'Hard Parked' auto show to debut in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD – Car shows are nothing new in Western Massachusetts.

But when Springfield resident Sam Esteves first began to organize “Hard Parked Springfield,” not only did he set a goal to invite car enthusiasts from all over the northeast to the City of Homes, but to introduce local residents and out-of-towners alike to the best the area has to offer.

“Hard Parked Springfield” is set to debut Sunday, Sept. 10 at 11 p.m. at the Eastfield Mall and, according to Esteves, will feature prizes, food and drink and enough vendors to leave participants and attendees alike “talking shop” for hours.

“We organized “Hard Parked” to let car owners know they have a safe space to show what they’ve built with their hard-earned money. Ed’s Custom Mufflers will be sponsoring a few different competitions and we’ll have prize categories for everything from best exhaust and best wheels to the best Euro, imports, Jeeps, classics and domestics,” he said.

The car show’s origins date back months in advance, with Esteves, who works as Digital Marketing Manager for the Bertera Auto Group by day, working overtime alongside co-founder Edwin Garcia, owner of Ed’s Custom Mufflers, to develop a new car show from the ground up.

“Edwin and I have been friends for a long time so we joined up to make this show happen and make it exciting for everybody involved. We worked together in sponsoring and presenting a car show at UMass in the spring. We decided we wanted to put on an event of our own and a good friend of mine, Mat Dubord, came up with the name,” he said.

However, the tech-savvy graphic artist and web designer was quick to note that his goal behind “Hard Parked” was to go above-and-beyond what a typical car show has to offer, recruiting several area businesses in the process.

“We’re going to have Bueno Y Sano serving up some of their favorites all day as our official food vendor. We’re excited to have their support,” he said. “It looks like we’ll also have Krazy Jake’s, El Tripetazo and the Janna Juice Bar and Grill serving burgers, hot dogs and a fruit bar, too.”

When all is set and done, Esteves said he hopes to make “Hard Parked” an annual tradition in Springfield that’s well-known across the auto community.

“We feel there’s a need for this sort of event around here. We want to promote how positive the culture can be. I think if you have proper organization and a dedicated group of people organizing this kind of event, they can bring a new perspective to the people who think car shows just cause trouble or might otherwise not come out,” he said, adding that staff members will also be collecting water and canned food for families affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Hard Parked Springfield will take place at the Eastfield Mall on Sunday, September 10 between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1838245689826226/.

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