It is not often that you run into a show condition Mercedes 300 SL at a local car show in Georgia, this is the second time I run into this car at a small event. The owners of this car have the means to afford their fantasy car and enjoy being with the local crowd instead of the slightly more formal venues these cars are normally seen in. With only 1400 cars made it is a rare beast. The 220 HP car was the fastest street production car of its time, with a top speed of 161 mph; this car is still fast 56 years later. But it is the lines of this car that takes your breath away. Strongly influenced by the factory race cars from 1952 and 53 and suggested by American Importer Max Hoffman (I am sure Max primed the financial pump too) Mercedes did a masterful job building the first supper car of the modern era. Max's instincts were right a lot in the 50's and he created a market in the United States for this car. Fully 80% of all the 1400 were sold in the States. In 1957, as I child, I rode in a friends of my fathers 300 SL, I thought it was the car of the future, the gull wing doors and having to climb over the sill to get into the cockpit was more like getting into an airplane than a car. 20 years later we had the opportunity to have one stay briefly with us. The black with red interior 1957 gull wing was a boys dream come true. It was no easier getting in at 6 feet tall that it was at 4.To read the complete story Click Here
Restore The Ride or Preserve the Patina by Steve Natale
Does an old car need to be perfectly restored to be enjoyed, or can an original car preserved in its current condition provide the same enjoyment to its owner. It depends who you ask. For many, only a near perfect restoration will do, and their passion is that goal. But recently, an increasing number of collectors are starting to re-think the entire restoration process. Rather than performing a restoration, more owners are choosing preservation, as opposed to restoration. I am seeing more and more cars with their original “patina” intact at car shows and cruise nights, and drawing a lot of attention in the process. In past, I have seen some tragic restorations done to beautiful, but not perfect, low mileage original cars. They are only original once, and after they are repainted and reupholstered, a historical artifact is gone forever. The trend is catching on, and un-restored, or “survivor” car prices are going up at auctions and shows. To read the complete story Click Here
In the South East we are introducing a regional competition for the grassroots Car Show participants to gain some recognition for their efforts. All the major markets in the United States have professional level regional car shows where extremely talented amateurs and pros compete for accolades and prizes with the most incredible automobiles the mind can imagine. These events are very well organized, funded and promoted. In most venues the shows run from 3 to 4 days and between 25,000 to 60,000 spectators come in for the viewing. Many of those that attend are the motivated amateurs who enjoy the hobby and take their cars to local Cruises or Shows. The limit of their creativity is only bounded by abilities and the wallet. To many this is their version of playing golf; most go to a few local show and sometimes will make a long weekend and travel to a nearby destination show. After the end of the summer season the vehicle gets put away or refurbished, or they start a whole new project, no fan fair, no accolades, no recognition.
So we thought we would organize a group of events, create classes, and simple standards and a points system for those who wish to compete and receive a some well deserved awards for their efforts. We have identified 80 shows in the South East that have agreed to the rules published by us. If we have the expected participation there will be a Showcase of Champions in December. All we need is the commitment of the Show participant to sign up and join. The hope is that as all the regions grow and embrace this, there will be regional Championships all over the US. Send us your thoughts and check out the classes at. Go to the Classes
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