The American car, truck and bike show is back in the Midlands

The biggest American Car Truck & Bike Show in Ireland is back in April

Every 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 & Bike Show.

This year the show is on Sunday April 24th.

Muscle cars will descend, Mustangs and Corvettes will fill the air with roaring V8 engines. Big, flashy Cadillac convertibles and long Lincolns will roll, Harleys will descend en masse, Kenworths and Peterbilts will eclipse the local roads in a multicolored spectacle of polished chrome and airbrushed paint. Dodge, Ford and Chevrolet vans will criss-cross the country, all heading for Kilbeggan.

However this year there will be something special; something never seen before on Irish roads; a 100-foot-long American fire truck. It’s one of those special fire trucks with a 100-foot-tall ladder that can reach tall buildings to help put out fires. At 56 feet, it’s so long that it needs a second firefighter in another cab at the back of the trailer to steer the rear wheels to get it through the streets.

This particular fire truck came from Long Island where it served during 9/11.

“We thought we would pay tribute to all those who had left us in the past two years; by COVID and other reasons and to honor all of the tireless healthcare workers who have cared for everyone during the pandemic and continue to do so,” said Joe Keenan, president of the Midland American Auto Club.

“We are fortunate to have vintage American fire engines and a fair number of sheriff and police cars and tow trucks here in Ireland and will provide a great view when they are all lined up on display. The fire trucks look amazing – painted in traditional red and white with lots of polished chrome and stainless steel, real gold leaf detailing and are complete with water pumps, flashing and strobe red lights, sirens very strong and a PA system.”

Instead of a minute of silence, the club is planning a big ‘sound minute’ at 3 p.m. during the show – sirens for firefighters and other emergency vehicles will go off, everyone will sound their trucks and honk their horns car and rev its engines to remember those who are gone but not forgotten. It will be quite a show!

“Four years ago we launched a ‘Show and Tell’,” said Nick Stratta, the club’s public relations manager.

“Asking owners of these cars and trucks about their experience owning and driving them. The first one we did was on the big 18-wheeler trucks. Show visitors 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 the details of these vehicles.

It’s a very different sight to cars just parked in a field, that’s for sure.

There will also be the usual auto-jumble – potential traders should contact Club President Joe Keenan.

Admission to the show is €10 per adult and admission is free for children under 14. Cars and lounge occupants also enter for free; the club does not believe in charging future exhibitors. “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 (or MAAC for short) is the American national car, truck and bicycle club behind Ireland’s now legendary Kilbeggan show. The club has been in existence for over 20 years and attracts members from across 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 in Westmeath. It’s easy to find off the M4/M6 motorway exit – just follow the signs for the Tullamore/Kilbeggan exit, towards the town square and all the way up the hill to the racecourse.

There’s something going on from 11 a.m. 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 or [email protected], Facebook;

Maria R. Newman