Red Barns Spectacular is the “Granddaddy”

Gilmore Car MuseumThe Red Barns Spectacular, the area’s oldest and largest antique, classic, and special interest car show and swap meet, takes place at the Gilmore Car Museum on Saturday, August 1st. The event will feature vehicles of all eras, from 1990 and earlier.

Gilmore Car Museum 2Celebrating its 35th year, the Red Barnes Spectacular has been sponsored since 1980 by the Kalamazoo Antique Auto Restorers Club (KAARC) and the Gilmore Car Museum.

“This is the event that folks wait all summer for,” said KAARC show chairperson Jim Holland, “the name says it all, it really is spectacular!”

At last year’s event, over 1,200 collector cars, and hundreds of swap meet vendors, descended on the Gilmore Car Museum for what has been dubbed the “Granddaddy” of all area car shows.

There’s something for every level of automotive enthusiast at the Red Barnes Spectacular! From the vast automotive parts swap meet, to the huge assortment of antiques and crafts, and the extreme variety of collector cars for sale, it is a car lovers dream. By the end of the event, nearly 100 trophies will be awarded to show vehicles.

Whether you’re interested in the antiques, classics, muscle cars of the 1960s, or prefer trucks, customs, street rods, vintage boats or campers, this event will not disappoint!

Gilmore Car Museum 3The Gilmore Car Museum’s exhibits will also be open at no extra charge during the Red Barnes Spectacular. Showcased are the Museum’s extraordinary collections of over 350 historic vehicles, including the all-new special exhibition: “Mid Century Performance,” featuring iconic cars from the 1960s and 70s. Visitors are also treated to an expanded 1950s and 60s gallery, as well as “American Legends: Hot Rods & Customs,” featuring the Little Deuce Coupe of Beach Boys Fame.

The Gilmore Car Museum’s 90-acre historic campus, located just 20 miles northeast of Kalamazoo, will be filled with antique, classic, and special interest autos, as well as customs, street rods and military vehicles. You’ll even find special displays of vintage travel trailers, and antique boats. Both a Judged Car Show and Driver’s Choice Show will take place during the Saturday event.

Visitors will have the chance to step back in time, locate those hard-to-find parts for their restoration project, or even purchase a collector vehicle from the large cars for sale “corral” area. You’ll also find several vendors selling vintage auto-related items, general antiques, as well as arts and crafts. Guests will enjoy the variety of old-time food concessions and the Museum’s authentic 1940s roadside eatery—George & Sally’s Blue Moon Diner.

The DeLoreans bring you Back to the Future

Some highlights for this year’s event includes:

  • A special gathering of DeLoreans, best known for being Doc Brown’s time machine in the movie Back to the Future, will help pay homage to the 30th anniversary of the blockbuster Michael J. Fox film.
  • A chance to see the very last Tucker sedan built, completed 67 years after the controversial Tucker Corporation closed its doors. Only 50 of Preston Tucker’s dream cars were finished when the factory shut down in late 1948 amid scandal. The partially factory-assembled 51st car was completed in the 1980s using various fiberglass body panels. This Tucker, with cowl number 52, was an original test chassis and has just been completed with original, left-over factory body parts rather than fiberglass or composite reproductions.
  • A display of rarely seen 100 to 120 year old high-wheeled motor buggies—true horseless carriages—built between 1895 and 1915 will be showcased at the event. During the infancy of the automobile, many states passed “Red Flag” laws, requiring a person to carry a red flag and walk ahead of each car to warn others on the road of the oncoming vehicle.
  • A living history “Tin Can Tourist Camp” featuring several dozen antique and vintage campers and trailers from throughout the Midwest will be displayed on Gilmore’s historic campus.
  • “Boats at the Barns” is an amazing display area full of antique boats and motors, vintage wooden and classic fiberglass boats of all kinds—from barn find to stunningly restored.
  • Get an in-depth look at Sunseeker and meet the team of students from Western Michigan University who design, build, and race the car in the American Solar Challenge and Formula Sun Grand Prix.
  • The noon traffic “jam” is when all show cars announce their presence by sounding their horns!

Gilmore Car Museum 4Gates will open to the public at 9am for this ever-popular family friendly event, which runs until 4pm, while the Museum remains open until 6pm. Discounted admission for the day is only $12.00 per person, with those under 11 admitted FREE, and includes the car show and all the expanded Museum exhibit buildings.

The Gilmore Car Museum is located midway between Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and Battle Creek, on M-43 just five miles north of Richland.

To learn more about the Gilmore Car Museum and the Red Barns Spectacular, visit: or call the Museum at 269-671-5089