One of the greatest races of all time was depicted in the 2019 film Ford v Ferrari, and the GT40 sports car the hero drove to its Le Mans victory will make its first off-screen appearance at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s April 7-10 Charlotte AutoFair.
Since the beginning of the sport, long-distance endurance racing was dominated by European car builders such as Bentley, Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Jaguar and Aston Martin. In 1963, Ferrari was on a winning streak for the annual 24-hour competition near the French town of Le Mans when Ford Motor Co. tried to buy the Italian automaker. When company founder Enzo Ferrari rejected Henry Ford II’s offer, the latter declared he would beat the former at Le Mans—the undisputed crown of international endurance racing—by spending an absolutely insane amount of cash on talent and car development. What happened next proves that, under the right circumstance, money can buy happiness.
Ford’s new campaign comprised a “who’s who” of automotive legends, including Cobra creator Carroll Shelby, racer Ken Miles, “father of the Mustang” Lee Iacocca, and NASCAR builders Holman & Moody. Shelby—at the time the only American driver with a Le Mans victory (piloting an Aston Martin in 1959)—oversaw the development of Ford’s Ferrari-killer GT40.
The Ford v Ferrari #1 hero car, provided by the Volo Museum in Volo, Illinois, will be the centerpiece of a four-car GT40 display during the April 7-10 Charlotte AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Showcase Pavilion will also feature Rick Hendrick’s $5 million Ferrari LaFerrari, the one-off 1966 Cannara sports car, the “Best of the Best” of the recent car show circuit, and a nostalgic display of AMC products.
The Charlotte AutoFair features more than 50 car club displays and more than 10,000 vendor spaces offering an array of automotive parts and memorabilia. 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 throughout the four-day show. Hours for the April 7-10 Charlotte AutoFair are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Single-day tickets are $10 on Thursday and Sunday and $15 on Friday and Saturday for adults. A four-day weekend pass is available for just $40. Admission is FREE for children 12 and under with an adult. To buy tickets, AutoFair attendees can shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com
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