Car owners gather to support marathon victims

You may want to circle Saturday, July 20 on your calendar. It’s an opportunity to combine a car show with a benefit for the Boston Marathon bombing victims.

The occasion is “Spikes Ride for Boston,” an all-comers car-truck-motorcycle show at the Brockton Fairgrounds.

If initial response on Facebook (Spike’s Ride for Boston) is an indication, this will be big. It’s the creation of George LeGrice of Brockton, who put together “Spikes Ride for Sandy Hook,”—a benefit show at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT, on April 13. That event raised $26,367 for several charities benefitting Newtown, CT, shooting victims and drew more than 2,400 show cars, motorcycles, and trucks from all over the Northeast.

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“I thought t the Lime Rock show would be a simple bike (motorcycle) ride, but things went huge very, very quickly,” LeGrice told the Litchfield CT Country Times.

For the Brockton show, LeGrice envisions multiple staging locations with cars then heading to the show in convoys—a technique that proved popular with Lime Rock participants.

Already, Facebook pages promoting convoys from Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine have sprung up and LeGrice expects a motorcycle group will leave from Boston’s South Bay area.

“Brockton (Fair) has plenty of room and people will be able to register on the day of the show,” says LeGrice. Cost will be $15 for motorcycles and cars, $20 for trucks, and $5 for spectators.

“I want this show to be big,” he says. “Lots of people—friends, family, strangers—helped me in Connecticut with no monetary gain in it for them. This is a chance to do something and know that the money is going to a good place.”

LeGrice knows the easy place to put the money is The One Fund in Boston, which was closing in on $38 million as of last Sunday. “We’re looking at some of the smaller charities,” he says. “We want to know where the money we raised is going.”

LeGrice also is working on a souvenir T-shirt for the event. “It’s very important to me to have it have the correct theme.”

“It’s hard to find good family events,” he says. “I think people will come and hang out here for quite a while.”

At midweek, he was envisioning temporary tattoos, music groups, lots of vendors, and—insurance permitting—maybe a burnout pad plus a stunt performance by the Connecticut men’s motorcycle freestyle team.

“You’ll have to try very hard not to be entertained,” he promises.

“I had friends in Connecticut when the Sandy Hook shootings happened. It just seemed like a good idea to do a quality show for a good cause. I’m kind of a natural with anything that has wheels.”

He also describes himself as the last person who people think can promote a show. “People look at a 27-year-old with a Mohawk and get the wrong impression,” he says.

Lime Rock president Skip Barber praised the Connecticut show. “This is one of the most democratic shows I’ve ever seen. We had Bentleys from the 1930s shoulder to shoulder with Honda Accords, which were right next to jacked-up diesel pick-ups, Z28s and Austin-Healeys. Thousands of vehicles... It’s wonderful when everyone feels as one, to do what they can.”

“I had a blast doing it,” LeGrice says. “Everyone was smiling and a lot of folks I’ve known over the years got involved. It might be my brainchild, but it wouldn’t have happened without an awesome team of volunteers.

An El Camino Weekend

Next weekend the New England Region of the National El Camino Owners Association will celebrate its 5th annual El Camino Night at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH.

The group will have special “show” parking before the night’s races and do some ceremonial laps between races with “burnouts” encouraged.

On Saturday, the group will take a “New England Coastal Cruise” around Gloucester and Rockport, enjoy a private tour of Paul Russell & Company in Essex, and be a featured marque at Skip’s Cruise night in Merrimac.

Paul Russell and Company, formerly Gullwing Service Co., is among the nation’s most prestigious restoration shops. Twenty of its cars have won a total of 37 Best-in-Show awards at major Concours d’Elegance events since 1987. The company is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.

Etc.

Today is Corvette Day at Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, the continuation of an 85-year tradition. Next Sunday (June 16) is German Car Day and the following week (June 23) is British Car Day … Danvers Ford holds its 20th annual antique auto show today from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Cars must be 1988 or older … Last night in Tulsa, OK, Leake Auction was scheduled to put the 2011 Kia Optima that NBA star Blake Griffin jumped over to win the 2011 Slam Dunk contest on the block. The car has been owned by Primeaux Kia, and is being auctioned for charity. Griffin made the dunk by jumping over the hood of the car and taking a pass from Vince Carter from the car’s sunroof … An interesting trend seems to be that hybrid sales are growing while EVs (electric vehicles) aren’t. Ford just surpassed its previous full-year hybrid sales record in the first five months of 2013 and Toyota’s hybrid sales were up 16.7 percent in May. However, Honda recently cut the three-year lease price for the all-electric FitEV to $259 a month (from $389). That’s with no down payment, unlimited mileage (really, how far are you going in an EV?), routine maintenance, collision coverge and a 240-volt home charging station (not including installation).