August in the city of Bristol is always an exciting time for car enthusiasts. This year, it’s not just the fast ones that’ll be turning heads.
Two weeks before race fans hit town for the famous night race at Bristol Motor Speedway, thousands of vintage car, truck and motorcycle fans will converge on Bristol for the Antique Automobile Club of America Southeastern National Fall Meet.
The three-day event, slated for Aug. 11-13, is a celebration of America’s passion for the automobile and highlights “AACA Original” unrestored cars showing in AACA’s Historic Preservation of Original Features Class.
AACA members from across the United States will travel to Bristol to show off original and restored vehicles of all types, from the early days of motoring up to and including 1986. Highlights of the meet include a Downtown Bristol Cruise-In on Friday, Aug. 12, followed by the AACA National Show on Saturday, Aug. 13, at BMS.
Friday’s downtown Cruise-In event and Saturday’s car show display are free and open to the general public.
The Cruise-In, which takes place in historic downtown Bristol, gets under way at 5 p.m. and is open to any antique or special interest car, truck or motorcycle that “creates a feeling of nostalgia, stimulates a memory or fulfills a fantasy.”
“It will be a perfect opportunity to mix it up with beautiful original and restored antique cars from around the country,” said meet chairman Ben Zandi.
Spectators are also welcome to come out and enjoy Friday’s Cruise-In and entertainment, which will include an appearance by Mayberry Deputy David L. Browning.
Participation in Saturday’s show and other special events throughout the weekend, including a special performance by male vocalist Ivan Parker, require AACA membership. However, spectators are welcome to enjoy the car displays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday at BMS.
The meet will showcase some of America’s finest antique vehicles from the earliest days of the automobile up to and including stock configured vehicles through 1986. Early registrations include a 1905 Packard, a 1939 American Bantam Station Wagon and many other marques, including Delorean, Crosley, Triumph, MG, Chalmers, Cushman and Volkswagen, as well as a host of GM, Ford, and Chrysler vehicles.
AACA original vehicles are some of the finest maintained unrestored vehicles known, Zandi said, including interesting “barn find” antiques. Those cars will be displayed together in their own area of the show field.
Founded in 1935, AACA is headquartered in Hershey, Pa. For more information or to join, visit www.aaca.com . The local Appalachian Region Bristol VA/TN Chapter of AACA is hosting the national meet. For details about the local chapter, visit w w w. a p p a l a c h i a n r e g i o n a a c a . o r g .