Appalachian Region Porsche Owners Enjoy Corvettes and more...

Porsches and Corvettes are opposites in every way. Porsches have a flat-six, rear engine, designed for twists and turns versus Corvette’s V-8, front engine, rear wheel drive designed for speed and acceleration.

Although cameras weren't allowed in the collection, we could take photos in the museum, which features Hendrick's NASCAR efforts. We gathered there while we waited for admission to the collection.

But yet the chance to see over 100 of the finest Corvettes in Rick Hendrick’s private collection brought 29 Porsche Club members to Charlotte for a tour of the Hendrick Heritage Center. It was a day to view America’s finest with over 228 cars in the collection. The collection is mostly Chevrolets with a smattering of exotics. 

No photos allowed but this photo from the Hendrick web site captures the Corvette collection.

Appalachian Region members ready to enter and enjoy the Hendrick Heritage Center

Mr. Hendrick has always been a “Chevrolet Man”, whether it is his many dealerships or his NASCAR Chevrolet teams with more championships that you can count on two hands. Entrance to view this private collection is limited, and no photos are allowed, but thanks to our sponsor Hagerty, we were able to gain entrance. A $25 donation per person was requested to support the Hendrick non-profit foundation.

The field trip to Charlotte started with arrival at the Hendrick Motorsports Museum and Store that was just a preamble to the large, over-the-top Heritage Center. Bill Price with Yohan as his right seat navigator, led a caravan of three cars from Arden with the others finding their own way to Charlotte. Of course, in typical Appalachian Region fashion, cars started to arrive 30-minutes prior to the tour start.

The day at Hendrick started with wandering the Motorsports Museum and store where we had the chance to view some of the most historic Hendrick NASCAR winning cars from Jeff Gordon, Jimmy Johnson and all the other champions that have driven for Rick Hendrick. After viewing the cars, it became a nice social venue as we awaited entrance to the Heritage Center. There was a lot of talk among each other and introductions to those who didn’t know each other.  

When we entered the Heritage Center, we were broken into four groups of eight guided by a Docent so we were provided with interesting stories about the cars and facility. Mr. Hendrick created memories of his childhood and family that allowed him to achieve success in the automotive world. 

No photos allowed but this photo from the Hendrick web site captures the 200+ collection.

 There was a recreated and operating Dairy Queen, the bank where his mother worked, the police car that chased him down many Virginian roads for a loud and fast car. The 200+ cars as mentioned included mainly Chevrolets but there 11 Porsches, six Ferraris, several Fords, Dodges and a great selection of drag cars and hydroplane boats.  

A particular highlight for the author was viewing the row of 1967 Big Block Corvettes that had every color of Big Block Corvette that the factory produced, including the only “Mary Kay” Big Block Corvette that was produced in 1967.

There were also 24 VIN #1 Corvettes in the collection.

And extra bonus was the guitar room featuring guitars from every famous musician that you could name. There was also a section of sports memorabilia with one of Babe Ruth’s bats, a Reggie Jackson’s bat and Joe Dimaggio’s cleats.

After a 1.5 guided tour of the collection, that could have easily continued for the rest of the day, it was time to go to lunch at the Speedway Club.

The Speedway Club is a private dining club at the Charlotte Motor Speedway overlooking the track. Once again, thanks to our Hagerty Hosts, Spencer Gates and Paul Kaperonis, we had track-side seats for lunch and socializing.

Lunch at the Speedway Club overlooking Charlotte Motor Speedway.

As if a 200+ car collection and a visit to the Charlotte Motor Speedway wasn’t enough, the day wasn’t over. The next stop on the trip was a visit to Sonderwerks, a Porsche restoration and service shop specializing in air-cooled Porsches and a wonderful dinner at Waterman’s Fish Bar where the Porsche owner treated us to a vast array of appetizers to complement our wonderful meal.

The Porsche shop visits will be the next article in the series because this trip just had one fantastic shop visit after another and are too much to cover in just one article.

Jim Moore – Appalachian Region President