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Car Show Etiquette | How Not to be "That Guy" at Car Events

Erik Blume  May 08 2014

Car Show Rules to use as a General Guide to avoid being "That Guy" at national and local car events.

Whether you've been in the car scene for a few weeks or many years, chances are you've been at a car event, minding our own business talking with friends and looking at other cars. All of the sudden someone walks up to you and acts like a complete fool, acting belligerently and asking unrelated questions. You probably scoffed at them under your breath as they walked away, and swore against their existance as they jumped from car to car, displaying one or more traits of improper car show etiquette.×banner

But are you that guy that everyone hates? Do people recognize you as you pull up in your car and rush away from you as you step on the event grounds, as is if they were purposely avoiding you presence? Here are some of the things I noticed at that show, and some tips on proper car show etiquette that will help you fit in and not be notorious for your bad behavior.​

Be respectful of other peoples cars×

"I don't like that color scheme. Their wheel choice doesn't match the car. Their engine bay looks tacky. The car is slow. They wasted their money on that upgrade." You're entitled to whatever thoughts and opinions you have. But don't outright voice them. If you're talking to the owner and they mention they're not happy with it, then you can say whether or not you agree. Don't blurt it our to your friends either. Chances are, the owner is within ear-shot and can hear you diss their ride. Also, don't touch the cars or point out flaws in it's finish. More than likely, the owner knows every pain flaw and developing rust spot, and doesn't need to be reminded.

Be respectful towards the event organizers×

This applies to all events, both organized and the random parking lot meet with friends. Don't do burnouts in the lot. Don't blast dubstep or the Fast and Furious soundtrack. If the event organizers wanted music, they would provide it. Despite what you think your iTunes is not filled with music everyone likes. Furthermore, save the event critique for later, after the event. The organizers are probably so busy taking care of other things, they wont remember anything you say more than 5 minutes after you tell them.

Don't be a pig×

Don't litter. If food is provided, don't toss it on the ground or leave empty packaging laying around. Show proper car show etiquette and pick it up. Bring an empty plastic bag from whatever grocery store you frequent, and pick up anything you see laying around. It's good karma and the event organizers will appreciate you. You might even get free stuff for helping out. You never know.

Don't bring animals×

Yeah, dogs are cute but they don't belong at a car show so leave Spot and Fluffy at home. If you can't find a dog sitter I question your reasoning for owning a 500whp STi or Evo X. Furthermore, pets typically add to an already crowded area, not to mention their little chocolate accidents being rather unpleasant to an unsuspecting victims shoes. Pets dont know what car show etiquette is, and they don't care to learn either.

Unnecessary Revving Isn't Cool×

This is more of a specific rule, but it applies to a broad level of attendants. While your open downpipe may make for an interesting story, you don't need to embellish the fact that your car sounds like a cardboard box filled with a nest of angry wasps. You're permitted two revs only in order to show your pals your new Turbosmart blow-off-valve or ETS Catback, but any more than that and you're saying "HEY, I'm obnoxious! Look at me!!!"

This list could be a lot longer, but for the sake of everyone reading I've narrowed it down to the five most common displays of improper car show etiquette. If you can think of any more car meet rules, feel free to comment and let us know what you think.

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  • DJ: May 08, 2019

    Mopar guys need to relax. Quit knit picking other guys cars. Nobody cares if the incorrect nut or bolt was used in rebuilding the car. Stop being so over judgemental.
    And if you have nothing nice to say, suck on a pacifier. Nobody likes whiny babies.

  • Cody Bergeron: November 10, 2015

    Rule number 1: leave your srt-4 at home, on second thought just stay home. No one like you guys anyways

  • Mathew Thomas Adams: November 10, 2015

    Theres no “dont do a burnout” rule.

  • Zachary Anok Baumgartner: November 10, 2015

    So don’t be Loud, obnoxious, or a douche. Got it.

  • Jeremy Conrad: November 10, 2015

    Ryan Hawkins pay attention to #1

  • Seth Mondragon: November 10, 2015

    Tyler Williams Raul Gomez

  • Steven Iluvramen Sayalath: November 10, 2015

    I’m surprised the diesel smoke screen is not on here, not everybody likes that shit either, chill out with that

  • Dacotah J. Wenninger: November 10, 2015

    I revved my eclipse a couple time (applagize for that) and yes I have done some upgrades since car show . I also have a kid to take car of so I don’t have wads of cash, please respect my car it means a lot to me, for those that dissed my car I’m sorry you beat down on people who’s dream it is to have a nice car but can’t afford it.

  • Zafir Khan: November 10, 2015

    Andy Zierden take note.

  • RyanWilliams4: November 10, 2015

    And there you are being ‘that guy’ and going against rule #1. I think you’re the one that needs to stay home.

  • Cody Bergeron: November 10, 2015

    ^ there too dumb to understand it I think

  • Jes Rappy: November 10, 2015


  • Jes Rappy: November 10, 2015

    What is applagize?

  • Jes Rappy: November 10, 2015

    Don’t tell Dart owners they’re driving the new Neon, they dislike that.

  • Matt McRell: November 10, 2015

    “How much did you pay for that? My best friends uncles cousins exgirlfriends sisters boyfriend has one that is twice the horsepower. He’d destroy you.”

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