Up close and personal at the Edmonton International Raceway (photo: Stu Salkeld/Black Press Newspapers)

Alberta Car Shows, Races and Automotive Fun This Summer

By AMA Staff

The arrival of warmer weather means numerous automotive events and cool car experiences across the province.

There’s a mesmerizing thrill in watching powerful cars race one another around a track, jockeying for position in close quarters and at top speed. Of course there’s even more excitement in driving fast yourself. You can do just that at the Edmonton International Raceway in Wetaskiwin, where wannabe speed demons have the chance to climb into a real stock car for a 10-lap test drive on the quarter-mile paved oval. The experience also includes a pair of tickets to races at the NASCAR-sanctioned track, which run Saturday nights from mid-May to the end of September. This year’s big event, the NASCAR Pinty’s Series Luxxur 300, sees Canada’s top drivers going wheel to wheel on July 27.

Can’t get enough revving engines and screeching tires? The Rad Torque Raceway in Nisku also offers a full schedule of high-octane fun, including drag races, motocross events and even a monster truck throwdown.

Sunny days bring classic car enthusiasts together

• Set amidst a quaint pioneer village, the Canada Day Car Show at the Sundre & District Museum also includes an afternoon cruise through town. (July 1)

How to avoid summer breakdowns on the road

• St. Albert’s five-day, ’50s- and ’60s-themed Rock’n August includes a downtown cruise, street dance and show and shine with 800-plus classic autos. (Aug. 6–10)

• A crowd of 10,000 is expected at the 10th anniversary Okotoks Show & Shine, which pays homage to Ford Thunderbirds, Hudson Hornets and more. (Aug. 18)

alberta car shows quirky facts history infographic
illustrations: Jason Schneider

Ready to dive into the classic car game? Head to a sale like the Okotoks Collector Car Auction (May 24 & 25), but consider a few practical pointers before raising your paddle.

1 Attend a couple of auctions to see how they work and observe buyer behaviour.

2 Get pre-approved. Some auctions require you to apply in advance to bid. This may involve a check on your financials. If you’re not paying cash, get pre-approved from your lender.

Car-care tips to help you gear up for road trip season

3 Know your maximum price. And don’t go over it. Remember to account for auctioneer commissions, taxes, title and transportation.

4 Talk to auction staff: They’re usually very knowledgeable and can point the auctioneer your way on your desired model.

5 Avoid the hype. Know the car you like best and avoid getting lured into bidding just because the crowd loves a particular model.

alberta car shows reynolds museum
Checking out the classics at the Reynolds Alberta Museum

The Reynolds Alberta Museum travels a highway through time. Its hundreds of historical cars, motorcycles, airplanes and industrial machines show how mechanized transportation has affected—and continues to impact—life as we know it. Park your own automobile on the 89-hectare grounds for an up-close look at Canadian-made McLaughlin cars from the early 1900s, the world’s oldest dragline excavator and more. Or take to the sky in a 1940 WACO biplane.