Yes, you read the correctly, or at least tried to. What was once a Mopar-only show on one of the baddest drag strips on the planet, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, has expanded to include other makes and blow-up for 2020 – in a good way. Musclecars At The Strip isn’t only about the Mopars anymore but Ford, Chevy, Pontiac, Buick, and Olds iron. And they won’t just be sitting around looking pretty, there will be rolling action with drag racing and autocross events along with manufacturers midway, concerts, swap meets, and all Vegas has to offer March 20-22.
We checked in with show organizer Phil Painter, who gave us more insights on how the Musclecars At The Strip show has morphed to include to the best from not only the house of Pentastar, but the General, Blue Oval, and American Motors as well.
“We want to invite more cars to participate in the 50th Anniversary milestone of 1970 model year of vintage muscle,” Painter says. “We want to include more car groups too and the best muscle cars in the country, so if you know a car that should be included in this show, send them over.”
Musclecars At The Strip 2020 isn’t your local show and shine either. The most outrageous muscle car builds will descend on Vegas to do battle for the top prizes. Since there are thousands of muscle cars and tens of thousands of spectators, the exposure widens even further. The 18th annual show is held in the leading gambling vacation destination in the world. Oh, and it’s also during the NCAA Basketball finals, so the place will be a madhouse as the party spills out of the show and drags on into the after-hours of Vegas nights.
At the core of Musclecars At The Strip is the judged competition that will have vintage and modern muscle competing but not against each other. The aim was to keep the OEM restorations and survivors in a class of their own, but post-2005 modern muscle in Pony Wars and restomod pro-touring style cars in their own lane. The various car corrals will be separated by makes and judged separately in logical car show classes or just to be seen in the Fun Field to show off.
There will also be a strong focus on the 1970 model year cars with the 50th anniversary of one of the most important car manufacturing dates in American history and the peak of the muscle car. Painter has put the call out to any 1970 makes and models with emphasis on Super Birds, Super Bees, Daytonas, Challengers, HEMI ‘CUDAs, AAR ‘CUDAs, Buick GS, Olds 442, Camaro Z/28, Chevelle SS, Mustang Mach 1, Boss 302, and Shelbys of any kind. But let’s not forget our AMC muscle car brothers too if any AMX or Javelins decide to pop up.
Held over three action-packed days, the Musclecars At The Strip event kicks off Friday, March 20 with concerts as night falls. The Saturday, March 21 program is bumped up by the Quarter Mile of muscle cars event held inside the National Indoor RV Center late in the evening. During the days it’s touring the judged field of cars and the ‘fun field’ for every car in between. Sponsors such as Wilwood Performance, CenterForce Clutch, Falken Tire, Lucas Oil, ARP Fasteners, and Mildon Performance are on hand to show off wares, offer tech advice, and even offer a few show-only discounts. During the hot Vegas days it’s drag racing on the strip, autocross for those that like to turn, a swap meet for deals on rare parts, and acres of show cars in the judged and manufacturer corrals.
One of the highlights of the event is the Mo-Power Cruise that starts before the event itself. Starting March 19th, three cruises have been organized from three separate cities to roll into Vegas convoy-style. Link up with other muscle cars in one of three cities: Salt Lake City, Utah, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Surprise, Arizona, to go pedal down through the desert to Las Vegas, Nevada for one unforgettable ride.
According to show organizers, the hotels are booking up fast with the college sports events happening on the same weekend. But a few ticket specials exists, premium spots for show-approved cars are available, and of course, vendor opportunities can be had last minute too.
We’re pretty stoked to see the show transitioning into more than just Mopar. If the teaser images are any indicator of the hardware that will show there, then we are in for a solid 3-day Musclecars At The Strip event for the 50th anniversary of some of the most important muscle cars ever made in the USA.