White's Red T-Bird Wins Best of Show
In September of 2003, White steered a 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air through the awards ceremony to claim top honors, and Sunday he returned in a torch red 1957 Ford Thunderbird.
"I've had a love for T-Birds since I was a kid," said a smiling White. "I've had this one for about 20 years. I started working on the car a year and nine months ago, finished Thursday morning and got down here Thursday afternoon. It's got nine miles on it since the restoration from Concord to here."
The retired truck driver bought the car from a widow in Sumter, S.C., drove it home and parked it in his basement until beginning the restoration. White sanded every body part down to the bare metal and then engaged the help of good friend, Bryan Cannon of Kannapolis, for the painting.
The result was a show-stopper that White sold to a Michigan car collector on the grounds at AutoFair for a six-figure sum just 90 minutes before the awards ceremony.
Described as "car crazy" by his wife, Glenda, restoring old cars is a labor of love for White.
"This is just something I enjoy doing. Other people like to hunt, fish or play golf, but I just have a love for cars," said the 64-year-old White. "I've already got another T-Bird, and I've just got to get started on it. The older I get the slower I get!"
White also captured the Lion Cup Award for best paint as selected by executives from Food Lion.
Jerry Price's drive back to Fort Mill, S.C., was more enjoyable in his black 1960 Austin Healy 3000 Mark 1 roadster after picking up the Concord Concours Award for Best Restoration by Owner. Price has put 35,000 miles on the car with trips across the United States and Canada since completing the restoration in 1998.
Other specialty award winners included: Mickey Gallimore of Lexington, N.C., winner of the Cabarrus Cup Award (Most Creative) for his 1959 light green, Chevrolet Apache pickup truck; Lenoir, N.C., resident John Herold, winner of the Bob Laidlein Award (Most Original) for his 1964 Buick Riviera Hardtop with 26,984 original miles; and Salisbury, N.C.'s Roger Taylor who captured the Mecklenburg Stelitz Award (Ladies' Choice) for his 1970 F5 red Hemi Barracuda.
In addition, each of the 53 car clubs participating in the Food Lion AutoFair was judged individually, with a Best of Show picked for each club.
The fall installment of Food Lion AutoFair takes place Sept. 14-17 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Daily admission is $10 for adults and children under the age of 12 are admitted for free. For further details, contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway events department at 704- 455-3205.