Right now, there are people in Northern California who are planning disruptive changes to how our society uses automobiles. Some of them are so indifferent about the experience of driving a car that they’ll gladly forgo the opportunity and let someone else do it for them via Uber, Lyft, or a driverless car of the future. They are not the same people who participate in FM3’s Cars & Cones Roadtrip.
This group of automotive enthusiasts is so passionate about their cars and the experience of driving that they gladly used their vacation time to drive their cars to multiple locations, converging in Birmingham, Alabama, for the start of a week of fun. From there, they took roads less traveled all the way to Jasper, Indiana, with daily stops for autocrossing and hosted nightly dinners. For these people, the journey is the destination.
You’ll see some of these cars running the Hot Rod Power Tour, autocrossing at a local SCCA event, hanging out at Super Chevy shows, or competing in Optima’s Search for the Ultimate Street Car. Automotive variety is the spice of their lives, so when they get a chance to go somewhere new, do something different, and meet new folks who share their passion for cars, they jump at the chance.
Cars & Cones shares attributes with a lot of those other events but is unique in its own way. There’s an opportunity to autocross A LOT (over 2,500 laps for the week) and if folks want to compete against each other, they can do that. However, there are no class distinctions or big boards keeping track of who went the quickest. There is a charity component to these events, and this year more than $25,000 was raised to help the Reynolds family cover medical expenses involved in Daphne Reynolds’ fight against a rare form of cancer. Two-time Grammy nominee James Otto also donated a private concert for the effort, and tickets were auctioned off to raise additional funds.
This event isn’t all about giving, as participants also received more than $70,000 worth of products from event sponsors. There’s a casualness and closeness about Cars & Cones that makes it inviting for people who want to take a road trip but don’t necessarily feel the need to share that experience with thousands of others.
The cars and trucks that run in this event are drivers, and it doesn’t matter if the route starts 1,000 miles from their home or ends 2,000 miles away (or both). Their comfort zone expands beyond a local weekend show that comes to their hometown. They like the open road and they love open track. If you’d like to learn more about this event check out fm3roadtrip.com.
Photography by Jim McIlvaine