The Food Lion AutoFair, a twice yearly event held on the grounds of the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC, opens to the public today and runs through Sunday. The spring version is the larger of the two fairs with the second one held in Sept. Auto Trends will be on hand Fri. and Sat. to take in the action.
Since our March report, we have learned a few more things about what will take place at this spring’s AutoFair. Besides the classic car and vendor displays, the Elvis Lincoln Continental and a fully restored, Hemi-powered 1971 Dodge Charger, there will be a riding lawn mower racing series on Sat. and Sun.
Riding Mower Series
Yes, you always knew that your neighbor was a daredevil on his Snapper riding mower as he looped around trees, skirted past his wife’s azalea garden and conquered his sprawling back yard, all within 10 minutes. What you didn’t know is that he aspires to racing greatness, but not the paved speedway track kind, rather on a dirt track and just the kind of venue that racer Bobby Cleveland frequents.
Cleveland rides on the “Word’s Fastest Lawn Mower,” one of many high-speed modified models that are ready for motorsport action. Speeds of up to 60 mph are achieved on dirt tracks, but Cleveland holds the world land speed record — 96.529 mph — achieved at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, in Sept. 2010.
The Food Lion AutoFair will host the STA-BIL® Lawn & Garden Mower Racing Series for the first time on a custom-made fifth-mile track near the gated area of the Speedway. The race is sanctioned by the U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association (USLMRA) with race participants competing for points, trophies and bragging rights. Cleveland says that he is ready to “rock and mow,” and is looking forward to adding the Charlotte Motor Speedway event to his resume.
Hertz Shelby Mustangs
A collector car auction is an important feature of every AutoFair and this weekend there will be three Shelby Ford Mustang Hertz-edition models up for bid on Sat. AutoFair enthusiasts will recognize all three as they were included in last fall’s Carroll Shelby Tribute display.
First up for bidding will be a restored 1966 Shelby GT350H fastback. It is documented in the Shelby World Registry along with its ownership history, a model with just 40,600 original miles on the odometer.
Two more models will follow, both are of the more recent variety, but may appeal to collectors intrigued by a more modern design. Both models are Shelby World Registry documented, beginning with a 40th anniversary 2006 Shelby GT-H Coupe #296 and its matching 2007 Shelby GT-H Convertible #296.
Porsche 911 Display
The Porsche 911 marks its 50th anniversary this year, an iconic model with a distinctive design and a rabid fan base. These fans will enjoy a special display in the Showcase Pavilion featuring models built throughout its history including 1967 Porsche 911 S Targa, a 1988 Porsche 930 “Slantnose” Cabriolet and a 2012 Porsche 911 S.
AutoFair ticket information can be found online with special four-day passes available again.
Photos property of Matthew C. Keegan.