Sunday, August 19, 2012

19th Annual Wilson County Fair Car Show in Lebanon, TN - August 19, 2012

19th Annual Wilson County Fair Car Show 
Lebanon, TN 
August 19, 2012

by Tina Thompson

Show Summary

Participants: 258

Classes:  46

Awards: Trophies and Ribbons1st, 2nd, & 3rd for each class – only one winner for each

Specialty Awards: Trophies, Best of Show – Modified, Best of Show - Original 

Registration: 11 am – 2 pm/$15.00 for each car

Judging: Drive-Through Style at Registration, Concourse Style (Point System)

Dash Plaques:  1st 200 entries

Presented by:  MID-TN REGIONAL CAR CLUB in Lebanon, TN

Today was a great day for a car show.  The weatherman promised a day that would be mostly sunny with temps in the low to mid-80s, and he delivered.   Registration was scheduled from 11am – 2 pm. At 8:30 am Toby called to confirm the registration time and was told that six cars had already arrived.  We didn’t get as early a start as we had hoped, but finally our two-car caravan got underway and headed to Lebanon around 10:30 or so.  

On arrival, we realized that the attendees that decided to get an early start had the right idea.  The line was rather long.  Even though we had to wait, this proved to be a great advantage because we had time to wipe off some of the bugs that had decided to cross our paths on the way there.  This was especially important since this show was using drive-through judging.  The The Mid-TN Regional Car Club has a pretty good system for this.  As you are in line in your car, you are greeted by one of the Mid-TN Regional Car Club members with a clipboard and pen to fill out the paperwork.  Once you pull up to the registration area, you pop your hood and trunk.  While you are registering your car, the judging is done right then and there on the spot.  To make this process seamless and fast, the organizers set up three lanes for judging.  Below is a picture of the judging area a little later in the day when the bulk of the participants had already arrived.  True to the flyer, judging and registration lasted until 2 pm.

As expected with all Wilson Bank and Trust Car Shows, registration was a breeze.  We even made it in time to be one of the first 200 to receive a dash plaque.  Additionally, there was a bonus – a nice red, white, and blue participation ribbon for showing up.  This was a fun little reminder that we were at a fair, which was a far nicer reminder than the smell of farm animals that were housed next to the fairground fields.  

There was even a pony ride conveniently close by for those who were interested in a little horsing around.

Although the registration line was long, it moved fairly quickly, and before we knew it, we were directed to our parking spot among the other 258 show attendees for this event.  Since all of the cars were already judged, we all pulled close together to conserve room.  As you can tell from the picture below, every available space possible was needed due to this record-breaking turnout.

There was a constant stream of onlookers on the field, perhaps more spectators than usual at this car show event because of the Wilson County Fair.  Toby had several opportunities to talk about his car with other car show enthusiasts as well as the “ordinary” person who may not be a car aficionado.  We even had the pleasure of meeting someone who worked at the fair and compared notes about his favorite cars, car audio systems, and car modifications.  

Parked next to us was a Blue Ribbon Winner, toxic-orange Challenger. During one of our strolls around the field, I visited with some SSR acquaintances whom I had met at another car show in Dickson, TN.  These guys are great.  They are helping me convince my husband that I need a brand new Grand Sport Corvette.   

We met up with some of our friends from and members of the Music City Mustang Club.  Parked a couple of cars down from me was a member of my own Music City Camaro Club in his very nice red Camaro SS with an engine that thumped, thumped, thumped behind me while we were in line during registration.  Definitely a great modification.

There were 46 classes at today’s event.  Each class was to be given a first, second, and third place trophy.  Although scheduled for 4 pm, awards were actually given out at 3:30.  The event organizers gave ample notice so that every participant could be in attendance.  

Awards went very smoothly.  The Mid-TN Regional Car Club is extremely organized.  Not only did this show have record turnout, but it also had at least one entry for every class, which is a first for any car show that I have attended and a first for any car show sponsored by Wilson Bank and Trust.  In fact, there were so many winners that the Mid-TN Regional Car Club members that usually get a first place trophy for helping with the show graciously gave up their trophies so that participants could be given their awards.  The announcer called each person up by his or her name and by car.  He even called out how many cars were in the extremely large groups. For example, in car class 26, there were 12 cars. 

As each person’s name was called he or she walked to the trophy presentation area and received the award.   Below are pictures of a few of the winners accepting trophies as well as a red, white, or blue ribbon.  One thing that was different about this show than other Wilson Bank and Trust shows is that there was only one award for first, second, and third for each class.  Often classes are split if the class is large, and there could be more than one winner in a class for different places, such as two second place or two third place trophies.  There were two specialty trophies.  One for Best of Show Original and one for Best of Show Modified.

Toby did pretty well today in Class 25 Cars 1998 to 2001 All.  He brought home second.  There was also a very impressive Honda CRX that took the third place ribbon/trophy. To round out this class, a 1999 Trans Am took  home the first place prize.  

Because of the many awesome cars in my class, 26 Cars 2002 to present ALL, my SS didn’t place this time around.  I can’t complain, though.  The competition was tough, and our next door car show neighbor brought home first in our group.  There were other very impressive cars in my group as well as some interesting cars that I hadn’t see at car shows this year.  Below are examples of the variety of vehicles found at this show.

All in all, the day was good. Even though there had been a torrential rain on Saturday night, the grounds were taken care of and driving around was a not too bad in the way of dirt or mud.  

The county fair environment had a different feel than typical car show days.  A fair requires a bit of caution on the part of the car show participant. If you decide to do a car show taking place at a fair, be prepared for lots of children and adults who aren’t used to typical car show etiquette, such as “Don’t Touch the Cars!”  We stayed close to our cars the entire show to make sure that they were not manhandled by the crowds.

When it was time for awards, Toby and I were very fortunate; we were parked near the presentation area and were able to move our chairs to the front of our cars during the awards.  Unfortunately, this is the same time a young man wearing his “wife-beater” tank top came bustling through describing how he “liked a Cobra better than a Saleen” right in front of us. That is fine. When you display your car, sometimes you get haters….A few minutes later we heard a tink, think, tink sound.  We looked around and were horrified that he stuck his head in the window to get a closer look and let his dogtags clink against my husband’s driver’s door followed by the familiar click of the driver’s side door being opened rather quickly. This guy looking ready to hop in for a test drive.  

The analogy of touching a man’s car is like touching a man’s wife is absolutely true in the car show world.  Toby looked ready to leap from our well-placed folding chairs to defend his car’s honor.  He told the guy very abruptly to shut the door and get away from the car (in not so nice words).  The offender tried to excuse his actions by saying he didn’t know this wasn’t allowed.  On this, he was set straight, and he left our cars to probably go manhandle someone else’s car during the awards.  

This incident brought home the fact that we weren’t in our regular car show world in which there is a deep respect for other people’s property.  My words of advice:  roll up the windows and lock the doors during the awards.   

This event was a lot of fun. If you wanted to stay for a bit and hang out at the fair for a while, you were already parked.  The Wilson County Fair is one of the largest in Tennessee.  We only walked around for a few minutes to grab a quick lunch, but it definitely looks like it is worth checking out.  Today’s event was interesting in that we met new people and saw cars we had never seen before.  If you haven’t been to a car show at the Wilson County Fair, you should add it to your calendar for next year's events. 



  1. The car show was put on by MID-TN REGIONAL CAR CLUB in Lebanon, Tn. The club house is at the fair grounds in Fiddler's Grove

  2. Thank you. I updated the "Presented by:" section. Hope that helps

  3. Hi, Actually the show was put on by the Wilson County Fair. The Mid Tenn Region of the AACA only ran it for the fair. We did the judging and parking for the show and the fair provided all the trophy's and dash plaques. Wilson Bank and Trust is just one of the many great sponsors of the show. It was a great show and we really thank you for all the great comments. Thanks to all the great car owners who came out and joined us in all the fun. We couldn't do it without you! Our next big show is the 56th Red Boiling Springs Show on September 8th. Hope to see you there!
    Barney O'Guin
    Mid Tenn AACA

  4. The show had drive through judging, which was pittiful. There were cars that came in that never even opened hoods and trunks to be displayed after they got judged on the way in. If the cars are judged the same way next year I'll have to skip this show all togther. Another complaint was ankle high grass and a dust bowl. My car after the show looked like it was never washed.

  5. First of all we were asked to drive through mud/gravel/sawdust, just to enter the show. No one wants to drive through stuff like that.
    Secondly; The judging was terrible; some entries were never really judged at all but given a score because the people doing the judging were either family members or friends of some of the cars that came in later. Hoods nor doors were never open, they were just driven by and given a score, which is not right. I saw scores given on cars that were high just because they are members, family or friends. What some members will do to win a trophy. I don't mind getting beat by a better car but I don't like getting beat by family or club members special judging.
    I will not be back to this show, ever.

    1. Dear Anonymous,
      Thank you for your feedback. Receiving feedback like yours is actually one of the reasons I started this blog site. And, is a part of a reason I am currently working on building a fully operational website dedicated to car show listings and information about past car shows that will help people like you decide what show they want to be a part of on any given weekend.