By Kris Hansen
Photos: Kris Hansen and Kyle Hansen
We love attending new-to-us automotive enthusiast shows. As important as we feel it is for us to visit the new car shows (such as Geneva and New York), we find that the enthusiast shows are often more enjoyable at a personal level, primarily because we get to visit with the car owners, club members, and our readers and forum members. Having the opportunity to strike up conversations with as many people as possible, learn about their cars, their interests and wants for the future is one of the best parts of shows like Carlisle.
As first timers at Carlisle, we weren’t really sure what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that this show possesses a nice laid back vibe. Indeed, the Carlisle Import and Kit show is a family friendly event, with literally something for everyone. This truly is a festival event, with bands playing through out the weekend, food vendors, a play area for kids, and so on.
The spacious Carlisle fairgrounds allows room for the over 1200 vehicles entered in the show to line up by country of origin. The show was very well represented by Swedish, Italian, British, Japanese, and of course German cars. The Audi contingent was huge, making up about one and a half full rows of cars, something that most other marques weren’t able to do all on their own. The Audi Club had a prize winning hang out under a huge tent, where they fed members, and escaped the sun and shared stories.
The old school Audi was very well represented this year. There were no less than 6 “Ur Quattros” there, as well as a few V8 quattros, 4000s, 80s, 90s, 100, 200 and UR S cars. The VERY old school was represented as well, with a DKW and an Auto Union era Audi present as well.
The folks who trek to Carlisle come from far and wide. Even though we came down from Vermont, there are people who drove farther. A decent size contingent of old school Quattros came from Canada. We know of a few from Indiana, Ohio, most of the New England states, and more.
This show is so much more than just Audis though. We saw many very nice cars from marques such as Saab, Volvo, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, VW, MG, Austin Healey, Jaguar, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and on and on. For a car nut, this is a tremendously well represented show.
Possibly one of the most drool worthy display at the show was the Fourtitude.com area, which consisted of a historic R8 LMP1 racer, and Audi’s Quattro Sport (yes, the very one we drove in Nevada) and an R8 4.2. All 3 of these beautiful cars together was a sight to behold.
We truly enjoyed our first visit to the Carlisle Import and Kit Nationals, and we’re looking forward to adding this event to our list of annual “must attends”. We hope to see you there!
- Image Gallery: 2012 Carlisle Import and Kit Car Nationals