The Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals car show, in its current state, was launched in 2016. Since then, there’s been a steady growth of participation and a gradual evolution in the quality of vehicles showcased indoors and on the show field.
For 2023 — the eighth edition of this event — there was an all-new show field record of 2,097 vehicles, which topped the previous modern-day record by 78 cars.
On May 12 and 13, guests flocked to Carlisle to celebrate the world of import and performance machines. From general show field participants to special vehicle displays, the participation was nothing short of awe-inspiring.
When show goers entered Gate 3, the main entry point to the Carlisle Fairgrounds, they were met immediately by dozens of Porsches. From there, the German Showfield continued to the mid-point of the grounds and transitioned to an even more international flavor from fence line to fence line that included Italian, Ukrainian, Japanese, French, British, French, American and Swedish cars, among others.
Building Y hosted a gallery of nearly a dozen Rolls-Royce cars from the Rolls-Royce Museum in nearby Mechanicsburg, PA. At least two of the vehicles had a Hollywood pedigree too, having been used in conjunction with Adam Sandler’s 2022 movie “Hustle,” and the Amazon Prime program “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Adjacent to Building Y was Building T and its multi-focused gallery of cars. There, visitors enjoyed 50-Years of the Honda Civic, an Audi celebration, and a best-of-the-best showcase of cars from around the world. Another indoor display (Building R) featured French and Eastern Bloc vehicles.
Car clubs were also a big part of the two-day event, with the SAABs at Carlisle club earning the largest club honors, Volvos at Carlisle coming in second and the Audi Club coming in third. Further, Citroen’s at Carlisle picked up Coolest Club honors.
Additional awards were handed out by way of Carlisle Elite selections on Friday and Kid’s Choice on Saturday, plus competition awards in low car limbo, drift limbo, rolling exhaust and the second annual rolling burnouts and donut contest.
One all-new feature of the event was the inaugural Carlisle Brew Mixer. On Saturday, eight local central Pennsylvania breweries converged on Carlisle to offer paid pours of some of their finest brews to guests. Local band Green Tangerine offered a musical backdrop to the festivities by way of a multi-hour set of popular favorites.
Additional fun elements of the event included the automotive flea market, pop-up on-grounds parades, a grand entrance by the Audi Club and the passport program, where guests can travel the automotive world and get a stamp, special treat, and a prize at the end of their journey.
Awards were posted for those who participated in professional judging. eJudged.com was back at it this year, offering its expertise to a few hundred car owners. Those who didn’t win still had the chance to talk with the judges to better their chances for future consideration.
The 2024 version of the event is scheduled for May 10-11 and registration for it is now open. Up next for Carlisle Events is the Carlisle Ford Nationals presented by eBay Motors, June 2-4. For details on this event, advanced arrival information or to check out the winner’s list and photos from Import & Performance weekend, visit CarlisleEvents.com.