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2016 Winterfest of Wheels

As we approach February in the upper Midwest, many of us are looking for entertaining ways to pass those cold, wintry days. Well, you’re in luck! In its eighth great year, the Annual Winterfest of Wheels is coming to rescue you from the winter blahs! Winterfest of Wheels for 2016 will be held on February 5th through the 7th in the warm confines of the Sioux Falls Convention Center. This year’s show promises to be another great event, with approximately 120 seldom seen rare and classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles of every description. The variety of vehicles displayed changes annually, and there is truly something of interest for every enthusiast.

As is our custom, this year’s feature car is another unique beauty! Roger Burman of Lakeside Rods and Rides created this stunning 1968 AMX “Executioner” from the ground up. Roger has displayed one of his builds in each of the previous Winterfest shows, and his creations are consistently show stoppers! As an example of Roger’s work, in 2015 Roger had two vehicles in the prestigious “Goodguys Terrific Twelve”. Those that follow the Goodguys series of car shows realize this is a huge accomplishment for one builder!

For those not totally familiar with the AMX badge, these cars were a product of American Motors Corporation; not part of the “big three” one thinks of in the automotive industry. In the 1960’s, AMC was building some creative performance machines in order to be competitive in the muscle car market of the day. With the right equipment, the AMX model was a formidable threat both on the dragstrip and on the road course. But this is no ordinary AMX.

As Roger tells it, “Executioner” was built for his customer Bob Gawlik of Scottsdale, AZ, as “a cross between an auto-crosser and a street machine”. “Or, you could also say it’s a real pretty race car.” And, in its 2016 Porsche “Lava Orange” paint with Forgeline wheels all around, it is, indeed, pretty. But it’s not just pretty, this car is built to perform, both on the track and on the street. And yes, it’s fully street legal!

Extensive lightening was done throughout the car in an effort to reduce weight. Fiberglass components including bumpers, deck lid, hood, and front fenders were used, and lightening was done in the interior and on suspension components. In the interior, aluminum panels are used extensively and the seats are aluminum racing seats. The seats and many of the interior panels are all wrapped in black vinyl. Lightweight functionality is the order of the day in the interior.

The AMX’s suspension consists of Morrison independent rear suspension and Detroit Speed front end components. Lakeside Rods fabricated their own frame rails to support the car and tie everything together. All of this is designed for maximum performance and handling with a low, menacing stance. The body features fenders flared wide to accommodate 18X12 wheels with 315/35/18 rubber. Baer brakes all around bring things to a halt.

And what makes it all go, you ask? Lingenfelter Performance, one of the top names in GM performance engines, built the LS-7 engine for this beast. Roger tells me they “built this engine for torque and not ultimate horsepower”, with the end result producing 650 ft./lbs. of torque, and 670 hp. These specs are going to give some fantastic performance in this 2900lb car! Delivering that power to the rear is the proven Th400 transmission with a Gear Vendors overdrive. This car will, indeed, live up to its name: AMX Executioner!

That sums up the feature car this year, but there’s much more to Winterfest of Wheels!

For the younger folks, this year’s celebrity guest is Lizzy Greene. Known for her friendly and outgoing personality, twelve year old Lizzy is Dawn in the popular Nickelodeon TV series, ”Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn”. Lizzy has also done voice-over work for Disney and has had other TV roles on ABC and Nickelodeon. There will be times throughout the weekend for fans to meet Lizzy and get her autograph.

Other attractions you’ll want to check out at this years’ Winterfest include the popular “Ditch Your Man” area for the ladies, a kids coloring contest, seminars, a model car contest, dozens of raffle items, and a wide variety of automotive and specialty product vendors. We’ll also have available a selection of quality Winterfest of Wheels souvenir items, including shirts and hats with a brand new Winterfest logo. For some live music, the band “Big, Red, Rawket Riot” will again be performing in their rockabilly style for you on Friday evening.

Additional cars this year will include models from the early 1900’s to today. Bob Marvin, owner of “The Shed” in Warroad, MN, always brings some real crowd favorites. This year he’s bringing five more cars from his amazing collection of ultra-rare classics. Several builders and restoration shops will be displaying their latest top-of-the-line creations. This is a great time to see what the latest trends are and visit with a shop about your automotive dreams. Motorcycles are, of course, a part of Winterfest each year. There will be vintage and custom bikes in the show as well as a large display of new motorcycles from J & L Harley-Davidson.

Of course, this is more than a car show, it’s all about raising money to help Cure Kids Cancer. The Winterfest committee is a group of car, truck, and motorcycle enthusiasts with a mission to bring unique, premier vehicles to one location for everyone in the area to enjoy, and to support a great cause. Profits from Winterfest of Wheels are donated to the local Sanford Cure Kids Cancer to help in this ongoing battle.

There’s no doubt about it, there is really something for every member of the family at Winterfest of Wheels! What a great place to come out for a little mid-winter diversion; spend a few hours or make a weekend of it with a weekend pass. Hours for the event are Friday: 5 PM-10 PM, Saturday: 10 AM-9 PM, and Sunday 9 AM-3 PM. Ticket prices are $10 daily or $17 for a 3-day pass, kids under 12 are free. (Advance tickets can be purchased at J & L Harley-Davidson for $9) For more information and to view times of attractions, check our website at www.winterfestofwheels.com, or Winterfest of Wheels on Facebook, or on Twitter@wintrfestwheels.

We hope you’ll stop out to participate in this fantastic event and help us raise money to Cure Kids Cancer. See you there!

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