If there had been any doubts that eastern Pennsylvania is the center of the automotive hobby in these United States, my visit to Macungie, PA, this weekend to attend “Das Awkscht Fescht”, now in its 59th year, removed those doubts. How fortunate am I, living in the metro NY/NJ region my entire life, that shows in the Pennsylvania towns of Macungie, Carlisle, Hershey, New Hope, and Harrisburg are all within an easy one-day round-trip drive? Add to that the longevity of these events: I first attended Carlisle in the late ‘70s, Hershey in the early ‘80s, and Macungie in the early ‘90s. New Hope’s website claims they are in their 65th year. Mecum’s Harrisburg auction, a newcomer to these parts, began in 2015 and I haven’t missed one yet.
Yes, we know about “Monterey” in California, a long-standing tradition every August. It’s grown to gargantuan proportions, combining multiple shows and auctions into a jam-packed week. Amelia Island in Florida in March is referred to by some as the “Monterey of the East”, again with shows and auctions running back-to-back. However, these are once-a-year programs on the calendar, without any other nearby automotive events during the rest of the year. The Keystone State calendar starts with Carlisle in April, then the Hershey Elegance in June, Mecum Harrisburg in July, Das Awkscht Fescht and New Hope in August, Carlisle again in September, and concludes with Hershey in October. All these shows are well-attended by car owners and spectators alike, and the collector car club support acts as a backbone, ensuring consistency year after year. This tally doesn’t count the marque-specific Carlisle events, club-sponsored local shows, or the incredible museums in the state such as the Simeone in Philly.
Back to Macungie 2022: it’s a 3-day event and always has been, with some variety each of the days. Saturday seems to bring out the largest number of cars and so it was my choice again for this year. The weather was hot and humid, but the occasional breeze and some intermittent cloudiness helped alleviate the dog days of August. Attendance was excellent, even if some areas of the field never filled to capacity. (In fairness, I saw cars arriving as late as noon, so the field may have seen its ranks swell a bit.) While it’s mostly American cars, the pre-war turnout is strong. The decades of the ‘50s and ‘60s are also well-represented. Import vehicles, led this year by a special field of British cars, provided some variety.
Similar to what I’ve done at Hershey, I find it a huge advantage to arrive early and photograph vehicles as they drive in. The gates opened at 7:30 a.m., and I situated myself and my trusty Sony (this time using my prime 85mm telephoto lens) along the entrance path and snapped away. Later, I walked the entire show and captured many of the cars that I didn’t get to see drive in under their own power. While I was unable to enter a car of my own this year, I conversed with numerous friends on the field who had brought cars, and I hope to join the fun in a more engaging way for next year’s big 60th anniversary!
WARNING! MASSIVE PHOTOGRAPHIC CONTENT AHEAD!
The Morning Parade:
Sometimes, the smallest cars make the grandest entrances:
On the showfield:
British cars were set apart from the rest in their own special part of the field:
Is the “new” Mini “mini”?
This car was parked among the Brits. When I teased the owner about it, he retorted, with a knowing wink in his eye, “well, the Smiths gauges are British!”
All photographs copyright © 2022 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.