I'm just saying: can't car shows be more exciting?

I went to the Bob Poole Orphan Car Show this weekend at Carillon Park in Dayton, Ohio. We had a lot of fun. All 57 of us. Including the park employees and gift shop attendant.

I love orphan cars, but I hate it when people go to all the trouble of organizing the event, but they don't publicize it well. There were fewer cars there than I've ever seen at that event. It's not as if the government slapped a tax on orphan cars. (If that were true, they might just need to add the Big Three to the list next year.)

What was painful to see was all that wide open space in the park that was formerly covered with Studebakers, Packards, AMCs, Hudsons, Oldsmobiles, etc.

I wish the organizers had publicized the event better. Furthermore, I wish that people who organized these events could figure out something new and interesting to do with them rather than create the same old shows that look and feel like old car parking lots.

It's time to celebrate old cars in new ways. For instance, why can't we offer casual visitors the opportunity to drive these cars themselves (with close supervision, of course)? Let them experience what it's like to start a brass-era car or drive a '31 Hupmobile? I guarantee you'd get more people interested in the hobby if you put them behind the wheel.

And why don't we create more photo opportunities? Would it be very difficult to borrow or rent a car-sized turntable for the event and put cars on the turntable for 10 minutes each? Turntables at car shows almost always enhance the image of a show and the prestige of the cars that are on them. (You could snag some extra cash by videotaping the cars on the turntable and selling that footage to the owners.)

Start playing vintage car ads over the loudspeaker. They're fun. They're short. They're more interesting than the same old Fifties and Sixties music. When I sold my products at the 2006 AMO International show, I created a CD filled with vintage AMC radio spots. People literally ran to my booth asking about those spots whenever the DJ played them.

Isn't it time we created a little excitement about old cars the way new car dealers do? And if we do that, shouldn't we tell anyone and everyone about it? I'm just saying.