Roanoke is revving up for the fifth annual Rolling into Roanoke car show and fundraiser.
The event will take place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 21, in the historic downtown on Main Street and at Roanoke Park.
More than 400 cars, motorcycles and bikes are expected to be on display at the event that draws 6,000 attendees annually. Attendees will have the opportunity to see unique automobiles from private collections and museums.
This year’s theme is “Across the Pond,” celebrating European sports cars and motorcycles. There will be areas for German, Italian, British and French models marked with flags of those countries, said event chairman Rick Fischer.
European automobile manufacturers helped fuel competition that gave rise to some of the greatest automobiles ever created, he said.
“There will be millions of dollars’ worth of wonderful cars that most people will only get the chance to see in magazines,” he said. “Take your time and appreciate their beauty and style.”
While the car show’s theme celebrates European cars, all makes and models are welcome to register. Fischer urges attendees to talk with the owners, ask questions and learn about the cars’ history.
A lot of the cars will bring back memories for older adults from when they were growing up, he said. That spark is passed down to the next generation.
“It’s great to see three generations – dad, son and grandson – all enjoying this and listening to stories,” he said.
Attendees are encouraged to check out the General Motors UAW exhibit area where a GM Futurliner will be on display from the National Automotive and Truck Museum in Auburn.
The Futurliner is one of 12 large dual-front wheeled display vehicles that crisscrossed the country in the early 1950s as part of a General Motors promotion called the Parade of Progress. The Parade and its crew carried futuristic and inspirational exhibits across North America, including jet engines, computers and television.
“There are only six or seven left and one is in our backyard,” Fischer said.
Another highlight of the event is the Track Lab Dyno, which will be set up in the park. The dyno machine measures the horsepower and torque that cars produce. The top performing gas and diesel engines will be awarded $1,000. Seeing what these cars can do is a great spectator event, Fischer said.
Rolling into Roanoke is free to attend. The family-friendly event will feature food trucks, local food vendors and restaurants, and boutique shopping. Fischer said the event has a block party feel; all are welcome and it’s not strictly about the cars.
“The cars are the vehicle for getting people down here and having fun,” he said.
Hosted by Roanoke Beautification Foundation, the event is an annual fundraiser that supports the foundation’s efforts to enhance the small town’s charm.
The community is thriving thanks to events like the car show that highlight everything Roanoke has to offer, said Fischer, who owns Deco Illusions, a historical and decorative painting company on Main Street.
“A lot of these small town main streets are dying and going by the waysides and if you don’t try to revitalize local shopping and local communities, they’re gone,” he said.
A portion of the funds will also benefit the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum and the National Auto and Truck Museum.
All makes and models from around the world are welcome to register. Pre-registration, open through July 16, ensures a spot downtown and guarantees entry for door prizes and a goody bag. Limited registration will be available the day of the show. Registration is $20 per vehicle. GM employees and military (active and retired) receive $5 off registration.
For more information, visit rollingintoroanoke.com or email questions to Rick Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If You Go
What: Rolling into Roanoke 2018, a classic car show
Where: Downtown Roanoke
When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 21
General parking: Roanoke Park (shuttle service available)