CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - Elvis, Mustangs and lawn mowers, oh my! The Charlotte Motor Speedway AutoFair hosted by OldRide.com has all of that and so much more, April 3-6.
In addition to unique vehicles in the Nationwide Insurance Classic Car Showcase Pavilion and the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, there will be a collector car auction and more than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models for sale in the car corral that rings the 1.5-mile superspeedway.
Many older vehicles have a unique story behind them and the story behind Alan Goodman's 1971 Mustang Boss 351 might just top them all.
The Davidson, N.C. resident specially ordered his '71 Mustang Boss 351 from Mooresville Ford right out of high school so he could outrun all of his buddies who drove Chevrolets. The car was his most prized possession, but once he decided to start a family, he sold the car in 1983.
"My friends would ask, 'Do you still have the Boss Mustang?' When I would say no, they'd say 'Well that was stupid. That car was so special,'" said Goodman. "And I never escaped it."
Then in 1999, when Charlotte Motor Speedway hosted the 35th anniversary celebration of the Mustang, two different people called to tell him they thought they found his Boss 351 at the event.
"I received a voicemail from my friend from high school. He said, 'Alan, your Boss Mustang is over here, call me tonight,'" said Goodman. "I called him and said, 'Steve, how do you know that's my Boss?' He said, 'Do you remember the name tag that said 'this car made especially for Alan Goodman?' It's in the ashtray of the car.'"
Goodman drove to the track to see it for himself and sure enough, the car he had let get away was back in his life. He asked the owner if he ever thought about selling it and lucky for Goodman, he was planning to retire the car from the show circuit in 2000. When the time came, Goodman purchased the car once again and is sure he will never let it go.
"When I went around the turn and I saw that Mustang sitting there, I cried," said Goodman. "It was emotional. My dad raised me that there are two kinds of cars, four-door Fords and two-door Fords. To think that I was so blessed to have bought a car in 1971 that turned out to be a limited production car; Ford made 1,806 of them. And to think I was blessed enough to have bought that car and still have it back in one piece, original. It's just about overwhelming to be honest."
Goodman's '71 Mustang Boss 351 will make its return to Charlotte Motor Speedway to be on display as part of the 50Th anniversary exhibit in the Nationwide Insurance Classic Car Showcase Pavilion.
The "Spirit of LeMons" comes to Charlotte
Cop by day, car enthusiast by night, Jeff Bloch brings his unique race cars to the Nationwide Insurance Showcase Pavilion. Tired of having to take his cars to mechanics, Bloch decided to learn what made them work and fix them himself.
Using this knowledge, he started to build his own unique and eccentric cars to race in the 24 Hours of LeMons series. The "Spirit of LeMons," a clever take on the Spirit of St. Louis and 24 Hours of LeMans racing series, is a converted 1956 Cessna airplane and 1987 Toyota VanWagon that debuted at Carolina Motorsports Park in March of 2013. Since then the prize winning car has retired from wheel to wheel racing, but is still used for drag racing, autocross and special events.
The "Spirit of LeMons" and more of Bloch's collection, including an upside-down Camaro and the Honda Accordion will be on display in the Nationwide Insurance Classic Car Showcase Pavilion.
Rare Jaguar at the Collector Car Auction
Dealer Auctions is once again bringing classic cars to Charlotte Motor Speedway. The auction will feature the very best, including one of the world's most expensive Jaguars, originally sold for $154,000. The 2001 Jaguar XKR SilverStone is one of only 30 ever made and can go from 0 to 60 MPH in the blink of an eye. The rare gem has been owned by only one person and has only 37,000 miles on it.
The auctioneer will start the bidding for the collector car auction on the Concourse at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 4 and 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 5.
North Carolina Natives Get Their Mow-tors Running
The U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association returns to the AutoFair for the second time, bringing with it fun and excitement for the whole family! On Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6, more than 120 mowers in 11 classes will take to the track.
Among the racers is Rockingham, N.C.-native, Rex Crouch, Jr. Crouch, along with his family, who started racing eight years ago when the local Lions Club built a track. Since then they have expanded to racing in six different classes and own nine different mowers. Competitors will race their bladeless mowers on a specially constructed dirt oval at the fifth-mile track just outside of Turn 3.
Warm Up Those Pipes and Dust Off Your Blue Suede Shoes
Returning this year to the Charlotte Motor Speedway AutoFair hosted by OldRide.com is the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. With 14 contestants registered, this year's competition is already larger than last year. First place will be crowned Charlotte Motor Speedway's Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist and a chance to compete in the Semifinals during Elvis Week in Memphis, Tenn. in August.