First Chattanooga Motorcar Festival Kicks Off Downtown

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Downtown Chattanooga is automobile headquarters tonight. It’s the Inaugural Motorcar festival along the river and in West Village.
Crowds of enthusiasts have been there all day and more than 10-thousand out of town visitors are here for the weekend.

Riverside Drive at the aquarium is the scene of time trials today….one of the events of the weekend Motorcar Festival presented by the DeFoor Brothers of Chattanooga..and sponsored by Volkswagen of America.

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Corky Coker was live with Chip earlier today.

“The Chattanooga Motorcar Festival brings people from all over the world, we’ve got time trails, we’ve got a concourse, we’ve got some of the most wonderful cars, got celebrities here,” said Corky Coker, owner of Coker Museum.

There was a safety sweep after that accident on Riverside drive. The trials picked back up again, and large crowds gathered to watch.

Classic cars, race cars, vendors, and a street party will be going on as the area is closed off around the West Village.

And over at the Coker Museum, racing celebrities are signing autographs, and there are dozens of amazing cars, and motorcycles.

Brian Redman, winner of 9 racing championships, was there.

“The DeFoor Brothers, particularly Byran, have done a really fantastic job, it’s a – in many ways it’s a thankless job,” said Brian Redman.

Also on hand was Linda Vaughn, recently inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. She shared a story about her last time working with Bert Reynolds.

“We did the Barrett-Jackson auctions together and they asked him, ‘Bert, would you take your hat off for anyone?, he goes, ‘I will for Linda Vaughn.’ and he put his arm around me and he said, ‘Linda, God has been good to you.’ and that was our last show,” said Linda Vaughn.

The entire event is to benefit the Neuroscience Institute of Erlanger.

“The new Neuroscience Institute that you’re going to hear more about tonight, is going to be a fabulous facility that’s going to pull our whole team of neuroscience clinicians and researchers together, and when you’re all working shoulder to shoulder like that, that’s when you’re able to come up with the best care plans for patients,” said Dr. Tom Devlin, Head of Neurology at Erlanger.

The event continues through Saturday.

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Ashley is a lifetime Chattanooga area resident, and a 1987 graduate from UTC, with a BA in communications. While there, he was commissioned through the ROTC program, served simultaneously in the 1/181st field artillery Tn. Army National Guard, finished Airborne school, was a member of the Scabbard and Blade military honor society and ROTC Rangers, the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, played snare drum with the UTC Marching band, and played in a southern rock band called Southern Atmosphere, while working a full time job as a trainer at the Sports Barn. He also won the Southeastern United States teenage bodybuilding competition during this time. Ashley has been with News 12 Now for 21 years. Prior to working here he was a videographer, director, producer and editor at Falcon Cable TV in Dalton, Ga. for 6 years where he produced thousands of commercials and dozens of hour long features. He also worked as a freelancer and employee at another network affiliate in Chattanooga. He has operated a part time video production business from home for 25 years. He says his passion is telling stories that feature people who give of themselves to help others, and stories that inspire people to make positive changes in themselves and their communities. Ashley is ecstatically married to Debbie Henderson, and has two step sons, a daughter in law, a sister, and lots of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. His parents are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. Ashley and Debbie are active members of Brainerd Baptist Church. His interests include weight training and cycling with his wife, photography, poetry, playing drums, and checking off items from his extensive honey-do list. If you would like to reach Ashley, email him at ahenderson@wdef.com.