WATCH | SEMA, Radwood... World’s best car festivals (Part 2)

Image: Youtube
Image: Youtube

We look at more events across the globe, that you simply must attend, to qualify yourself as a true automotive enthusiasts. 

Bonneville Speed WeekSince the 1930s, professionals and amateurs alike have been making the annual pilgrimage to Utah’s salt flats, to see how fast they can go. An even event with huge historical significance, the Bonneville Speed Week is a spotter’s dream, with many unique (and homebuilt) racing vehicles gathering in one place.

READ: The world's most popular motoring festivals

The atmosphere isn’t hostile, with everyone helping each other to go as fast as they can. One of the most notable achievement in recent memory, was when a 2-litre VW Jetta manages to run a true 337km/h in 2018. 

Unfortunately, weakening of the salt flats used by those Bonneville speed hunters for the past eight decades, might ultimately taper this speed week into retirement. 


The most outrageous and interesting car show, that you can’t go to. Each year the world’s best aftermarket suppliers and outfitters gather in Las Vegas to show off their wildest creations and learn about new technologies – but unless you are an industry insider, you can’t get in. 

Manufacturers support SEMA by commissioning special show vehicles, which has seen some unforgettable creations over the years – especially outrageous bakkies, with radical modifications. If you love vehicle detailing and modification, there is nothing quite like SEMA.  


A celebration of all things 1980s and 1990s – as you would expect, with a name like ‘Radwood’. As time marches on the cars of those two decades preceding the millennium date, are becoming modern classics. 

To celebrate them, and the cultural nuances of their era, the Radwood event launched in 2017. Originally hosted in America’s ground zero for counterculture and all things cool (San Francisco), the Radwood show has become so popular that it has evolved into a rolling calendar of events. 

Unlike many other car shows, which prioritise rare exotics, the Radwood show celebrates all aspects of car culture from 1980-1999. That means that if you want to see anything strange from Japan, or curious front-wheel drive American vehicles, a Radwood event will likely have them. 

Woodward dream cruise A single day event which can rightfully claim to be the world’s biggest car festival. The Woodward dream cruise sees 40 000 vehicles take to America’s first paved road, Woodward avenue, in motor city: Detroit.

Originally started as a fund-raising event in 1995, it has grown tremendously and serves an occasion for Michigan residents, and out of state visitors, to celebrate all things great about the American automotive industry. Attracting 1.5m people, it is unprecedented in scale and organisational slickness. 

Any Cars and Coffee

If you like cars it is a near certainty that you’ll enjoy a quality flat white too. The time-honoured breakfast run has now been replaced by the cars and coffee phenomenon. Although it started in southern California, virtually every country with supercar ownership now has a chapter.

The ethos is simple: bringing supercars out, for people to interact with them. Cars and coffee events are not limited by brand or period, with all exotics welcome and all evets are run to a similar standard, across the globe. 

If you want to see all your dream exotic vehicles in one place, this is perhaps the best opportunity to do so. And yes, there is a South African cars and coffee chapter too. 

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