MCA National Show, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Labor Day weekend 2002.
The MCA put on a show at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, NC Labor Day weekend, August 29-Sep 1, 2002. Although it's a long drive from Florida (650 mi.), we figured it would be a great place for a show, especially a National one, so we planned to bring our '86 and '93. Leaving Tampa the Sunday before, all went well until we stopped on the other side of Orlando where I promptly succeeded in locking myself out of my '86..DOH!! A quick phone call and 2 hours later I was on my way with the correct door key which was sitting back at home. After stopping for the night and imbibing on several cold ones, we hit the road the next day bright and early (11 AM) and made it 30 miles into GA where my '86 promptly died along I-95. It was of course raining and it's never fun trying to diagnose troubles by the side of major highway with semi's wizzing by you at 80 MPH. A call to AAA and a tow brought me to A1 Auto Repair in Brunswick where it was determined the coil was shot and a new one was installed which put us quickly on my way (Thanks Hammer!).
All went well for about the next hour when the car died again; pulled over, lifted the hood..Holy S---, this time the coil was actually smoking!! I knew there was more to meet this story than meets the eye. Closer inspection revealed a break in the primary wire which had grounded out when I hit a hard bump, frying the second coil of the day. A quick trip up the highway in the '93 netted us TWO new coils and an ignition module (just in case). With wires taped up, we went up the road, stopped for the second night (this is normally a 8 1/2 trip to Charlotte), and partook in several more cold ones.
Tuesday we got up bright and early (10 AM) and made it to within 10 miles of our hotel when the second car called me on the radio, "Hey, there's sparks coming from underneath the car!". Pulling off the next exit, I couldn't believe it...the alternator pulley had actually sheared itself off! The belt was trying to turn it and it was hitting the bracket, throwing sparks everywhere...unreal! Anyway, a trip up the road in the '93 netted us a new alternator and belt and an hour later we were in our hotel, you guessed it, having many more cold ones this time!!
Well, after the trip up I figured, the bad luck must be behind us..except it hadn't rained in Charlotte for almost 2 months, and you guessed it, Friday and Saturday RAIN! If one more person told me "well, we need the rain...". At this point I gave up, and just decided to have fun. Anyway, enough of my tales of woe.
Although the weather was wet Friday and a washout Saturday, this didn't stop over 500 Mustangs and 11 SSP's from making it a great event. Some of the highlights included track cruises both Friday and Sunday, vendors and manufacturers from all over, dinner Saturday night with keynote speaker Jack Roush, and of course show cars! There were cars in all classes with pristine examples of GT's, Cobra's, 428's, 429's, you name it. The awesome GT-40 was there, as well as some great Roush vehicles.
11 SSP's made the show from states all over - including Florida(2), Ohio(1), Indiana(1), Maryland(1), Pennsylvania(1), Massachusetts(1), Kentucky(2), North Carolina(1) and Texas(1)! It was a very nice group, with some excellent examples of restored and semi-restored vehicles, stock and non-stock. There were SSP cars ranging from 1986-1993, with 6 FHP cars, one Winter Park, FL, 1 Kentucky State Police, 1 Texas DPS, 1 NYSP and of course yours truly's 1986 Fire Chief vehicle! Capt. Kelly McCloud of the Kentucky State Police brought his '90 car which
Although the weather kept a damper on things, everyone managed to make the most of it. Friday night most of the group did several laps on the track cruise, got a couple of nice group shots (of course we missed it!) then got together for a dinner where everyone finally got to meet and have a few beers (we didn't miss that!). It was nice after all this time with only the internet as the common bond to match people up with their cars. Saturday it rained all day, and rained hard...After checking out the vendor stuff umpteen times($200 NOS certified 140 MPH speedo anyone?) we gave and headed back to the hotel for a few more beers with plans to get up bright and early Sunday, hoping for a bit brighter weather. And Sunday, ah Sunday.....
Although it didn't rain Sunday, it was still dreary, but that didn't dampen anybody's spirits thanks to a semi-dry track. The track cruise was scheduled for 10:30 AM with almost 200 cars and 10 SSP's signed up. Carol Barker and Alan Middlebrook from MCA asked if we would like to lead the individual processions of cars, in groups of about 10 around the track, one SSP in front, 1 in rear. Not only did the group get to do a cruise with all 10 cars together, we got to run again with each group of cars, taking turns by 2! And if that wasn't enough, Motor Trend TV was there filming a video for an upcoming show, so they requested a shot with all the SSP's chasing a red Shelby Cobra around the track..He took off, and eveyone went after him, lights, sirens..I have to see that show!!
I think when it was all said and done, I ran almost 25 laps on the speedway in each of my 2 cars during about 2 hours - not bad for 10 bucks!! Thank God I remembered to get gas first! Needless to say, everyone was happy to volunteer, and it made the whole trip, including mechanical breakdowns, hangovers and rain well worth it!
This was a great event, regardless of the weather. Most of the group took home very nice trophies from Saturday's car show, the MCA folks went out of their way to put on a great show, and how often do you get to drive your SSP on one the premier NASCAR tracks? If anyone is considering the 2004 show in April, don't miss it- you won't regret it.
Here's a sampling of photos from the event. Many others took photos and I hope to have more so please check back!
10.06.02 - Added some great shots, Thanks to Don Brink and Scott Castle for their help!
IE 5 or higher to view- -Thanks to Don Brink for the videos.
|My SSP's in front of the media office..|
|Lineup of SSP's at the Friday Night track cruise. Thanks to Don Brink.|
|Another view. Thanks to Don Brink.|
|SSP's ready to hit the track! Looks like the FHP was taking delivery on new cars! Thanks to Don Brink.|
|Another shot. A little water didn't deter these guys from hitting the track! Thanks to Don Brink.|
|Another good shot of lineup on Friday..Thanks to Don Brink.|
|Couple of nice SSP's belonging to Brian Sams of Maryland and Don Brink of Charlotte. FHP/Winter Park FL cars, respectively.|
|Don Brink's '93 Winter Park FL car ready for judging.|
|This CHP SSP came ready to sell c/o Performance AutoSport but went home with out a new owner. Car had nice paint and all electronics.|
|Bill Gill's pristine '90 NYSP car in the Concours area on Saturday.|
|John Malloy from Methuen MA brought his 347" SSP..This thing sounded awesome and smoked 'em on the track!|
|KSP Capt. Kelly McCloud brought this rare 1990 Kentucky State Police car. He purchased the car when it went out of service and is restoring it with all the correct equipment including the original unit license plate! John's car is on the left.|
|Jack and Annalisa Jamison came all the way from Indiana with their nice FHP SSP.|
|Another shot of Jack's and Annalisa's FHP.|
|Scott Castle came from Ohio with his FHP car, full electronics, decals..Nice job Scott! My '86 Fire Chief's vehicle is to the left.|
|Scott, John, Kelly and Jack's SSP on the show field Saturday.|
|Tom and Donna Gouldy came from PA with their show winning '89 FHP. Tom left the decals off due to the heavy rain.|
|Another shot of the car in the Concours judging area.|
|Here's John and Don's cars in a bit of dryer moment..Thanks to Don Brink.|
|Well, at least I didn't have to wash them!|
|It was fun to have both cars at the show, even with the rain.|
|Saturday we tried to group the SSP's together, got most of them; my '86, '93, Darin Putman's TX DPS, Scott's FHP in front; John, Don and Brian in the back.|
|One more shot, Scott and John's cars on the end.|
|Sunday, a bit drier and better. Nice lineup with Scott, John, Kelly and Jack's cars..|
|Another view. Hard to miss the Roush trailer in the background, they had some nice vehicles there!|
|One more lineup of SSP's on Sunday!|
|Getting ready to get it on..|
|Darin and Sylvie Putman, son Chris, get ready with their awesome TX DPS car. They drove all the way from Lubbock, TX. Kathy offers her technical expertise.|
|Is that a regulation Trooper hat Darin?|
|Everyone lined up ready to escort the drivers....|
|On the track and ready for action! Note the FHP car leading the pack..|
|We get ready to lead the pack on the '93 and follow up with the '86..|
|Kathy taking the Fire Chief's car for a whirl on the track Sunday!|
|2 cars ready to escort the pack!|
|Tom Gouldy in pursuit of a speeding go kart in his '89 FHP.|
|These are some steep turns! Car in front belongs to the NCHP.|
|My SSP's on pit row..|
|Nice group shot of SSP's in the pit area..|
|Another view on Sunday.|
|Fire Chief in action on the track Sunday! Thanks to Scott Castle.|
|FHP SSP's lined up and ready to go on the show field. Thanks to Scott Castle.|
|Darin Putman's TX DPS SSP on the show field. Thanks to Scott Castle.|
|John Malloy's SSP on the track! Thanks to Scott Castle.|
|Discussing track driving strategy with Kathy and Annalisa.. Thanks to Scott Castle.|
|Lineup on Sunday..nice and dry finally! Thanks to Scott Castle.|
|Brian Sams and Don Brink check out Brian's FHP.. Thanks to Scott Castle.|
|Ready to go in front of pit row.. Thanks to Scott Castle.|
|Another shot on the track.. Thanks to Scott Castle.|
|One more view.. Thanks to Scott Castle.|