By M.V. Moorhead
Earlier this month a sinkhole of rather Biblical
proportions opened in the floor of the National
Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., and
swallowed up eight cars.
Not to worry, though. The folks at Arizona
Community Church aren’t concerned that a dark
cloud is hanging over all displays of classic motor
vehicles these days.
ACC is proceeding with its planned Motorsports
Day, just as it has in each of the past 15 years.
This year’s celebration will welcome the usual
hundreds of unique and classic cars, along with
thousands of guests who happily roam the church
campus to check out the showing of motorized
This year’s event will be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Saturday, March 1.
The main attractions of the festivities, of
course, are the hundreds of restored classic motor
vehicles—dating back as far as the 1920s, with
every subsequent decade represented—which will
be displayed in just about every available space
surrounding the church.
“It’s always an exciting time,” says Ken Bowers.
He would be likely to think so. “I’ve been
involved in the ministry for many years, and I’ve also
been what they call a gearhead. I used to drag race,
Bowers’ interests eventually combined, and
now he also serves as the chaplain at Phoenix
International Raceway, having previously worked in
that capacity at Firebird International Raceway.
It will be Bowers’ job to offer the invocation at
the upcoming event.
Such posts became possible for Bowers, who
now works at Coulter Motor Company Tempe, “Once
I wasn’t on a church staff. Because when you’re on a
church staff they don’t look kindly at you going to a
race on Saturday or Sunday. Especially on Sunday.”
A member of ACC’s congregation “since they
broke ground in ’97,” Bowers was one of Motorsports
Day’s original visionaries.
“I had seen that a church back in Pennsylvania
did a motorsports day,” recalls Bowers, a Maryland
native. “I mentioned it to [founding pastor Guy]
Davidson and Doug Ross, and one thing led to
The first year, 1998, the Motorsports Day was a
“Back then” says Bowers, “I had a few people out
at Firebird who came in and brought their cars, and a
few people who had street rods. I think we had about
50 cars, the first one. Last year, my understanding is
they had every parking space full.”
The event can’t really get any bigger at its
current location, but it’s a capacity crowd again this
year, he says—the number of registered vehicles,
among them muscle cars, street rods, antiques and
motorcycles, is around 500.
The cars themselves are not
the show’s only attraction, however.
Vendors will be present, ranging from
Chandler Harley-Davidson to Tom
Goosic’s Desert Designs Sportswear,
which will offer a commemorative
t-shirt for the event.
A meal of pulled pork, chips, pop,
a pickle and a cookie will be offered at
no charge to the show’s participants
and for a nominal fee to spectators,
and other goodies will also be available
at affordable prices.
There will be activities for kids,
“You know those little Hot
Wheels cars?” asks Bowers. “They’ve
given away as many as 400 to 500 of
those, so that every kid who comes
To the obvious question—why
would a church host a motorsports
day?—the event’s website refers to it
as “a gift from Arizona Community
Church to you.”
Pastor Bill Meiter expands on
this: “We see it as part of our desire to
have something for everyone. While
we don’t keep a count, we know that
a lot of people have started coming
to our church simply as a result of
visiting us on our Motor Sports Day.
They may not come until they feel a
need, but when that need arises, we’re
the church they know.”
Or, as Bowers puts it:
“Would you please cross our curb,
and see that we care?”
Admission to the event is free,
although donations are accepted.
Parking, across the street from the
church courtesy of Corona del Sol
High School, is also free.
For details go to www.accmsd.org
or call 480-491-2210.