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2016 Vail Wheels and Wings & Vail Automotive Classic

When planning auto events you'd like to hit this year, be sure to add this one to your calendar. The Vail Wheels and Wings/Vail Automotive Classic is not to be missed!

As the return of the Vail Wheels and Wings & Vail Automotive Classic will be returning in 2018 after a one-year hiatus, it seems timely to post this. This is one of the great car events, in a setting almost too gorgeous to believe. If you were ever looking for an excuse to drive your favorite car in the Rockies, this may be it!

Fall came early to the Colorado Rockies this year, with the Aspen trees lending their brilliant yellow hue to the full spectrum of colors present at the 2016 Vail Wheels and Wings Festival and Vail Automotive Classic. The Vail Wheels and Wings Festival is held a short drive from Vail, at the Vail Valley Jet Center, in Gypsum, Colorado. The Wheels and Wings Festival is a three-way medley of car show, auction, and aerial demonstration held the Friday and Saturday preceding the car show in Vail. Friday was the beginning of the gathering, set-up, and registration, with everyone getting organized for the weekend ahead. Saturday was packed with an air show, hundreds of cars, an auction, vendors, food, and on-site detailing. A festive mood permeated the happenings, lending a feel of celebration to the event. Judging was by peoples’ choice, and the Best-in-Show was rightfully awarded to an exquisitely restored 1932 Auburn V-12 Phaeton, resplendent in two-tone green over tan leather.

There are few settings for car shows anywhere as breathtaking as Vail in early autumn. The Vail Automotive Classic is held in scenic Vail Village, at the base of the famous ski resort. Spread over the cobblestone walkways, Vail Automotive Classic entrants run the gamut, from rat rods to European classics, American muscle to vintage motorcycles. There are stunning restorations, resto-mods, some true time capsules, and seven-figure hyper-exotics. This year, there was even a Jaguar C-Type racer, one of 54 ever built. The owner says he still drives it, and was entering the car in this year’s Colorado Grand rally. As the featured marque at Wheels and Wings, there was a wonderful representation of Corvettes, from first generation Solid Axels to current performance monster, the mighty Z06.

Doug Landin, the show’s founder and organizer, tirelessly endeavors to make each year better than the year previous, and it shows. Grown from an idea hatched at a local Cars and Coffee gathering, this show is rapidly becoming a must-attend event for many auto enthusiasts. “This is our first year here, but it won’t be our last. The air show alone was worth the trip,” said Verlin Snouffer, who traveled from Paola, KS, for the show. Mr. Landin hopes the Automotive Classic will become “the best non-concourse car show in the country”. Through his efforts, and those of his equally enthusiastic staff, he may do just that. There are few shows that offer the variety and quality seen here. Mr. Landin cites the spirit of the community, stating he couldn’t do it “without the support and encouragement of Vail and her residents.” With the ultimate goal being to become a major fundraiser for local charities, the Vail Automotive Classic has more meaning than most other shows. With Mr. Landin at the helm, this three-day event is destined for great things, both for the enthusiast community, and Vail herself.

Vail Wheels and Wings/Vail Automotive Classic

September 7-9, 2018

Vail, CO

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