Cars at auto fair get collectors’ hearts racing
By Steve Huffman
CONCORD ó Mel Carson said some folks relax with golf and some folks relax in their gardens.
Those at Lowe’s Motor Speedway this weekend relax with cars.
Many with tail fins and wide whitewall tires.
“We love playing with our cars,” said Carson, executive director of the Hornets Nest Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America.
“For us, it’s sort of like golf.”
Through Sunday, members of the Hornets Nest Chapter are sponsoring the 21st annual Food Lion AutoFair. It is one of the largest collector car shows and swap meets in the United States, with 120,000 to 130,000 people expected to pass through the gates.
It’s one of those events that needs to be seen. Here’s a tidbit of what’s offered:
– A car corral that offers more than 1,500 collector vehicles for sale or trade. The cars circle the entire 1.5-mile super-speedway.
– A giant flea market with 7,000 vendors offering even the most obscure automotive parts.
– A Saturday night auction at which 20 of the more rare cars in existence will be sold. Those vehicles include a 1941 Packard 110 convertible, a 1948 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine and a 1916 Dodge Brothers Touring Truck.In a word, they shine.
– A tribute to the Ford Model T, with an assortment of the vintage vehicles displayed. This marks the 100th anniversary of the Model T.
– Another tribute, this one to the Ford Edsel. Keep your snickers to yourself. Though the Edsel proved an economic flop (Ford lost $350 million on the product), it has over the years turned into a collector vehicle. This is the 50th anniversary of the Edsel.- Plenty of tractors on display, everything from John Deeres to Minneapolis-Molines to Allis-Chalmers. Overalls are optional.
– More car clubs than you can shake a hubcap at. Members of at least 50 car clubs will be on hand bringing about 2,000 collector cars to the AutoFair on Saturday and Sunday as part of an Antique Automobile Club of America regional meet.
Carson said despite the state of the economy and spike in gas prices, turnout for the AutoFair ó which kicked off Thursday ó has been tremendous.
“We’re down a little, but not much,” he said. “We’re going to have a good turnout.”
The fact, Carson said, that Tropical Storm Hanna is apparently going to dump little rain in the area has made organizers feel better about the event.
“It helps that any threat of a hurricane is going east of us,” he said.
The Food Lion AutoFair will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets can be purchased at the gate. Admission is $10 per day for adults with children under 12 admitted free with a paying adult. Parking is $5.