World of Wheels Omaha – Bright Lights, Big Fun
World of Wheels Omaha had it all this year. Everything from low riders to live music; pinup girls, a killer stunt show, NASCAR’s biggest celebrity and other exciting exhibits packed the CenturyLink Center with big fun. We spotted youngsters, oldsters, families and wide-eyed mini motorheads. The event is an annual celebration of all things automotive held just before springtime.
The event is a welcome warmup for plain states auto buffs. For about three-months out of the year, the bitter cold puts outdoor car show season on hiatus around these parts. You do the best you can to find a garage with some heat and it’s usually time to bust out the wrenches and re-tune for next season.
For this reason, each year the World of Wheels in Omaha, Nebraska, feels like light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the show that reminds us, sunshine is around the corner! Time to pull off the car covers, do away with winter’s dust heap, pull out the grill, and fire up the engines again. For Nebraska residents, the World of Wheels is kick off time for show season.
Rolling into its 63rd year this March, the World of Wheels features some of the best Hot Rods, Customs, tricked out Trucks and Motorcycles from all over the country as it’s an official ISCA points event. This year’s three-day thriller featured special guests, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Horny Mike from Count’s Kustoms. On Saturday, Earnhardt, as you can imagine, drew some 450-plus anxious fans awaiting pictures and autographs through the early afternoon.
As with any well-themed traditional show, the western half of the World of Wheels Omaha floor was staged-up for some killer Rockabilly tunes. Local groups, The Wondermonds and Lloyd McCarter and the Honkey Tonk Revival band found no trouble keeping the pulse up. The joint was jumpin’!
Glimpses of stunt bikes soaring through the air drew massive crowds each day. Pro riders from the crew at Tim Dyson FMX threw some heart-stopping freestyle seat grabs, cliff hangers, and back flips to name a few of their tricks. The kids were in awe watching as their heroes took flight through midair. Afterwards they jumped at the opportunity to grab an autograph from each rider.
Long time Show Chairmen, Joe Gautreau tells us the show has evolved somewhat from previous years. It typically draws around 30,000 spectators over the three-day weekend, nearly 300 cars, and features some of the top builds from around the area.
Something brand new to the show this year was a traditional pin up contest held Saturday evening. Each contestant donned their favorite vintage attire and took over the stage like they owned it.
Wrapping up on Sunday, Entry Chairwoman Mary Lee told us the spectator count was up from previous years – not surprising from what we saw. It’s a good sign Nebraska’s favorite spring show has a healthy future ahead of it. As for those of us fienin’ for more, being stuck in the garage every weekend is finally over and it’s time to bring out the rides!
World of Wheels Omaha Photo Extra