I'm with you, those indoor shows like World of Wheels does nothing for me. Many of those cars don't even have internals in the engines. Or have mockup engines.
I do like the Good Guys hot rod shows held in the summer. I didn't used to care for rods at all because if I ever saw them out of a guy's garage it was to park at some old drive-in for two hours once a month in the summer or maybe, just maybe, drive around at 20 mph for a few minutes once per each of those nights.
Then I started paying attention to the work.
And I got dragged to a Good Guys show at Raceway Park drag strip. These cars actually get driven, and they have races during the event.
As I said, like you, what got my attention was the level of detail, and the ingenuity. Knowing one of the guys (not that well) from work who used to do that, I heard enough about hand polishing each bolt, nut, and screw to know the work and attention to detail they put in. The garage engineering is what I finally figured out was so interesting. Deleting all exterior handles like for doors and trunks is a common thing I knew about, but seeing the hundreds of ways those guys come up with to do it is what I think is cool. This is stuff you don't get by just walking by. You often have to start a conversation, and then you learn all kinds of things. Those guys are the type to be handed a mystery chunk of metal with three moving parts that may have come from a 1940 Maytag, and they will immediately think of 14 places they can use it on a car AND make it look like it belong there.