The Village of East Davenport will be the scene of the 11th annual Heartland Autofest Saturday and Sunday. This event for British auto owners and enthusiasts will include a scenic drive, an autocross and a car show and judging.
``Many years ago a group of guys got together and thought maybe having a show would be a way to find other members,'' said Frank Ege, Heartland British Autofest chairman. And while it is still a way for British auto owners to meet others who share their interest, it has also grown into an event that can offer a good time to almost anyone, regardless of their vehicle's country of origin.
British auto owners will begin the fun at 10 a.m. Saturday with the autocross timed runs at the Rock Island Arsenal.
``We set up a course and you kind of run against the clock,'' said Mr. Ege. ``You run against other cars in your class, but there's only one car on the course at a time,'' said Corky Swanson, Heartland member and owner of the British Auto Shop. Any British-made car can participate in this drive that Mr. Ege said is ``probably the most fun you can have in a car without getting in trouble.'' ``It's a fun thing to do with your car instead of just letting it sit,'' Mr. Swanson agreed. The cars must be safe, and the drivers in the autocross must all wear helmets and seatbelts.
Saturday evening the event will continue with a scenic drive along the Mississippi River and a picnic buffet after that. The drive will start in the Quad City Times parking lot in Davenport and will travel ``along the Mississippi, we pass through the Arsenal, we'll go up the Illinois and Iowa sides of the river,'' Mr. Ege said.
About 140 British autos usually particiapte in this, some from as far away as Kansas City and South Dakota.
The drive ends at the eastern end of the Ben Butterworth Parkway in Moline where the drivers can enjoy a buffet for $7 per person.
The drive is free, but pre-registration is required for it and the meal.
Quad-Citians who don't own British-made cars can get involved with an auto show in the Village of East Davenport beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday. The public is invited to come to the village and view the cars for free.
About 140 cars are usually displayed and of these ``the most interesting, of course, are some of the older Rolls Royces and Bentleys,'' said Mr. Ege.
The public won't be the only ones viewing the cars. The owners will also be looking closely at all the cars on display. ``We let all the entrants judge each others' cars,'' Mr. Ege said.
While judging the cars, Mr. Ege said, the entrants ``tend to go with cars that are more original to the way that they were built,'' he said. After the participants have entered their votes for their favorite cars, awards will given in several categories at 3 p.m. that day.
Food vendors will not be brought into east Davenport for the event, but the restaurants there will be open for business. For more information or to register for any of the events, call Frank Ege at 797-2043.