Sunday, May 14, 2017

NASCAR in the South: Homeward Bound, May 13-14, 2017

After breakfast at our hotel in Concord and farewells to the Corvette folks, we drove off to our next stop--another classic car dealership.  I had read the RK Motors had a special interest car meet on the second Saturday of each month and the day we were leaving for home was the day it was on in May, so we decided to stop and look around.

RK Motors was easy to find and there were signs pointing to where the "Carolina Classic & Performance Car Cruise-In" was to take place but we saw no evidence of activity as we were a bit early so instead we drove to the parking lot in front of the RK warehouse.  Another Corvette pulled in next to us and we had a chat with the owner.  He had a special car, a Callaway SC606 convertible, which was a C6 like ours but with a more-powerful supercharged engine, a big bulging hood, and Callaway's "double DD" exhaust.  He had bought the car used a year ago and was very happy with it, a real dream car.

Entering the 60,000 square foot showroom, we were amazed by the quality of the cars presented.  RK Motors offers sales of its own cars, service for customers but also consignment arrangements, which involve a thorough inspection of the car plus detailing.  The cars available ranged from a fantastic 1938 Lincoln with a custom body by Brunn to hot rods, muscle cars, Corvettes, Mustangs, 1950s heavy metal, and some well-finished performance kit cars.

Shelby Cobra 427 replicas

1938 Lincoln, with convertible sedan body by Brunn

1936 Ford Phaeton

1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe, with the big block 427 engine

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport replica

Factory Five Type 65 Coupe, a replica of the 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, like it never left the factory

1959 Chevrolet Impala

1932 Ford Hot Rod

Ford GT Mk II replica

Factory Five Type 65 Coupe

Shelby GT500

The most expensive car in the store is this 1964 Mustang, driven as the Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500 that year, with Benson Ford (son of Edsel Ford) at the wheel, appraised at $1.25 million
The car next to the white Mustang Pace Car is an ultra-rare 1970 Ford Torino King Cobra, meant to be a competitor to the Plymouth Superbird "wing car" in NASCAR racing but was never put into production.  Three prototypes were built and the one at RK Motors was on offer for $460,000.
One of the other projects with RK involvement that I was aware of was the restoration of the third of the Duesenberg racing cars taken to France for the 1921 French Grand Prix.  It was recently rediscovered after many years and I would have liked to have seen it, having seen the other two cars at the Indianapolis Speedway Museum and the Simeone Museum.  Unfortunately it was not on the premise but apparently was out at a different shop for the restoration work.

Exiting the rear of the showroom, we did see the cruise-in attendees in the parking lot there but it was a very modest affair.  The most impressive car was a c. 2005 Ford GT and there were also several Corvettes but nothing to keep us from heading northwards.

Driving north on Interstate 77, it took little time for us to reach our familiar I-81 at Fort Chiswell and our route took us northeast to Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, where we arrived after a seven hour drive.  Our stay that night was at the Mercersburg Inn, a stately Georgian mansion built by the local tanning tycoon in 1909.  It was turned into an inn in 1953 and has 17 rooms available.  We enjoyed looking around and had a nice dinner at the restaurant before turning in after a long day.

The next morning after breakfast on the sun porch at the inn, we were soon back on I-81.  There was a brief stop in Carlisle (home of Corvettes at Carlisle each summer) where we caught up with some friends in a very fine bakery/cafe.  Carlisle is a charming town with an old movie theatre and a courthouse that still has bullet holes in the courthouse from the Civil War era.  But the road beckoned again and 9 hours later we were back in Ottawa, our NASCAR in the South adventure at an end.

Downtown Carlisle, PA

The Courthouse, Carlisle
We had a great time and would recommend any trip organized by the National Corvette Museum as we were able to see things that would not have been possible on our own.  We met some really nice people, all enthusiastic Corvette owners, and learned a great deal about the South and NASCAR too.

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