For over half a century the cold January days in Cincinnati have been heated up as a parade of some of the hottest and coolest custom, collector and exotic cars and trucks roll into town as part of the KOI-Federated Auto Parts Cavalcade of Customs (Photo 1).

This year marked the 58th annual event and two floors of the Duke Energy Center were filled with people for three days milling around and admiring these beautiful machines (Photo 2). Technically speaking the Cavalcade is a car show, albeit souped up on automotive steroids. It is part of a 16 city series that has events throughout the United States and into Canada. Each is part of the Summit Racing Equipment Car Show Series which is the official name of a series of indoor car shows sanctioned by the International Car Show Association.

The ISCA was formed in 1963 to serve as a sanctioning body to bring together this series of indoor events and oversee all of the details such as classes and judging. In all they have pulled in three types of shows: Autorama, Cavalcade of Customs, and World of Wheels, which, each year, brings in thousands of magnificent vehicles and hundreds of thousands of spectators.

Autorama in Detroit was the first of these shows. It was first put on 67 years ago and its success was soon copied by others. In 1960 a group of promotors decided that a similar show could be successful in Cincinnati and over the years they have been proved right time and time again (Photo 3).

While the Cavalcade is ostensibly a car show, filling the convention floor and the large third floor room with fantastic cars (Photo 4), there are plenty of other things happening during that weekend. Every year the cavalcade brings in a variety of celebrities geared for all ages to enjoy. This year’s program had the likes of NASCAR champion Tony Stewart, WWE wrestler A.J. Styles, Leave It to Beaver star Jerry Mathers, and more. In addition there were displays and special demonstrations all over the Duke Energy Center throughout the weekend. One of the more popular displays featured several of the actual cars from the feature film The Fate of the Furious (Photo 5, Photo 6).

With the first and third floors filled with cars and displays and demonstrations, the second floor is always packed with automotive repair and service professionals. This area is set aside for over 25 different classes and seminars geared toward all types of service technicians and collision and body shop professionals as well as those in ownership and management of repair facilities. There were classes geared for everyone from beginners to experienced pros.

Most people do not consider the ongoing training and self-improvement involved in being an automotive service tech. Over the years, as vehicles have taken on more and more advanced technology, it has become imperative that those people working on them be properly trained. Consider how quickly technology has grown in this industry over the past years and it is almost staggering to consider how much a tech needs to know these days. So these courses and seminars are offered each year as part of the Cavalcade to ensure quality work is being done throughout the Tri-State.

In many cases these courses introduce the people who repair your vehicles to the newest technologies and assist in or lead to ASE certifications. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence is a non-profit organization that works to ensure quality vehicle repair and service throughout the industry. Odds are if you look around in your repair shop you will see ASE certifications hanging on the wall. This is your sign that the technicians working there have been properly trained and certified to do the repairs on your vehicle.

Still, with all of this going on most of the spectators showed up to see the cars (Photo 7) that were on display throughout the center. There was surely something there for every interest. Whether it was a super customized show car (Photo 8) or a rebuilt classic (Photo 9), something from before most of you were born (Photo 10) or something infamous (Photo 11), they could all be seen at the Cavalcade.

To see a whole array of cars and trucks that were on display at this year’s cavalcade take a few minutes to check out my blog and be sure to search back through the month of January to see all of the posts.

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