While vehicles were used in parades in the early days of Carbon County, the car show parade in 1926 was the first of its kind in the area. However, while it was at the time thought to be something that would be held yearly, that spring car show event was never held again.
There are some who may think that the car shows are a relatively new development in our society. Most think that car shows didn't really exist much before the 1960s.
But those that think that have been fooled by the hype that the media has given us as things are always the "best" or "biggest ever."
While no one can pinpoint the earliest car show that took place in Carbon County (because it might have been three guys with their vehicles showing off on Main Street in 1902 for all we know) the first large organized car show featured in the local newspapers came in April 1926.
For most people, a car show is generally about old cars. So some might ask how there could be old cars in 1926?
Well there were. In fact, there was an award for the oldest car given at the show which was held April 9-10, 1926.
The News-Advocate of April 8 announced the show on its front page, with the announcement taking the entire space. The paper stated that there would be an "elaborate exhibition of the latest models in all leading cars and accessories" and that a "master parade of old-time cars with twenty four prizes given out on Friday evening."
Along with the car show came a Saturday evening of music and dancing at the Price City Hall with the Blue Melody Boys, featuring tunes that would allow people to do dances like waltzes and the Foxtrot. During the day, the Carbon High School band played concerts in the downtown area.
This event was a big deal for Price City, as the city's electrical department put up special lights and merchants decorated their stores for the celebration. On Friday afternoon there was a "monster parade of old cars." The News-Advocate reported in the April 15 edition that "many old cars and a number of new cars were entered" in the parade that took place at 3:20 p.m. The parade didn't only stay on Main Street but circled the community on various avenues before ending on Main. It was an early version of a cruise-in.
On the days of the show, Main Street between sixth and seventh east was lined with automobiles and accessory display booths. Hundreds of people attended the event from all over the area.
The prizes awarded went in various categories including those for the oldest car (which was the grand prize), best decorated car, the shabbiest car, the squeakiest car, the largest car, the car with the largest family in it, the car with the oldest man and oldest woman in it, the one with the prettiest girl, the one with the youngest child, the car with the most spare tires (important in the days of roads that were virtually non-existent beyond town), the one with the most dilapidated top (many were convertibles), the most flat tires, the funniest car, and as the paper described it "the queerest car." Also dealers in town gave awards for the oldest car of the brands they represented (that included auto manufacturers like Chrysler, Nash, Maxwell, Studebaker, Buick, Star, and Willis Knight). The oldest car award went to Reid Vulcanizing and Electric Shop. The paper did not note what kind or the year of the car they entered. Overall more than 20 prizes were awarded.
Despite the fact that some claimed the show would be an annual event, it was not held again during any spring in the decade after. And not since has the front page of the Sun Advocate or its predecessors been taken up with a car show.
It was a one time thing that caught the fancy of the area for a few days and then disappeared, only to reappear as the numerous car shows that have grown up over the years in the area that take place today.