Rare 1954 Buick Landau Motorama Show Car Wins Best of Show Award As Charlotte Motor Speedway's Food Lion AutoFair Concludes
A rare show car that escaped the scrap yard not once, but twice, earned the prestigious Food Lion AutoFair Best of Show Award. The award was presented to Bob Coker, from Winston-Salem, N.C., for his 1954 Buick Landau Motorama show car on Sunday afternoon as the four-day automotive extravaganza concluded at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Coker is the ninth owner of the vehicle, which he purchased through an auction at the 2010 Amelia Island (Florida) Concours d'Elegance. The car was scheduled for scrapping, as was usual for the dream cars of the General Motors Motorama, an auto show staged by GM from 1949 to 1961. However, a GM executive saved it from the boneyard.
Coker did little restoration work to the car, other than replacing the carpeting and the partition glass between the front and rear seat. He also purchased the original owner’s manual and jack for the vehicle.
"I’m 76, I’ve had a lot of cars," Coker said. "My two brothers and two nephews were and are collectors. We’ve all just had a passion for old cars."
For winning Best in Show, Coker was given a silver cup trophy.
For the first time at the Food Lion AutoFair, a first and second runner-up in the Best in Show category were selected. The first runner-up was a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro owned by Brian Hall, of Rock Hill, S.C., and second runner-up was a 1972 Chevrolet truck owned by Mike Laws, of Greensboro, N.C.
The specialty award winners were: Dave Barrett, from Matthews, N.C., who took home the Bob Laidlein Award (Most Original) with his 1968 Mustang; Eveie Hatley of Albemarle, N.C., winner of the Cabarrus Cup Award (Most Creative) for her 1968 Pro Street Camaro; Henry, Va., resident Angela Naff, winner of the Lion Cup Award (Best Paint) for her 1999 Pontiac Trans Am; James Ladewig of Dahlonega, Ga., winner of Best Restoration by Owner for his 1966 Mercury Cyclone GT; and Danny Glover of Suffolk, Va., who captured the Mecklenburg Strelitz Award (Ladies’ Choice) for his 1964 International Scout 80.
Each of the 54 car clubs participating in the Food Lion AutoFair was judged individually, with a Best of Show picked for each club.
The fall 2011 AutoFair takes place August 25 - 28 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. For details, contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.