CONCORD, N.C. — A pristine 1970 Plymouth AAR Barracuda owned by John Jancic, of Cleveland, N.C., turned heads, winning the overall Best of Show Award at the Fall AutoFair and concluding the four-day automotive extravaganza on Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The 1970 B5 Blue Plymouth AAR ‘Cuda with blue interior topped cars from more than 40 clubs that attended this year’s AutoFair and competed for the top prize of Best of Show.
“It’s sweet,” said the 52-year-old about driving this award-winning car. “We have a lot of Plymouths and Dodges in the family, but to have something that no matter where you go it turns heads is sweet.”
The AAR ‘Cuda resided in several states, including California, Illinois and Wisconsin, before Jancic got his hands on it. The car’s previous owner had to stop his restoration project due to poor health, so Jancic purchased it in December 2012 and completed the car in May.
Although all the metal is original, Jancic spent his spare time working under the hood and painting to make the car look more original when he wasn’t at his business, Mid-State Metals.
“There is just a certain limited amount of Plymouth AAR ‘Cudas that was ever built,” Jancic said. “To get a car that is B5 Blue and has blue interior is rare.”
Jancic said this award means so much to him because in his opinion, the Charlotte AutoFair is the biggest car show in the United States. He also felt honored that Mike Joy, Fox Sports anchor and car enthusiast, assisted in the judging and presentation of awards.
The First Runner-Up Award at the AutoFair was a 1966 Ford Mustang driven by Sue Bleau, of Fort Mill, S.C., and the Second Runner-Up Award was given to Charlotte, N.C., resident Tom Page and his 1970 Buick Gran Sport 455.
Specialty award winners included Robert Mills, of Columbia, S.C., who took home the Bob Laidlein Award (Most Original) with his 1973 AMC Ambassabor; Jerry Caulder, of Lexington, S.C., winner of the Cabarrus Cup Award (Most Creative) for his 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SSL 727; Monroe, N.C., resident Dean Paonessa, winner of the Lion Cup Award (Best Paint) for his 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air; Karen Ash, of Albemarle, N.C., who captured the Mecklenburg Strelitz Award (Ladies’ Choice) for her 1955 Chevrolet Truck; and Paul Cochrane, of Matthews, N.C., who was awarded the Concord Concours (Best Restoration by Owner) award for his 1969 Camaro Z/28.
Each of the car clubs participating in the AutoFair was judged individually, with a Best of Show picked for each club.