[Editor's Note: Planning to drive your classic to one of these events? For peace of mind, make sure you have classic car roadside assistance lined up before you drive. Visit Hagerty Plus Roadside Service and Benefits for more information.]
Fall weather is upon us, and car enthusiasts living in colder climates are preparing for the long, blustery lull of winter. Meanwhile, for the lucky warm-climate enthusiasts, the car festivities continue, so why not catch a plane ticket to cure your winter woes? Here are five events to get you started on your search for the ultimate escape from seasonal classic car withdrawals
Pomona Swap Meet & Classic Car Show: The West Coast’s largest swap meet takes place seven times per year, and this winter you can look forward to attending on the following Sundays: Dec. 6, Jan. 17 and March 6 from 5:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., rain or shine. This event is held at the Fairplex on West McKinley Ave. in Pomona, Calif., and you'll find more than 2,400 vendor spaces full of hard-to-find car parts and accessories at low swap meet prices. Thousands of collector vehicles will also be on display: original and restored Corvettes, Porsches, Volkswagens, Street Rods and many more pre-1985 vehicles. Who knows? You might just fall in love with and purchase your next classic car. General admission is $10.00, and you can bring your whole family; children 12 and under are free.
Third Annual SWFL Nationals: Hosted by Roadhouse Promotions, this is an outstanding opportunity to see more than 1,000 cars on display, find treasures at the immense swap meet, listen to live music and dine at an internationally acclaimed food court. Mark your calendars for this event on Jan. 9, 2016, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Jet Blue Park on Fenway South Dr. in Fort Myers, Fla. Entry fees are $10 per person with no charge for active military or children 12 and under. Don’t forget to enter your classic vehicle; over 150 class and special awards will be announced. Proceeds go to the local Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry, and Glades Co.
56th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals: If you have a need for speed, this is the place for you. The NHRA and the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., have unveiled new cars, drivers, teams and sponsorships every February since 1961. The track is smooth and known for its outstanding traction and record performances. Spectators are encouraged to come and cheer as drivers use this season’s kickoff to pursue their place in the Countdown to the Championship. Last year, the event was held Feb. 5-8, but as of this posting, the official dates for 2016 have not yet been posted, so keep checking back.
Winter Autofest: On Feb. 25-28, 2016, Carlisle events will host the annual Winter Florida Autofest at its new location, the Sun’n’Fun complex in Landland, Fla. Originally located in Zephyrhills, Fla., this event is home to a swap meet, a car corral and auto auctions. More than 300 classics are known to cross the auction block, and with the new location there will now be a car show with room for additional vendors and activities. And this event isn’t just limited to collector cars: Airplane owners, planes and plane-themed vendors are welcome, as are RVs and campers, and antique bicycles and motorcycles. Camping is available with onsite showers, and there is a massive selection of hotels and restaurants in the area.
Temecula Rod Run: On Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5, 2016, thousands of enthusiasts will gather in Old Town Temecula, Calif., to see hundreds of classic vehicles from all over the country at the Temecula Rod Run. On Friday from 5-8 p.m., the cars cruise Old Town Front Street and the city of Temecula shuts down Old Town to let the beautiful machines run wild. On Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., spectators have an opportunity to see more than 600 cars up close, including classics, special interest vehicles, hot rods and customs. The event is free to the public, including music and entertainment, and there are great food selections, community vendors and much more.