Disclaimer: I didn’t plan for my Saturday afternoon cruise to transform into one of the best car-spotting sessions I’ve ever had. But, lo and behold, great muscle cars and classic European sports cars were out in force. Sitting here late at night composing this article, I am still debating why this may have been the case. Maybe it was the location, maybe it was because it was the weekend, but I have a strong gut feeling that it has to due with the advent of the Spring season.
If you’re a Chris Harris fan, you may recall an episode of Drive‘s Chris Harris on Cars series entitled, “GT3 RS 4.0: Last Drive Before Hibernation.” Sure, the theme of the video is simply him going through yet another set of tires on his beloved Porsche 911 (we all know how much he loves his 911s) and giving us a rundown of all that the GT3 RS 4.0 offers, but note the title of the video, and the banner that reads “Before winter… One last pre-hibernation drive.” Granted they are merely words, but combining this with my philosophy, I began to believe that the reason why I saw the likes of a Ford Model A, Roush and Saleen Mustangs, and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider — among others, might I add — was due to the warm sun and gentle breeze brought with the beautiful springtime weather.
Before the bitter cold and the short days and long nights that accompany that nippy winter season begin, owners of great cars such as these often times have no other choice but to retire these cars to the garage like a black bear in the Yosemite National Park. A Ford Model A is more than 80 years old, certainly not suitable for running errands in 35 degree weather. However, the day the thermometer rises past 60 degrees in March, exhaust pipes pepper back to life for a spring cleaning of all the pent up anticipation of finally being able to drive the car again.
And that’s what I love about spring. Forget the longer, warmer days and the awful allergy symptoms, the return of these enchanting sorts of cars to the roads is what I look forward to as February nears it’s close. As middle-class car enthusiasts, one thing we live for is seeing the economically fortunate enthusiasts who were able to buy the cars of our dreams driving them on the roads and not sitting in a concours event — although concours events are always great to see in person. However, finding the post-winter cars venturing out of hibernation for the first time can be a spotty operation. Don’t expect to walk out of your home in the middle of Montana (no offense if you actually live in Montana) and immediately witness some great sports cars rolling down the street. You’ve got to know where to look. And I’m going to let you know where to start.
First and foremost, the best place to see a large gathering of awesome cars is at specialized events. While these events run throughout the year, the springtime is when the events hit some awesome places and also, you just can’t deny the weather. Classic rallies are often favorites among enthusiasts, but if your bug isn’t for the classics, stick your nose out and you should come across some pretty awesome gatherings that should take car of the itch.
However, if the money’s a bit tight, buying tickets for the event and what ever expenses the travelling costs are may make attending these events unavailable, especially if you want to spot some great cars for free. So we need to find a solution to this problem don’t we? How and where do you find great cars taking their first glances of the sunlight of the new year?
As I mentioned earlier, the owners and drivers of great cars such as an Alfa Romeo Guilia, for example, tend to be well-doers when it comes to the size of their wallets. So, if you live in or near an area with a reputation for a higher-than-normal population of economically gifted people, take your car out and cruise the streets, keeping an open eye constantly scanning the horizon for a cool car like a submarine’s periscope. An upper middle-class town should do, and also the downtown portion of a city can be a good place as well, however cities that have a good deal of nature in and around it will probably have a higher chance of great cars prodding around.
My biggest tip, however, is to just hop in the car and go to where your gut tells you. Sure, I would certainly recommend you to use the suggestions afore mentioned as they make the search much easier, but if you just cruise around and keep both eyes duct taped opened then you’ll be sure to find some awesome cars. And if you’re fortunate, maybe you can even have a chat with the driver of the car or, even better, get an opportunity behind the wheel yourself. You just never know what is going to happen when you’re out spotting. Take my word for it, spring is more than just about cleaning.