Making the trek from the left coast to the right is no hop, skip, and a jump. However long my day may be, spending time at the Road Atlanta Racetrack is worth the rubber gloves, magic wands, and metal detectors of airport security. What could be worth the task? The Year One Experience. It's not the Year One car show, nor the Year One cruise night. Rather, it is just as it says-an experience. You won't find crybaby dolls, stuffed animals, or fast food trays filled with fake food at this type of show. No poodle skirts or middle-aged white guys trying to sing old doo-wop songs, either. OK, so now that I've told you what you won't find, let's take a look at some of what you will find and experience with Year One at the helm.
Year One not only provides the average builder with a pile of parts to choose from during a build, they also provide the opportunity to really flog those parts and put them to the test. This year's show, at the Road Atlanta course, gave vehicle owners the chance to make several parade laps in their own vehicles on the 2.5-mile track. All the money you spent updating the steering, handling, and braking is now put to the test. And even better, now you've got bragging rights over your buddies who may not have made it to the show. Who could pass up a chance like that?
Along with the parade laps on the road course, Air Ride sponsored this year's timed autocross course, which consisted of both wet and dry road conditions. The dry course gave vehicle owners the chance to really flog their suspension systems and see what kind of times their vehicles were capable of producing. A score was kept and posted on the fastest-timed vehicles. On the wet autocross course, vehicles were provided, and any licensed driver had the chance to practice out-of-control spins, or if you're like myself, keep on spinning that car on the wet pavement.
And if all this was not enough, the drivers at the Panos Racing School made themselves and their vehicles available to show attendees to ride along for some serious hot laps. If you have not had the chance to strap yourself into the shotgun position in one of these race cars and sit with a pro driver who really knows how to drive, put that on your list of things to do before you die. The drivers at Panos will drive hard enough to make you scream and grab for the "holy **** bar." That, my friends, is the purest of fun.
A short jaunt up the Georgia highway was the quarter-mile track, which kept the drag racing fans coming back for more. Besides racing or autocrossing, there were the burnout contest and 0-60-0 tests, provided by Stainless Steel Brakes. A mobile Chassis dyno was also on location at the raceway. In addition to nearly every make or model of classic vehicle in attendance, there were more good-looking Chevys than we could point our camera at. Now, if only Year One had a West Coast show...hmmmm.