Spider-Themed Corvette to Visit Food Lion AutoFair
Charles and Kim Bifano of Irmo, S.C., own the unusual fifth-generation Corvette that answers the question: ¿What would Spiderman drive on his day off?¿
They bought the stock red coupe in 2000 but considered selling it because it was seldom driven. Attending a Capitol City Corvettes club meeting convinced them that showing the car might give the couple an outlet for their creativity and get them more involved with the Corvette hobby.
At one show Kim noticed the many modifications people made to their cars¿superchargers, wild paint schemes, billet accessories and such¿were all aimed at adult spectators. She told her husband they should do something that appealed to children. Their Corvette¿s color, which is almost identical to the red on Spiderman¿s costume, suggested what popular superhero the Bifanos should choose.
The inside of the Corvette¿s large, forward-hinged hood is the canvas for a mural depicting the web slinger swinging between two buildings at the end of his self-spun thread. The engine compartment includes valve covers wearing coats of red so thick the overlaying web strands look three-dimensional. The paint work, performed by a local shop, was a Christmas present from Kim to Charles.
The Corvette¿s interior features red-and-black seat covers with spider emblems and little touches here and there, such as the Spidey head that acts as a release button for the console lid. Opening the trunk reveals Spiderman¿s secret hideout and serves as a home for several dolls and action figures.
The car¿s body was left untouched, but it doesn¿t take Spidey-sense to realize something¿s different. The front parking lights (should that be ¿Peter Parker lights?¿) have a distinct webbed outline and the Bifanos spent a great deal of time painting spider silhouettes on the Corvette¿s four oval taillight lenses.
Other hints to stay away if you are arachnophobic are a ¿SPIDEY¿ personalized license plate and an eight-legged creature hunkered down low between the quad exhaust pipes.
¿It¿s just something we did for fun,¿ Charles said. ¿We didn¿t think it was fair Batman got all the cool cars.¿
From historical exhibits¿including a centennial tribute to Harley-Davidson and a modern replica of a 1905 Wright Flyer airplane¿to a convertible collection and wacky product vehicles such as the Zippo Lighter Car, to more than 7,000 automotive flea market vendor spaces that spill outside the bounds of the famous 1.5-mile superspeedway, the Food Lion AutoFair has much to offer any level of car or nostalgia enthusiast. Setting AutoFair apart from other car shows is the enthusiastic participation of more than 45 car clubs and their members like Charles and Kim Bifano.
"Between the open car corral and the support from these car clubs, we'll have more than 4,000 cars on the speedway's grounds at any given time throughout the event weekend," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president of Lowe¿s Motor Speedway. "We get car clubs from all over the Carolinas and the East Coast wanting to be a part of Food Lion AutoFair, and their enthusiasm sets the tone for a great show every time."
Food Lion AutoFair hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $8 per day for adults and available at the gates. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking for the event is $5.
Contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway Events Department at (704) 455-3205 for information.