Carlisle Events' Winter AutoFest in review - Old Cars Weekly

Carlisle Events' Winter AutoFest in review

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Lakeland, FL – Sunny skies, warm temps and cool cars graced the 2019 Winter AutoFest in Lakeland, Florida. Spanning February 22-24, 2019 at the SUN ‘n FUN Campus, the event proved to be the best Lakeland offering yet for Carlisle Events. The event success was due in part to a dedicated core of automotive enthusiasts within the Sunshine State and beyond.

Winter AutoFest was billed as a Friday through Sunday show, but people showed up Thursday looking for an automotive fix. While some got an early jump on the automotive flea market shopping on set up day, it was the Friday through Sunday morning offerings that really brought show-goers out. 

When gates opened Friday at 8 a.m., there were lines of anxious enthusiasts. Once on grounds, the lines snaked past hundreds of cars parked within the FREE cruise-in as well as vendors who set up in the blue field. Waiting for these same guests past the tree line at SUN ‘n FUN were hundreds more vendors, thousands more pieces, parts, merchandise and collectibles, plus nearly 1,500 cars spanning the auction, car corral, free cruise-in, NCRS Winter Regional event, Corvette Fun Field and Imperial Mustang Club of Polk County Mustang showcase. Of that estimate, the Corvette and Mustang camps were able to boast over 300 cars each. Of course there was a hearty line of people at the food stands too, enjoying the unique fair-style offerings.

Saturday ushered in even more guests and cars for a full day of festivities. GM Certified Technician Paul Koerner returned for another day of tech sessions and tech talks, former FBI agent and 9/11 first-responder Wes Wong spoke at the auction, while the Fly Adventure team from St. Augustine was up and down all day with their vintage Stearman Bi-Plane offering rides high above the facility. Speaking of the aforementioned auction, it offered yet another entertainment option with two days of live fun. The top seller was a 1965 Corvette, going for $72,760, with the top 5 overall garnering $274,455. All dollar amounts include fees applicable to the sale.

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Other highlights included seminars from Kevin Mackay of Corvette Repair Inc, Corvette vs. Cobra from Fabulous Restorations and a Resto Mod talk from Extreme Mid-Years LLC. There was also a special screening of The Quest, a Corvette documentary film directed and produced by Michael Brown. Brown, Mackay and Lance Miller were also on hand to sign copies of the DVD following the screening with monies benefiting the Chip Miller Amyloidosis Foundation.

As the show wrapped up on Sunday, guests had one last chance to pick up a little something within the automotive flea market, make a deal on a car corral sale or work with the auction team on a Still for Sale consignment. 

Another piece of news coming out of the show was Carlisle Auctions announcement of a two-day auction only event in Sarasota, Florida. Suncoast-Carlisle spans November 8-9, 2019. More details will be released on this event in the coming weeks, but complete info on Winter AutoFest can be found at www.CarlisleEvents.com, while auction news comes via www.CarlisleAuctions.com. Save the date, because Winter AutoFest 2020 returns to SUN ‘n FUN February 21-23. 

Carlisle Events is a partner or producer of 10 annual collector car and truck events. Events are held at the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds (Carlisle, PA), Allentown Fairgrounds (Allentown, PA), the SUN ‘n FUN Complex (Lakeland, FL) and the Suncoast-Carlisle facility (Sarasota, FL). The season schedule includes four automotive flea markets of varying size, five auctions, as well as individual specialty shows featuring Corvettes, Fords, GMs, Chryslers, trucks, imports, tuners and performance sport compacts. Founded in 1974 by friends Bill Miller and Chip Miller, events hosted at Carlisle attract more than a half a million enthusiasts annually from all corners of the globe. More information is available via www.CarlisleEvents.com or www.CarlisleAuctions.com.

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