Elegant to Eclectic to Electric - Classic Cars and More! Best in the Midwest
For many in America, the month of April brings with it the hope of spring and…..of Keith Classics and Chrome! Just like seeing the first robin, many consider Classics and Chrome the first sign of Spring. Close to 10,000 car and motorcycle lovers from all over the country descend on Machesney Park, IL, a suburb of Rockford, for what has affectionately become known as the show where “Fast Meets the Past”.
Just a short drive from Chicago, Keith Classics and Chrome features more than 100 years of transportation from rare Indy cars to turn of the century survivors and everything in between. This tapestry of transportation is simply exquisite. For one weekend each year spectators see a collection of vehicles that they will never see in the same place again.
Where the "Fast Meets the Past"
2011 marks the 11th year of this great event. Yes, the field features millions of dollars in stellar steel, but the focus is on cars, motorcycles and other unique forms of transportation that strike that special chord that brings out the kid again in all of us again. Yes, these beauties are meant to be appreciated by people of all ages and interests.
Free up your schedule, load up the family, plan for a day of fun and frolic at the Classics and Chrome Car Show and stop in for lunch or dinner at the newest restaurant in town or eat some wonderful food right on site. This isn’t your typical fair food. Just like the cars, you will be treated to the best in food as well. If traveling from Chicago, Wisconsin, Iowa or elsewhere in the U.S., I promise you will not be disappointed. Drink it all in and Enjoy! When I suggest to my friends from out of town to attend I always give them restaurant recommendations.
What makes Classics and Chrome so special?
- Classics and Chrome is one of the premier indoor shows in the Midwest, so the conditions are perfect regardless of the weather
- Classics and Chrome’s team of experts works year round on the event reviewing thousands of vehicles to settle on the final field
- More than 100 years of transportation is represented with something for all ages and all interests
- More than 125 elite vehicles from all over the U.S. are featured including Pebble Beach, Amelia Island and Meadowbrook winners
- 100% of the proceeds Go Towards Education
Invitation Only - The Best of the Best
In 2011, Classics and Chrome will feature an exclusive display of Indy cars in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Come see the Clark Gable Kurtis race car, A.J. Foyt’s 1981 Coyote, The Rex Mays Special and many more. Famous Indy historian Donald Davidson will also be at Classics and Chrome all weekend along with Indy 500 magician Bill Hunter. And that’s just the beginning. The rest of the field will feature many one of one prototypes to grand old beauties from the early 1900s. This invitation only event means only the best of the best will be on display. Cars are cordoned off, but you can have your picture taken and chat with the owners of these beautiful pieces of rolling art.
Complete Guide - Cars Shopping Gifts and Restaurants Too!
You can easily make it a full day of fun punctuated with plenty of food, fun and shopping. A couple of great eateries for casual dining are included in the very end along with an amazing gift shop that you will be delighted with - if Willy Wonka had a gift shop - this one would be it. This shop has no website and sadly I have met people who have lived in Rockford for a couple of years and hadn't been advised. So you have the inside scoop for the best entertainment in the Midwest, great casual dining in Rockford and a fantastic shopping experience too!
A Masterpiece of a Car - Maybach - The Mona Lisa of Automobile History
Overview of the Car Show Layout
Classics and Chrome
Raffle - Fund Raising for a Private School
Rockford Art Museum Example
Classics and Chrome - The Premier Indoor Car Show in the Midwest
This car and motorcycle show is a fund raiser for a private school in Rockford, Illinois called Keith Country Day School. All the profits benefit education and deserving students. The all volunteer staff works year round to make this the tremendous event that it has become. While you are at the show be sure to cast your vote for the People's Choice. Also, check out the great raffle where the winner takes home $35,000 in cash!
Keith Country Day is a fully accredited private school that offers K-12 learning and education specializing in college preparation. Keith Country Day prides itself on its small classroom sizes, individual instruction and high educational standards.
And then there is the history. Founded in 1916 by Belle Emerson Keith, mother of famed poet Ralph Waldo Emerson.
"We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related, the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts, is the soul". Ralph Waldo Emerson
Photos from 2010 Classics and Chrome IllinoisClick thumbnail to view full-size
More Classic CarsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Classics Cars - Road DogClick thumbnail to view full-size
Classic Cars - Ultra Cool Tow TruckClick thumbnail to view full-size
Classic Cars - Magnificent MotorcyclesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Classic Cars - Pink Car and Matching BoatClick thumbnail to view full-size
Classic Cars - Cool CampersClick thumbnail to view full-size
And More Ultra Ultra Cool Cars!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Classic Cars - The Cunningham
Classic Cars - JeepsterClick thumbnail to view full-size
Overview of Car ShowClick thumbnail to view full-size
Car Racing Suits Helmets and More!
Fun Toy CarsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Old Car Advertisments for Toy Cars and More!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Louis Vuitton Car - Made Expessly for Sammy Davis Junior!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Rockin' Down the Highway
Classics and Chrome April
Rockford Illinois on Amazon
The Cars are the Stars
The leadership of this show have held the philosophy for the past 11 years....that the "cars are the stars". Everything about the show is focused strictly upon the cars. Remember this is not an open car show. You must be invited. More often than not, the cars that are invited will be carefully trailered in. These cars are truly pieces of art both on the outside and the inside too! What most impresses me is how friendly the staff is to everyone. They are genuinely devoted to making sure everyone has a smile.
American - European - Custom Creations and More
There is truly something for everyone. You are just as likely to see a regal Duisenberg as a vintage Ferrari or the latest supercar from Europe. American muscle cars are right there alongside helping to make this show a masterpiece of history. The vehicles all have a personal and professional history. One car owner shared how his Pierce Arrow shared history with Al Capone. One shared that he and his wife had been married in their 1956 Thunder-bird and then had restored it some 40 years later so that their daughter could be married in the same car. From the Big Three to brands that have long since left us this is a rolling time capsule of memories and magic.
Classic Cars From the Elegant Eclectic Electric
Some random thoughts about the 2010 car show:
Loyd & Lindsy Ramsey – memorabilia
$600,000 of donations to Keith Country Day School
330 students K-12, all going on to college
All cars are winners just to be invited is an honor
WIFR-TV (CBS) broadcasting live
Maverick Media Radio broadcasting live
Vehicles on display from across the U.S.A.
Most horse power in the 2010 car show – a 2200 horse power Mustang with the deepest voice of all cars – an instant earthquake with the turn of the key.
Lithium battery powered cars
Wrapped in vinyl not painted Tuner Car
Rare Indian chief Scout motorcycle
1937 Ford Cabriolet
Apollo 77 American built
Location of Classics and Chrome and Restaurant Options
Brand new location for 2011 for Classics and Chrome - old Menards building. Larger facility - more room, more cars, more fun!
Beef A Roos Restaurants and Locations
I enjoy the Beef A Roo Restaurants and often recommend to friends and associates traveling to Rockford. While Beef A Roo is a chain, it is a local chain, owned and operated by a family who has roots in Rockford.
Beef A Roof has a great menu and each location has its own theme. From a fire station to a 1950s sock hop to a rustic machine shop and much more.
A great place to stop for a casual dining experience. Their specialty is a beef sandwiches. Be sure to try their famous onion rings and while their desserts are ever changing - they are sure winners. The end of your meal will include your choice of a mint or a chocolate mint - a true test to taking pride in their craft. Great food, great service available for drive through or casual dine in.
Beef A Roos Locations Near the Classics and Chrome Car Show
Beef A Roo Locations - Just a Few
Beef A Roo has several locations throughout Rockford and the surrounding area - see their website for complete and up to date information. Here is a partial listing of the locations closest to the Classics and Chrome Car Show:
- 6116 North Second St.Loves Park, IL 61111 (815)633-6585
- 6380 E. Riverside Blvd. Loves Park, IL 61111
- 4601 Adamson Ln. Machesney Park, IL 61115 (815)633-5130
- 5109 Rock Rose Ct. Roscoe, IL
- 6070 Gardner St. South Beloit, IL 61080 (815)525-1078
Great Loves Park Illinois Restaurant
Alvarez Mexican Restaurant
205 E Riverside Blvd
Loves Park, IL 61111 (Map)
(815) 633-4588 (Phone)
Alvarez Mexican Restaurant
Every time I return to Rockford, this is my preferred stop. Fantastic food, fantastic service. The lemon chicken (Lemon-pepper grilled twin chicken breast topped with our lemon-pepper seasoning, seared on the grill, and served with rice and fresh fruits) is my personal favorite; my husband prefers the Enchiladas en Mole (three corn tortillas in a poblano mole sauce with cheese and sour cream).
Family owned and operated since the 1970s.
The Alvarez family takes pride in its restaurants and still works together to better your dining experience.
Alvarez Mexican Restaurant
Crimson Ridge Rockford Illinois
Crimson Ridge Rockford, Illinois
735 North Perryville Road, Rockford, IL 61107 Phone: (815) 399-9000
Crimson Ridge is an absolute gem in Rockford. If you visit the car show, you must allow time to stroll through this amazing shop.
Crimson Ridge offer an outstanding assortment of a unique variety of products and services.
Women and men alike love this store. Men, this store makes your life simple, they have every possible gift a women would want and they offer free gift wrapping. Remember a gift is showcased by its presentation and no one does this better than Crimson Ridge.
Crimson Ridge offers: worldwide flower deliver through FTD and TeleFlora as well as daily local delivery of flowers and gift baskets to hospitals, funeral homes, businesses and private homes.
Additionally they can arrange delivery of any product that we carry at Crimson Ridge.
Other lines: Godiva Chocolate, Waterford Crystal, Waterford Pens, Swarovski, Vera Bradley, Brighton, Crabtree & Evelyn, Judith Jack, John Medeiros, Patricia Locke, Isabelle Bloom, Dooney & Bourke. Some of our specialties include: * Funeral Flower Arrangements * Roses * Valentines Gifts and Flowers * Custom Gift Baskets * Homecoming Corsages and Boutonnières * Holiday Flower Arrangements * Mothers Day Flowers * Gifts for Men * Men's Jewelry * Waterford Pens
When you go, you must visit the lower level too! It is a huge shopping experience. If Willy Wonka had a gift shop - this is what it would look like.
1957 Black Thunderbird and The Thunderbirds at the Chicago Rockford International Airport
Classics and Chrome Car Show Summary
Take the time to attend this great event with friends and family. You will not be disappointed. There is simply something for everyone in the family. Don't forget your camera, these cars are more than collectible and denote major events in history, most of the cars are works of art - inside and out.
From the fun and frivolous to the eclectic to even the electric cars, this car show is a great value for family entertainment. If you live in the Midwestern part of the United States, you simply must attend.
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Notes of Appreciation
Photos courtesy of
Classics and Chrome