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Carlisle 2016


Honorary Admin
And changes for the show. Apparently, Carlisle has taken it upon themselves to combine the Import/Kit show with the "Performance and Style" show (read: tuner city) and have renamed the venue the "Import and Performance Nationals". Though they have yet to change that on all their advertisements, it's a show that is a throwback to the late '90's and early 2000's. At that time the import field wasn't as big as it is currently and to fill the space, the P&S show was invented and thrown in with the kit field. And the sh*t hit the fan with the tuner crowd raising hell on the fields with burnouts, stereo competitions and even some petty burglary within the town itself. The show was stopped in 2002 and was moved to a later date in the year.

Really bad feelings still exist with the kit and some of the import owners who were there during that time. I have no doubt there will be some reverberations this coming year with attendance - even the Volvo group - the largest group by far to attend - is going to look for other venues. So.. Carlisle may have shot itself in the foot. If I still have a car by May (that's running) I will go up (or just go up regardless... I have to admit some of the tuner crowds have some hot women walking around :D) just to see how the show has been affected.

More to come as detail arise with the upcoming year.


New member
I'm with ya, Rick. It is a bit disheartening to see the kit car world declining as it is. I'm not a fan of the tuners at all. At this time, I'm planning to be there, but without a car. All of my current "car time" is being devoted to a '67 Camaro (which, currently, still looks like a pig on a spit). I don't know if I'll even have it on the road by then. As for the Carlisle bunch, I'm sure they are trying to do what they can to make for larger events. I don't believe their decision will make for a better event - just larger for one year.

Maybe I'm going off on a rant, but there is no comparison between a car that has been built from the ground up (or restored that way, as with a lot of the imports), and a car that has had a "whiney" exhaust and a turbocharger added. Sounds like two bumblebees in a snuff box to me. I very much prefer cars that have had real hands on them. The folks on this board, and other kit car builders, get a lot more admiration and respect from me than someone who will call up one of 25 vendors to buy an air dam, then spend an afternoon making a "bitchin' tuner car," and then brag about how said air dam makes a 125 mph difference in cornering.

I have seen great accomplishments on this board and others. I saw one of our members make a lathe out of a drill. I have seen one of our members put LED lights in such a way as to make the side of their car look like it has neon imbedded (an idea that I plan to incorporate(steal?:D)). I've seen several of our members mold their own parts in their garage. These are the people that speak to my soul.

Unless something unforeseen happens, I'll be there, but with earplugs. Sorry for the rant.



Honorary Admin
:D No rant... we'll just have to see how the show pans out. The best we can hope for is each group has it's own little corner... Personally, last year's import section was outstanding - lots of unusual marquees came in.


Active member
I still have good intentions to make it one of these years. Thanks for keeping us updated Rick.


Active member
It's on my 'bucket list', would love to see the scene state side and meet some of you guys. Fly over to NY and hire and drive down, might need hosting as I only have my bro' in Alabama.


New member
Syracuse Nationals?

Up here in Syracuse we have a great event in July, the Syracuse Nationals. I believe it's the biggest North East car show there is. They usually draw in over 8,000 custom cars from the US and Canada. I do volunteer work each year, and bring the Sterling over with my VW club each year. Is anyone interested in coming up next year? I'll try to set something up to have our cars in one area. Here is the website:

Syracuse Nationals



New member
Been hitting Carlisle off and on for the last 20 years. Was feeling pretty good about my Sebring lately. Just had a high performance rebuild on my 13B rotary by Logan Carswell at Defined Motorworks..... so what the hell.... I applied for being in the Invitational Building. Don't get me wrong I like sitting outdoors but me and Carlisle have this "rain" history and my wife made it clear to me if the rain demons came this year we were outta there. So I got the invite! Car has to remain in the building for the weekend but we are still driving out and just renting for local transport. Yeah, I agree the show is changing but I'd still like to hang with it for awhile.


Active member
In the UK we have the Stoneleigh event on may weekend and many Nova and Eagle owners are desperately trying to be there and fill the club areas and avoid the last minute gremlins that seem to plague us. Cars seem to sense a show is looming and choose that week to pack up, stuff the clutch or burn out a starter, etc.

The show itself has declined over the years and last year I made the (expensive) effort to go and saw the same stuff I did in 2006! At least I knew where to find what I was looking for in the way of materials, tools and bits and pieces Not so much a show as a time warp and the 'for sale' shed was empty -confused*

Hope it's better this year although I will not be going unfortunately, well I could, but that would the years house keeping budget gone.


last year I made the (expensive) .

Peter it is expensive depending on where you are coming from, if you think it's bad for you from Spain just imagine what its like for me from Singapore!

And you are right it hasn't changed much, I have been going since 1989 (missed about 5 years in that time) and nothing is dramatically different. However as its really the last focused kit car show in the UK its a "must attend" event. I will be there for all 3 days this year with the Nova (hopefully) :D


Honorary Admin
Ok Darryl, I saw a photo with your Sebring inside the building.. you were likely the only SKC member there this weekend (I wound up with a killer head cold on Thursday... still suffering). So.. how was it? I saw a bunch of buggies and a scattering of older VW kits, pretty much like in years past. Wondering how the tuner crowd affected the show, if any?


New member
Carlisle, hmmmmm.....

Okay, so Carlisle was like a old spaghetti western, namely The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good- I pulled my car with a tow bar this year. And, well, they say you can't do that very well with Sebrings/Sterlings because of the long nose but hey, you can.... I did end up triangulating about 25 extra pounds of steel stock up in my car's nose connecting into the factory steel band that comes off the VW front beam. This allowed me to use a Harbor Freight folding tow bar. Pull two pins, release the nuts locking the angles and it collapses flat.... nice. I could hit 75 to 80 in the dry and was still getting 23 mpg with my Hyundai Santa Fe. Tracked straight. I did end up adding one more set of caster shims on my front beam (I now run two sets) just to make sure that steering was going to self center.
Thursday was a nice sunny day for arriving, got checked in, no problems.
Friday-Nice sunny day, most of the speedsters, dune buggies, a few more exotic kits etc., were arriving. Uhhh, yeah no other Sebrings, Sterlings, etc., yet.....

The Bad- Rain, colder, rain, and did I say rain. Saturday the skies opened up in typical Carlisle fashion and just made for a miserable day. And hey, how about the kit manufacturers????, there were a total of 4, well, 5 if you count Acme (Berrien dealer now) and that was it. Wasn't it just a few years ago when there was something like 32 of these guys. Heck, Factory Five alone took up about a third of a building back then. If you went by this show the kit car industry is either near death or what I have suspected for some time....it's all about social media, shows at your facility, and web business. So, yeah, I was the only canopy car there, well, at least I didn't see anybody else. Imported cars were alive and well especially the Saab contingent, Opals, and few other marks. Not a very full field but hey, did I mention it was raining? It was even raining INSIDE our building. Tuner guys? They came, they seem to be better funded this time with improved cars. I've got a rotary in my car so I always like talking to them. No problems with them that I heard, but I'm sure the rain dampened any spirits.

The Ugly- Sunday came and well,....and more rain. They told us they were not holding us to the 3:00 p.m. release for our building and would let us out at 1 to 2. Yippee! So guys from the car corral were already loading up. The end nearest our building of that lot areas slopes a lot. Guy with a steel trailer and a really nice Honda S 2000 is trying to load up on his steel trailer and yep, the back end slides off the ramps hanging his rear end off the trailer on the chassis. Group of guys tried for about a half hour to get it back up. Finally a bunch of buys were able to lift it up and forward on the trailer. The crowd clapped. So we connected up, and hit 5 hours of rain on the way back along with about a half hour period of torrential rain... and finally home. Sebring was hi and dri on the inside.... and the adventure was over.

So Carlisle? I think I'm done.... It took this time to tell me that I have more fun at our local car shows and events and that although I used to love going to see what was new, well, it's just not at Carlisle anymore.
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Honorary Admin
It's been that way for years. I'm wondering what the turnout would have been if it hadn't been raining, in terms of the tuners. In the last 5 or so years there have only been four or five manufacturers there, so it's no surprise that there hasn't been a rebound. It's a shame, but a sign of the times I think. Still.. one day when I have my car done, I'll still bring it out, at least for a day. Guess I should really set a timeline for myself... it's only been, what, 10 years or more since I bought it? *laugh*


Well-known member
That's good to see. Nice to have the family of cars represented.

I had hoped to one day check out the Carlisle show. Even better to road trip a car up that way. Maybe not so much anymore now that the show has changed so much.