Costa Rica is full of surprises.

Few are aware of the amazing level of quality and variety of classic cars here.

My brother-in-law is a retired Tico rally driver. I am also married to widely published car photographer and self-described “gearhead.” As such, I have been thoroughly schooled in what to look for and admire through my attendance at some of the biggest cars shows in the U.S. and Canada.

So there is a lot to compare and contrast to when going to the car shows here in San Jose (Escazu). It is an impressive array of rolling art and historic technology.

These were the predecessors of the efficient vehicles we drive today. For those of us deeply sensitized to the environment, know that those “boys who played with their toys” in Germany, Italy and the U.S. were pioneering geniuses with PHD’s in engineering and physics.

Their passion for efficiency and power brought us today’s cars that pollute 90% less than in 1970 and last three times longer. The team who raced the Motown Missile (above right) also invented the catalytic converter. That drag racer was the first with an on board computer (circ. 1970)

A remarkable fact is that many of the most perfect looking of these cars were restored in shops right here. Costa Rica has an unusually high count of skilled mechanics. No surprise given the unfortunate state of most roads and the high costs of cars.

At a car show in Canada, my husband and I once met Barry Meguiar (Meguiar’s Car Polish) who was filming an episode of Car Crazy near Toronto.

He told us how surprised he was at the enthusiasm and restoration talent he found in Costa Rica while filming an episode of Car Crazy here in 2008.

“I have rarely encountered such fans and enthusiasts. They are amazing. The cars I found there were a total surprise.

Another famous car designer by the name of Chip Foose also visited here last year sponsored by 3M. He was mobbed by fans and also caught off guard by the passion for all things cars.


I asked my husband to put all this in a video so that more of you can enjoy these outstanding pieces of rolling art, given that you’re not likely to see many of these on Costa Rica’s roads.

These extremely well planned and produced shows are held each year and are a wonderful family event at a very safe and convenient venue.


There is usually some sort of entertainment as well to keep things lively. The band below opened for Paul McCartney during his tour here in Costa Rica.


For you wives who just aren’t into it, there are plenty of great shops to duck into while “the boys” are ogling the iron. There are also a wide variety of excellent dining options.

PriceMart and Multi-Plaza are right around the corner for stocking up and shop till you drop options.


Please click on the video below and enjoy the show.

Written by Laura B. Gutiérrez who specializes in getting your residency approved in Costa Rica quicker and more efficiently than any attorney.

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