Our Mission Statement
To continue our tradition as a respected leader in the automotive hobby; to be a responsible member of the communities in which we operate; and to pursue new business opportunities, ensuring the growth of the company.
What makes Carlisle, Pennsylvania so unique? It is the home of Carlisle Events and the Carlisle Fairgrounds, the location for the largest car, truck and motorcycle collector events in the country.
Prior to Carlisle Events' emergence, anyone interested in restoring or showing 1950s- or 1960s-era cars had few options. That all changed when Chip Miller and Bill Miller, Jr. became friends through a mutual interest in cars of the 1950s. Together they began going to car shows and swap meets, where like-minded individuals would hunt for parts and accessories to restore their vehicles. A need for these events became obvious to these two men in 1973. Until that time, the only cars deemed worthy to collect were pre-WWII automobiles.
Carlisle Events was one of the first companies in the United States organized specifically to conduct and promote events for the collector car and truck hobby.
On September 26, 1974, on the rented Carlisle Fairgrounds, "Post War '74" took place. It was the very first car event promoted by the company. In a year still remembered for gas lines and inflation, nearly 600 vendors set up in more than 800 spaces, and 13,000 spectators paid the $1 admission to sample their wares.
Within a few years, the Carlisle Fairgrounds had become a mecca for collector car enthusiasts all over the world. The runaway success of what became known as Fall Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet & Car Corral led to a similar Spring event in 1977. In short order, they became complete sellouts for vendor and car sale (or "car corral") spaces. In 1981, after renting the fairgrounds for each event, the Millers purchased the 82-acre property.
Over the years, Carlisle Events has transformed the fairgrounds to suit the needs of car show participants and visitors. Continuous improvements include paved roads, a manicured landscape and more than 10 permanent buildings. At the same time, Carlisle Events has established consumer-friendly services such as on-site bank financing, notary and title service and a wide variety of dining choices.
Experience Carlisle Events Today
When Chip and Bill Miller held their first car show at the Carlisle Fairgrounds in 1974, they never could have envisioned the growth and legacy of Carlisle Events.
Chip Miller, co-founder of Carlisle Events, had a favorite saying, “Life is Good.” His son Lance has carried on that tradition, and it appears he will continue to carry on a lot more at Carlisle Events with his long-time friend, Bill Miller III. In 2007, Bill Miller, Jr., announced that Lance Miller and Bill Miller III, his son, will continue in their respective families’ tradition of operating the Carlisle Events business at the Carlisle Fairgrounds.
Since the first event in 1974, the Miller families continue to add specialty shows to their event schedule. Today, Carlisle Events produces or powers 14 events, covering four cities and two states. Of those 14 events, 12 are held in Pennsylvania, with 10 at Carlisle. The specialty shows include Carlisle Performance & Style, Carlisle Import & Kit Nationals, Carlisle Ford Nationals, Carlisle GM Nationals, Carlisle Chrysler Nationals, Carlisle Truck Nationals, Bloomsburg Nationals powered by Carlisle Events, Carlisle Sports and Outdoor Nationals and Corvettes at Carlisle. In addition, Carlisle hosts five collector car swap meet events. Those events are Spring and Fall Carlisle, Allentown Auto Mania as well as Zephyrhills Fall and Winter AutoFest. Zephyrhills and Carlisle are also collector car auction locations. The Carlisle based events bring in $97 million annually to the local economy and the spring show is the organization’s biggest draw of the year with nearly 100,000 enthusiasts converging on the region.