John Gray’s lime green 1970 Plymouth Barracuda was as good as gold in Sunday’s Pennzoil AutoFair presented by Advance Auto Parts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, earning Walt Hollifield Best of Show honors in a hotly contested showcase of colorful classic cars, hot rods and sports cars.
Gray, a Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, native, bought the car in 1991 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, after owning a different version of the same ride in the 1970s. Gray’s Barracuda also earned Best Paint honors in his first time bringing a classic car to AutoFair.
“It’s quite a thrill,” said Gray, who used his original Barracuda for drag racing before selling it years prior to buying the overall winner. “I’m very surprised. We just retired here to Denver, North Carolina, a year and a half ago. I had visited (AutoFair) before but we’ve never exhibited a car.”
Attendees at the world’s largest automotive spectacular also witnessed a breathtaking drift car exhibition featuring world-renowned drift superstar Vaughn Gittin Jr., a smoke-billowing burnout contest and special displays honoring road racing and the late Carroll Shelby’s historic Shelby Mustangs.
After four days of family-friendly fun and eye-catching examples of automotive excellence at Charlotte’s 1.5-mile superspeedway, judges presented additional awards to:
- Best of Show Runner-up: Terry Drumm’s white 1965 Plymouth Barracuda
- Best of Show Second Runner-up: Chad Gragg’s black 1929 Ford Model A
- Bob Laidlein Award (Most Original): Peter Ashby’s canary yellow 1978 Toyota Corolla
- Mecklenburg Strelitz Award (Ladies’ Choice): Allen King’s 1968 cabernet red Chevrolet Camaro
- Cabarrus Cup (Most Creative): Will Yarborough’s blue-and-black 2012 Dodge Charger
- Concord Concours (Best Restoration): Scott Barrett’s aqua 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle
Fans can purchase tickets to upcoming speedway events including the Sept. 28-30 Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 by shopping online or calling 800-455-FANS (3267).
CMS PR (CMS/Adam Fenwick photo)