Every year, over 2,500 classic cars decorate 1.3 million square feet of display space in Essen, Germany for the Techno Classica car show. Back in the United States, thousands of classic hotrods gather to tour the country for the annual Hot Rod Power Tour.

Every auto show has its highlights but if you can only pick one auto event to make it to in a year, it has to be one of these, and we are about to help you make that pick. Each event promises a vast gathering of classic performance cars and beautiful scenes for petrol-heads. But the events’ styles are very different.

While the Power Tour spans several days and multiple states, the entire Techno Classica event starts and ends in the same location. The Classica lasts several days and offers the audience unlimited opportunities to interact with vendors. Hundreds of vendors were at this year’s Techno Classica selling manuals, model cars, and other auto accessories.

The Classica auto show is also a great place to find car parts. Vendors are always selling rare, vintage, used, or new car parts – and an auction takes place there as well. There are even people who arrange to buy cars through deals made on sites like Autobidmaster, and then conduct the handover at the show.

There are certainly opportunities for drivers to become consumers during the Power Tour as well. It’s a bit different at the Tour, however. The Power Tour has a schedule of stops for drivers in each state, typically at a local spot considered a hidden gem among the locals. At the Power Tour, you’ll more likely spend your spare bucks on good food, rather than car parts or accessories.

These pit stops during the Hot Rod Power Tour demonstrate another of the biggest differences in the two events. The Power Tour is a days-long bonding experience with the hotrod community, in between a few hours of driving and thinking.

This is a stark contrast to the trade show style of the Techno Classica. The bonding element is available in sharing a beer with a fellow attendant. In fact, you’ll be able to grab a beer with a buddy any day of the event. This year, the show set up a massive beer tap out of the trunk of a BMW 502 Sedan.

The Techno Classica happens every spring and the Hot Rod Power Tour goes on every summer. With all the hype surrounding each event in their respective countries, at least one of them should be experienced in a lifetime. If you are looking for an emotionally and intellectually affecting experience with lots of driving, thinking, bonding, and spontaneous exploring, the Hot Rod Power Tour is for you.

On the other hand, if you want an auto lover’s consumer playground with lots of information, eye candy, and learning opportunities, you have to give the Techno Classica a try. Now that you know the spirit of each event, you know what you’re doing in 2014.

Image source: http://media.al.com/entertainment-press-register/photo/hot-rodsjpg-ebeb85c3c6b7c1c2_large.jpg

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