The Valparaiso Auto Show returns May 22nd – Chicago Tribune

Cars, bikes, and more will be on hand the weekend before Memorial Day at the Porter County Fairgrounds.

The Valparaiso Auto, Motorcycle Show and Trade-In Interviews are held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 22 and August 28 at the Porter County Fair Center in Valparaíso.

Car is registered at 8 am. The swap meet-up area opens at 6 AM and pre-registration for space is $10 and $15 per day. View is rainy or sunny.

Food vendors sell sausages, hamburgers, funnel cakes, and refreshments. There will be a DJ and a beer garden.

He said that Valparaiso’s Mark Halliard took over the auto show in 2019.

“It’s going really well,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of people still coming in because it was the Mario show but I’m trying to get more and more people interested in it.”

He said the exchange encounter had sellers selling anything auto related, including new and used auto parts.

He said, “I have a salesman who goes out and does a wax demonstration.” “You can buy anything from engine blocks to body panels, interior trim, license plates from the 50s, 60s or…brand news too. Even collectibles like yard signs or road signs, like cave garage stuff too. A barter encounter is a big draw. Very. We usually have about 250 to 300 swaps and about 300 to 400 vehicles showing up at the auto show.”

Sometimes interesting items appear at a barter meeting, he said, such as antique bikes, scooters, and even a rebuilt engine.

“We had a guy from Rust Belt Rebellion (a car show), what they do every year, they tow a car. So he would offer a car to be towed and all the money would go to a veteran organization,” Halliar said.

“If you want to go out and sell your wares, you are more than welcome. But you have to be aware of the fact that this is a car show audience. So a jeweler might not do as well as someone who brings out old bikes says.”

He said that there will be all kinds of cars and all kinds of makes and models welcome at the exhibition.

“I wanted it to be inclusive; not just hot bars and old cars. I wanted it to be inclusive because that’s kind of the way it is in Northwest Indiana — we’re a melting pot of different cultures.”

It also does not discriminate based on the age of the vehicle. He said there is a huge difference between the ages of the vehicles.

“Last year we’ve had a couple of all-new chargers, and two Descendants, but we also have one guy showing up every year with his Buick 1912,” he said. “He’s been in his family since he was new. So the car is over 100 years old and he shows up with it every year because he likes to show off. He’s in immaculate condition. He usually gets a trophy because he got the oldest car on the fairgrounds.”

Cars are judged and the top 50 gets a prize.

“We offer the best paint, the best engine, the best presentation, and the best bike,” he said. “It is a total of 54 trophies. We want everyone to feel this is a fun show to come by.”

It helps to show off or ride your car for only $5. For those selling merchandise at a barter meet, the price is $15 off the spot.

Halliar said he would like to have more motorcycles on show.

“I think if you bring your motorcycle, it will turn out something really cool,” he said. “I would really like to bring more motorcycle guys to the auto show. I would really like to include motorcycles in it.”

He thinks that people love car shows because of the camaraderie

He said, “As a car guy, I put blood, sweat and tears in the car… When you’re working on something like that, you want to show off.” “You go to these car shows and you start seeing the people you know and then you start making friends and before you know it, those friends become car clubs.

“Quite a few guys I know have been in car clubs since they were kids because that’s how they were brought up. Now they’re much older and they’re still in the same car clubs, and they talk about cars. It’s a very, very cool community.”

Valpo car and motorcycle fair and swap meet

when: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on May 22 and August 28

where: Porter County Fair Center, 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso

the tickets: $5 to attend and $5 to show your car

Information: 708-821-6941

Annie Aleman is a freelance reporter for Post-Tribune.

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