Derek Franz

Back to: News
September 5, 2012
Follow News

See the best cars, bikes, planes

Want to check out a $2 million Bugatti Veyron 7 automobile? How about an airplane from World War II?

The third annual Vail Automotive Classic is bigger than ever, accelerating rapidly toward success as its engines rev going into this weekend's events.

Four events will be held from Friday afternoon through Sunday at locations ranging from the Vail Valley Jet Center at Eagle County Regional Airport in Gypsum to Beaver Creek and Vail.

The show benefits Jack's Place and Eagle Valley Senior Life Inc. This year's theme is "The Great American Hot Rod."

Two events are new this year - a car auction at the Jet Center on Friday and a fly-over on Saturday at the airport by eight WWII warbirds.

"The airport is closing its airspace from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday so the warbirds can do an aerial show," said Gabrielle Higbie, a marketer of the event. "That's pretty unheard of for the airport to do that."

Saturday is the Wheels and Wings event at the Jet Center, in which cars and airplanes will be on display.

"Wheels and Wings is the biggest event of the Vail Automotive Classic," said VAC President Doug Landin.

But rewind to Friday, when the action starts with the auction and barbecue at the Jet Center.

"The auction is open to the public - you can go even if you're not bidding," Higbie said.

Viewing of the 14 auction cars starts at 4 p.m. Live music by Hardscrabble accompanies a cash bar and barbecue reception at 5 p.m. The barbecue costs $20 and includes a soft drink. Bidding starts at 6:30 p.m. There are reserve and non-reserve cars. "Non-reserve" means the item can sell for whatever the highest bid may be, as opposed to a reserve price, which is basically a minimum bid.

Among the non-reserve autos up for auction is a 1995 XJS convertible Jaguar. The entire proceeds from that item will be donated to Jack's Place. Named after Dr. Jack Eck, Jack's Place provides accommodations for cancer patients, their caregivers and family members while the patient receives treatment at the Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards.

"It's a cool car. I drove it," Landin said. "I would like to win it in the auction but I probably can't afford it."

On Saturday, the Jet Center hosts Wings and Wheels from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. An awards ceremony is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and the warbird fly-over is from 1 to 2 p.m. The event is $10 at the gate for ages 13 and older. Children 12 and under get in free.

"There will be food, activities for kids, a model airplane display and a NASA display, among other things," Landin said.

Saturday evening, the car show moves to Beaver Creek in conjunction with the Beaver Creek Music Festival. Select Car showing and VIP cocktails is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and the music festival is from 8 to 10:30 p.m.

Vail Village hosts the car show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. The show there is free and awards will be determined by people's choice. The People's Choice Award ceremony is at 1 p.m.

No food, alcohol, bikes or dogs will be allowed into the events.

Growing success

"We hope to grow this into a premier summer event for the Vail valley," Landin said. "We're anticipating around 200 cars. Some are coming from New York, New Mexico, Montana, Arizona and Utah."

Around 40 aircraft will be on display on Saturday.

Last year's event aired on Race Central Television, MavTV and Dish Network.

"It has definitely grown in its scope and is basically now four events," Higbie said.

Higbie said they are anticipating more car registrations coming in right up to the gate

Friday: Car auction - features live music, barbecue and cash bar from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Vail Valley Jet Center; barbecue is $20; auction is free to attend.

Saturday: Wheels and Wings - cars, motorcycles and airplanes will be on display at Vail Valley Jet Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $10 at the gate for ages 13 and older. Kids under 12 are free. Warbirds will do an air show from 1 to 2 p.m.

• Select cars will be on display from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Beaver Creek Music Festival.

Sunday: Vail Village Car Show - cars and motorcycles will be on display from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free. A people's choice award will be presented at 1 p.m.

Participants may register their vehicles in the following classes:

• American Pre-War Classics to 1941

• American Post-War Classics 1941-1961

• European Pre-War Classic to 1941

• European Post-War Classic 1941-1961

• Muscle Cars 1962-1973

• Replica Cars

• Great American Hot Rod/Street Rod Pre-1948

• Great American Hot Rod/Street Rod 1948-1973

• Custom

• European sport: 1961-1973, 1974-1987, 1988-Present

• Supercar

• Mustang 1963-1973, 1974-Present

• Best Ford

• Best Corvette

• Best Mopar

• Corvette: 1953-1962, 1963-1973, 1974-present

• Custom Transports

• Electric

• Harley Davidsons to 1972

• Harley Davidsons 1973-Present

• Vintage Motorcycles Pre-1972

• Sport Motorcycles

• Custom Motorcycles

Vehicle fees are $50 for the first vehicle and $15 for each additional vehicle. Cars and motorcycles may also register the day of the Wheels and Wings show at the Vail Valley Jet Center for a fee of $60.

Registrants should make checks payable to Vail Valley Concours LLC. Online payment for registration is encouraged. To register or get more information, visit

Stories you may be interested in

The VailDaily Updated Sep 5, 2012 01:16PM Published Sep 5, 2012 01:12PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.