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Syracuse Nationals

The NAPA Auto Parts Syracuse Nationals Presented by the Maguire Family of Dealerships

How many of us grew up in a family that spent Sunday afternoons “going for a ride” in the family car? Or with a dad who loved tinkering with old autos? Or maybe loading everyone into the car and going to a drive-in movie? Cars are, without a doubt, a key part of American family life.

And this year, The NAPA Auto Parts Syracuse Nationals is even more family-oriented than ever! Kids under 12 enter free, and once on the grounds, there will be plenty to do of special interest to the whole family.

How about the world’s first and only fan-built replica of the Optimus Prime® truck? This is an amazing, full-size replica of the unique big-rig first unveiled in Transformers: Age of Extinction! Built by a dad who wanted to inspire his son, the rig and its owner travel North America to make appearances and support causes – and you get to experience it!

Scouting Across America will host the America Pinewood Derby in the Center of Progress Building on Saturday, 20th, and on Saturday, starting at 9:45, fireworks will fill the summer night air.

Young, old or in-between, no matter what you think of when you think of vintage cars, the era, the style, the musical accompaniment, the lore, you’ll find that matched by a display, event, entertainment, or competition at The Nationals.

The Nationals is, of course, famous for showcasing vintage cars. This central part of the event shows off cars from 1999 and older. You’ll find cars far older than that, though, as owners will bring their 1930s, 40s, and 50s vehicles from all over the country, lovingly restored and full of treasured memories for all to enjoy! 

Wherever you wander in the Fairgrounds, you’ll find a section of the show devoted to particular types of cars:

Signature Showcase: a unique-to-this-show blend of rides of all kinds will be located in the Maguire Family of Dealerships Exposition Center building on the New York State Fairgrounds! Come on in and prepare to be amazed. And this is where you’ll find Gene Winfield, who will personally choose the Winfield Select Six – Gene Winfield, the “King of Customs,” selects just 6 cars competing for a $10K prize and the right to the title of the Winfield Award!

Sparky’s Rockabilly Round-up serves up Rat-rods, or Old Skool cars. Come check out the live music, awards, and more in the Beef Barn! 

Nitro Row brings nitro and methanol burning monsters to life at the Syracuse Nationals! They’ll fire up the fire breathing motors at set times throughout the weekend so you can hear and feel the insane power! Fire-up times, Friday: 1pm and 4pm, Saturday: 11am, 1pm and 4pm, Sunday: 11am. Sponsored in part by Streetside Classics, RacingJunk.com and Dead Man’s Curve.

Memories on Main Street: Visitors to the Syracuse Nationals will take a walk down memory lane and enjoy a display of antique autos inside the Horticulture Building!

Check out the Syracuse Charity Brushfest in the Center of Progress Building to see the best pinstripe and airbrush artists from all over the world in action! Items sold from the Brushfest benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Central New York. Last year The Nationals raised over $72,000 – and the event is hoping to take that number up this year.

The Car Corral and Swap Meet is where you’ll meet with other enthusiasts to find the parts and gear you’ve been looking for. Women’s World brings a collection of craft and family-oriented vendors and merchandise displays to the Art & Homes Center. Take a class or just a look at the Syracuse Mini Nationals Model Car Show located in the Center of Progress Building. North Wing, Backyard Build-Off, Pin Up Girl Contest, and Modern Muscle Sunday are just a few more of the events you can target in your particular dream visit to The Nationals!

The Nationals is adding a new award this year – The Syracuse Nationals Top Ten will set itself the really difficult task of choosing the top ten vehicles at the show, who will be chosen by The Nationals Judges out of all the many and varied cars you’ll see.

And if power is your thing, don’t miss Mobile Dyno Masters. The Mobile Dyno Masters will be on-site all three days, letting participants find out what their REAL bragging rights are. Put your vehicle on the Dyno, rev it up, and find out! And if you think your car has what it takes, enter the Top Dog tournament in one of the “Pump Gas Naturally Aspirated,” “Race Gas Naturally Aspirated,” and “Power Adders” categories, and see if yours is the most powerful car of all.

Of course you’re going to find Food Trucks with great selections, and you’ll hear great live musical entertainment on two stages all afternoon and evening each day of the event, you’ll get a chance to meet Candy Clark, from the blockbuster “American Graffiti,”  – and, you’ll also have a chance to be a part of making Syracuse Nationals History. 

Because Dave Kindig and KevDogg of the hit reality show Bitchin Rides and KinDig It Designs are going to be at the show all three days. But wait, there’s more – they’re going to bring a car with them that they built and customized. And there’s still more: they’re bringing their film crew, and for the three days of The Nationals, they’ll be filming an episode of their TV series – putting The NAPA Auto Parts Syracuse Nationals on Season 11 of a big, big, international TV show! And more still: you can sign up for a ticketed, intimate meet-and-greet with them on Friday night! Say hi, chat, ask questions, and learn more about them and their reality show hit.

In other words, this, too, is a big, BIG show – with people attending from 40+ states, even as far away as California, Texas, and Idaho, and as many as 90,000 people will visit during the three days of the show. So don’t miss out – this is your chance to, once again, experience the food, the music, the contests, the celebrities, the old cars, muscle cars, loud cars, fast cars, model cars, and restored cars. You get it – it’s all about the cars!

July 19-21, 2024

NYS Fairgrounds

Tickets are available online, or at select NAPA Auto Parts locations (with no fee!)


Check the website for daily opening and closing times, schedules of events, local lodging/camping/restaurants – and more! The NAPA Auto Parts Syracuse Nationals is the largest car show in the Northeast! Come see cars from all over the US at the New York State Fairgrounds. Plus, there will be music, food, and more!

NEW THIS YEAR – Children 12 and under are free!

Nancy Roberts