Back in the day, events like SEMA were the place to see new builds. If you wanted to stay up-to-date with the scene, you had magazines and car shows. Nowadays, with the rise of social media playing such an integral part of our lives, builds are released even before shows open their gates. No longer do you need to be present… you just have to be online.
For some people, this means travelling to shows is less of an integral part of car life. But what about car meets?
It feels to me that these are on the rise. Something you can’t get from the Internet is atmosphere, but that’s exactly what you get at a meet.
SEMA is stressful, there’s no doubt about it. Builders endure sleepless nights to prepare cars for your viewing pleasure, which are then exhibited in busy halls, packed with people. You need to be there early to beat the crowd, and your step count will easily be in the tens of thousands each day. I’m not complaining, far from it – I love SEMA. It’s just an assault on the senses, you just won’t return home relaxed.
On the contrary, CSF x Players Select is the perfect antidote.
Held with enough breathing space to recover from Las Vegas, CSF Radiators and Players Shows team up to provide the public with their first chance to some of the stars of SEMA. A handful of the best builds from the show are put on display along with hand-selected local cars to enjoy in a relaxed atmosphere. Cars with friends, there really is nothing better. Except ice cream. And dogs. They had ice cream and dogs, too.
Viewing cars like this is much more conversational and interactive. There’s so much more culture at a car meet than a show; you can really get up close with the cars, talk to the builders and owners, and dig into what’s going on.
If that’s not your bag, sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere. There really is no pressure at event like this, and it’s probably one of the first times builders get a chance to check out other people’s cars, too.
CSF x Players Select is held in Rancho Cucamonga, which is a place name I’ll never tire of saying out loud. Rancho Cucamonga is also home to CSF Radiators’ Californian distribution hub, and serves as the perfect setting for the meet. It’s pretty unique to see cars backed into warehouse loading bays, which gives the meet a two-tier viewing stage and visually makes it pretty entertaining to walk around. Rarely do you get to see underneath or on top of cars at a show.
Now in its third year, this event is a real highlight in our show calendar. My favorite part of it, however, is seeing the cars come to life and roll out. Cars are for driving and it was a pleasure to see them move, especially on the road. It’s this context that is totally missing from car shows. Without it they could be just ornaments.
At CSF x Players Select it’s all about real people doing real car things. Speaking of which, what is your favorite car meet to attend? Are there any hidden gems that we might be missing? Maybe we should send a member of the Speedhunters team to your local meet, let us know in the comments…
By the way, all the images in this feature – including those in the massive gallery below – are available to download as desktop wallpapers to brighten up your home screen.
Photos by Mark Riccioni