Sometimes the most successful ideas are born of humble origins — the Vail Automotive Classic is a case in point.
This Saturday, visitors from throughout the nation will converge at the Wheels and Wings Show at Vail Valley Jet Center to view an exceptionally fine array of both cars and aircraft. Additionally they will be treated to an up close aerobatic air show and an upscale auto auction. Organizers expect there will be around 200 cars on display and there is already a list of 20 vehicles that will be featured for the post-show auction.
On Sunday, the auto action shifts up valley where the car show vehicles line the pedestrian areas in Vail Village.
“I can’t believe we are in our fifth year,” said Doug Landin, chairman of the Vail Automotive Classic board of directors. “This all started with an idea and the locals Cars and Coffee Club. Now it has grown to include not only awesome cars, but also motorcycles, planes, helicopters and exciting aerobatics. Its just a great weekend full of machinery and entertainment here in the Vail Valley.”
Landin said the Vail Automotive Classic appeals to widespread car interest and specific auto enthusiasts.
“There are car people everywhere and our valley is a great place to do a car show,” he said. “Plus the Colorado Grand tour is the weekend following our event, in Vail. So people come in for the week of our show and stay over for the 1,000 mile drive around the state.”
Landin noted that along with all the fun, the Vail Automotive Classic has a philanthropic goal. Money raised from gate receipts and a charity auction car will go to local programs — Jack’s Place at the Shaw Cancer Center and Eagle Valley Senior Life. This year’s premier charity auction car is a 1952 Morgan Plus 4 .
“This whole thing is about charity,” said Landin. “This is a big thing the Vail Valley can do to raise money for these local groups. One of our goals is to eventually raise up to six figures for charity at this event.”
By and large, the Wheels and Wings Show features painstakingly restored vehicles.
“The ‘54 Packard will look just like it did when it came off the assembly line,” said Landin.
He noted the show also attracts some custom cars, along with vintage aircraft and motorcycles. This year’s Wheels and Wings Show will celebrate a momentous anniversary of some significant automobiles — the Ford Mustang and the 911 Porsche. Both models are marking their 50th birthday this year.
“We are hoping to get lots of both of those models at the show,” said Landin.
One of the biggest crowd pleasers for the show is the aerobatic performances planned at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Buck Roetman of Wild Horse Aviation and Gary Rower of Rower Airshows will fly their vintage Pitts and Stearman aircraft in formation to the delight of the crowd below.
“Gary Rower says this is his favorite show to fly in, because with both the air show and the car show, we get twice the crowd,” said Landin.
Along with the car and aircraft display, show go’ers will enjoy a festival atmosphere with food and merchandise vendors.
“We have one guy coming who restores old fuel pumps and who has a bunch of neon signs,” said Landin. “What is really great is all the stuff going on, plus all of the kids activities happening in Hangar 4. It really is a great automobile/air show for the whole family,” he said.
“The whole event is just really cool,” said Landin.
At the conclusion of Saturday’s show, auto enthusiasts have the opportunity to become auto owners.
In addition to the 1952 Morgan Plus 4 that will be sold in the charity auction, the Wheels and Wings Show Auction already has 20 cars registered including the following:
2009 Porsche 911 Turbo
1971 Porsche Super Carrera Tribute Racer
1999 Harley Dyna-Convertible
2009 Audi 8
1977 Corvette T-top coupe
2010 Superperformance Cobra
2010 Harley Electra-Glide Ultra
2009 Kawasaki Super Sherpa
1979 Triumph Spitfire 1500
1931 International Harvester truck
1973 E Type Jaguar
There is still time to enter vehicles in the auction. There is no entry fee. For more information visit www.vailautomotiveclassic.com.