Ranier Holst's radical Brit, the 1986 Lagonda saloon

Another year has come and gone for the Northeast’s largest multi-marque import specialty show, the Carlisle Import and Kit Nationals, which were held from Friday, May 20 through Sunday the 22nd. The featured country for 2011 was France, so there was an excellent turn-out of French delicacies, both on the show field and in Building Y’s Invitational Display. While the bulk of French cars attending were Citroëns, Peugeots and Renaults, there were some real rarities to see.

This barn-fresh early 1960s Facel Vega Facellia grabbed a lot of attention. Photo by David LaChance.

Kirk Gibson brought his 1 3/4hp, 1897 DeDion-Bouton trike

Streamlined styling accented Mike Harrel's 1938 Peugeot 402 Legere.

It’s been a recent tradition that the Swedish car groups have the largest participation numbers, and among them, the Saab folks often take the lead; hosted by the Central Penn Saab Club, early word is that about 275 Saab vehicles were on the show field. Saabisti brought everything from early two-strokes to 2011 9-5 sedans, and Saab Cars itself had a presence, showing a new 9-4X and a handful of deliciously restored vehicles from their heritage collection.

These Saab-owned 92, 93 and 96s could be heard "rinnng-a-diiinnngg"ing around the show field as they were exercised.

There was fun stuff as well:

The V-4-powered 96 chop-top called "Homer" was brought by Rich Kushner of Swedish Motors, Inc.

Not to be outdone, the Volvo Club of America and Volvo online forum crowd had about 150 cars at Carlisle, with the majority being of the modern front-wheel drive and turbocharged variation. Despite this, the people’s choice winner among Volvo voters was a classically beautiful, subtly modified 122S.

And proving that those Swedes enjoyed their Friday evening party:

The Audi area is traditionally another exciting place to be, and this year, it was home to everything from our former Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car “Driveable Dream” DKW Junior De Luxe to the 2012 A7 and Euro-market A1 that Audi of America brought to display.

A lineup of turbocharged C4-generation S4 and S6 quattro sedans bristled with power.

Next to the Audis, Auto Unions and DKWs were the Opels, another enthusiastic crowd of note. In addition to a wide range of 1960s and 1970s German captive imports, there was a special treat that was a newcomer to the Import Carlisle show field.

This charming 42,000-mile 1951 Opel Olympia belongs to Gary Farias.

Perhaps because there are so many alternate shows in the Northeast that cater to their type, the turnout of British cars at Carlisle tends to be comparably low; the North American Spitfire Squadron always draws a crowd, and the ultra-rare, ultra-wedgy Aston Martin Lagonda (top image) attracted tons of attention on its big modern wheels.

Triumph Spitfires. Photo by David LaChance.

The classic Japanese car crowd at this show tends to be small, but enthusiastic.

Glory of the Eighties, complete with car bra: Datsun 200 SX

And when was the last time you saw a 1992 Isuzu Stylus, with Handling by Lotus? This belonged to Marc Belanger.

The Italian car crowd was equally enthusiastic, with treats like this 1969 Fiat 850 Sport Coupe and convertible Fiat-based 1960 Autobianchini.

Thanks to the Keenan family for sharing their little jewels.

Of course, the show field isn’t the only place to find interesting cars at Import Carlisle.

This lovely BMW 3.0CS was being offered in the car corral.

And this strikingly solid and complete 1958 Jaguar Mark 8 saloon found a ready buyer in the swap meet.

The swap meet area was home to other neat finds, too.

Check out the suspiciously American-looking "BMC Jetliner Convertible."

Need a rear quarter panel for your VW Type 3?

Or how about a two-wheeled Triumph?

Next year’s Carlisle Import & Kit Nationals will be held on May 18-20, 2012, so mark your calendars and make your reservations now!