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Palm Springs car show among first large events in Coachella Valley to take place during pandemic

The twice annual Palm Springs car sale and show kicked off Friday, November 20, becoming one of the first large events to take place in the Coachella Valley during the pandemic. Opening day started at noon and lasted until about 5:30 p.m. at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

The first event happened back in February, right before the coronavirus pandemic caused many businesses and events to shut down.

"We’ve got cars that would be daily driving cars that you use to get to work and back and we got cars and weekend toys and you take out for brunch on a Sunday. We have about 400 cars on the property," said McCormick's Collector Car Auctions Manager, Jason McCormick.

All vehicles that were on display were for sale.

"We’re going to do 175 today, 225 on Saturday and about 100 on Sunday," said McCormick.

The convention center parking lot was full of vehicles of all different makes, models and colors.

"Every year we come twice a year. We love cars, it’s a beautiful day," said Palm Springs resident, Bruce Munger.

For him and his father, Jim, the two events have become a tradition.

"I’m more of the hot rod style car, muscle car era," said new Palm Desert resident, Richard McDermott.

Many visitors came out to look, while others were there to bid.

"We’d like to get a Porsche around 2000-2006. Preferably a convertible," said Long Beach resident, Moe Jensen.

Jensen and his wife, Debbie, came in from Long Beach. Both were on the hunt for the vehicle, which will serve as Moe's retirement present.

The event drew in hundreds of people despite the pandemic.

"We’ve been given permission to do it because it’s an auto sales event," said McCormick.

McCormick said they implemented safety precautions including mandatory temperature checks upon arrival, face masks, social distancing, and limiting capacity.

"We typically have about 5,000 people a day. We’re reducing it down to 2,200 people a day, which is what we’re allowed to do for an auto sales event," said McCormick.

The company has seen an increase in sales. McCormick believes it'l likely due to the pandemic.

"I feel that people have been stuck at home and they’re looking for some enjoyment out of life."

The event will continue through the weekend. Gates open at 8 a.m. and the auction starts at 10 a.m. Tickets for each day are $15. Two-day passes for Saturday and Sunday are $25.

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Shelby Nelson


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