If you live in the Midwest or if you are into racing or high-performance and willing to travel to the Chicago in February for a do-not-miss event, mark the dates Feb. 22 and 23 on your calendar. That’s when the annual Race & Performance Expo (www.raceperformanceexpo.com) will take place at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Ill.
This is promoted as an event where you can network with racing retailers, race car engine builders, car builders, tracks, race sanctioning bodies, race car fabricators, trailer makers and performance parts manufacturers.
That makes it sound like you have to be Mario Andretti, but take my word for it, there is plenty at this show for classic car restorers. One example is the ’36 Chevy that one restoration shop displayed last year. Another is the fact that one vendor, Hughes’ Engines, does Mopar motors for both race car and restored cars.
A lot of old-car buffs I talk to tell me that they wish that they could go to trade shows like SEMA, Hot Rod & Restoration and PRI. Well the Race & Performance Expo is a similar event that is open to the general public. And there is plenty for the backyard mechanic to learn at this show about new products and existing products and services with restoration applications.
If you are into GM cars, there is another good reason to go to St. Charles on one of the same dates that the Race & Performance Expo is held. The 23rd annual Buick-Olds-Pontiac-Cadillac Swap Meet (www.bopcswap.com) takes place Feb. 23 at the Kane County Fairgrounds on the other side of town. This is a one-day, mostly indoor swap meet that is worth a visit if you’re into GM cars.
On top of all this, if you are from Wisconsin like I am, you might want to make that fourth weekend in February an old-car overdose weekend and stop at the Milwaukee World of Wheels on your way down to Illinois. It will take place Feb. 21-23 at State Fair Park. Call 248-373-1700 for information on this show.
My own plan is Feb. 21 for World of Wheels, Feb. 22 Race & Performance Expo and Feb. 23 Buick-Olds-Pontiac-Cadillac Swap Meet.
Sounds like the Super Bowl of Collector Cars Weekend!