First and foremost, I would like to wish everyone Happy New Year!!!! After the success of the Best of 2018 post last year, I decided to bring it back. 2019 was very interesting to say in the least. 26 car shows, 2 block parties, 2 rallies, 2 swap meets, one trip to a museum and one semi-illegal street shut down in a total of six states (Georgia, New York, New Jersey, California, Nevada, and North Carolina). This year I’ve seen it all.
To switch things up this year, I began and ended my car show season in the sunny state of California. I can always count on California to reaffirm my love of cars while being envious of their great weather. I started the season at the Pomona Swap Meet– an absolute staple in the Los Angeles Car Culture. I was so excited to attend the show, but I went to Los Angeles during one of the few days where they actually experienced rain. Pomona Swap Meet still went on and I had the opportunity to see some great cars and watched as people scrambled to get a part that will bring them one step closer of a finished ride.
For the first time (in a long time) two rallies stopped in Atlanta. A rally is where luxury/exotic car owners drive to some of the biggest cities where they meet fans, party, and if they’re lucky- they get about 3-4 hours of sleep a night. They actually drive- not a small distance like driving from Long Island to Manhattan. They drive about 6-7 hours but they have fun along the way. Back in March, PC Blast made their faithful return and in June, Goldrush Rally made their long-awaited return (it’s been nine years since they were last in Atlanta).
Another milestone was making my return to attend a car show in New Jersey. It’s been about 9 years since I went to a car show in the Garden State. In 2018, DJ Envy announced that he was going to start doing car shows. I didn’t go to the first Drive Your Dreams car show since it was too close to SEMA. Thankfully, Envy moved the date for the show to closer to his birthday, which is early September. I’ve listened to Envy for years, so I had an idea of what to expect out of this show. I knew I would see a lot of luxury and exotic cars. I wouldn’t expect anything less. And I was not disappointed.
During my second trip to Los Angeles, I went to two shows- the Dub Car Show in Fontana, California and the Torres Empire Lowrider Show. Both shows were interesting. The Dub Car Show was a nighttime show, while the Torres Empire Lowrider Show holds the title of being the largest indoor lowrider show in the world. I showed up to the Los Angeles Convention Center on time and stayed until an hour AFTER the show ended and I still didn’t see all the cars. The show is always held in Bradley Hall which is 347,000 square feet. Do you know how many cars can fit in a room that size and still have plenty of space for a stage?
I went to Stuntfest and Official Street Whipz’ King of the South Mega Show. I went, photographed a ton of cars, had plenty of fun, nothing bad to say. Went to both of their block parties, photographed a ton of cars, had plenty of fun, nothing bad to say. Looking forward to both of their 2020 shows where I can go, photograph a ton of cars, have plenty of fun, where I will have nothing bad to say.
June 15th, 2019- the day I put a lot of miles on my Dodge Charger driving from one car show to another. The first show was Krazy Vatos Lowrider Show, which is always a breath of fresh air. Lowriders are rare in Atlanta so it’s amazing that I can go to a lowrider show that is not on the West Coast. I left the Krazy Vatos show to drive to the bottom of 285 (that sounds very Atlantaish. I should have said I drove to the other side of Atlanta) to attend Whips By Wade Certified Summer Car Show. Aside from the location and the weather, the show was pretty much the same and he kept the same rule- no unfinished projects and stock cars are allowed into the show.
There’s that one show that has the special place in my heart, and I can’t recap my year without mentioning it. This year was my 10th consecutive SEMA show. SEMA isn’t a car show, it’s a trade show since it’s not open to the public and business is conducted, despite being in Las Vegas. However, I refer to the outside portion as a car show since there’s food, entertainment, awards are given, etc. 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. What’s there to complain about?
Finally, I ended the car show season the same exact way I started it- outside of Los Angeles at a swap meet, photographing cars and watching people scramble to get a particular part so that they’re one step closer to have a completed ride. This time I went to the Long Beach Swap Meet.
The amazing thing about 2019 is that I went to 26 car shows, 2 block parties, 2 rallies, 2 swap meets, one trip to a museum and one semi-illegal street shut down in a total of six states and I have no reason to complain. I’ve said enough, here’s Bernie’s Best of 2019.