While I was in Charlotte recently for the AutoFair, I had an opportunity to spend some time with Ray Evernham, the former NASCAR championship-winning crew chief, racing team owner, long-time classic car aficionado and current host of the television show AmeriCARna. That is quite a resume, but talking with Evernham, even for a few minutes, lets you know why he has been able to achieve so much. Our conversation spanned topics from the moonshine-running roots of NASCAR to 1960s Indy car design to the engineering dynamics of modern Formula 1 cars. The man is a genius and moved through these and other topics with ease and a degree of knowledge that was nothing short of astounding.
The inaugural Ramapo Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for the June 6-7 weekend with the concours on Saturday and a drive on Sunday. Continue reading
Only once in the more than 25 years that we were colleagues and friends did I ever see Denise McCluggage come even close to blushing. It was in January, four years ago, when I was covering the “Women Who Have the Need for Speed” panel discussion taking place in conjunction with Barrett-Jackson’s classic car auction at Scottsdale, Arizona. Continue reading
While attending Spring Carlisle I saw quite a few great cars in the car corral and quite a few nice project car opportunities as well. In fact, most of the cars at Sprng Carlisle were great examples or very fairly priced driver-level vehicles. Continue reading
So I thought I had a great idea for how to spend my Saturday in a meaningful way. My plan was to start the day at Tempe Diablo Stadium, where the cars participating in the 25th annual Copperstate 1000 vintage sports car rally would be staged for the start of their four-day anniversary drive.
From there, I would drive some 65 miles to the southwest, to the Gila Bend Municipal Airport, which had been rented for the day to stage the first Race Wars, a tribute to the Race Wars scene of the original The Fast and The Furious movie but scheduled to coincide with the most recent Furious7 film release.
I went to Charlotte last week to attend my first Charlotte AutoFair. So what did I see, do and learn at this event? Well in a nutshell, I looked at thousands of cars for sale, scores of parts, drag raced a Ford Mustang, drove a racing lawnmower, ate some awesome county fair food, petted animals in the petting zoo, spent time with Bobby Allison and Ray Evernham, got a tour of the NASCAR No. 24 Hendrick Racing shop with Jeff Gordon’s step father, John Bickford, attended a full blown AACA show, got a tour of his Evernham’s car collection, and made a lot of new car friends, including Ray and John.
The Charlotte AutoFair could not live up to its name without having some over the top state fair-style food and I am pleased to say that I sampled a few of the offerings to get a real taste. Continue reading
One of the most difficult things about the Charlotte AutoFair is that there is just so much to see and do. As a result, I decided that we needed to break it up and to do different things on different days. So Friday I tried to focus on looking at the many cars on display. Continue reading
What classic car event has 70,000 car-crazy spectators, 10,000 vendors, more than 5,000 cars on display and for sale, and participation by more than 50 car clubs?
Sometimes it’s difficult to maintain the journalist objectivity I’ve been trained to display while reporting and writing a story. This story is one of those times. This story is punctuated not only with periods and commas but with tears, my tears. Continue reading