The 2018 Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals (Burnouts & Limbo)

The 2018 Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals event was held May 18th through the 20th at the Carlisle, Pennsylvania Fairgrounds. This event is an automotive hodgepodge with a little bit of everything for gearheads of all shapes and sizes. It had drifting, vintage show cars, a burnout contest, autocrossing, a bikini contest, a swap meet, a rolling exhaust contest, and for some reason… Saabs.

The Saabs of Carlisle car club shined up their Swedish rides and also ran a Toys For Tots toy drive at this year’s Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals.

The folks over at Carlisle Events put this event on and enjoy the mixture of car folks. They like to mix up the import crowd with the vintage car crowd and see what happens. The cars on display and being competed with ranged from trailer queen vintage show cars to rough looking drift cars that have had their paint jobs burned off.

Excuse the pun, but this BMW was hot! Yup, this burned paint liveried BMW competed in the drift contest and gave the folks at the event some good ole fashioned tire smoking fun.

In stark comparison to the burned out drift cars, the indoor portion of the car show had some high dollar vehicles on display. As the rain came during a portion of the weekend, the inside car show became “the” place to be. Attendees had the chance to dry off and see some very rare automobiles.

Ford GTs, McLarens, Lamborghinis, and a bunch of other big dollar makes with almost zero miles on their odometers were on display. Millions of dollars of cars were available for viewing, but, of course, not for touching.

The rain didn’t stop all of the fun from happening. The rolling exhaust contest and autocross continued rain or shine (as it should be). Competitors enjoyed the slippery course and put on some great car control demos in the wet.

“Rain, Rain, Go Away, Come Again Some Other Day,” was never uttered by anyone who drives an all-wheel drive Subaru STI.

Autocrosses and car shows go together like peanut butter and jelly but I have never seen a vehicle limbo contest before. The goal: be the lowest car in the competition and don’t knock over the limbo stick. Completely crazy!

Limbo, Limbo, where is the Lambo? The clear advantage went to the convertibles in the group. The tires on this Miata still look pretty inflated, I would have dropped those donuts to around 7 pounds for a little more “lowness.”

The autocross is still where your average Joe can go out and really drive aggressively in a daily driver to see what man and machine can do. Lots of cars (and some trucks) entered the autocross and ripped through the tight course.

Miata’s are always a good tool for any tight course autocross event. This one is using all of the roadway and all of the available adhesion. Good times!

We can’t forget the ladies. What car show would be complete without a bikini contest? Ms. Carlisle Import & Performance 2018 was crowned at the event to an ecstatic crowd of boys standing in the front row with their phones in their hands in camera mode.

Big smiles as the top three contenders for the bikini contest pose for just one more photo.

Two things get people’s attention at car shows, bikinis and burnouts. Big horsepower cars showed their stuff and killed some tires to create the biggest cloud possible. An obvious crowd favorite, many tires died for this display of huge torque and big smoke.

You wanna big burnout? Bring a Corvette with a big motor. This C5 Vette did its best to create some smoke for the fans.

Expensive cars, drifting, bikinis, burnouts, limbo, but that wasn’t all! Yes, there was even more at the 2018 Carlisle Import & Performance Nationals – a costume contest. Yes, you read that correctly, a costume contest. Costumes based on which country a car was manufactured in were judged for their originality and accuracy to the country of origin.

If you have a German car, you might as well bring some blonde German themed bar maids with you. Suddenly, I’m thirsty for some St. Pauli Girl beer.

When it was all said and done the 1,400 different cars which were on display entertained thousands of participants and attendees. Swap meet folks found that rare part they were looking for, trophies were handed out to the winners of different events, and people saw Saabs. What else could you ask for? Look for this event next year, there will certainly be something to entertain you no matter what type of automotive shenanigans you are in to.

The kings of drift earned some hardware for entertaining the crowd and losing money on rear tires.

Limbo. How low can you go? The limbo podium was an all convertible affair.

Until next year, hang it out!

All Photos By Andrew Welsh

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About the author

Rob Krider

Rob Krider’s mantra is “Race Anything, Win Everything” and is a multi-champion driver who currently competes in the NASA Honda Challenge series.
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