Desfile de Autos Clasicos (Classic Car Parade) was yesterday in Medellín. This is one of the two biggest events of La Feria de las Flores (Festival of Flowers). This year was the 22nd year for this classic car parade.
It was estimated that over 1 million people saw Desfile de Autos Clasicos on August 6 in Medellín. This is more than the 800,000 people that were expected at the flower parade (Desfile de Silleteros). And the full schedule of La Feria de las Flores (in Spanish) is found here. We also have photos of Desfile de Silleteros (flower parade) here.
Note, the above photo is a 1936 Ford from the parade this year. And we have many more photos from this year’s car parade in this article.
The oldest car in this year’s Desfile de Autos Clasicos was a 1900 De Dion-Bouton, seen in the photo above.
De Dion-Bouton was a French automobile manufacturer from 1883 to 1932. 1900 was one of the first years this company made a four-wheel vehicle. And the company built a total of only 400 cars in 1990. I also built powered tricycles. The 1900 vehicle has a 402-cc single-cylinder engine under the seat. Furthermore, in this car the passenger interestingly faces the driver.
The second oldest car in the parade this year was a 1903 Oldsmobile. Only 3,750 of these vehicles were reportedly built by Oldsmobile in 1903.
This Year’s Classic Car Parade
Paisas have some very old cars that are in excellent condition. And some Colombians come from all over the country to participate in the parade. This year I saw cars from Bogotá, Cali, Manizales, Pereira and several other cities.
Every year, they dust the cars off and dress up in costumes to go for a drive in the classic car parade. Reportedly 300 vehicles participated this year.
The vehicles in Desfile de Autos Clasicos are in several categories, including
- Old vehicles– cars which are at least 35 years old. And they must retain their original specifications.
- Classic vehicles– cars which are at least 50 years old. And they must retain their original features and specifications.
- Street rod vehicles– cars which are at least 35 years old and retain the completely original exterior and all accessories, emblems and mirrors. Inside parts and mechanicals can change but these should not be noticeable from the outside.
- Hot rod vehicles– cars that were completely changed in the mechanics, suspension and body. This includes finishes such as paint and upholstery typically very different from the original. There is a limit of 25 cars in this category selected by a committee.
- Vehicles produced, assembled or distributed in Colombia– cars included in this category must be at least 35 years old and at least 95 percent original.
In addition, there is a special category for military Jeeps and Volkswagens.
How to Participate in Desfile de Autos Clasicos
To participate in Desfile de Autos Clasicos, a driver would have needed to pay a fee of 150,000 pesos from April 1 to June 15, or 250,000 pesos from June 16 to July 1 or 500,000 pesos from July 2 to July 15. Most noteworthy, these are the same fees as last year. In addition, each vehicle in the parade was accepted by a committee.
Also, drivers needed to attend a meeting before the parade. The parade organizers scheduled three of these meetings in July. And it was obligatory for drivers to attend one of the meetings to learn about the parade.
My Experience at Desfile de Autos Clasicos This Year
The car parade is an extremely popular event every year. First of all, I saw many families this year as usual, as this is a family friendly event. In addition, there were many vendors walking along the route as usual selling cold beers, water, sodas, ice cream, chips, candy and other snacks, plus hats.
In past years, I normally went to the Industriales metro station and found a place along the route near the big Bancolombia headquarters building. But this year the 15.1 km route in Medellín and Envigado was different. The longest part of the route was on Avenida Las Vegas, where I thought the crowd would be more spread out.
So, this year I went to the Ayurá metro station and walked about five minutes to Avenida Las Vegas. And I found a very good place along the route with shade that would be a good to take photos.
Normally the classic car parade runs pretty smoothly in my experience. This year it started on schedule. However, I noticed there were a couple of long gaps this year where vehicles would pass and then nothing would come for a while. In addition, there was a long stop for about 15-20 minutes where the cars didn’t move. But even with these slowdowns, the car parade was definitely worth going to this year.
Photos from Desfile de Autos Clasicos (Classic Car Parade)
Here are over 30 more photos from the 2017 classic car parade in Medellín, which show many of the vehicles in the parade.
The Bottom Line: Desfile de Autos Clasicos (Classic Car Parade)
The bottom line is this is an event that is worth going to every year. And this was the eighth year I have been to Desfile de Autos Clasicos. Each year I have seen many new cars that haven’t been in the parade before. Typically, up to 40 percent of the cars are new. So, you can see new cars in the parade every year.
This year I had a press pass, so I was able to talk to several of the drivers before the parade. Some drivers have driven in the parade for several years. And all drivers I talked to that had experience said they loved doing it. They said they loved seeing the happy expressions on the faces of all the spectators along the route. In addition, one new driver from Bogotá told me he was very excited to be here in his first classic car parade.
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