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Automotive fans look under the hood of a classic Mustang parked behind a vintage Corvette Saturday at Spangdahlem Air Base's Motor Weekend car and motorcycle show. Motorcycle events, cars on display and a dynamometer for testing car performance highlighted the first day of the weekend event. A car show will be the main event on Sunday.

Automotive fans look under the hood of a classic Mustang parked behind a vintage Corvette Saturday at Spangdahlem Air Base's Motor Weekend car and motorcycle show. Motorcycle events, cars on display and a dynamometer for testing car performance highlighted the first day of the weekend event. A car show will be the main event on Sunday. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

Automotive fans look under the hood of a classic Mustang parked behind a vintage Corvette Saturday at Spangdahlem Air Base's Motor Weekend car and motorcycle show. Motorcycle events, cars on display and a dynamometer for testing car performance highlighted the first day of the weekend event. A car show will be the main event on Sunday.

Automotive fans look under the hood of a classic Mustang parked behind a vintage Corvette Saturday at Spangdahlem Air Base's Motor Weekend car and motorcycle show. Motorcycle events, cars on display and a dynamometer for testing car performance highlighted the first day of the weekend event. A car show will be the main event on Sunday. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

Tech Sgt. Aaron Smith, at center with back to camera, watches as his 2005 Pontiac GTO makes a run on a dynamometer — a machine used to measure a car's horsepower — Saturday at Spangdahlem Air Base's Motor Weekend car and motorcycle event. Smith, an aircraft mechanic assigned to the 52nd Equipment Maintenance Squadron at Spangdahlem, was pleased when the car registered 356 hp during its second run; he was hoping to beat 350 hp at the wheels.

Tech Sgt. Aaron Smith, at center with back to camera, watches as his 2005 Pontiac GTO makes a run on a dynamometer — a machine used to measure a car's horsepower — Saturday at Spangdahlem Air Base's Motor Weekend car and motorcycle event. Smith, an aircraft mechanic assigned to the 52nd Equipment Maintenance Squadron at Spangdahlem, was pleased when the car registered 356 hp during its second run; he was hoping to beat 350 hp at the wheels. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

SPANGDAHLEM, Germany — It’s Motor Weekend at Spangdahlem Air Base, where car and motorcycle connoisseurs are getting a chance to mingle and catch a glimpse of some rare machines.

The two-day event, which draws automotive aficionados from both the U.S. military and German communities, is in its six year. It continues Sunday with a car show.

"For people who love cars, it’s an opportunity for everyone to get together. It’s like its own community," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Josh Valencia, who along with his wife was showcasing a 2005 Scion XB on Saturday.

Though it’s not your traditional show car, the compact Scion boasts a customized interior that the Valencias have spent a couple years perfecting. With its leather, felt and tweed interior, custom lighting, TVs and a fancy stereo system, the car looks like something that could be featured on MTV’s "Pimp My Ride."

"It’s her car and I do the work," said Josh Valencia, who is stationed at Spangdahlem with the 52nd Equipment Maintenance Squadron.

"It’s something we both have fun with," added his wife, Shae.

The Scion will be part of Sunday’s car show, which is expected to draw 100 vehicles, according to event organizers. With car-show standards, such as Mustangs and Corvettes, to rare antiques, the event usually brings together a good mix.

"The Luxembourg guys always bring things that you only see in pictures. It’s stuff you’ve never seen before," said Eric Guth, who helped launch the original Motor Weekend and continues to run the event.

On Saturday, the main events centered on motorcycles, however, with a host of competitions slated to test unusual skill sets.

Among the day’s scheduled events was one in which bikers tried to keep their balance while seeing who could ride the slowest. Others included a motorcycle keg push and a ball and cone competition. The women’s carburetor toss and the men’s engine throw will round out Saturday night.

Motor Weekend grew out of three separate automotive shows and rallies, which eventually began to merge. "We said let’s combine it and make it one big event," Guth said.

Now, he said, many of the same people return each year, giving it a sense of camaraderie and community.

Sunday’s action kicks off at 9 a.m. with registration for the car-show participants at the air base. Vendor stands open at 10 a.m. Admission is free.

author picture
John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
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