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2007 Year One Experience - Are You Experienced?

The Super Chevy crew heads down to Atlanta for the always popular Year One Experience

By Thomas J. Lyman, Photography by Mike Harrington, Thomas J. Lyman

Back in May, members of the Super Chevy crew were sent on assignment to Atlanta to witness the amazing amalgam of car-related activates that comprises the Year One Experience. Year One, a well-known aftermarket provider for just about anything that can be bolted-on to a classic American automobile, puts the show on at two locations over three days: Road Atlanta, North Georgia's hallowed road racing circuit, and Atlanta Dragway, which is just a short hop north of Road Atlanta, in Commerce, Georgia.

The big news on Friday happened at the Year One headquarters building in Braselton, Georgia, when the parts company introduced the highly anticipated Burt Reynolds Edition Trans Am. Year One is now accepting orders for its newest creation, based on original Trans Am bodies. The $120,000-plus car that was revealed to the media comes in three stages, Ban 1, Ban 2, and Ban 3 (the ultimate) was absolutely stunning. It has the classic lines of a T/A, coupled with updated features and running gear. This first cousin-derivative of the Bow Tie family, which is available with Chevy LS7 power, will surely be a hit with rabid "Smokey and the Bandit" aficionados (though die-hard Pontiac aficionados will probably seize up at the thought of Bow Tie power in a Firebird.

Attendees had the opportunity to purchase parade laps around the fabled Road Atlanta racing surface. This was money well spent and was an incredibly popular feature, with hundreds of cars lapping the 2.54-mile circuit over the course of the event. This is where many a late-model Camaro shined, but there were plenty of C5 and C6 Corvettes and muscle car g-machines burning it up out there as well. We also partook of these festivities, as each editor was bequeathed with a pass that would give them a couple of laps around the track. Amazingly, some of the sessions weren't far off from true "hot laps," complete with some high g-forces and squealing tires, all while in the confines of our massive rental SUV.

Saturday was by far the biggest day for the car show portion of the event. Packing in the Road Atlanta paddock, all sorts of customs, g-machines, numbers-matching classics, and new-technology marvels were all shining and waiting to be judged for the coveted Year One Cup. Once you had enough of the car show, you could participate in the Air Ride Technologies-sponsored autocross competition. Which is exactly what we did. Set up on a very short and twisty track, the competition brought out all sorts of interesting entrants-there was even an LS1-powered Nissan flying around the track with a respectable time. Each member of the staff had a go in Air Ride's cars, with your author coming out on top with the fastest time.

If turning left and right isn't your thing, you could have headed to Atlanta Dragway on Saturday, where cars were flying down the strip all day.

Sunday morning dawned a bit melancholy-everyone was excited to get back to the action, but word had gotten around that a few cars had been stolen from area hotels, including the awesome 1967 Air Ride Camaro that we had driven just hours previously at the autocross. However, in an extreme gesture of kindness, we heard that Year One offered to help those who lost automobiles "recreate" the stolen goods, with parts sourced from its massive catalogs. The car show awards were announced on this day, and it was Lew and Wanda Winters of Georgetown, Tennessee whose flawless '55 Chevy took the coveted Year One Cup.

The weekend was, on the whole, a great success. It would be hard to find another event with such attention to detail, and with such great people at the helm of the show. We look forward to getting "experienced" again next year.

By Thomas J. Lyman
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