Every year on the last weekend in April, all manner of American vehicles descend on Kilbeggan for the annual celebration of American culture that is the Midland American Auto Club’s All-American Car Truck and Bike Show.
The show is back for 2022, and Mustangs and Corvettes will fill the air with the distinct roar of V8 engines. Flashy convertible Cadillacs and long Lincolns will appear, Harleys will descend en masse, Kenworths and Peterbilts will overshadow the local roads to present a multicolored spectacle of polished chrome and airbrushed paint. Dodge, Ford and Chevrolet vans will criss-cross the country, all heading for Kilbeggan.
This year there will be something special; something never seen before on Irish roads; a 100-foot-long American fire truck. At 56 feet, the vehicle is so big that it needs a second driver in another cab at the back of the trailer to steer the rear wheels to maneuver it around the streets.
This particular machine from Long Island and it was in service after the 9/11 attacks in New York.
“We thought we would honor everyone who had left us over the past two years, due to Covid and other reasons, and honor all the tireless healthcare workers who took care of everyone during the pandemic and continue to do it,” said Joe Keenan, president of the Midland American Auto Club.
“We are fortunate to have vintage American fire engines and a good number of sheriff and police cars and tow trucks here in Ireland and they will make for a great sight when they are all lined up on display.
“The fire engines are amazing – painted in traditional red and white, with lots of polished chrome and stainless steel, real gold leaf detailing, and complete with water pumps, flashing and strobe red lights, loud sirens and public address systems.”
Instead of a minute of silence, the club is planning a big ‘sound minute’ at 3pm during the show – sirens for firefighters and other emergency vehicles will go off, everyone will sound their truck and their car and will rev their engines to remember these Gone but not forgotten.
“Four years ago we started a ‘show and tell’, asking owners of these cars and trucks about their owning and driving experiences,” said Nick Stratta, the club’s public relations manager.
“The first one we did was on 18-wheel big trucks. Show goers loved it because it was educational and brought ownership and driving of these incredible vehicles to life. This year, we will be focusing on US emergency vehicles and interviewing a number of owners, we will also have information boards for visitors to read vehicle details.
There will also be an autojumble, and potential traders should contact Joe Keenan (details below).
Admission to the show is €10 per adult and admission is free for children under 14. Show cars and occupants also enter free of charge. “They’ve spent enough petrol or diesel to get here and they’re putting on a show so we welcome them all with open arms,” said club secretary Kieran Mullen.
The Midland American Auto Club (MAAC for short) has been in existence for over 20 years and has members from all over the island of Ireland and overseas. People come to Kilbeggan from all over the country for America’s biggest show of the year at their show ground opposite Kilbeggan Racecourse.
The party starts at 11 a.m. and continues until 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 24.
You can view past shows on the Midland American Auto Club You Tube channel.
More information is available on the club website www.MAAC-Ireland.com or [email protected], Facebook; www.facebook.com/midland.american.auto.club or speak to Joe Keenan (Club Chairman) 087 238 8400, Kieran Mullen (Club Secretary) 087 986 4199 and Nick Stratta (Club PRO) 085 828 9922.