by Craig Smith
The 400, pre-1976, vintage cars that display at the Main Street Reunion Car Show come primarily from northern California. But, as the show has grown in popularity, entries have come from Southern Cal., Nevada and even Arizona. A surprising number of entries are local. “I’m always impressed to see how many really great cars there are that I don’t know about, right here in Napa,” said Mike Phillips, who is organizing the show for the second year. Phillips is a member of the Napa Valley Cruisers;, the car club that has hosted the show with the Downtown Napa Association (DNA) for a dozen years. It’s been a great partnership, according to Craig Smith with the DNA.
“The Cruisers wanted to do a car show for years, but had trouble navigating through the red tape to pull it off,” said Smith. “When they first approached our organization, they challenged me to help get it off the ground. Later, I got a ribbing for being in charge of securing the Three P’s:
permits, police and porta-potties.”
The crowds that come out to see the cars get bigger every year, but it’s never too crowded. “The show covers eight blocks and four parking lots, which spreads things out nicely,” said Smith.
Two years ago, Dennis Gage, host of Speed TV’s, “My Classic Car,” visited Main Street Reunion, and made the car show the subject of an episode. “I know Main Street is a beautiful show,” said Phillips, “but seeing it on TV made me appreciate it in a whole new way.” Hoteliers say they are now booking rooms for people visiting specifically to see the car show.
For the second year of what is now a two-day event, the weekend begins with a Friday night, Show & Shine, to be held at the Copia parking lot next to the Oxbow Public Market. Last year, organizers thought they would be lucky if fifty cars showed up. There were 150. “A Show & Shine event the night before the car show gives everybody another chance to see the cars in more of a party atmosphere,” said Tammy Robinette, president of the Cruisers and the brains behind Show & Shine. “People can check out all the great cars, enjoy something to eat and drink, plus listen to good music too. How great is that?”
Show & Shine features live music performed by Juke Joint Band a band that will have people dancing. Enjoy the food from the Oxbow Public Market or any downtown restaurant before or during, and you’ve got a great Friday Night.
Trophies are a part of every show, but the Cruisers can rightfully claim to offer forty of the best looking awards out there. “One guy somehow left the show without his award two years ago,” said Phillips. “We sent him a picture of what he had missed, and he and his wife drove here from Fresno the next weekend just to pick it up.”
The cost to register a car for Main Street Reunion is $35, $40 after August 9th, a portion of which will be donated to the Pathway Home. Applications are available at DoNapa.com, or by calling 257-0322.
The event is only open to 400 cars and closes when that number is reached. Registration for Show & Shine is $5, all of which will be donated to a
Sponsored by Blue Moon and Heineken beers, Team Superstores, Mechanics Bank, Kaiser Permanente, Napa Valley Marketplace, The North Bay Bohemian and KVON/KVYN. Without their generous support, the show would not be possible. Visit DoNapa.com for full details.
Show & Shine Car Show Preview August 15th, 5 to 8:30pm
Main Street Reunion Car Show August 16th, 10am to 3pm