As the holiday season prepares to blink by and 2019 barrels in, so too do the long, dark, dreary days of deep winter. But just because the Christmas-high will soon wear off doesn’t mean we need to retreat into our holes for hibernation. The auto industry has PLENTY of fun events happenin’ in the New Year and we’ve rounded up just a sampling. From the Detroit Auto Show and CES 2019 to the Dakar Rally and 24 Hours of Daytona, there’s a little something for everyone come 2019. Just consider it the gift that keeps on giving.
First Mecum Auction of the Year
Running January 3-13 is Mecum’s first auction of 2019 and boy is it gearing up to be a good one. Featuring some truly impressive lots, this year’s inaugural auction features a former Hot Rod Magazine Cover car—a 1932 Ford McMullen Roadster, Benny Parsons 1973 NASCAR Cup Champion Car, and the only 429 4-Speed 1970 Ford Torino King Cobra, among other gems. But the crown jewel will be the one-and-only, one-of-one 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake.
Expected to sell for over $1 million, this beauty was a purpose-built promotion car for a Ford-Goodyear collaboration in the ‘60s pushing Thunderbolt tires. With a rich history and a GT40 Mk II 427 engine pumping out 800 ponies, there’s no doubt it’ll make for some interesting television. If you’d rather see it up close, hitch a ride to Kissimmee, Florida and buy some tickets here.
If exploring the future of consumer technology in the City of Sin is more your bag, check out CES 2019. A fitting location considering autonomous cars will make excellent roving brothels someday…just sayin’. With over 4k exhibiting companies and 182k people expected to attend, it promises to be a smash gathering of techie minds and pioneering spirits. From startups to industry veterans, covering topics like the “Internet of Things,” cryptocurrency, augmented reality, and 3D printing, discover where the future of technology is heading. CES 2019 runs January 8-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Toughest Monster Truck Tour
A technology convention? Psh, nerds. Come to Prescott Valley, Arizona on January 11 and watch monster trucks SMASH other littler trucks and crappy old sedans.
This event kicks off the 2019 season and promises two full days of the best-of-the-best, five-ton machines crushing metal, hurling dirt, and popping death-defying wheelies. It’s the perfect way to blow off all that holiday steam and indulge in a little primal masculinity. GET YOUR TICKETS HERRRREEE.
Looking for something a little farther south? Hop a plane to Peru and check out the world-renowned Dakar Rally. For the first time in history, the event is taking place in only one country, starting and ending in the beautiful capital city of Lima. Running January 6-17, the 41st Dakar Rally encompasses 5,000 km (3,100+ miles) of grueling terrain, from mountains to sea and a whole lotta sand and dunes. With 10 stages and a rest day, this year also adds a new rule to the mix. Now, vehicles that have to give up early in the race can rejoin after the rest day, in a parallel competition and separate class. Learn more here.
24 Hours of Daytona (Rolex 24 Daytona)
If that’s a little too far south for you, check out 24 Hours of Daytona at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida being held January 26-27. Drawing racing legends from around the world, this 24-hour sports car endurance race has been entertaining speed junkies since 1962.
Held on a 3.56-mile combined course of the NASCAR tri-oval and an infield road course, participants push it to the limit from sun up to sun down… to sun up again. Being such a long event, there are a variety of ticket options available. Check them out here.
Winter Fun Festival
Skip the pavement and kick up a little dirt… er, I mean snow at the off-road Winter Fun Festival in the stunning gold rush area of Grass Valley, Northern California. With a variety of trail runs to choose from, tailored to all skill levels and vehicle types, everyone can enjoy the beautiful views of High Sierras and put those winter wheeling skills to the test. The event is hosted by Cal4Wheel and runs January 25-27. Sign up here.
Detroit Auto Show
This can’t-miss event runs January 12-27 in the heart of Motor City—Detroit, Michigan. While the number of vehicle debuts is down—30 compared to last year’s 69—the event still promises to be a banger.
Among those reveals planned to wow are the new Ford Bronco, 2020 Toyota Supra, resurrected Mustang GT500, Cadillac XT6 crossover, and some next-generation, EV concepts from Nissan and INFINITI. This is the last year the Detroit Auto Show will be held in January, as it moves to June for 2020. So if you want to visit the Big D while those potholes are still filled in with snow, click here for the deets.
Indoor National Dragfest
And for those of you hunkering down in the Northeast this winter, check out the blissfully indoor Drag Racing Festival running January 12-13 at the Lebanon Valley Expo Center in Lebanon, PA. With hundreds of classic race vehicles on view, vendors to check out, a giant flea market to browse, and a swap meet to visit, you just might need both days to see it all. Find more information here.