Contributed by Russ Muller Photography
On Saturday, October 1st American MotorSports held their 4th annual Customer Appreciation Day at their Orlando location, 4130 N. Orange Blossom Trail. The day included a car show and barbecue, as well as lots (and lots) of giveaways, trophies, music by DJ Don of Cruisin’ Orlando, and a 50/50 drawing to benefit Southeast Guide Dogs Paws for Patriots program. An Orlando fixture since 1999, American MotorSports is now the official speed shop of Orlando Speed World Dragway. Manager Ron Dickerson and his team know a lot about performance, and they also know a lot about how to say thank you to their customers…
I wanted to be one of the first arrivals on Saturday, so I could shoot photos of the cars as they came into the event. Since the event was scheduled from 11:00-3:00, I thought a 9:15 arrival would be early enough. Wrong! When I arrived there were already nearly 60 show cars there, so I parked my ’71 Pontiac and walked over to the registration table. Registration took less than a minute, and the two ladies working the table were both extremely nice. Okay, car was registered, so I could go do my thing (shooting pictures). Here’s a rough timeline of how things went through the day:
9:30 – The American MotorSports staff were busy setting up barbecue grills, putting on table cloths and getting drinks iced down as cars arrived. Some of the staff started to direct cars to parking areas, which kept things flowing smoothly.
10:00 – Well over 100 cars had arrived, and there were lots (and lots) still arriving. DJ Don from Cruisin’ Orlando arrived and began to setup. The smell in the air was an almost magical mixture of barbecue grills warming up and racing fuel being burned by some of the 1,000 horsepower pro-street cars that were coming in.
11:00 – Car count was at about 250, and the back parking area was almost full. Staff began to redirect cars to the parking lot next door. Hamburgers and hot dogs were on the grills, and people began to eat.
12:00 – Packed parking lots, both front and back. My best guesstimate at this point was somewhere over 400 cars. Music, cars, food, door prizes. The staff of American MotorSports was working hard to feed the hundreds and hundreds of people who were all enjoying the day.
2:00 – As afternoon clouds started rolling in, Ron started to award the trophies. Once the trophies were done, Ron began to award the door prizes. Unfortunately I didn’t win any, but there were many awarded. From carburetor spacer plates and 5-gallon gas cans to a chrome 100 amp alternator, lots of people walked away with some cool swag. The 50/50 drawing to benefit the Paws for Patriots program was won by Holly Kidder, who immediately donated her $291 win back to the Paws program.
3:00 – Parking lots are clearing out. Orange Blossom Trail is treated to the sweet smell of racing fuel being burned up by big blocks, mixed with the awesome aroma of burning rubber as some of those 1,000 horsepower pro-street cars head home from an awesome day.
Ron Dickerson and his staff did an amazing job of feeding and entertaining hundreds and hundreds of people. They did it to say Thank You to their customers, but we customers really need to say an even bigger THANK YOU to everyone at American MotorSports. Thanks for a great event, and thanks for being a great partner with the racing/hot rodding/ car community.
Click HERE for more photos from Russ Muller
Click HERE for the video flyover from Mirisola Productions