AutoFair a Family Affair for Kannapolis Father and Son
Tony Hamby and his son Johnathan have been coming to the Charlotte Motor Speedway AutoFair since his son was just 18 months old. The two have been attending AutoFair for nearly 30 years now, enjoying the thousands of automobiles that the world's largest automotive extravaganza has to offer and building a bond that continues to this day.
Not only do the Kannapolis, North Carolina natives take part in AutoFair to satisfy their love for automobiles, but also to buy and sell cars at the event's collector car auction through Dealer Auctions, Inc. Tony, owner of Autoville, a car dealership in Kannapolis, has worked with the mobile auto auction company for over 20 years. Hamby has bought and sold over 60 classic vehicles through the company and has a strong relationship with them.
"Dealer Auctions is fair," Hamby said. "They have always tried to take care of people, if there's an issue with a vehicle, they don't say you have no options, and that's one reason that it's been a success."
Tony's son followed in his father's footsteps after college by going in with his best friend since third grade and opening up their own car dealership, Prestige Motorworks, in Concord, North Carolina, a move that Tony takes the blame for.
"I took him to the auctions when he was 18 months old," Hamby said. "So I guess it's my fault he decided he wanted to be in the car business."
Johnathan also built a relationship with Dealer Auctions through his dad, who helped get his dealership off the ground.
"Dealer Auctions was the first place we took them to stock their lot," Hamby said.
Since then, Johnathan has purchased and registered over 20 classic cars to be auctioned off by Dealer Auctions and has a strong connection with the company as well.
Johnathan's career path has been greatly influenced by his dad, and his love for automobiles was also instilled in him from a young age because of his father. "Growing up around the car business my whole life…growing up seeing all the different cars, I just grew to fall in love with being around cars," Hamby said.
Both Tony and Johnathan brought vehicles to the AutoFair last year to be auctioned off. Tony registered a white 1998 BMW M3 convertible, black 1965 all original Ford F-100 Truck, white 1972 Ford F-150 and a red 2003 Dodge Viper, while Johnathan entered a red 2011 Ford Shelby GT500 and a red 2004 Dodge Viper.
This year's entries from Tony will consist of a blue 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS convertible with 57,000 actual miles, a 396 cubic inch engine and 350 horsepower, along with an emerald green 1990 7-UP edition Ford Mustang LX 5.0 with 15,000 actual miles, white convertible top and white interior. Johnathan will have a red 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback up for auction.
The father-son duo will be back walking around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway during AutoFair again this year, continuing the tradition that Tony started with his son almost three decades before at the event that they have both now come to love.
"I just like being around cars," the younger Hamby said. "I enjoy going out and walking the track and just not buying anything, just enjoying looking at the vehicles."
Tony shares the same enthusiasm for automobiles, but relishes the opportunity to spend time with his son.
"We've always done things together," Hamby said. "I coached some of his little league teams because he got into the AAU and school and traveling ball and so forth. It's just something we do together, that we enjoy doing together."
The AutoFair features more than 50 car club displays and more than 10,000 vendor spaces offering an array of automotive parts and memorabilia. More than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral that rings the 1.5-mile superspeedway. In addition, up to 200 cars will be auctioned by Dealer Auctions Inc. and kids can enjoy face-painting, bounce houses, and other games and entertainment in the Play Zone.
Hours for the April 9-12 AutoFair are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. Tickets are $11 per day, including tax, and children 13 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Fans who buy three tickets get the fourth day free. Parking for the event is $5.