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Viva Italia Car Show

May 19, 2009

Bring Your Family to the VIVA ITALIA Car Show

Car shows are a great way to spend time with your family and friends. They aren’t just for men – women and children enjoy the shows as well!

VIVA ITALIA Concours D’Elegance will feature great Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborgini, Alfa Romeo and Fiat models owned by men and women from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Also on display you may see Moto Guzzi, Ducati, Aprilia and other Italian made motorcycles for viewing pleasure.
Why Go To A Car Show?

Car shows are a great way to meet interesting people from a wide range of backgrounds with a vast variety of experiences. Even though you may not be a ‘gear-head’ or truly interested in cars there is always something to appreciate when you have a gathering of car owners and enthusiasts.
Car shows are especially great for finding time to spend with children. Most children attending car shows seem to enjoy finding the differences between the makes and models, learning about the cars and asking lots of questions.

Even those not truly into cars can appreciate the form and function of the automobile – can you tell the difference between cars designed for sport versus work versus commute? It is fun to see the differences between each designer’s concept of what a car should feature, or the design differences between the ‘ordinary’ parts of the car – the seats, steering wheel, rims and body lines. Even something as seemingly mundane as headlights or taillights can make a real styling difference.

Car Show Formats:

There are many different types of car shows, featuring many types of collections, which you can attend throughout the warmer months of the year:

Antique and Classic cars are older cars, usually kept true to the way they were manufactured, or with only slight modifications. The state of Maryland defines antique cars as being twenty years and older.

Custom and Modified cars are similar to the antique and classic cars, but customized and modified to match the owner’s taste and vision. Modifications may include specialized body work, suspension, interior and engine/transmission.

Hot Rods are automobiles that have been rebuilt or modified to increase its speed and acceleration. In many cases people use the term in relation to Roadsters produced in the 1930’s and 1940’s where the engine is replaced or reworked for greater speed and performance and body panels removed or altered for appearance. Many Hot Rods were painted with flame designs around the engine area and behind the front wheels to give the impression the vehicle was “hot” – therefore the name Hot Rods. (Rods may refer to the rods and cams in the engine which were changed to increase engine performance, to the open frame rails and rods exposed when the builder removed the body panels, or to the fact the cars were originally roadsters.)

Street Rods are generally older well-maintained cars which have been slightly modified with new interiors and a modern (more powerful) engine and drive train. These alterations still allow good performance for day-to-day street driving.

Exotic cars are those not seen on a regular basis, generally cars with lower production numbers characterized by their ‘striking’ appearance featuring definitive body styling, shape and size. Specialized composites used in the frame and body of many ‘exotic’ cars help delineate them from daily commuters. Exotics usually feature performance engines, often installed as mid-engine or rear-engine models. Autos which generally qualify as ‘exotics’ are generally two-seaters (with a rare token back seat), with a very low profile. Exotics are not limited to cars costing in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, or German or Italian built models – Lotus is an American built ‘exotic’ sports car, costing around $50,000. By true definition of ‘exotic’ the car should be of a limited production, not seen on a regular basis and has features that are not common to the auto industry.

Why Are There Car Shows?

Marquee or Make

Many car shows are hosted by car clubs for the sake of an opportunity to share the love of their particular interest – whether they are Buick, Chevrolet, Porsche, Lamborghini or Ferrari. The clubs will gather to see and be seen, have their cars judged and share their stories with each other and spectators. Many of the shows hosted by clubs are for the particular make of the car clubs interest.

Common Interest

There are shows hosted by common interest clubs such as Imports, German/Deutsch, Italian, Antique, Street Rods and Trucks. These shows will feature cars of the clubs particular interest – while mixing makes (German shows will feature Porsche, Mercedes, BMW and Audi to name a few German makes).


Many shows are ‘open’ which allows anyone to show – mixing the ages and makes of cars. These shows are great at bringing everyone with an interest in cars to the show field. Often you will see an exotic sitting next to an original antique with a hot rod on the other side.


Many car shows benefit organizations such as The Children’s Guild, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center or The American Cancer Society. These shows are hosted by car clubs or committees with the specific goal of hosting the car show to benefit the organization. While admission to the show may be free to spectators – the hosts and organization would greatly appreciate donations from the spectators. You can usually find a collection can at the registration table, information table or you may have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets to benefit the organization.
Cruise Nights or Cruise Ins

Cruise Nights/Cruise Ins

There are many areas throughout the Mid-Atlantic which host Cruise Nights or Cruise Ins where the owners assemble just for the sake of socializing and sharing their interest in cars. Friday evenings you will find a large gathering of auto enthusiasts behind the Lowe’s in Abingdon. One of the largest Cruise Nights in the Mid-Atlantic is the Saturday night Cruise Night at Marley Station Mall hosted by ‘Lost in the 50’s’ Car Club. A fun gathering of cars on Sunday mornings can be found in Burtonsville, MD in the Burtonsville Shopping Center parking lot (soon to move to the Park and Ride lot nearby).

Finding a Car Show:

For information on local car shows Google “Maryland Car Shows”, visit the on-line forums or web pages for the clubs featuring the cars of your interest, or visit some of these sites:

Ferrari Club of America Mid-Atlantic Region Calendar of Events, RunWalkJog, Find Auto Events, Maryland Car Shows, Autoswalk, Old Ride

When Mr. Tire presents VIVA ITALIA Concours D’Elegance we will feature all makes and models of cars and motorcycles produced in Italy. VIVA ITALIA will benefit The Children’s Guild, an organization dedicated to educating children from throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. who are challenged with learning, behavioral and emotional difficulties. Join us as we celebrate the styling of Italian made cars and motorcycles on the streets of Harbor East, September 27, 2009.


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