From Stars of the Silver Screen to Sod-Slinging Lawnmower Racing, This Weekend’s Charlotte AutoFair has It All
This ain’t your granddad’s car show. From drift car ride-alongs to lawnmowers racing at speeds in excess of 60 mph, attendees at this weekend’s Charlotte AutoFair will have plenty of fun things to see and do as the world’s largest automotive extravaganza returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway after a two-year hiatus.
Here’s a look at what car enthusiasts, racing fans and visitors of all ages will witness at this weekend’s showcase of family-friendly entertainment:
HEY, HEY, IT’S THE MONKEEMOBILE: Fans of the 1960s comedy series The Monkees, or the enduring sounds of the pop-rock band by the same name, will be treated to an iconic piece of television history as the show’s famed “Monkeemobile” will be among the attractions.
Designed and built by legendary car designer and fabricator, Dean Jeffries, the customized 1966 Pontiac GTO came complete with a cartoonishly flared front and rear end; unique side exhaust; a tour-car styled, convertible top; an eye-catching 6-71 supercharged engine; and was finished off with a rear parachute. It was one of only two vehicles used to film and promote the show during its two-season run.
CATCH A DRIFT: There’s no better place to get “slideways” than at the Charlotte AutoFair, where attendees can ride shotgun with a professional drift car driver and rocket around a specially made course for the ride of a lifetime in Dodge Challenger SRT® Hellcat Redeyes and Charger SRT Hellcat vehicles. The Dodge Thrill Rides will be set up just outside the infield Showcase Pavilion, offering $29 rides around tight, closed courses filled with drifts, donuts and a whole lot of burning rubber. Bring the family along (up to three people) for just $49.
FAST AND FURIOUS: Marking the 20th anniversary of the first film in the legendary “Fast & Furious” saga, Charlotte Motor Speedway will showcase the car that launched the iconic franchise. The Dodge Charger driven by Vin Diesel’s character Dom Toretto in the original motion picture, the famous charger was built with a 1969 Dodge Charger as the base, but using parts from 1968 and 1970 models, and an eye-catching Chuck Taylor Racing Engines-built motor.
Twenty years after gracing the big screen – and on the heels of the ninth “Fast & Furious” film’s release earlier this summer, one of only two surviving Chargers will make its way to the Charlotte AutoFair to delight car enthusiasts and movies buffs alike.
LORDS OF THE LAWN: Ready, set, mow! Titans of turf and gladiators of grass are mow-tivated for the return of the Charlotte AutoFair this weekend as the event will mark the long-awaited return of sod-slinging lawn mower racing to Charlotte Mow-ter Speedway.
Amid the mass of classics, customs, hot rods and muscle cars that will surround the famed 1.5-mile superspeedway during the world’s largest auto extravaganza, the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association (USLMRA) will host 10 classes of fescue-frying speed on Saturday at the speedway’s fifth-mile dirt oval course, just outside of Turn 3 of the oval. Spectators can take in all the action, as mowers top 60 mph, free with admission to the AutoFair.
HONOR AND REMEMBER: Area veterans and community members, led by Old Armor Beer Company co-founders Kyle Lingafelt and Stefan Perrine, will take part in a 110-story memorial stair climb at Charlotte Motor Speedway to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11. The event will include a brief ceremony, including guest speakers and the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe and Drums. The event will take place in and around the grandstands near Turn 1. It is open to the public and does not require Charlotte AutoFair admission to attend.
BEST OF THE BEST: AutoFair officials have scoured the country – from SEMA to Autorama – to find the absolute best-of-the-best, most tricked-out customs that are the envy of car collectors the world over. While the showcase pavilion always highlights the cream of the crop at AutoFair, this year’s best-of-the-best display features the very best of the automotive world.
Speaking of the best, Saturday afternoon, the best of the Charlotte AutoFair will be on display during a special awards ceremony in Victory Lane. Fans are invited to watch as the car club best of show winners are announced and the overall Charlotte AutoFair Best of Show vehicle is selected.
Single-day tickets are $10 on Thursday and $15 on Friday and Saturday for adults. Admission is FREE for children 12 and under with an adult. Tickets are available online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/tickets, or at the gate.
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