As we pulled in to Syracuse, New York, we saw something a little unusual, a 1930's Ford, a classic street rod. When you drive enough, you see a fair number of classic cars, so we didn't remark on it too strongly. Then we noticed another strange thing: people sitting in deck chairs on the sides of city streets. Even Syracuse isn't boring enough to have people watching traffic for fun. When we saw the third strange thing, we began to suspect that we were in trouble. The sign on the Days Inn marquee read "Greetings Syracuse Nationals." We had pulled into town on the first day of the largest classic car show east of the Mississippi. Over 6,000 street rods and classic cars had arrived to strut their stuff and compete for prizes. Make that 6,001, since the Shark had arrived as well. People lined the streets to watch the cars drive by. Hotel parking lots were full of classic cars. Amazingly enough, we found a room at the first hotel we tried. I think if we had gotten there an hour later we would have been out of luck. Our parking lot contained fourteen regular cars and twenty-two classic cars. The Shark, for once in its life, blended in, almost inconspicuously. The next day, we went to the show on the Syracuse fairgrounds. Instead, we got to enjoy forty-five minutes of the worst 50's/60's tribute band I have ever heard. I don't think "Barbara Ann" was ever intended to be covered as an atonal round. I don't know what they were even thinking. There were very few 50's cars there; maybe one Bel Air and one Caddy. Every other car was either a street rod (which usually either uses a 30's car body or is completely custom) or a muscle car (1966-1972 at best). Who in either of these sets would listen to 50's music?
The show was not bad, but car shows do require a certain mind set to enjoy. I guess you have to be a car nerd, and the process of buying the Shark had turned us into them. I think if we had had a couple of hours to prepare ourselves detailing the car and so forth we would have competed favorably. We certainly would have won "farthest journey to the show" at least. But, we had other places to be.