Take a car show and add in a few vendors, celebrities, and magazine hacks, and you've got an event. But take an event and mix in autocross (dry and wet), drag racing, and laps through the twisties at Road Atlanta, and you've got the makings of more than a "just" an event. You've got something that needs to be experienced...thus the name of Year One's springtime-in-Georgia party, The Year One Experience.
Not that there weren't plenty of top-notch, show-quality Chevys at the 2006 YOE. On the contrary, more than a few hard-core gearheads actually build projects with the Experience in mind, looking for a class win or even a shot at the Year One Cup. Some--namely Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, resident Raymond May--go so far as to thrash until 8 p.m. the night before the event and still manage to drive in with a class-winning Nova.
Showing off a slick ride is definitely entertaining, but the Year One Experience mission statement specifies having vehicular fun in as many fashions as possible, thus the dual venues: the Road Atlanta course in Braselton and Atlanta Dragway in nearby Commerce. Despite some hitches in the weather, Road Atlanta was kept hopping with Panoz Driving School Track Day sessions (all 80 openings were filled), parade laps (time had to be added to accommodate the demand), an autocross course, and the E-ticket ride: hot laps in the school's Panoz GT-RA race cars. Do we even have to say that every lap available had a taker?
A little north and east of the road venue, those who prefer their fast fun in the straightline variety were not disappointed. Atlanta Dragway was kept smokin' with five indexed Street Legal classes, running as quickly as 10 seconds. And if that wasn't fast enough, ORSCA--the Outlaw Racing Street Car Association--brought out the heavy artillery for some all-out eighth-mile action. How all-out? Monroe, Georgia's Steve Kirk threw down a 4.705-second run, hitting 161.34 mph, to win the Outlaw class in his '00 Camaro. Not too shabby.
It's hard to be all things to all people, but The Year One Experience comes close. Where else can you show it, road-course it, or drag it--or even do all three? Here's the bottom line: We like to look at cool cars, but we like it even more when they're driven. We'll be back to this one--heck, we'll even volunteer for the job. Check out some of the experience.