Gearheads will go gaga at the next Capital Wing event at Culpeper Regional Airport, where in addition to vintage World War II aircraft, a car show has been added for the Commemorative Air Force’s first-ever “Wings and Wheels” event.
Antiques, hot rods, exotics, imports and moderns—organizers urge car owners to show off their vehicles while getting buzzed from above by 75-year-old lovingly restored airplanes.
“We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, and it turned out this was a great opportunity to finally do it,” said Cliff Davis, development officer for the Wing. “People want to get out of the house and this is definitely something we can do within the state mandates for COVID-19.”
Car owners are already signing up to participate, Davis said, adding that prizes will be awarded for who travels furthest for the show, the best antique, the commander’s favorite, and many more.
“We’re excited to connect people with common interests in historic vehicles and aircraft and military history at an event like this,” Davis said. “And besides that it’s just fun to see all the creativity involved in restoring this vintage machinery.”
Car show entries are $25 if reserved before the show and $30 on the day of the event. In addition, for $40 car owners have the opportunity to have their car photographed with WWII TBM Avenger “Doris Mae.”
“It’s the same type of aircraft George Bush Sr. flew during the war,” Davis said. “You’ll be amazed at how large it is—a great comparison and contrast to park your vintage car next to it.”
It’s especially neat to get vehicles from the same era, such as a Ford Model A, next to the Doris Mae, he said. “They’re both from the 1940s, so it’s a great period photo for modern times,” he said.
Car check-in will start at 9 a.m. on Aug. 15, with gates opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and judging at 2 p.m. Winners will be announced at 3 p.m., with the awarding of prizes.
Local classic car group Cruisin’ for Heroes will be appearing at the event, with the cars of several group members on display, as they work to raise money for the Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit that works to provide housing for military and veteran family members can stay free of charge while a loved one is undergoing medical treatment.
Tickets to enter a vehicle in the show or to get a photo with the Doris Mae can be purchased on Eventbrite or by emailing email@example.com.
Demand for rides in the Capital Wing’s vintage aircraft at the upcoming Showcase has been so high that a second day has been added, on Sunday Aug. 16, which will also be the rain day for the car show, should it be needed.
Tickets for Warbird rides in Culpeper can be purchased through the Capital Wing website main page, capitalwing.org.
Offering rides is how the nonprofit has been raising funds to try to replenish those lost due to COVID-cancelled air shows.
Visitors and participants for any Capital Wing events will be held according to pandemic guidelines set forth by the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health, a news release stated. Parking and entry are free, although the nonprofit Capital Wing will appreciate donations.
Another Warbird Showcase event will be held in Ashland, on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22 and 23.
In addition to the rides in vintage aircraft on those days, airplane rides in a more contemporary craft, a Tecnam P2002 or Tecnam P92, are being offered through a partner group, Heart of Virginia. These rides are $139 for a 45-minute experience. Seven flight time slots for each aircraft are scheduled for up to 14 flights each day.
“A typical Warbird or Tecnam ride might include a swing around Kings Dominion amusement park, over the town of Ashland, the Keeble Observatory at Randolph-Macon College, the South Anna River, and of course riders can see downtown Richmond,” said Pete Ballard, assistant adjutant for the Wing in an email. “The actual route depends on weather conditions and other aircraft traffic.”
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