The values of the car show are clearly those of dedication and hard work. The people who refurbish the cars take pride in the time and effort put into their vehicles, and want to display the fruits of their labor. It is almost like an art museum in how each car is prominently labeled with the make, model, year, and owner. They see their cars as masterpiece projects, not mere transportation.
The car show seems simple at first glance—people bring interesting cars to display as a curiosity. The primary demographic is middle-aged to seniors, with few children to be found outside of family groups. Many cars are adorned with trinkets, few of which have any immediately apparent connection to the event. Just by these, it seems shallow, or like the show exists only for the purpose of showing off. However, each of these come from interesting origins. For instance, car refurbishment is a hobby that requires much time and effort, which many of the older participants now have in spades. The restoration process also appeals to nostalgia, as many choose to fix up a model of car that had special meaning to them in the past. Some vehicles had incredible pop culture presence, some were popular in their owner’s youth.. For instance, the Ford mustang's omnipresence is rooted in its image as the muscle car of the 60's and 70's, with the fond memories boosting its current popularity.
Couples often work together to fix up the cars, taking an equal measure of pride in their work. Sometimes they want to share a little of the history and impact of the car; this is usually done through small decorations. The decorations, such as roadrunners, coyotes, tigers, or drive-in merchandise are often throwbacks to marketing slogans. Americana icons like the loony tunes serve a similar purpose—referencing the names of the cars, or other jokes. Car show culture is sometimes as much about how one presents the car as the work done to the vehicle.
The Defeat of Jesse James event is rooted in a sense of communal pride. The residents of Northfield are very proud that their homeplace featured so prominently in a historic event, and they use the festival as an opportunity to show off other aspects of their town. The craft fair and car show are both examples of Northfielders displaying their talents and helping to show their unique identity. Through DJJD, they have something akin to a state fair, in which they come together to celebrate different aspects of life in Northfield.