July 7-9, 2022: Iola Car Show – Iola, WI
Ron Piasecki, Mike Maul & Jeff Martin – Midwest Area
The Iola Car Show, a 3-day consumer event (Thursday – Saturday) in Northern Wisconsin, is the largest cars show in Wisconsin, hosts a huge swap meet and has over 12,000 people in attendance.
This year marked the 50th Anniversary for the Iola Car Show, and there was no shortage of customers as we displayed in the Toys for Trucks Iola Show Complex – a beautiful 60’ x 224’ long metal, NASCAR garage-style building. We had a good flow of traffic each day, with the most concentrated amount Friday morning while it was raining outside. The booth traffic seemed different this year with more sporadic groups of people coming through, as opposed to last year when the crowd was more consistent throughout the day.
July 8-10, 2022: Goodguys – Columbus, OH
Adam Brown & Mike Sherrill – Midwest Area
Adam and Mike attended Goodguys, with Friday experiencing rain early and late in the day. Traffic was light, but steady throughout the day. Customers continued to ask about big-ticket items. Between C10s and the typical Tri-5 Chevy applications, we had customers taking advantage of sale discounts along with asking plenty of tech across the board. Educating the customers is also a dominant factor at any Goodguys event, especially Columbus being the go-to show this time of the year.
July 8-10, 2022: Bloomsburg 4×4 Jamboree – Bloomsburg, PA
Jay Lambert – NE Area
This is a selling event! We attended in support of A&A Auto Stores, who brings product to sell. They have a building on the fairgrounds all to themselves, which draws people in and out of the heat. Many of the people we spoke with came specifically to buy parts. There was a mixture of Jeep and truck owners, with a disproportionate amount of them being single cab trucks (typically one or two body styles back from current).
July 14-16, 2022: Motor State Challenge – Berrien County, MI
Cary Exline & Adam Brown – MI Area
The Motor State Challenge is a three-day, PRO-Touring event based in southwest Michigan. The event features a scenic cruise throughout Berrien County, Michigan, an all-day track session at GingerMan Raceway and a full day of autocross competition at the Tire Rack in South Bend, Indiana. A long time event by Lane Automotive, customers are signed up months in advance!
July 15-17 2022: Street Machine Nationals – Minnesota State Fair Grounds
Matt Ross & Mike Maul – Midwest Area
Matt and Mike worked all three days of this year’s Street Machine Nationals. The car count and spectator numbers were better than we saw last year. Saturday was the busiest as always and confirmed with Bonnier Events staff that the car count was over 4,000.
Overall, it was a very good show and improved attendance over last year, which was nice to see. It is a more locally attended show compared to Back to the 50’s with most from MN, WI and IA. We did hear that next year they have a new corporate sponsor, Mountain Dew! We are hoping this will help bring in more vendors and better advertising ,which should help the traffic even more.
July 15-17, 2022: NJ Jeep Invasion – Wildwood, NJ
Jay Lambert – NE Area
The NJ Jeep Invasion takes place on the beach in Wildwood, New Jersey. There were about 2,500 Jeeps and over 100 vendors in attendance.
This event has been growing over the years, with this year having the largest vendor area so far. There were a lot of first time and new Jeep owners in this crowd. This is more of an accessory crowd than a hardcore wheeling one.
July 23, 2022: Eastwood Open House – Pottstown, PA
Jay Lambert – NE Area
This event grew from last year, with a few hundred cars and 15 vendors. Eastwood is primarily known for tools and restoration supplies, but has been expanding into parts sales rapidly. They made a big push to get more vendors to attend this year and we think this will help draw more cars and customers next time around. The event was well attended overall, with a mixture of classic cars and some more modern muscle.
July 29, 2022: SEMA Gala – Anaheim, CA
Ed Monte – West (PitCrew)
SEMA’s Gala, previously known as the Installation Banquet, was held at the new Westin-Anaheim Resort across from Disney this year. Best-known for a long evening during the Thursday evening SEMA Banquet in November, the Gala now gives appropriate time and honor for this year’s Hall of Fame Inductees. Being celebrated this year were Gene Winfield, Jack Roush and Walker Evans. Side note – Ed has had the pleasure of working with Walker and his son, Evan, for many years and enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with them at their table and reminisce! Along with the Inductees, the event allows many of the recognizable faces of the industry to take off their company hats and enjoy time to catch up and tell stories face-to-face again.
July 30, 2022: Original Parts Group Open House – Seal Beach, CA
Bill Eagan – West Area
Original Parts Group celebrated their 40th anniversary with a maxed-out parking lot of 200 participants on a terrific warm SoCal Saturday. Special show prices had the counter full of folks taking advantage…parts were being picked up straight out of the warehouse. Plus, for those who needed information – there were plenty of manufacturer tents on hand to answer consumer questions. OPG’s Wes Nielsen kept the crowd looking at their tickets for awards and prizes throughout the one-day event!