Photos and story by John McCartney

Syracuse Nationals held in Syracuse, New York at the Syracuse State Fairgrounds. For here on the giant site there is so much room that is no surprise that well over ten thousand plus cars fill every square inch. From crazy customs, hot rods, muscle cars, race cars if you can imagine it you will no doubt find it here on display over the three day run of the Syracuse Nationals. For all those that attend you really need more than one day to take in all that this event holds.

One of the longest running displays and areas that everyone spends a great deal of time checking out is Sparky’s Rockabilly Roundup. Started by the late, great Sparky it was a way for fans of the world or rat rods to have a place to come together and enjoy all the crazy creations that their fellow rat rodders build. In addition all sorts of rockabilly fans come together to enjoy some great rockabilly music, pin up girl contest, and a great swap meet.

Also the Backyard Build Off has been held for a number of years now where builders are given a budget and see what crazy creations they can come up with. Then during the run of the show fans can vote on their favorite and the one with the most votes is declared the winner of the Backyard Build Off for that year.

Nitro Row is another area that has grown over the years since it was started a few years ago. Big Al Liebmann puts together a great collection of vintage race cars each year for folks to check out and enjoy. With the help of sponsors Streetside Classics, Racing Junk. Com, Tub O’ Towels and the Dead Man’s Curve Car Club this display attracts folks of all ages to travel back in time when these machines ruled the drag strap.

Several times each day during the run of the show all of these cars are fired up in the famous cackle style to give fans the sounds to go along with the visuals of the cars.

Brush Fest is another area that draws everyone in to look at all the great artwork that is created over the run of the show by all of the famous artists that give their time to have fun with their fellow artists. Once all of these great pieces of art is done there are auctions held at various times during the run of the show. Fans can bid on these great items with all the profits going to the Ronald McDonald House of Central New York. This year well over 70 thousand dollars was raised and donated to the fine folks at Ronald McDonald House a great way to bring talented folks to have fun and do good for the community.

In addition to these great displays there are many other areas for folks to check out. From Memories on Main Street, Syracuse Signature Showcase, Syracuse Mini Nationals, as well as the giant Swap Meet and Car Corral. Fans could grab an autograph from famous folks on hand and this year’s lineup included a great group. Noted car builder and designer Gene Winfield was on hand in the Maguire Exposition Center.

Inside the Maguire Exposition Center fans checked out the Select Six which are made up of the six cars nominated by Gene Winfield. From these six cars one is selected as the winner of the Winfield Award and gets ten thousand dollars and a special trophy, the other five are awards a thousand dollars. Candy Clark for the movie American Graffiti was on hand talking about this movie that is fifty years old this year.

World famous WWE wrestler and hard core legend Mick Foley was in the house talking about his time he spent in the pro wrestling ring. Bad Chad from his tv and You Tube show Bad Chad Customs talked about some of the wild creations he has built and continues to build.

Syracuse Nationals continues to grow each and every year which is hard to believe as it is already one of the biggest car shows. However one thing is for sure each and every year that folks come out to the show there is always new cars to check out and enjoy. The countdown has already started for the 2024 edition of the Syracuse Nationals make sure you check it out if you can. The Syracuse Nationals held at the Syracuse State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York.

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