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Food Lion Auto Fair 2012

Perfect weather wipes away winter memories

Andy Bolig - April 22, 2012 12:02 AM

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It was impressive to walk the infield, but the acres of spill-over into the parking lot had many parts as well.

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Attendees and body panels came from all over the nation to be at Auto Fair!

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Fuel mileage, with STYLE!

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Remember when there was another zero behind this price? We even saw a clean, complete LT1 intake for the same price!

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The fact that these boxes still exist is amazing. Makes you wonder where they've been hiding all these years. Good price too, if you needed them!

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They were VERY clean and ready for use. Wish we had a car they fit in similar condition.

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Honest Charley Speed Shop and Coker Tire had displays for enthusiasts of vintage goodies.

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For those searching for a little more modern shine, vendors like Billet Specialties were sure to be a hit.

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If vintage OEM wheels was your thing, this pair of Dodge Brothers or complete set of '35 Chevy wheels might be for you. Seller wanted $20 a piece for the DB wheels.

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The sign read, "Rare OEM '57-58 Oldsmobile 371 Golden Rocket tri-power manifold." It included a trio of Rochester carbs, factory vacuum linkage and air filter.

 
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There were several solid steel early Ford cabs at Auto Fair. This '34 Ford truck cab was for sale for $3,500 and came with a title.

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There were scores of items just below the surface, if you were willing to search for them. Items in boxes or chucked into bins can be life-savers for those who have been searching for them. If you know what you're looking for.

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Nascar driver Johanna Long was on-hand at her sponsor's spaces during Friday's event. She began racing Karts at age 8 and began her professional late-model career at 14. When most teens were thrilled to simply get driving permits, Johanna won two championships in super late-model class. She became the youngest female to win the Annual Snowball Derby. She qualified 5th at her first showing in Daytona and her best NASCAR finish to date is 11th at Texas Motor Speedway. You can find her in the #70 Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series, driving for Keen Parts and ML Motorsports.

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This steel '31 Ford cab could be had for $6,000. It also had interior panels, power windows, all the glass, running boards and a '32 dash.

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A ZR1 makes a great billboard for your Corvette parts!

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This T-Bird 312 was rebuild "20-some" years ago. Owner sold the car he intended to put it into. Was asking $4,800.

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There were plenty of spaces devoted to specific marques. This booth held many goodies for the MOPAR faithful.

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Yeah, this truck spent more time in the mall than one of the Real Housewives! It was more of a prop than propulsion vehicle. It would take a bit of work to make it a working model again. Price was right though.

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This body was all steel and available for $4,000 OBO. Meaning, less than four grand. And THIS was Friday!

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Impressive as it may look on a trailer. Getting it back under the hood and operating might take some of the shine of what is left from the deal. There's a LOT of machined parts inside that might need cleaning up, or worse. Different colored block and heads mean that this might be the first time they've met and might never have worked together before.

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Hey! How many times does a Bob's Big Boy come up on the market!

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There were even booths devoted to military vehicles. This 1943 Ford "Jeep" was a display, but not for sale.

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The aisles were abuzz with buyers and sellers and there were several good buys to be had. Items ranged from the obscure, to the obligatory swap meet fodder and if you were willing to rummage or ask questions, chances of finding that just right part were quite high

It wasn’t that long ago, that many enthusiasts were still donning their sweaters and scarves, yearning for the time they could get out and enjoy their rides.

That pent-up enthusiasm has several affects once the frost clears and grey skies give way to sunshine. As opportunities arise, enthusiasts flock to gatherings and events to share in the revelry with other enthusiasts. There are several events throughout the eastern states that serve as opportunities to clean the dust off of the dashboard and clean the cobwebs off those boxes of swap-meet goodies. One such event that has served as a welcome to springtime is the Food Lion Auto Fair, held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event has grown to be one of the premier auto events and this year it was held on April 19-22, 2012.


 Being my first trip to the Auto Fair, I was uncertain as to what to expect. Having heard from others about it, I knew it was going to be big. What I didn’t expect was how much car matter they were almost able to stuff into the vast expanse of the Speedway. I say almost because if a high-banked circuit full of car stuff isn’t ever enough for you, then you simply had to go into the lots of parts that spilled out over the back stretch of the track. Many swap meets would savor the opportunity to hold an event the size of the spill-over alone, but for the Charlotte Auto Fair, the excess only speaks of the enthusiasm with which folks flock to the event.

 What draws them is more than parts, more than simply cars or walking on the famous asphalt and experiencing the slope of the turns. They come, not only to experience the event, but to share it with like-minded enthusiasts. We encountered several conversations that were devoid of any business dealings but, were just as cordial and engaging as any southern hospitality could imply. A summer season of sweating over the same old parts might wipe some of the smile from vendor’s faces but for this weekend, it was apparent that they were just happy to be out among the crowds.


 The quality of the attendees is only exceeded by the quality of the parts they carried and the cars they drove. All makes and models are welcome at the Auto Fair and it gives attendees opportunity to brush up on their identification skills. There were factory-original cars from all eras and even an area reserved in one of the garages on the facilities celebrating “Barn Finds” of all kinds. Other completed cars were sprinkled around the wide oval of the track and included clubs parking together, a car corral and even an auction that was going on during the event.


 If your goal was to complete your car before you ogled someone else’s, there were miles and miles to walk in the swap meet area. So much so, that they needed to spill the parts out into the lots outside of the track area. The aisles were abuzz with buyers and sellers and there were several good buys to be had. Items ranged from the obscure, to the obligatory swap meet fodder and if you were willing to rummage or ask questions, chances of finding that just right part were quite high, even if it was a little rare. Check out the photos from our trip to the Auto Fair and, if you’ve never attended the event, make plans. If you’ve already attended the Auto Fair in the past, we know you’ll plan to do it again.

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