Wisconsin's Largest Automotive Weekend
When I think of car shows in Wisconsin, the first thing that comes out of my mouth is "Automotion." Originally meant for classic cars and auto swap enthusiasts, Automotion has turned into anything but that. While the Automotion Classic Car Show continues to grow each year, the host city of Wisconsin Dells has grown to accomodate automotive enthusiasts of every generation.
In the past five years of attending, i've seen both the high's and low's of this weekend. I'm sure readers will criticise my short tenure of attending Automotion, but car shows rarely introduce unique problems. Either things are great, or things are complete crap.
This blog won't focus on the classic car show, so if you've made it this far waiting for a photo of a 1969 Camaro, I apologize. Instead, this blog is meant for the newer enthusiasts that attended the Automotion weekend and came out to the other shows that weekend.
This is the first year of Automotion for me where rain was going to be a continuous thing. I suppose that's not the end of the world if your an attendee, but as a host, it was hell. We personally ran "Wisconsin Modified," a tuner focused automotive show held at Wintergreen Resort that Saturday. Battle of the Imports is another great show that is held that Saturday morning and was more focused towards tuner-owned vehicles that had to deal with the inclement weather.
Everyone rolls in on Friday for the most part, which is personally my favorite day. Enthusiasts that haven't seen each other in months get to come together, shake hands, exchange photos, and talk. Hotel parking lots turn into mini-meets and random strangers become best friends as they exchange modification lists.
Friday for myself was spent taking photos and videos near the Wintergreen Resort and relaxing. I wanted to cherish this calm weather as much as I could because I knew what was coming the following day.
Saturday was eventful at best. Rain crucified any chance of being warm. The wind resulted in winter beanies being sold instead of tank tops and my pants froze by 3PM. Besides that, it was great. Considering all things, I thought that Saturday was going to be dead, but I was wrong.
Mother nature made it difficult this year for attendees to go out to the shows. Winds in excess of 20mph and 40 degree weather was scheduled throughout Saturday. Following up the wind and cold weather, consistent rain and thunderstorms were anticipated to roll through the Lake Delton area from 12PM to 5PM. It wasn't looking to great.
Reports that Battle of the Imports was full switched our opinion on how the day was going to go. We began to think "people are actually going to show up." By 12PM, attendees began arriving at the gates. hell or high water, this event was going to happen. With BoTi ending early due to the weather, Wisconsin Modified began nearly right after. All styles of enthusiasts came out dressed in winter coats, hats, trash bags cut as ponchos, and boots.
Cars poured in from all over the midwest and stuck it out for over four hours. WCEC setup additional tents for attendees to stand under but couldn't do anything for the wind as rain began coming down laterally.
Cameras broke down, grass got soft, shoes were ruined, and laughs were had. The final announcements of trophies with people shoulder to shoulder as people attempted to stay dry.
Handmade grand championship trophies were given out to select winners of five different categories in addition to 17 other categories.
Once Wisconsin Modified concluded, the weather slowed and all that was left to do was eat, warm up, and cruise. Many members of WCEC ate dinner with the team at Buffalo Phil's and enjoyed the indoor pool for the remainder of the night. Others went to the strip to enjoy the cruising of classic and new generation cars.
Automotion often carries a negative stigma, and i'm not sure why. This year's show and overall weekend was amazing, considering the terrible weather. Being able to see so many automotive enthusiasts in one area while enjoying the attractions Wisconsin Dells has to offer is extremely enjoyable. As the community continues to grow, I think it's important to remember why we do what we do. Why we drive hundreds of miles and waste hours of our days away planning. We do it for the cars. We do it for the friendships that come from this weird hobby. We do it to have fun. Just a random thought to keep in your mind as you will inevitably read about the negatives car shows have to offer. :)
We hope to be out there again next year for Automotion 2018!
Wisconsin Modified 2017 was sponsored by Fitment Inc. an automotive powerhouse located in Wisconsin and dedicated to the continuous growth of the car scene. Visit them here: https://www.fitmentinc.com/