Buick History Highlighted at Food Lion AutoFair; NASCAR Legend Bobby Allison to Appear with His 1987 Buick Race Car
While two of the cars that will be on display during the Food Lion AutoFair could not look more different, the history of one of America’s oldest automobile manufacturers will bring them together as part of the world’s largest automotive extravaganza.
When fans converge on Charlotte Motor Speedway April 19-22, they will be treated to a turn-of-the-century Buick Model C, believed to be one of the manufacturer’s oldest surviving vehicles, as well as a 1987 Buick Apollo that was once driven by NASCAR legend Bobby Allison, among other popular models from decades past.
“Anyone with an interest in the history of the automobile should really be impressed with this display,” said Doug Cremer, executive director of events at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “It offers a great overview of how the American brand has evolved over the last century and showcases some of the brand’s most popular cars.”
The 1905 Buick Model C, owned by Southern Pines, N.C. collector Les Holden, was powered by a 22-horsepower two-cylinder engine and originally sold for about $1,200. Only 750 Model Cs were produced in 1905, and of those, only 14 are known to exist today.
In keeping with the racing tradition of Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison will showcase the 1987 Buick Apollo that he drove in the Busch Series. Allison, who won the 1983 Winston Cup Championship driving a Buick, will be on hand visiting with fans and signing autographs at the AutoFair on Saturday, April 20, from 2-3 p.m.
“Buick’s got a good racing history,” according to Buick Club of America President Brian DePouli. “In that early 80s period, that was the car to beat in NASCAR. Richard Petty drove one. Darrell Waltrip drove one. A lot of big names drove them.”
Additional Buicks featured in the history collection include a 1954 Buick Landau Motorama, a 1935 96s Sports Coupe, a 1941 Super 56C, a 1961 Invicta, 1971 GS Stage 1 and a 1972 GS Stage 1 Hardtop.
Buick, which originated in 1899 and was incorporated in 1903, made a name for itself by offering affordable luxury, DePouli said. “The appeal of Buick has to do with their quality build and their affordable luxury,” he said.
The Food Lion AutoFair is the world's largest automotive extravaganza, featuring more than 150 acres of classic, specialty and rare vehicles, parts and memorabilia. The event, which attracts more than 100,000 car lovers, includes a collector car auction presented by Dealer Auctions, Inc.; nearly 60 car clubs; a flea market with more than 10,000 vendor spaces; and a Manufacturers’ Midway, all offering a huge array of automotive parts and memorabilia. This year’s event will also include an expanded Powerade Play Zone, with a wide array of children’s activities, games and interactive displays.
Hours for the April 19-22 Food Lion AutoFair are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday. Ticket prices are $10 per day for adults; children 13 and under are free.
For more information, contact the speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com. For all the updates from the track, be sure to “Like” Charlotte Motor Speedway on Facebook at www.facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cltmotorspdwy.