Thunderbird at the Kool April Nites Friday cruise.
Last year, we signed up for the Kool April Nites Car Show in Redding a few months in advance of the show. As it got closer to the scheduled day, the weatherman predicted rain throughout the weekend and since our registered ’41 Chevy doesn’t sport windshield wipers, we opted not to drive the 210 miles to the show. RainX only goes so far! Of course, it didn’t rain as predicted, so we missed a great weekend seeing friends and ogling the great classics at the show.
This year, we decided that we were going to Redding come hell or high water (pun intended). A chance of rain was predicted late Friday night, with a much less chance on Saturday during the Show & Shine (where the car enthusiasts park their classics at the venue for the looksee and judging). We registered our ’37 Plymouth (gangsta car) this year because although it too didn’t have wipers, it has a much softer ride than the Chevy for the long haul. We had a pleasantly dry trip driving through the small towns and orchards along Highways 70 and 99 and into Redding. Our friends welcomed us with open arms, a comfortable bedroom, and delicious kitchen fare.
1937 Plymouth 4 door sedan (shaved back suicide doors)
Before we did anything else, our friends suggested that we walk through the DreamWorks show inside the Redding Civic Auditorium to avoid the expected crowds the next day when the car show officially opened to the public. The DreamWorks area showcases classic cars that have been professionally restored and beautifully customized – they are the Crème de la crème. The following images are of just a few of the sculpted and customized beauties. They include a ’50 Chevy convertible, a Steampunk special, ’37 Ford Roadster, and an old Fire Engine from Healdsburg, Ca.
We enjoyed our time with these beautiful cars, but eventually had to get ready to join the scheduled Friday Night Cruise through a section of downtown Redding for the more than 2000 registered cars. This cruise was a close second to Hot August Nights (Reno car show) in the area traveled and the amount of vehicles showing their stuff to the amazingly enthusiastic crowds gathered all along the route. The spectators were 4 and 5 rows deep in some sections of the route and included the entire spectrum of humanity! Children too young to appreciate or ambivalent about the cars, were entertained by fun bubble makers and the antics of some of the entrant cars – particularly the rat rods. The route was blocked off by police who allowed the entire four lanes to be used by the cruise.
Friendly kids along the route
Some had their own entries ready to join the cruise
Hard to see in the above photos, but the cars were lined up four wide along the route
Lots of photogs too
Some pretty paint jobs
and some not so much – but still cool
Some entries not so pretty, but with awfully cute passengers
And some stranger than fiction entries
Rat rods abounded
As did the foreign cars
And then there were the chromed-out big engines
And still more bubbles
The next day, the official car show began. The cars lined up at 6am to begin the massive job of staging all the entrants. There were 4 or 5 areas in which the cars were staged for viewing by fellow entrants and the public; the center area being a massive lawn area.
The Vendor area contained a large number of vendors hawking their wares next to a Mega Tent that hosted music, dancing, entertainment and one of the most organized Pancake Breakfasts I have seen, the proceeds of which went to a local charity.
Security was tight (and familiar)
A panoramic view of the lawn area
A close up of a section of the lawn area
On Sunday, the awards were presented. The above photo is a pano of the Winner’s Circle.
All in all, Redding does an outstanding job of organizing and presenting their Kool April Nites Car Show. We had a great time at the show with the added bonus of spending some quality time with friends we only see once or twice a year.