CONCORD, N.C. — Sprint Cup drivers Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman and World Wrestling Entertainment superstar John Cena will prove their need for speed is not limited to the track or ring when they display their personal rides during the April 3-6 Food Lion AutoFair at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
Although two-time Sprint Cup champion Stewart considers himself a novice collector, he has assembled a group of cars to be proud of — three of which he purchased during the annual Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., in January. Out of nearly 1,200 cars that crossed the block during the week-long event, Stewart located and successfully bid on a tangerine 1950 Mercury coupe, a black 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air two-door hardtop and a black 1967 Pontiac GTO hardtop.
"I’m going to have to win just about every major race this year to pay for them," Stewart said. "It’s neat being part of that [old-car] community. It’s much, much like the racing community as far as how close they all are together. I’ve found a hobby that I really enjoy. It’s just an expensive one."
Newman, the 2008 Daytona 500 winner, can sympathize with Stewart, because he has been restoring, driving and collecting old cars for a number of years.
His garage is home to a 1936 Ford three-window coupe, a 1939 Hudson two-door sedan, a 1957 Dodge D-500 and a 1974 Triumph TR-6 roadster.
Newman’s love of vintage vehicles gave him something in common with former Penske Racing president Don Miller when the young driver joined the team in 2000. Miller’s own collection includes a 1960 Plymouth Fury and a 1960 DeSoto Adventurer.
WWE superstar Cena, who was recognized in September by speedway officials as an official AutoFair aficionado, is a fan of General Motors muscle cars from the late 1960s and early 1970s. His collection currently contains a 1971 Pontiac GTO Judge (the only one built with black paint and a white interior) and a Sebring Yellow 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass Rallye 350 Holiday coupe with the W-45 appearance package, automatic transmission and all power options.
The Olds was recently treated to an 18-month restoration after sitting on blocks for 18 years in Alabama. Records from the Oldsmobile Club of America indicate only 3,547 Rallye 350s were built in 1970, only 2,367 of which were Holiday coupes.
Stewart’s trio of Barrett-Jackson buys; Newman’s Dodge D-500 and Ford coupe; Miller’s Plymouth Fury and DeSoto Adventurer; and Cena’s Oldsmobile will be part of a special display in the 3M Car Care Garage during the Food Lion AutoFair.
The spring Food Lion AutoFair annually attracts more than 160,000 visitors. It features more than 50 car club displays; more than 10,000 vendor spaces that offer a plethora of automotive parts and memorabilia; and a collector car auction conducted by Tom Mack. More than 1,500 collectible vehicles of all makes and models will be available for sale in the car corral that rings the 1.5-mile superspeedway.
Food Lion AutoFair hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Thursday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, on Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults while children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Parking for the event is $5. For more show information, CLICK HERE.