First and foremost, I would like to wish everyone Happy New Year!!!! After the success of the Best of 2017 post last year, I decided to bring it back. 2018 was another great year of traveling to various cities, meeting new people, and of course- photographing some awesome cars. From the classic Bugatti Type 35 (the oldest car I’ve photographed of 2018) to a few Pagani Huayra BCs (hands down- the most expensive car- valued at $2.8 million- I’ve photographed of 2018), I’ve covered all cars in between and had so much fun shooting them.
I’ve decided to start the recap with Atlanta’s most exclusive car show, Caffeine and Exotics. Caffeine and Exotics is the younger sibling to Caffeine and Octane, which is Atlanta’s most dependable car show. The mastermind behind Caffeine and Octane/Caffeine and Exotics, Bruce, wanted to switch things up a bit by moving the location of the show. From the beginning, Caffeine and Exotics was held at Lenox Square Mall- one of the premiere malls of Atlanta. Halfway through the year, the show was moved to City Springs, the new work/eat/live area of Sandy Springs, which is still the suburbs of Atlanta. Moving the show to a new location gave Caffeine and Exotics new energy…. and better backgrounds to shoot exotic and luxury cars.
This year, I broke a rule that I’ve set in place. Because I was let down in the past, I’ve told myself that I would never attend another first annual car show again. Whips By Wade held his first annual Certified Summer Car Show and on the flyer, it clearly stated “No stock cars or unfinished projects allowed in show area.” When I arrived to the Old Turner Field stadium on that faithful Sunday afternoon, I was not disappointed and that’s coming from a person who is known for being honest about car shows. What I loved was that I got to see some cars that I’m familiar with, but I also spent time with cars that I’ve never seen before. Most importantly, stock and unfinished cars were forced to park in spectator parking.
I did have the opportunity to go to a show that I’ve never been to. As we all know, I’m familiar with Dub Magazine and even been to a few of their car shows. I’ve been to Charlotte, NC several times, this was the first time I’ve been there for a car show. Only four hours north of Atlanta, this was the closest Dub Car Show to my house. Some of the cars that were a part of the show have been in shows in Atlanta. I reunited with some of the cars weeks later at various shows. As for the majority of the cars- it was my first time seeing what the Carolinas had to offer.
I missed Stuntfest in 2017, but I was able to make my triumphant return to the 10th Anniversary show. Stuntfest has proven themselves time and time again- regardless of the weather, the show will go on. Of course it rained, but the rain held off during the majority of the show. And you know what that meant- racing, racing, and more racing.
Of course, there’s one car show that will always have a piece of my heart- the New York Auto Show. I’m a native New Yorker and that’s one of the things that I’ve been proud to say. Aside from the location, this auto show also has a lot of cars that I don’t get to see every day as well as being among the first people to experience new vehicles. Living in Atlanta, if I want to see a Koenigsegg or a Pagani Huayra (especially under one roof), I have to go to New York or Las Vegas. But one of my favorite experiences from the New York Auto Show will have to go to resting in the back seat of the Mercedes Maybach. Those seats are extremely comfortable. Another favorite experience- Toyota paying homage to the most winningest team in North American sports history.
Another dependable show that I always love to attend is the King of the South Mega Show. For the past three years, the King of the South Mega Show has been held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Held by the Street Whipz team, this show gives enthusiasts the opportunity to show off their car in three ways- how it looks, how it sounds, and how it performs (since there is an opportunity to race at the track. It sounds very straight forward, but it’s hard because there’s a ridiculous amount of competition at this show.
I did make to California this year and I decided to visit another familiar show- Extreme Autofest. Held in San Diego, Extreme Autofest provides a mixture of lowrider, tuner, and luxury cars, and I always have a great time attending the show. The very next day, I went to Cadillac Fest in City of Industry (outside of Los Angeles)- which is a show that is dedicated to Cadillac lowriders. While I was at the show, one of the attendees said to me that there’s a weekly car meet in Compton. He told me the cross street of the location and I was able to find it. By the time I arrived to take photos, LAPD ran everyone away. It was packed to the point where traffic couldn’t get through. At least I know for next year….
Finally, the show that I love to end the year reminiscing over… SEMA. Technically, it’s not a car show- it’s a convention simply because it’s not open to the public and business is conducted. However, I refer to the outside portion as a car show since there’s food, entertainment, awards are given, etc. The 2018 SEMA Show was my ninth show and like last year, I landed (and hit the ground running) the day before the show. I can never, ever complain about SEMA. I’m around great people who share some of the same similarities as I do and photograph great vehicles while enjoying some great weather.
Enjoy the rest of the Bernie’s Best of 2018.
All in all, I’m grateful for the experiences that 2018 has brought me. Thank you for the support and stay tuned for 2019…