The word LEAD is a synonym for "customized car." We fill four adjacent parking lots with 1,400 restored classic 1974 and earlier cars, customs, lowriders, and street rods. Many are for sale. Last year it attracted cars from more than 20 states — from as far as Canada, Florida, and Texas — because it offers activities and non-stop entertainment unlike any other "car show" or oldies concert.
If you love custom cars — a true American art form — year in and year out LEAD EAST gathers more leadsleds (customized cars) than any other event on the planet. This event was created in 1983 to promote the custom car movement, and it has done just that. Many cars have been built and finished with LEAD EAST as the deadline, the event being an incentive for guys to start and complete their dream car. There are always a number of fresh, incredibly high quality customs on display at the event that we guarantee you have not seen.A WORD TO THE WISE... OLD CARS PRE-REG EARLY.
We'd love to see your 1974 or earlier vintage car at LEAD EAST 2017! It’s your choice, you can Register your car at the show or Pre-Register in Advance. Every year a higher percentage of the cars entered are pre-registered! For the 2016 event, three-quarters of the cars pre-registered and reserved their parking spot.
For owners of old cars on display that have a hotel room reserved at the Hilton or Hampton Inn for a minimum of four nights (Thurs.-Sun.).
The Hilton and Hampton Inn will be sold out, but there are still a few rooms left. One PLAN A (old car only) parking space available per hotel room.
A 4 or 5-day PLAN A Adult is $97, and a PLAN A Senior Citizen is $87 by August 15. All PLAN A car entries include one old car, weekend wristbands for two adults, and driver's kids inside the car under 18. PLAN A entry is not included with hotel room price, but a hotel reservation enables you the right to apply for a PLAN A Package. Senior Discount only available for pre-registrations by 8/15.
PLAN A is a 4-day or 5-day package depending upon if you have a hotel room reserved starting Wednesday or Thursday night. You do not have to enter an old car to buy a hotel room at the Hilton/Hampton. If you are a spectator without an old car, but with a hotel room at Hilton/Hampton, you do have to buy a weekend wristband for each person to come and enjoy the party.
Reserving a hotel room DOES NOT entitle you entry to our five-day 50‘s Party/Festival — you need to purchase a PLAN A package for your car and wristbands, or purchase Weekend Spectator wristbands.
A three-day package for people entering an old car but not staying at Hilton/Hampton.
A 3-day PLAN B Adult is $98, and a PLAN B Senior Citizen (66+) is $88 by August 15. Senior Discount only available for pre-registrations by 8/15, not available at the event.
The PLAN B Package entitles the car owner to enter his or her old car Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It includes two adult weekend wristbands plus wristbands for kids in car under 18. Additional adult wristbands (3rd, 4th, etc) are $30 each if ordered in advance by August 15. Children under 18 in the car are Free.
Pre-Registered PLAN B cars have the option or Reserving a parking spot ($50) in Kraft B Lot or Daiichi C lot. Pre-registered B’s get in several hours earlier (3:00 PM) than on-site B registered cars (5:00 PM) but as always this is subject to approval by Property Management Company that oversees use of this business.
All Plan B’s (Pre-reg’s and on-site) who do not reserve a spot in advance will be given a Party Pass in a plastic bag. There is no additional charge for this since the Pre-Regged cars have already reserved their spots. Put your name on the Party Pass, put it back in the plastic bag to protect it from bad weather. Pick an open spot of your choice in the Kraft B or Daiichi C lot (not in Hilton A lot) that does not already have a party pass taped in place. Tape your party pass in your spot for the weekend. Only LEAD EAST offers this convenience to car owners so they can cruise a lap or go home at night and come back to find their spot has not been occupied by another car.
All non-Pre-Registered Plan B cars come to Registration starting at 5:00 PM Friday, NOT BEFORE!
ONE DAYS are welcome Saturday or Sunday, either Pre-Reg’d or On Site. Includes car. two adults, and kids in car under 18. No Party Passes issued for ONE DAY cars. TWO ADULTS and children under 18 admitted with a One Day car entry.
Saturday for Chevelles & Camaros; Sunday for any vintage CORVETTE: We are trying something new. If they pre-register by 8/15, Chevelles & Camaros to ‘74 (Sat.) and any Corvette (Sun.) can pre-register for $40/car, which includes two adults. Chevelles park together with Camaros Saturday in the lower Daiichi D Lot, and Corvettes park together in that lot on Sunday.
Vettes newer than 1974 not allowed to cruise the 3 old car lots.
Because of our Parking Lot Rental Costs, we are forced to charge for Trailer and Tow Vehicle Parking. This is not something we invented; Goodguys, the Charlotte Auto Fair, Hershey AACA, and NSRA, among others, have ALL been charging (sometimes exorbitantly) for trailer and tow vehicle parking for years. We have to pay to rent the lot, to clean it, security, etc.
If you Pre-Register before August 15, a standard tow vehicle (pickup, etc.) pulling a single car open or closed trailer parking is $25 for tow vehicle and trailer for the entire weekend starting Wednesday August 30. A tow vehicle and oversized (i.e. longer than 25 feet) trailer is $50. Tow vehicle and Trailer parking stickers will be sent in advance of the event. Please, no 18-wheelers.
Tow vehicles and trailers that are not Pre-Registered will be charged for parking at the event at higher rates.
We’re working on a new weekend pass that allows Hilton/Hampton Inn guests who have a normal, non-old car to park underneath the Daiichi building. This is convenient because it is much closer to the hotel. Call 908 876 9100 to arrange for a $25/weekend parking sticker and confirmation that this plan is in effect.
Every PLAN A (4- or 5-day) and PLAN B (3-day) car entered, regardless of whether they Pre-Reg or Register On-Site, receives a PARTY PASS. It comes in a waterproof plastic bag and should be taped down in that car’s parking space so once it is there, that is your spot with your name and car entry number on it for the remainder of the weekend!
If you reserve a parking space in advance, before the event begins, we put your name on it and tape your PARTY PASS down in your space for you so it is there when you arrive. No other car event we know of offers this convenience. Please pull it up and take it with you or throw it away when you leave the event.
Several years ago our loyal participants told us they wanted to reserve their old car parking space in advance for an additional fee. It was their idea, not ours! We tried the concept and it has become so popular, all of the Hilton-Hampton Inn parking lot and most of the of the Campus 7 or Kraft “B” Lot ands some of the Daiichi “C” Lot was reserved in advance. In 2016, a total of 1,000 spaces in the A, B & C lots were reserved spaces. No other car event we know offers this convenience to old car owners. It eliminates “power parking” and assures you can park with your friends.
If you buy a PLAN A or B in advance or on site and don’t reserve a spot in advance, we give you the Party Pass in a clear plastic bag and you put your name on it and tape it down in an open spot of your choice for the weekend. Only PLAN A cars allowed in Hilton lot.
There are no PARTY PASSES or Reserved parking spots for Saturday or Sunday ONE DAY old car participants.
If you want to make sure you can park next to your buddy, or if there is a specific spot you want because it has grass adjacent to it where you can set up your pop-up tent and BBQ, you can reserve your exact old car spot in advance when you Pre-Register. The sooner you pre-register, the better your pick of spaces. RESERVED OLD CAR PARKING SPACES ARE NOT REQUIRED, they are OPTIONAL!
You can only reserve a spot if you do it in advance by 8/15. You can reserve your spot when you pre-register.
Because we respect our repeat customers, we allow anyone with a reserved spot from 2016 to reserve the same spot for the 2017 event. On January 1, 2017, all UNRESERVED spaces become available for anyone to reserve them.
LEAD EAST is the only event we know that offers old car owners this option, which eliminates the “power parking” hassle, inconvenience, and the stress that occurs at many ordinary old car events. If you’re driving down from New England or coming up from Virginia, etc., it’s a secure feeling to know your reserved spot will be there waiting for you, with your PARTY PASS taped down in your spot, days before the event begins. This is another unique LEAD EAST perk.
From the start in 1983, LEAD EAST has always allowed any car, truck, bus, etc. with a chopped top, air bag, or hydraulic “lowrider” suspension, as well as “real” customs with a significant amount of bodywork into the event, even if they are newer than 1974 vintage. A newer car or truck with a custom paint job, as an example, is not significant bodywork.
Note: No refunds or cancellations. However, cancellations made in writing in advance of the event may be applied to next year's event. This does NOT apply to hotel room reservations.