THE SHOP

November '20

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80 THE SHOP NOVEMBER 2020 ered tractors are more than a century old. Unionville includes a Main Street with buildings like a police station, a bank, a post office, a blacksmith shop, a bar where beer is served and a church that does weddings." While many specialty car shop owners worry about the graying of the industry, the crowd included plenty of 20- and 30-year-olds. "The cars and trucks they bring to the show are a mix of old-school hot rods and smooth, ground-hugging customized rides with wild paint jobs. They call them kustoms with a K instead of a C because builder George Barris invented that spelling around 1948," Gunnell says. "But, while these young enthusiasts pay homage to the past, their cars and trucks illustrate a pas- sion that will help support our businesses into the future. The collector car industry is not completely graying—it is simply changing. And shows like the Symco Rod & Kustom Weekender are great places to see developing trends." Even in a pandemic. OLAF & COFFEE Many in the industry know Rory Connell as VP of sales for Advanced Accessory Concepts. But when major events started being canceled this summer, he became one of the driving forces behind automotive get-togethers called OLAF (Overland Adventure Festivus) and Coffee, a cars and coffee-style event featuring overland and off-road vehicles. Held in Lake Elsinore and Corona, California in June and August, the local gatherings quickly attracted more than 300 spectator vehicles and 15-20 vendors. Looking to organize a fun event, Connell decided to move forward once "the Riv- erside County Sherriff made it extremely clear he would not be enforcing social dis- tancing laws." Still, safety precautions were implemented. "We have taken advantage of SEMA COVID marketing materials to encourage attendees to wear masks and distance prop- erly," he explains. "We also provided hand sanitizer and masks for attendees." Overall, participation from vendors and attendees was greater than expected. "Everyone was extremely happy to get out and interact again." And the lesson learned? "Don't wait for it to happen," he advises. "Just make it happen." Still, he is looking forward to the world returning to business as usual in 2021. "Hopefully, I can get back to my normal job selling auto parts and let the profes- sionals get back to promoting and hosting events." Thousands of traditional hot-rodders traveled to the event, and everyone seemed happy to be out of the house and at a real car show. (Photo by John Gunnell) Held in Lake Elsinore and Corona, California in June and August, the local gatherings quickly attracted more than 300 spectator vehicles and 15-20 vendors. (Photo courtesy OLAF and Coffee) Symco features some of the best old- school hot rods and customized cars in the Badger State and from throughout the Midwest. (Photo by John Gunnell) Overall, participation from vendors and attendees was greater than expected. (Photo courtesy OLAF and Coffee) OLAF (Overland Adventure Festivus) and Coffee was a cars and coffee-style event featuring overland and off-road vehicles. (Photo courtesy OLAF and Coffee) THE SHOWS GO ON

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