CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - From Charlotte Motor Speedway
: In honor of its late owner Tony Young, a 1969 Camaro ZL1 won the coveted Best of Show trophy at the conclusion of the 2015 Spring AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The orange beauty was shown at the automotive extravaganza as a tribute to Young by his family as well as his friends in the Carolina Camaro Association.
The all-original Camaro bested cars from 51 other clubs that participated in the event and were in the running for the top award.
"We just wanted to show up with our club's participation in honor of my dad," said Mike Young, Tony's son. "It was his pride and joy."
Other than the sentimental value that the car possesses, Young also noted the all-aluminum motor as a reason why this car is so special and sets itself apart from all of the other pristine vehicles at AutoFair.
"It's the aluminum motor and the niceness of it," said Young. "Only 69 of them were ever built."
"Tony Young was a true car guy and absolutely one of my best friends," said Bob Stephens, a longtime friend of Tony. "And I'm lucky I get to mess with his cars and get to show them. Tony was a great man and a giving person."
Stephens also pointed out that Tony not only loved to own and work on cars of his own, as Young owned Camaro Specialty Co. of Charlotte, but also gave other people the opportunity to do the same.
"He'd help you in any way," said Stephens. "Many, many people got their starts from Tony Young. They've got body shops of their own now and parts businesses and so on and so forth, and he's missed by lots of people.
"There ain't nobody that misses him no more than I do. He's a family member; he was like a brother to me. He's been a member of the Carolina Camaro Association for 15 or 16 years, and we really appreciated everything he done for us."
The Camaro was purchased by Tony in 1997, and will stay within the Charlotte family for years to come, in loving memory of him.
In addition to winning Best of Show, Young also won the Best Restoration by Owner award with his second entry, a 1969 Camaro RS/SS.
The First Runner-Up Award at the AutoFair went to Dale Hinson, of Midland, North Carolina, who also took home the Lion Cup Award for Best Paint, with his 1959 Chevy Apache. Second Runner-Up Award was given to Cleet Drayton, of Charlotte and his 1963 Chevy Nova.
Other specialty award winners included Bill Vickers, of Charlotte, who took home the Bob Laidlein Award (Most Original) with his 1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible; Midland native, Dwayne Holder, winner of the Cabarrus Cup Award (Most Creative) for his 1936 Ford Pickup; and Jonathan Courtney, of Fort Mill, North Carolina, who captured the Mecklenburg Strelitz Award (Ladies' Choice) for his 1969 Dodge Charger.