From Charlotte Motor Speedway: What do you do for relaxation when your job is to get tackled by some of the toughest guys in the NFL? See the answer when three former Carolina Panthers stars display their personal collector cars during the April 5-8 Pennzoil AutoFair Presented by Advance Auto Parts at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Like many people whose workdays can bring a ton of stress, DeAngelo Williams, Gary Barnidge and Mike Tolbert enjoy peaceful drives in their vintage rides.
Williams rushed for 6,846 yards – second in Panthers history – and eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark twice in his nine-year tenure with Carolina from 2006 to 2014. Off the field, Williams' non-profit foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for breast cancer research, which explains why the All-Pro running back often has pink highlights in his dreadlocks. His 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle is an old school muscle car with a built 454ci V-8; his 1984 Chevrolet C10 pickup also packs a 454.
Barnidge played tight end for Carolina from 2008 to 2012 before moving to the Cleveland Browns – where he made the Pro Bowl in 2015. Outside the stadium, Barnidge appeared on the "Total Divas" television show in 2014 and last year assisted DeAngelo Williams in an Impact Wrestling match. His taste in collector cars tends toward the post-World War II street rods. For fun, he drives a 1949 Chevrolet coupe powered by a heavily modified 383ci V-8 and an automatic transmission.
Tolbert spent 2008 to 2011 with the San Diego Chargers before a move to Carolina in 2012 revitalized the popular fullback's career. The three-time Pro Bowler, whose nickname is "the Vulture," cruises in a beautiful pair of Chevrolets from the 1970s: a '70 Chevelle with a 454ci V-8 and a '74 Caprice powered by a big-block LS7.
The three athletes trusted their favorite rides to Charlotte-area car builder Eddie Calderon of Creative Customs. Calderon, who likes well-maintained originals as much as a good custom, plans to display his all-original 1968 Chevrolet Impala and a luxurious, bone-stock 1984 Pontiac Parisienne sedan.
Look for all of these sweet rides in the Showcase Pavilion during all four days of the April 5-8 Pennzoil AutoFair Presented by Advance Auto Parts. The Athletes' Custom Rides display will share the garage with a Century of Chevrolet Trucks exhibit, a Movie and Television Cars display, and unique creations that have been featured on Velocity's "ToyMakerz."
The Pennzoil AutoFair Presented by Advance Auto Parts features more than 50 car club displays and more than 10,000 vendor spaces offering an array of automotive parts and memorabilia. More than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral that rings the 1.5-mile superspeedway. In addition, kids can enjoy face-painting, bounce houses, and other games and entertainment in the Play Zone.
Hours for the April 5-8 Pennzoil AutoFair Presented by Advance Auto Parts are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Single-day tickets are $11 each day for adults. Admission is FREE for children 13 and under with an adult. A 4-Day Weekend Pass is available for just $32. To buy tickets, AutoFair attendees can call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267), shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com, or buy them at the gate.