Mean, Green and Pristine Describe Food Lion AutoFair Attractions; AACA National Meet Takes Automotive Appreciation to New Heights
The April 3-6 Food Lion AutoFair at Lowe's Motor Speedway will be mean, green and pristine as the four-day event features six of the planet's most powerful hot rods, several energy-efficient electric vehicles and hundreds of the world's finest classic automobiles.
Already recognized as the world's largest automotive extravaganza, the spring edition of Food Lion AutoFair will take automotive appreciation to new heights with the addition of an Antique Automobile Club of America National Meet.
More than 600 of the nation's most beautiful classic cars will be on display Saturday, April 5, during the AACA National Spring Meet portion of the four-day event. The historic "show within a show" will be hosted by the Hornets Nest Region of AACA.
"AACA National Meets attract the cream of the crop from across the country," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway. "These meets allow the public rare access to magnificent hand-crafted creations of the 1920s and '30s from legendary car builders such as Lincoln, Packard, Pierce-Arrow, Auburn, LaSalle, Duesenberg and Cadillac."
Food Lion AutoFair's 3M Car Care Garage will feature a "Mean vs. Green" theme with six gargantuan hot rods crafted by the Blastolene Brothers shown alongside a variety of electric vehicles produced by Hybrid Technologies of Mooresville, N.C.
The Blastolene Brothers are an informal group of friends who fashion classically inspired custom bodies around fire engine, military tank and Peterbilt truck frames and powerplants. Every Blastolene creation produces between 800 and 2,000 horsepower while fuel efficiency ranges from one- to six-miles per gallon. These behemoths of the boulevard dwarf regular street rods, and even full-size SUVs seem like lightweights in their presence.
Among the Blastolene creations on display will be Big Bertha, whose body was inspired by a 1924 Hispano Suiza Tulipwood Torpedo; Rodzilla, which features a 1928 Studebaker-style body with a twin-turbocharged Patton tank engine; and Sneaky Pete, a 1964 Peterbilt truck with a 1,200-horsepower tank engine under its hood.
On the "green" side of the ledger, Hybrid Technologies will display what many believe to be the future of American motoring.
The top of the electric vehicle food chain is the company's LiV Rush, an exotic sports car whose electric motors generate the equivalent of 170 foot-pounds of torque. Its lightweight roadster body looks like a cross between a Ferrari and a Lotus. Zero-to-60 mph is achieved in 5.9 seconds, with a top speed of 120 mph and a 100-mile range. Like the other LiV products, the Rush can fully recharge while its owner sleeps, using nothing more than a 110- or 220-volt AC outlet.
Other Food Lion AutoFair attractions include:
. GM Futurliner: A GM Futurliner display bus that visited Charlotte in 1953 as part of General Motors' forward-looking Parade of Progress will make its return during Food Lion AutoFair. One of only 12 built, GM Futurliner No. 10 has been meticulously restored and is the most authentic of the nine surviving buses that were crafted for the Parade of Progress under the guidance of legendary designer Harley Earl. Now owned by the National Automotive and Truck Museum in Auburn, Ind., the Futurliner will be the most valuable vehicle ever shown at Food Lion AutoFair. As is the case with many antique automobiles, the Futurliner's exact value is unknown, but one of its sister vehicles, GM Futurliner No. 11, sold for $4 million during a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2006. The GM Futurliner will be on display Saturday, April 5, as part of the Antique Automobile Club of America National Meet.
. Rare NASCAR Prototypes: A one-of-a-kind 1970 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II and one of three surviving 1970 Ford Torino King Cobras, both prototypes intended for competition on NASCAR's superspeedways, will be on display during Food Lion AutoFair. These rare examples of Detroit muscle are owned by Steve Honnell, 68, a former Ford representative from Belfast, Tenn. Honnell has owned the King Cobra since purchasing it from Holman-Moody in 1970 after Ford suspended its factory support of stock car racing. The Cyclone Spoiler II was rescued from a muddy chicken coop in Indiana after it was given away as a gift once Mercury abandoned the project. The cars will be shown Saturday and Sunday on the Turn-4 end of pit road as part of the Comet East Car Club display.
. NASCAR Stars' Off-Track Rides: NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman will prove their need for speed is not limited to the track when they display several of their personal rides. Stewart will show a tangerine 1950 Mercury lead sled coupe, a black 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air two-door hardtop and a black 1967 Pontiac GTO hardtop, all of which he purchased during the Barrett-Jackson auction in January. Daytona 500 winner Newman will display a 1936 Ford three-window coupe and a 1957 Dodge D-500 from his extensive classic-car collection.
. Awesome Local Cars: They've traveled the world pursuing their interests in vintage cars, but Clay Thomas, a retired mechanical engineer living in Charlotte, and Dr. Russell Rogers, a retired dentist from Matthews, will have only short drives to attend the Antique Automobile Club of America's National Spring Meet. Thomas will show his 1928 Auburn Phaeton while Rogers will bring a 1928 LaSalle Convertible Coupe.
. John Cena's Oldsmobile: World Wrestling Entertainment superstar John Cena, who was recognized in September by speedway officials as an Official AutoFair Aficionado, is a fan of General Motors muscle cars from the late 1960s and early 1970s. During the April 3-6 event, Cena's 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Rallye 350 Holiday coupe will be featured in the 3M Car Care Garage. The Olds was recently treated to an 18-month restoration after sitting on blocks for 18 years.
. Drag Racing Display: From Tommy Ivo's legendary "Barnstormer" dragster to Doug Herbert's current 7,000-horsepower NHRA Top Fuel machine, Food Lion AutoFair will feature a special display chronicling the history of drag racing. A dozen vehicles will illustrate how the straight-line sport has progressed from the early 1960s to the modern machines that will christen The Dragway @ Lowe's Motor Speedway Sept. 11-14 during the inaugural NHRA Carolinas Nationals.
. Tom Mack's Auction @ AutoFair: A national show-winning 1940 Ford Deluxe Sedan Delivery that the late Benny T. Bootle left to the University of South Carolina will be among nearly 200 vehicles up for auction as Tom Mack hosts Auction @ AutoFair. The auction, which takes place on Friday, April 4, and Saturday, April 5, will offer hundreds of other collectible automobiles, including a 1970 Plymouth 'Cuda, 1948 Lincoln Continental V-12 coupe, 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SL convertible and a 1911 Maxwell Runabout.
. Race Car Test Drives: Legends Car, Thunder Roadster and Bandolero race car test drives will be available Friday, April 4, and Saturday, April 5, on the paved one-fifth-mile oval located outside the Turn-3 tunnel.
Ten-lap test drives cost $75 for a Legends Car, $50 for a Bandolero and $75 for a Thunder Roadster. Details from (704) 455-3896.
. Automotive Art: Famed automotive artists Dan McCrary, David Snyder, Roger Blanchard and Jim Pfeffer will have a mini-gallery in the 3M Car Care Garage.
. Car Club Spectacular: Fifty-six car clubs will bring nearly 2,000 show cars to Food Lion AutoFair on Saturday, April 5, and Sunday, April 6, 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 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 Manufacturer's Midway is the ultimate shopping destination for automotive aficionados.
The April 3-6 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. Coupons for $2 off adult admission are available at Charlotte-area Food Lion stores. Parking is $5.
Information can be obtained by calling the Lowe's Motor Speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or online.