2011 Autofair Fall


The alarm sounded at 5:00AM on Saturday, August 27th.  Time to get ready to head over to the 2011 Autofair, the fall edition.   It was on the way home from the spring show that I had my engine problem with my SBC which led to installing the LS1.  I had been pushing hard to get the car running for this show.  Hopefully this weekend will go better than in the spring.

5:40 saw me starting the car and heading for the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Up to this point, I had put a grand total of 5 miles on the LS1 motor.  Twenty-five miles later and I am pulling into the speedway.  The car ran great.  My tach and my speedometer were not working.  I used my GPS as my speedometer.  The oil pressure and water temps were on the mark.

It was still dark when I arrived.  After finding the location for the Classic Camaro Club of the Carolinas, I parked my car and proceeded to wipe off the bugs, dust, etc.  Propped the hood open, wiped down the engine bay and set out my information display.  Set up my chairs and cooler and I was ready for the show to begin.  Around 9:00, my neighbor and friend Reese came over to make sure I had made it .

The judging was to begin at 10:00 so I hung around either sitting in my chair or talking with the other club members.  During both days, I had lots of comments about the LS1 engine and the car.  For many people, their first car was a used 70’s Camaro and many people shared their nostalgic memories.

One father was there with his two sons.  The boys were young men in their late teens and early twenties.  He had a 1976 Camaro that he had purchased new.  There had been a motor problem in the late 80’s and the car had been parked.  But it was parked well in a garage with a cover.  Raising his family had become a priority and the car sat.  Now his sons were encouraging their father to restore the car.  They had many questions about the LS swap and asked for some costs.  When I mentioned that the most economical LS swap was with with the 5.3 truck motors, their eyes lit up.  Turns out they have a wrecked 2007 Chevrolet PU with a 5.3 and the automatic transmission.  You could see the gears working in their brains.

After the judging, I headed over to Reese’s car but he and Kim had just left the area.  They were heading out to the track to see the cars for sale.  If you want to sell you car at Autofair, you rent a space on the actual track surface.  Typically the fall meet has fewer participants and cars for sale but the numbers of cars for sale was very low compared to last fall.  Nevertheless, it was still interesting to see what was available.

After lunch, I checked out some of the vendors.  Always fun to see what is new and exciting.  Typically, Reese and I visit the vendors on Thursday and Friday but I was busy getting my car ready.  I was hoping to have time to hit the vendors as last year I made a really good buy on a motorcycle seat and sissy bar.  Bought them for $75 and sold them for over nearly $600!!  I was hoping for a repeat this year.  That money came in handy for the LS1 installation.

Around 4:00, the heat had worn me out and I headed for home.  No engine issues, the AC was working well and I had a very good day.

Sunday morning was a repeat except that Sharon attended the show for the first time.  I soon put her to work getting the car ready.  It was very pleasant early in the morning so we took the opportunity to check out the some cars.  The Porsche club had a large turnout that we looked over.  We also walked the track to look at cars for sale.  While Saturday’s numbers of cars for sale was low, Sunday’s numbers were much, much lower.

Way back in 1965 I was in the Army in Fort Gordon, GA.  That spring there was a raffle for a dark blue Mustang fastback.  Once I purchased some tickets, all I could think of was how great it would be to win that car.  Of course, I did not win.  As we were walking on the back straight, there sat the car of my 1965 dreams.  Dark blue with a blue interior.  Brought back many memories but, then, that is why many of us are into cars.  We associate certain periods of our lives with specific cars.

I also saw some intersting cars.  The ’49 Ford had a unique grill treatment.  This 1969 Iso Grifo came standard with a Corvette engine.  It was beautifully restored and was magnificent.  I also like this motor with the gold Inglese induction.

Trophies were to be awarded at 11:30 so we headed back to our display area.  My day was made when I was given the “Best Engine” award.  After all the effort I had expended, it sure felt great to receive some recognition.

Bruce Stroncek won best of show for our group with his beautiful ’69 Camaro.  He did the complete restoration personally on his wife’s car.  It was spectacular.

Our top three picks were Dan Herzberg with his ’69 SS Z-10, Jimmy Felton with his ’69 SS convertible and Bobby Bonds with his ’69 SS 396.  Keith Lutz won best first gen with his ’69 SS Z10, Paul Markert took best 2nd gen with his ’70 Z28, Ed Hooker to0k best interior with his ’71 Z28 and Larry McNeillwith his Smokey Yunick ’68 tribute car took best paint.

More Camaros from our club.

Not long after, we called it a day and headed for home.  Again, the car ran great so it was a very successful weekend.

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the nice comments on my Charlotte, NC based Iso Grifo. Coincidentally, I owned a 1977 Camaro that I bought new, and sold it when I bought the Grifo! My Camaro had a Paxton supercharger on it, full Recaro interior, Centerline wheels, Doug Nash five-speed, etc.

    Darrenj

    • You’re welcome. It’s a great car. I saw it again at Cars and Coffee in November. The Camaro sounds interesting. Do you have any photos of it?


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