Batmobiles®, a Skiing Squirrel and Scads of Shelbys Slated for the Sept. 20-23 Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway
-- For Immediate Release
A trio of Batmobile® replicas, an array of Carroll Shelby’s high-performance Mustangs and Cobras, the motorcycles that put America on two wheels and a water-skiing squirrel named Twiggy are just a few of the attractions scheduled for the Sept. 20-23 Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Batmobiles®: The Batmobile® is hands-down the most famous vehicle on planet Earth, thanks to a classic television series and a series of blockbuster films enjoyed around the world. So popular are the Caped Crusader’s sleek black cars that individual fans and companies have been building their own Batmobile® replicas for decades. The Food Lion AutoFair will feature three such privately owned rides representing versions from the 1966 television show and 1989 and 2005 movie franchises.
Shelby-American High-Performance Legacy: No single person did more to build America’s high-performance reputation from the 1960s through the 21st century than Carroll Shelby, whose 50 years of super-fast vehicles will be celebrated with a display of nearly three dozen automobiles during AutoFair. Shelby’s company was founded a half-century ago when the 1959 LeMans winner from Texas put a new Ford V-8 engine into a super-light, British-built AC Ace roadster and created the world-dominating Shelby Cobra. From there, Shelby worked his magic on the Mustang to produce the GT350 and later GT500. As the decades passed, his company enhanced cars and powerplants from all Big Three automakers. AutoFair’s Shelby display of 32 cars includes several Cobras, GT350/GT500s from 1965 through today, a Sunbeam Tiger, Series 1 and the spunky turbo-four Dodge products from the 1980s and 1990s.
The Privette Collection of Homemade Transportation: America’s farmers are traditionally resourceful people who can make or fix anything with their hands. After a lifetime of growing crops, 85-year-old Vernell Privette, from Middlesex, N.C., turned his attention to building cars out of sheet metal and recycled components. Finding himself in need of a good pickup in 1965, Privette took parts from two discarded Chevrolet trucks, shortened the frame by a few inches and fabricated a new body out of sheet metal. There followed four more workshop creations, all of which drive legally and reliably on the street. His collection of homemade transportation will be displayed during the Food Lion AutoFair.
Motorcycles that Put America on Two Wheels: An international array of motorcycles that showed Americans the joy of economical two-wheeled transportation will be featured during the Food Lion AutoFair. The evolution of the automobile in the 1920s as a comfortable and cheap mode of transportation put the once-healthy motorcycle industry on life support. It wasn’t until the 1960s, when inexpensive products from Japan – specifically Honda – reignited enthusiasm for motorcycling in the U.S. When Americans first saw the “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda” commercials in 1963, there were only a half-million registered bikes in the country; today, there are eight million. A local collection of 14 motorcycles will exhibit the models that made us bikers again.
Twiggy the Water-Skiing Squirrel: At a time when most small animals are gathering food for winter, a gray squirrel named Twiggy will strap on a pair of tiny water skis and perform aquatic tricks at the Food Lion AutoFair. Although the squirrel seems quite adept at jumping wakes and freestyling for the delight of humans, skiing is not a skill that comes easily to any rodent due to the complete absence of miniature speedboats in nature. Since its debut in 1978, Twiggy has toured the world and been seen by millions of fans on television and YouTube. AutoFair attendees can watch the water-loving rodent at special times on Friday and Saturday in the POWERADE Play Zone.
Outdoor Movie Night: Nothing says nostalgia like watching classic films outdoors on the world’s largest high-definition television screen, which is why the speedway is holding its first-ever AutoFair movie nights. On Friday at 6:30 p.m., Charlotte Motor Speedway will fire up its 200x80-foot backstretch home theater and treat AutoFair attendees to “American Graffitti,” George Lucas’ hot rod-heavy coming-of-age film. Saturday at 6:30 p.m. will feature Steve McQueen and his 1968 Mustang fastback in “Bullitt.” An AutoFair ticket stub is all it takes to get a seat in the grandstands and listen to the action through the track’s public address system or FM receiver.
Auction Action: Dealer Auctions Inc., of Denver, N.C., will offer 200 classic automobiles during a two-day sale at the Food Lion AutoFair. Cars already pre-registered run the gamut from a 1954 Kaiser Manhattan to a Ferrari Red DeLorean. The Dealer Auctions Inc. Collector Car Auction, which takes place on the speedway’s concourse, is open to the public and starts Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. Bidders and consignors must either register through the Dealer Auctions website (www.dlrauctions.com) or in person at the event.
POWERADE Play Zone: The POWERADE Play Zone is a kid-friendly area with bounce houses, face painting, concessions and appearances by Lug Nut, the world’s fastest mascot.
Taste of Food Lion: Event sponsor Food Lion will return with its popular Taste of Food Lion sampling area next to the Manufacturers’ Midway.
Fair Foods at AutoFair – Batman Theme: In addition to the usual lunch foods of hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken, AutoFair participants will discover new Bat-style favorites. To commemorate the closing chapter of the Dark Knight movie trilogy currently in theaters worldwide, AutoFair organizers have put together a special Batmobile display and coordinated with Levy Restaurants to create Bat Wings, Penguin Poppers, BOOM! POW! Burgers and Joker Juice. These and other non-traditional items will be available at the concession stands near the Media Center in the infield.
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 Tach Twisters, Generations Corvette, Ford Owners Association, Buick Club of America, Horsepower Junkies, Carolina Muscle, Southern Rods and Classics and CarISMMA.
Automotive Art: Famed automotive artists Dan McCrary, David Snyder and Steven Petrosky will have a mini-gallery in the Showcase Garage all four days of AutoFair.
Huge Car Corral: More than 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 7,000 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 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.
Camping: Great campsites are still available for the Food Lion AutoFair. Don’t have a recreational vehicle (RV)? Campers wanting all the amenities of home in the great outdoors can rent an RV or reserve a campsite by calling (704) 455-4445.
Awards Ceremony: The ceremony for car club awards will be take place on Sunday in Victory Circle.
Hours for the Sept. 20-23 Food Lion AutoFair are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. Ticket prices are $10 per day for adults or $25 for a four-day pass; children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking for the event is $5. For more information on the four-day event, contact the speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.