CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - A big crowd was filing into Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord on Friday for the annual spring Pennzoil AutoFair presented by Advance Auto Parts. Rain is expected in the area on Saturday, so some of the attendees said they wanted to come early.
From burnout contests and high-speed ride-alongs in a drift car to Carolina Panther meet-and-greets and world-famous movie cars, there are a lot of activities planned for the show, which runs through Sunday.
CATCH A DRIFT: There's no better place to get "slideways" than at AutoFair, where attendees can ride shotgun in a professional drift car and rocket around a specially made drift course for the ride of a lifetime. Drifting ride-alongs are on Friday and Saturday and cost $50.
FAMOUS MOVIE CARS: The iconic white 1958 Chevrolet Impala from "American Graffiti," owned by 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Ray Evernham, joins the famous No. 46 City Chevrolet car from "Days of Thunder" in a special movie- and television-themed exhibit.
Additionally, the 1948 Tucker automobile from "Tucker: The Man and his Dream," and a Ferrari Daytona convertible replica driven by Don Johnson in the world-famous 1980s show "Miami Vice" will be on display – along with the dazzling, red-and-white Ford Gran Torino from "Starsky & Hutch," and a replica of the "MACH 5" car from "Speed Racer."
CAROLINA PANTHER MEET-AND-GREETS: Fresh off of another NFL playoff appearance, Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short is scheduled to sign autographs for fans inside the Showcase Pavilion from 3-4 p.m. on Friday. Additionally, longtime Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert will sign autographs from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday in the Showcase Pavilion. Appearances are subject to change. Autographs are FREE for attendees. And, if that isn't enough Panthers-related material…
HOT RODS OWNED BY PANTHERS LEGENDS: A 1984 Chevrolet C10 pickup belonging to legendary Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Wililams will be one of several Panther players' vehicles coming to this year's show.
Fans will also get to see Gary Barnidge's 1949 Chevrolet Coupe as well as Mike Tolbert's 1970 Chevelle and '74 Caprice – all customized by Charlotte-area car builder Eddie Calderon of Creative Customs.
BURNOUT CONTESTS: For the first time, exhibitors at the Pennzoil AutoFair Presented by Advance Auto Parts can turn Charlotte Motor Speedway's pit road into a smoke show. This year's AutoFair features a smoke-billowing burnout contest that's sure to thrill those in attendance – even if it costs car owners a new set of tires. The contest is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m.
FUN FOODS: The Pennzoil AutoFair features a Miami Vice car, so why not jazz it up with "Miami Vicecream"? This delicious, pastel-blue-and-pink dessert matches the colors made famous by Don Johnson in the 1980s hit show. Pair it up with more silver screen-inspired favorites like the Gran Torino burger – topped with crispy bacon, pimento cheese and pressed on a panini machine – or try the "MACH 5" hot dog, a wrapped hot dog topped with a bacon, red onion and jalapeno jam with chipotle ketchup.
A CENTURY OF CHEVY TRUCKS: As a tribute to 100 years of Chevy Trucks, the Showcase Pavilion will have the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado Centennial Edition on display with an array of trucks representing Chevrolet's colorful history. Max Snow's modified 1937 pickup, Rick Lancaster's 1950 3100, Michael Sweet's 1966 C-10 Fleetside and Jason Smith's rare 1991 S-10 Baja will also be on display.
Because no event at Charlotte Motor Speedway is complete without race cars, the exhibit also features Johny Sauter's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ride.
TRIAL BIKES: Ever seen a stunt biker catch air – while riding without a seat? Trial bikes make their debut at this year's AutoFair, with professional riders jumping around obstacles without their feet touching the ground. Shows are scheduled for 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It's an action-packed event you won't want to miss!
"TOYMAKERZ" CARS AND CAST: Check out an array of unique, one-of-a-kind cars made by David Ankin and the cast of the Velocity hit show, "ToyMakerz." Ankin, whose Toymakerz, Inc. business is based in Reidsville, North Carolina, will show off his cars and meet with fans throughout the weekend.
SWAP MEET: Looking for that hard-to-find front bumper for your classic Impala, or maybe a rare diecast car? The swap meet at AutoFair features an eclectic mix of wonders for fans young and young at heart.
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.