American Wheels Events Digest for April 14 2011

The story of the Mercedes 300 SL by Miguel Caparros

View the video here

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

The Road to the Regional Car Show Championship. by Miguel Caparros

 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

Send me an email with your impressions and opinions to

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Comment by Miguel Caparros on April 22, 2011 at 1:19pm
Mark, I am half way through compiling it the majority are Richard Scott's Prowlerboy productions events and Koss Motorsports events. You can go for the moment directly into their websites from their ad link on the main page. There are others and I will include those in the list.
Comment by Mack Turner on April 22, 2011 at 1:10pm
When will you have a list of shows and dates.  Thanks.
Comment by Miguel Caparros on April 19, 2011 at 9:54am
I am open to suggestion on how to simplify this. I am glad that you the local view of this but I have to take a look at all the markets, but please send me some specifics we might be able to implement.
Comment by Hugh Dudley on April 18, 2011 at 9:34am

 West coast classes ?............Well Toto...we are not on the west coast. Most folks from the south could care less how they do it in California. I realize that the concept behind this is neat but until it is finalized with solid structure and definitive class classifications that are greatly simplified it will be confusing.

 There are very few "promoters' that actually know what they are doing and how to classify cars and put on a successful show. People that think they want to put on a show should go to one that is known to be successful and see how its done. They don't have 97 classes or "catch all" classes.

  As far as considering the whole country...getting this settled on the local and regional level should come first before any thought of going national with this concept ever comes up.

Comment by Miguel Caparros on April 18, 2011 at 7:59am
Actually it is based on the SCCA West coast Classes that I wrote in 1991. Many of the classes are Catch all classes. If you notice they are broken down into 10 groups. The classifications are designed to give the event promoter maximum flexibility to incorporate this with his classes. This also is designed to allow us to track what classes are actually more popular with certain regions and promoters. For the most part there are 9 basic classes and it is up to the need of the promoters to use the ones the ones that suit his situation best and for the participant to pick the class that suits his cars description. Don't forget we have to consider a whole country.
Comment by Hugh Dudley on April 17, 2011 at 7:21pm
 Hmmm.....97 classes you got there.......looks like a direct copy of the ISCA rule book. Over half of those can be eleminated because they overlap.
Comment by Miguel Caparros on April 17, 2011 at 6:11am
Suggest What to remove.
Comment by Hugh Dudley on April 16, 2011 at 10:03pm
 Waaay too many classes. Keep it simple.
Comment by Richard Scott on April 15, 2011 at 9:27pm
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