Food Lion AutoFair
Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones' 2007 Cadillac ESV and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 1967 Camaro are just a sampling of the radical rides that will be featured during the April 12-15 Food Lion AutoFair at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Unique Autosports, the automotive customizing business owned by Will Castro and featured on SPEED's "Unique Whips," is bringing seven of the most radical rides to ever roll out of its Holbrook, N.Y., facility.
"When an automobile rolls into Will's shop, it's just a production car. When it leaves, it's a work of art," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Among the customized beauties on display from Unique Autosports will be Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones' 2007 Cadillac ESV; NASCAR champion Tony Stewart's "Smokedeville" hearse and bright orange Lamborghini; Atlanta Braves outfielder Andruw Jones' 1968 Buick Electra and a pair of Nissan SUVs owned by fashion designer Marc Ecko.
The Food Lion Pavilion will also feature 11 radical rides from the personal collections of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jeff Green and Ken Schrader.
In addition to his prized 1967 Camaro, Earnhardt Jr. will have his 1955 Chevy Bel Air and a Jeep that has been transformed into a rock-crawling monster. Green's 1941 Willys street rod boasts a 1,000-horsepower engine and is an absolute showstopper, while a 1933 Ford hot rod and a Paul Yaffe chopper will be among the vehicles belonging to Gordon. A 1955 Ford tow truck and a street-legal NASCAR modified are two of the cars Schrader is providing for display. Read the press release here.
Other Food Lion AutoFair attractions include:
. A Doctor in the House: With more than 5,000 collector automobiles on display, it's a good idea to have an experienced physician at Food Lion AutoFair who understands their mechanical needs. Doc Hudson, the 1951 Hudson Hornet from the hit animated feature "CARS," will be on hand should anyone experience vapor lock, cracked heads or creaking CV joints. Bringing Doc Hudson to life required the skills of legendary race car builder Kevin Jeannette and the staff of Gunnar Racing. To construct the car, Jeannette and his crew began with an old NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series chassis and handcrafted a composite body that included the unique features of the animated character. Read the press release here.
. Castro to Sign Autographs: Will Castro, the colorful owner and founder of Unique Autosports, the automotive customizing business featured on SPEED's "Unique Whips," will greet fans and sign autographs during the Food Lion AutoFair. The meet and greet session will take place on Saturday, April 14, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the track's victory lane. Castro's Unique Autosports is known as the "customizer to the stars" and its roster of A-list clientele includes sports stars, entertainers and trendsetters in the fashion industry. Read the press release here.
. Little Deuce Coupe Turns 75: The car that gave birth to America's hot rod craze-the 1932 Ford-will celebrate its 75th birthday with a special display during the April 12-15 Food Lion AutoFair at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
After World War II, the stripped-down racer look migrated to the boulevard cruise night crowd, which took the formula and liberally applied eye-catching paint schemes, tricked-out custom interiors, mirror-chromed engine parts and crazy body modifications. By the late 1950s and early 1960s, hot rodding had become a national obsession, glamorized by dozens of drive-in movies and as many songs. The long-forgotten Deuce coupe-in both
three- and five-window bodies-re-emerged as a potential performance machine. Four-Day Hot Rod Build: Ever wonder how a tired old car gets turned into a beautiful hot rod? Charlotte's Fatman Fabrications will reveal the secrets during the April 12-15 Food Lion AutoFair at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, issued Fatman owner Brent VanDervort and his team a challenge: assemble a complete street rod during the event's four days. Working in the Food Lion Pavilion, the Fatman crew plans to transform a 1940 convertible into a state-of-the-art street rod. Read the press release here.
. Evolution of a Stock Car: In the 1990 movie "Days of Thunder," veteran crew chief Harry Hogge tells his young, hotshot driver Cole Trickle, "There's nothing stock about a stock car." Truer words have never been spoken and Food Lion AutoFair will include a special display chronicling the evolution of the NASCAR race car. Starting with a modified 1939 Ford coupe and continuing through the high-tech Car of Tomorrow, the display will showcase how race cars have evolved from stock production automobiles to finely crafted engineering exercises.
. Futuristic Sports Car Debuts: The future of the lightweight, high-performance sports car will be unveiled during the April 12-15 Food Lion AutoFair in the form of the street-legal Rush roadster. Brothers David and Thomas Kirkham, of Provo, Utah, married clean-slate engineering to minimalist design and created a four-wheeled rocketship. The Kirkhams designed the Rush roadster from scratch around one of Ford's Duratec engines. The frame is a strong cage built from two-inch stainless steel tubing, on which an innovative pushrod suspension, disc brakes and high-performance wheels and tires are mounted. Read the press release here.
. Back to the Future: Legendary custom car builder Darryl Starbird will display two of his classic creations-the glass-domed Predicta and Starship. Starbird, whose 53-year career has generated hundreds of groundbreaking hot rods and show cars, raised the bar for the customizing industry in 1960 by debuting "Predicta"-a glass-domed two-seater that started life as a 1956 Thunderbird, but came to resemble a jet fighter on wheels. The car was a mindblower, earning four magazine covers, and each of the industry's top awards. After Predicta, Starbird built 15 more glass-domed cars, earning him the title "Bubble Top King." Read the press release here.
"Starsky and Hutch" Replica: The 1974 Ford Gran Torino Concord, N.C., resident Shari Johnson is bringing to Food Lion AutoFair will bring back fond memories for many baby boomers. That's because Johnson's Gran Torino features a bright red paint scheme with a large white stripe and is identical to the car detectives Dave Starsky and Ken Hutchinson used to chase down criminals in the hit 1970's television program "Starsky and Hutch." "I grew up watching that show," Johnson said. "Starsky and Hutch were like my heroes." Johnson's "Starsky and Hutch" replica will be featured during the final two days of the Food Lion AutoFair as part of the East Coast Cruisers Car Club's display. Read the press release here.
. Automotive Art: Famed automotive artists Dan McCrary, David Snyder, Roger Blanchard and Garry Hill will have a mini-gallery in the Food Lion Pavilion.
. Race Car Test Drives: Legends Car, Thunder Roadster and Bandolero race car test drives will be available Friday, April 13; Saturday, April 14; and Sunday, April 15, on the paved one-fifth-mile oval located outside the Turn 3 tunnel. Ten-lap test drives cost $65 for a Legends Car, $50 for a Bandolero and $85 for a Thunder Roadster. Test drive details from (704) 455-3240.
. Car Club Spectacular: Fifty-eight car clubs will bring nearly 2,000 show cars to Food Lion AutoFair on Saturday, April 14, and Sunday, April 15, as part of an Antique Automobile Club of America regional meet.
. Huge Car Corral: More than 1,800 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 person'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 NEXTEL 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 Manufacturer's Midway is the ultimate shopping destination for automotive aficionados.
The April 12-15 Food Lion AutoFair is the world's largest automotive extravaganza. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets for Food Lion AutoFair can be purchased at the gates on event days. Admission is $10 per day for adults with children ages 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking is $5. Stop by Charlotte area Food Lion stores and pick-up $2 off discount coupons for adults. One coupon per person per ticket. Photo copies not accepted.
Information can be obtained by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.