A Canadian exhibitor at the 2012 Lake George Adirondack Nationals car show (left rear) talks to spectators about the capabilities of his customized 1930s vehicle. The 2013 Adirondack Nationals show, to be held from Friday Sept. 6 through Sunday Sept. 8, is expected to be a record-breaker.
Thundering exhaust, brilliant chrome, sultry shapes, and flashy paint jobs of hot rods and customized vehicles will undoubtedly draw tens of thousands of spectators to Lake George this weekend as the annual Adirondack Nationals car show takes over the village.
This year’s car show, however, is likely to set records as it hosts the most cars and attracts the most spectators in its 25-year history, an event official predicted this week.
The car show will have about 1,400 registered vehicles on display at the Fort William Henry Resort complex, plus many hundreds of other non-registered cars scattered in parking lots and elsewhere through the village.
Michael Kilmer of Albany Rods & Kustoms, the car club sponsoring the Nationals, said that registration for the show closed out in a mere six days — record time.
Beside the sunny weather predicted, another factor may be generating strong interest in the event: this year is not only the 25th anniversary Adirondack Nationals show, it’s the 30th anniversary of the car club.
For this landmark year, Adirondack Nationals is featuring an appearance of reality television star Danny Koker of the show Counting Cars, in which Koker and staff procure and customize vehicles in their Las Vegas shop.
Koker will not only be greeting auto enthusiasts and signing photographs, but he will likely be browsing among the vehicles on display and chatting with their owners, Kilmer said.
“Danny said he was excited to come to Lake George,” he said. “He’ll be wandering the grounds looking at cars, and he may be hanging out and having a couple of beers with our club members.”
In celebration of the 25th anniversary, fireworks shows are planned for both Friday and Saturday nights. Special Anniversary trophies will join the regular awards as well.
Area officials say the car show is unparalleled in the northeast in its size and scope, and that it is one of the premier annual events in Warren County, alongside the Adirondack Balloon Festival and Americade.
“Most of the hotels and motels are completely booked already for the car show weekend,” Lake George Chamber of Commerce President Michael Consuelo said Tuesday.
The Lake George car show has annually featured customized vehicles, from hot rods to modified antiques. Customization ranges from the merely artistic interpretations of the original classic vehicle to bizarre innovative creations. Rare antique sedans, like Nashes, Willys, Hillmans and Studebakers are featured, alongside vintage and contemporary sports cars, and a wide range of meticulously restored vehicles.
Kilmer said that a half-dozen or more exhibitors spend $100,000 or more on their restorations, whether it’s equipping a vehicle with a super-powered engine, or a one-of-a-kind body.
“Some of our auto enthusiasts don’t spare any expense or time on their vehicles,” he said.
The main feature of the Adirondack Nationals is two sponsored processions at 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday nights of the registered vehicles down main street. Annually, tens of thousands of people — area residents as well as visitors — line the streets and watch the parade of cars, normally several miles long, Kilmer said.
“Our cruise down Canada Street is a show in itself,” he said.
Albany Rods & Kustoms has documented their recent car shows with professionally produced videos that include featured vehicles, interviews with their owners, and footage featuring the car parades. Videos from prior years, as well as show memorabilia, are available at their vendor booth near the entrance to the Fort William Henry property.
Spectators who register for the show for the $10 fee are admitted to a variety of events at no charge, including a tour of Fort William Henry and a “Women’s Oasis” expo held both Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Fort William Henry Conference Center. The offerings include jewelry, crafts and household goods as well as games of Bingo.
Adirondack Nationals includes an array of vendors of vehicle accessories and customizing equipment, and the booths are located along Beach Road. A full schedule of events is available at: www.adirondacknationals.com.
Kilmer, who’s been a Rods & Kustoms club member since 1999, said he was looking forward to the 2013 show.
“Every year, I see half-dozen cars with completely new ideas in customizing — It’s unbelievable what some people can come up with over one wintertime,” he said. “And we love it in Lake George — we really enjoy the atmosphere.”