What is the biggest car lovers’ town? If you ask Tim Echols, member of the Georgia Public Service Commission, Atlanta is definitely one of them. He expressed this viewpoint in a recent opinion piece for the Atlanta Business Chronicle and here’s his reasoning:
First off, Echols cites the fact that Atlanta is the home to the North American corporate headquarters for Porsche, Panoz, and Mercedes-Benz. He also points out the city’s history in the automotive history. Some examples include the fact that the White Star automobile was manufactured in what is today the Carriage Works building near Georgia Tech; Ford manufactured the Model T and Model A cars over by what is today Ponce City Market up until World War II; and the Atlanta History Center has a Hanson automobile, which was built in Atlanta from 1919 to 1925, in its collection. Other examples: The GM plant in Doraville and the old Ford Taurus plant in Hapeville.
He lists five events that Atlanta car-lovers can’t miss, either:
- Caffeine & Octane: This is a family and neighbors kind of event at the Perimeter Mall. It’s free and open to the public, with 500 cars often in attendance. Participants show up around sunrise and typically leave around 11 a.m. The show happens the first Sunday of every month; the next show is August 7th.
- Petite LeMans: This yearly event takes place at Road Atlanta and features sports car racing by some of the world’s best drivers. See the best of what the Porsche, Corvette, BMW, Audi, and Ford factories send in for one of the most challenging road courses in all of North America. There are car corrals for Corvette, Porsche, and BMW owners, too.
- Atlanta Concours d’Elegance: This event is new to Atlanta. The Concours will be held at the Chateau Elan resort on the Chateau golf course and feature high-end collectable and one-of-a-kind vehicles. It’s two days of driving with a charity dinner thrown in, too. All proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
- Wanna Go Fast: Think of this event as two days of one drag race after another—because that’s exactly what it is. For a fee, participants can line up against cars of similar speed and then drag race down an airport runway for a full half-mile. This year the drag races will take place Sept. 17 and 18.
- Year One “Burn Out”: This event is for muscle enthusiasts. It will happen in Braselton at the Year One headquarters. Check out classics like Camaraos, Trans Ams, Chevelles, Mustangs, and more. The event happens the third Saturday of the month and the $5 admission becomes a donation to charity.
Echols adds that these are just his personal favorites, but there are many others for Atlanta’s automobile fans. If you check any of them out, you might even catch him there! Here’s a video from his site, TimEchols.com, so you know what he looks and sounds like:
(H/T Atlanta Business Chronicle.)