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An inside look at the upcoming Cars and Colors Festival

What’s prettier than the vibrant yellow and orange leaves that dangle from Telluride’s aspen trees? If you pair it with some of the world’s finest cars, that’s exactly why Ray Cody founded the Cars and Colors Festival three years ago. Make your plans to attend this year’s event on September 21-24.

Cody, a self-proclaimed lifelong “car guy,” has been to many car shows all over the world. While those events’ locations, generally on golf courses with ocean or lake views, are pretty, he believes that none of them can rival Telluride. “Nobody has what we have as a venue here in Telluride, Colorado,” said Cody. “The beauty of the mountains in the fall is unsurpassed.”

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The Cars and Colors Festival, in its third annual year, is sure to bring in car lovers from all over the world—and, of course, from Telluride itself. Cody noted that a number of locals will show their cars at the festival.  “Right here in Telluride, we’ve got owners of some of the rarest cars in the world,” said Cody.

The four-day festival offers numerous opportunities to check out cars as well as other forms of motor vehicles like motorcycles and warbirds. The highlights of the festival include a Concours on the Golf Course show, a Motorcycle Concours show, an aviation event at the Telluride Airport with a concert by Spinphony and many other opportunities to check out some sweet cars. Distinct to the festival are four fun competitions, including the Million Dollar Road Rally, a poker run, a medallion hunt, and a photo contest. For the Million Dollar Rally, car lovers go on a drive to towns all over the surrounding region.

Chris Gamage, the festival director, recommends the free Cool Cars on Colorado event for those who don’t have a lot of experience with car shows. “If you don’t have a lot of exposure to cars, then I’d say that our main street event really draws a crowd,” said Gamage. “It’s a short event, and it’ll get you downtown to see all the cars and motorcycles.”

Along with these festival standards, Cody expects things to be a little bit different compared to past years. The festival has seen increased interest from a number of automotive museums, some of which will be coming to the festival. Additionally, Cody and Gamage have added a vintage snowmobile event, staged in the Mountain Village core, that harkens back to the area’s history. And this year, the festival is destined to reach its widest audience yet: The Discovery Channel show “My Classic Car,” with Dennis Gage, will be filming the event and broadcasting it all over the world.

Still wondering what makes cars so special that there needs to be a four-day festival focused on them?  Besides being financially invested in rare cars, Cody says there is also a visceral connection that people have to vehicles that is central to the festival. “Cars evoke emotion,” said Cody. “A lot of times people remember the first car that their father had when they were a child.”

For more information and to purchase tickets visit the Cars & Colors website and be sure to check out our trip planning guide after you purchase your festival tickets; also our  events calendar is a great resource for everything that’s happening in Telluride.