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Carlisle Events expands auctions, adds Hurst Nationals show

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Guests peruse vehicles at the 2016 Fall Carlisle Auction. The 2017 fall and spring auctions, hosted by Carlisle Events, will be expanded from two days to three.
Guests peruse vehicles at the 2016 Fall Carlisle Auction. The 2017 fall and spring auctions, hosted by Carlisle Events, will be expanded from two days to three. - (Photo / )

The upcoming season at Carlisle Events will include extended auctions and the group's first new car show since 2001.

The spring and fall auctions will span three days instead of two in the coming season, said Michael Garland, Carlisle Events' public relations manager. The extension will allow the auction to take on 100 to 150 more consignments, bringing the total number of cars expected to hit the auction block to about 500 per event.

"We've seen a lot of interest in the collector car hobby," he said. "All of that demand necessitated a third day."

Carlisle Events will also host a Hurst Nationals show July 14 and 15. It will be the group's first new, local car show since 2001.

Expanded auctions

Three-day auctions may sound familiar to some longtime attendees. The auctions ran for three days for at least one year around 2011, when Carlisle Events held the auction with a third-party company. They were ultimately shortened to two because of lack of demand.

Garland does not believe that will be an issue this time around. Carlisle Events is now running the auctions independently, and a growing number of hobbyists are seeing auctions on TV, making them eager to check them out for themselves, he said.

This year's spring and fall auctions are set for April 20-22 and Sept. 28-30.

Hurst Nationals Show

Although Carlisle Events has launched new shows outside the Carlisle market, and has been involved in sports and outdoors shows, it has not launched a new, Carlisle-based car event since 2001, Garland said.

Hurst seemed like the right place to start. Hurst-branded enhancements, often seen in muscle cars and hot rods, touch a multitude of vehicle makes and models.  The brand created aftermarket gear shifters and other products for high-performance vehicles, and was involved in the creation of cars like the Oldsmobile 442, SC/Rambler and Hurst Jeepster. 

Garland believes Carlisle Events' two-day show in July may be the first to focus on Hurst-prepared vehicles.

The event will include about 40 Hurst models in the Carlisle Expo Center, plus another 350 cars outside. It coincides with the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals, being held about a block away at the Carlisle Fairgrounds on July 14-16.

Aside from the cars, the Hurst show will feature food, memorabilia vendors and seminars, among other entertainment.

Garland believes these extras have helped attract a growing number of people, not just car enthusiasts, to Carlisle Events' shows. 

Carlisle Events founders Bill Miller Jr. and Chip Miller (no relation) have hosted shows since 1974. They purchased the Carlisle Fairgrounds for their gatherings in 1981. The group now has 35 full-time employees and annually attracts more than 500,000 people to Cumberland County, according to its website.

Attendance at all of the group's shows in the past year has trended upward, Garland said.

"We're not just cars in a field. There's so much more to our events," he said. "Maybe it's taken 40-plus years, but the word is finally starting to get out."

A previous version of this story included incorrect information about annual attendance at Carlisle Events gatherings. The group annually attracts more than 500,000 people to its events throughout the season.

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Jennifer Wentz

Jennifer Wentz

Jennifer Wentz covers Lancaster County, York County, financial services, taxation and legal services. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at jwentz@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @jenni_wentz.

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