News Culture

That Naked Car Show Is Fine, Everyone

Lose the clothes and suddenly grown adults start giggling like schoolchildren.
Christopher Ziemnowicz - CC-BY-4.0 via Wikimedia Commons, NASA

Car shows can be a great time. You get to stroll around admiring all the fancy metal, making new friends over a shared love of automobiles. It’s all good clean fun. Throw some casual nudity into the mix, though, and it seems auto enthusiasts get all giggly.

If you haven’t already spied the flyer shared by The Naturist Society, the Valley View Recreation Club is hosting a Nude Car Show Aug. 10-13 in Wisconsin. To eliminate any ambiguities, the “Nude” part concerns people stripped down to their bare essentials, not cars. The four-day event includes karaoke, group meals, and varied entertainment, in addition to a parade and awards for the best cars in show.

As is the way with the internet, the flyer caught fire on social media. Multiple car pages quickly jumped to lowest-common-denominator jokes about mufflers, mudflaps, and truck nuts with reckless abandon. Retweets and shares poured in as commenters rushed to deliver their tired one-liners on the matter.

The thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way! For dedicated nudists and naturists, their practice is anything but a crude sexual joke. If you ever have the pleasure of meeting them in the flesh, clothed or not, you’ll find them to be perfectly normal individuals that just like dressing a little differently in like-minded company.

As with any broad and varied subset of the human population, some of them even like cars! Thus, it naturally follows that naturists would have car shows of their very own, where they can enjoy a chat about a big block while enjoying the benefits of an all-over-tan. Just as muscle car fans rock up to a car show wearing cheap Mustang T-shirts from Walmart, naturists have their own preferred garb. Or in this case, none at all.

It’s about mutual respect, too. Honda owners love talking shop with fellow VTEC addicts. But a meet can quickly be ruined by a bunch of V8 junkies throwing around hackneyed slurs about JDM machines. In the same way, it’s a shame to see the broader community taking cheap shots at a group just out there doing their own thing. Naturists just want to rock up with their cars and express themselves in a safe space to do so. They’re not going online to make fun of “clothies” drinking Slurpees in rusty Mustangs in the parking lot of the local 7-Eleven.

And as for all the body-shaming comments? It’s shameful. There’s not one car show out there that could call itself a beauty pageant, besides.

Nudists and naturists don’t demand much from society. By and large, these groups run their own events in their own spaces for their own benefit. In as much as nudists respect the way other car shows are run, it would generally behoove others to refrain from mocking theirs.

On the other hand, if you’re a Midwesterner with a nice ride and a penchant for going bare? Well, there’s a car show you might wanna check out coming up in August. It’s certainly not for everyone, but I think it’s fair to wish this unique and obscure part of the automotive community well.

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