Immaculate Automobiles Take Center Stage At the Inaugural Smith Heritage Invitational and AutoFair
April 16, 2023 at Charlotte Motor Speedway - Nick Soprano’s 1957 Maserati 450S named Chairman’s Choice Sport winner at the inaugural Smith Heritage Invitational; Paul Gould’s 1937 Delage D8-120 wins Chairman’s Choice d’Elegance prize.
Darrell Hinson’s family-owned 1954 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup took home the Walt Hollifield Best of Show Award from Sunday’s AutoFair
The inaugural Smith Heritage Invitational at AutoFair delivered a never-before-assembled collection of rare and exclusive cars from some of the world’s top collectors on Sunday. Bedford Hills, NY collector Nick Soprano’s 1957 Maserati 450S was recognized as the Chairman’s Choice in the sport category at the inaugural Smith Heritage Invitational. Fellow New Yorker Paul Gould’s 1937 Delage D8-120 was honored as Chairman’s Choice in the d’Elegance group. At AutoFair, Concord, North Carolina’s Darrell Hinson’s 1954 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup took home the Walt Hollifield Best of Show Award.
SMITH HERITAGE INVITATIONAL: Paying tribute to the history, artistry and innovation of the automobile, the centerpiece of Sunday’s AutoFair was the 20-car collection that made up the inaugural Smith Heritage Invitational. The assemblage featured a world-class lineup that included three 24-hour of Le Mans winning machines and a host of modern supercars, a rare Packard, Rolls Royce and Lincoln Lebaron formerly owned by King Hussain of Jordan. Those loaning parts of their collections to the first-time event include Wayne Carini, Rob Kauffman, Scott Borchetta, Mark Rein, Rick Hendrick, the Stahl Museum, the Savoy Museum and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
WALT HOLLIFIELD BEST OF SHOW: Hinson left his wife at the beach to come to AutoFair, but never imagined his family-owned Chevrolet would take home the custom-built Walt Hollifield Best of Show trophy from AutoFair. Designed and created throughout the event weekend by Cold Hard Art’s Tom Patsis, the trophy was fabricated from car parts found throughout AutoFair’s swap meet. The final build tipped the scales at more than 100 pounds. Like the trophy, the truck – which belonged to Hinson’s father – has been a labor of love. Hinson first drove the truck when he was 10 years old, his father by his side. Four year’s later, when his father passed away, Hinson inherited the machine. With the help of Chris Geib, Hinson restored the classic to better-than-new before it took center stage at Sunday’s AutoFair Best of Show ceremony.
MORE INFO: Four days of family-friendly fun and glistening cars throughout Charlotte’s 1.5-mile superspeedway also included Ford Performance Racing rides, Twin Stunts motorcycle stunt shows and displays saluting iconic cars like a screen-used Drag-U-La and Munster Coach from the 1960s sitcom “The Munster” and a collection honoring NASCAR’s 75th anniversary. Guests were also treated to a one-of-a-kind AMC Fishbowl and the Hippy Trippy Tippy van.
In addition to the Walt Hollifield Best of Show, on Sunday, judges presented specialty awards to:
Best of Show 2000 and newer: Rick Policastro, 2012 “Bumblebee” Chevrolet Camaro
Best of Show First Runner-up: Tim Faggart, 1978 Mercury Zephyr
Best Foreign Car Award: Ray Hartney, 1967 Morris Minor
Sam Bass Award (Best Paint): Larry Wiley, 1958 Chevrolet Impala in Tiffany Blue
Best Truck Award: Tom Logano, 1951 GMC 640
Hagerty’s Young Judges Choice Award: Peter Ashby, 1998 Toyota Supra Turbo
Most Creative: Ronald Morgan, 1977 Excalibur Phaeton
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Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.