Whether its hot rods, lowriders, Mopars, rat rods, classic cars, whatever… Albuquerque is custom car country.
On any given Saturday or Sunday in the spring and early fall you’re probably never more than a half hour away from a custom car show being held somewhere in Albuquerque!
This is Route 66 country, and it is rare to drive along the old Mother Road (Central Ave) in Albuquerque from late spring to early fall, and not see at least a handful of custom cars of one genre or another (and motorcycles) cruising along with traffic. The young and restless are attracted to downtown Central Ave on summer evenings to show off their freshly polished rides, and to flex a bit of gas-powered muscle. However,the presence of a police cruiser or two always keeps things nice and orderly.
The photos shown below were captured on Central Ave (the old Route 66) in downtown Albuquerque during an outing organized by a local custom car club.
By the way, there is a fascinating exhibit on the history and art of lowriders at the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe!
The vehicles of choice in Albuquerque tend to be classic Americana. You won’t find Bugatti Veyrons or classic Aston Martins here. Classic Chevys, Fords and Mopars are the preferred makes. What gives the classic car scene here its vibrancy are the high number of unusually gifted weekend mechanics and the easy availability of customizable old cars and trucks. The downtown branch of the Albuquerque Public Library has an extensive collection of automotive manuals and guides that gets plenty of use. Classic cars are not a rich man’s toy here. Most often, they are the creations of proud, highly skilled blue-collar weekend ingenuity and local custom shops.
If you want to catch a local car show during your stay in Albuquerque, there are a number of online resources that provide calendars listing local events. Here are a few:
- http://alibi.com/events/Community.html – Alibi Community Calendar for Albuquerque and Santa Fe
- https://www.facebook.com/nmcarshows – New Mexico Car Shows Community Calendar on Facebook
- Car Show Radar – New Mexico Car Shows
- New Mexico Car Council – Upcoming Events
- If you are in town for the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, the Fiesta of Wheels Car Show is usually held on the first Sunday of the Fiesta on the grounds immediately after Mass Ascension.
- If you have a preference for the exotic and collectible cars of the “rich and famous,” the annual Santa Fe Concorso held in Santa Fe, New Mexico every September will be to your liking. Put on your driving gloves, start the Bentley, and head over to http://santafeconcorso.com for more information.