t aware of.


3. Reflect on the day


Take some time to reflect on what you enjoyed and what wasn’t for you - this is important for when you start thinking about the next meet-up you want to attend. Each event is a learning experience, especially when starting out.


Classic car meet-ups can be immense fun and offer a unique blend of history, camaraderie and excitement - think of the sheer joy you might get from seeing a car you’ve lusted over, actually in the flesh! If you haven’t been to one yet, do give it a go. And if you have, let us know in the comments below how you got on, and any other tips you might have for newbies…