Unique Cars, Special Appearances, Fun Fair Foods All Part of the World's Largest Auto Extravaganza

1905 Model C Buick - one of the oldest Buicks in existence will be on display at Food Lion AutoFair

Unique Cars, Special Appearances, Fun Fair Foods All Part of the World's Largest Auto Extravaganza

A tribute to Buick, a collection of barn finds, vehicles from the collection of Richard Childress Racing, soap box derby cars and retro rods are just a few of the attractions that are expected to bring more than 100,000 people to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the four-day Food Lion AutoFair, this Thursday through Sunday, April 19-22.

Buick: The history of one of America’s oldest auto manufacturers will be on display with cars ranging from a 1905 Model C, believed to be one of the oldest surviving Buicks in the world, to a 1987 Buick Apollo once driven by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison. Allison will be on hand to sign autographs and meet with fans on Saturday from 2-3 p.m.

Barn Finds: A unique collection of rare cars, highlighted by Tom Cotter’s 1952 Cunningham, makes up the barn finds display. This is a tribute to the history of automobiles that were once abandoned and forgotten, only to be discovered (often in barns and basements) decades later by collectors intent on preserving the original integrity of these great vehicles. Cotter’s Cunningham, for example, was one of only 25 such cars ever made. He found it sitting in a basement in South Carolina, where it had been stored for nearly five decades. These cars are displayed in their original condition.

RCR collection: Race fans will delight in this display of cars from the collection of legendary car owner Richard Childress. Of note are two cars driven by Dale Earnhardt Sr., including an orange 1997 No. 3 Wheaties machine that raced at Charlotte Motor Speedway and a signature GM Goodwrench with the Intimidator’s iconic black paint scheme. As part of Saturday’s festivities, longtime RCR crewman and curator of the RCR museum, Chocolate Myers will greet fans and sign autographs from 10 a.m. to noon.

Soap box race cars: Soap box derbies have been a family tradition ever since the first All-American Soap Box Derby in 1934. Today, races are divided into three classes and compete in local and regional competitions to advance to the World Championship held at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. The gravity-powered machines on display at the AutoFair are courtesy of the Huntersville (N.C.) Soap Box Derby Association.

Retro rods: Cars that get the retro-rod treatment can be any make or model, but popular choices are pony cars of the 1960s like the Mustang and Camaro, or muscle car intermediates like the coveted Pontiac GTO. Modification for extreme power takes precedence over restoration. This collection showcases classic car bodies on the outside, with all the latest technology and creature comforts under the hood for the ultimate look and feel in a car.

Lizard Lick Towing: Ronnie, Bobby, Amy and Krazy Dave, all of truTV’s hit show “Lizard Lick Towing,” will be on site for fan meet-and-greets and autographs from 3-5 p.m. Thursday. The crew will also display several of their custom vehicles. The rough-and-tumble repo team from rural North Carolina will help kick off the AutoFair in Victory Lane. Amy will make additional appearances Friday and Saturday from 3-5 p.m., also in Victory Lane.

Dog-riding monkeys: Tim Lepard and his team of dog-riding monkeys, known as Team Ghost Riders, will perform several shows throughout the day on Friday and Saturday in the POWERADE Play Zone. Lepard, a former bull rider himself, started his unique sideshow act after injuries forced him out of the sport he loved. Now he travels the country entertaining crowds with his one-of-a-kind show.

POWERADE Play Zone: This year’s AutoFair features and expanded POWERADE Play Zone, complete with catfish races, stilt walkers, face painters, a Ferris wheel and several interactive games and activities for kids. With so many options, there will be no shortage of entertainment for even the youngest AutoFair visitors. The POWERADE Play Zone will be set up outside the pavilion in the infield of the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Play Zone hours will be from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Dealer Auction: Denver, N.C., based Dealer Auctions, Inc. will be set up in the concourse at the speedway, selling nearly 200 cars Friday and Saturday. Each day will also include a “no reserve” hour, where cars will be auction with no minimum bid.

(1905 Buick Model C photo courtesy Charlotte Motor Speedway)

Deep-fried cupcakes: Continuing the tradition of providing fun and unique fair foods throughout the year at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Levy Restaurant’s chefs will debut their latest creation – the deep-fried cupcake. The treat includes three mini cupcakes, dipped in tempura batter, deep-fried at 375 degrees and covered in a chocolate sauce and powdered sugar.

AACA Meet: The Antique Automobile Club of America will hold its Southeastern Spring Meet on Saturday of the AutoFair. The show field is limited to 225 cars, all pre-1987 models that are factory original or restored. Judging of the vehicles begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. The awards presentation begins at 4 p.m. at the AACA tent, located near Gate 18.

Car Club Shows: At the heart of every good car show is an active car club, but when more than 50 clubs get together on the same weekend the result is one of the nation’s largest annual collector car events. Car clubs participating in the spring Food Lion AutoFair on Saturday and Sunday include the Buick Club of America, Carolina AMC, Sports Car Club of America, East Coast Cruisers Southern Rods & Classics and many more.

Huge Car Corral: Up to 1,500 vehicles available for sale or trade will circle the 1.5-mile superspeedway and the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles will have an on-site office to process the paperwork.

Giant Flea Market: One person’s junk is another’s treasure and 10,000 vendor spaces, located both inside and outside the speedway, will offer an extraordinary array of automotive parts and memorabilia.

Manufacturers’ Midway: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage and its surrounding parking areas will be filled with manufacturers and distributors of aftermarket parts and accessories. From welding equipment to car care products, the Manufacturers’ Midway is the ultimate shopping destination for automotive aficionados.

Awards Ceremony: The ceremony for car club awards, and to determine the overall Best in Show at the Food Lion AutoFair, will take place Sunday at 2 p.m. in Victory Lane.

Single-day adult tickets are just $10. Kids 13 and under get in FREE.

John Davison

Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.

Read More on Vintage / Historic
Volume 2012, Issue 4, Posted 7:34 PM, 04.18.2012