This month, Velocity resumes its cross-country road trip to open the garage doors and lift the hoods of four-wheeled treasures that have had a profound effect on American culture. Three-time NASCAR champion crew chief Ray Evernham returns as host of AMERICARNA, scouting the incredible hidden stories of American automotive history that defined our cultural identity. From the last car Elvis Presley drove, to the epic memoir of the Ford Mustang and a tour of prototype cars in the General Motors vault, AMERICARNA presents a look at our national story through the lens of one of its greatest inventions: the automobile. Season two of AMERICARNA world premieres Tuesday, February 17th with two all-new episodes back-to-back at 10:00 PM (ET/PT) and 10:30PM (ET/PT).
“Cars have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, both personally and professionally”, said Ray Evernham. “I’d like to think that my experience very much mirrors the American automobile experience. Cars are an undeniable part of our history and this season of AMERICARNA tackles some of the most extraordinary accounts from America’s automotive story.”
In the season premiere, Ray is granted unprecedented access to Elvis Presley’s personal warehouse at Graceland. From the clothes he wore, to the television he watched, to the cars he drove, AMERICARNA’s intimate look at some of The King’s most prized possessions is a TV first. With special guests Rick Hendrick and Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ray reveals the pristine restoration of Elvis’s beloved Stutz Blackhawk at Charlotte Motor Speedway and gives audiences an exclusive look at the van he once used to sneak out of Graceland.
“Velocity has seen its fair share of classic cars over the years, but what if those cars could talk? What kind of amazing stories would they share? AMERICARNA highlights the pastimes of these automobiles and we couldn’t feel more grateful to have Ray Evernham as our tour guide. With stories including legends Carroll Shelby, Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and even Elvis himself, this season is the ultimate car guy’s take on American cultural history,” said Robert Scanlon, general manager of Velocity.
New episodes for this season include:
Elvis’ Stutz Blackhawk and Incognito Paneled Van
Season Premiere February 17th at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
The last car Elvis Presley drove the evening he passed away was his beloved Stutz Blackhawk. Ray wants to help document the preservation and heads to Graceland to check out this iconic piece of American music history. Ray and the team reveal the restoration of the car at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Rick Hendrick (“Mr. H”) and arguably Elvis Presley’s biggest fan, Dale Earnhardt Jr. While at Graceland, Ray and the team also get an exclusive look at the paneled station wagon Elvis used to get in and out of Graceland in disguise. It’s an intimate look at the King’s incredible automobile and the secrets about his cars only Elvis knew.
“Band of Brothers”
History of the Owens Corning Corvette
Premieres February 17th at 10:30 PM (ET/PT)
This episode takes an inside look at the famous racing L88 Corvette: From its history, to its successes and heartbreaks, to the stories of the men that drove it. Now, it’s a car world’s version of the Flintstones meet the Jetsons, as the Owens Corning Corvette - that clinched 22 straights races, making it the winningest Corvette in racing history - challenges the new Corvette C7-R at the track. The Owens Corning team reunites for the challenge at Sebring on March 11, 2014, and the crew went behind the scenes for the Corvette test drive of a lifetime.
“Break Up to Make Up”
Ray Evernham and Jeff Gordon’s 1999 Pepsi Car
Premieres February 24th at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
From break up to make up, Jeff Gordon and Ray reunite revive their Chevrolet Monte Carlo that claimed victory in their final race together at Phoenix, AZ in 1999. John Bickford makes the call that reunites the old team. Jeff and Ray look to bum parts off their boss – Rick Hendrick - to make their vision a reality: get the car, replace the parts as they were, make it run and get it to auction. Jeff and Ray work to restore the car back to its former glory and tell their story about their last season together and how they won at every track on the circuit at that time. We see the old mullets and mustaches – as well as talk about the pressure of winning that last race. The finale of the episode concludes at Barrett Jackson Scottsdale where the car is auctioned off for the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation for Pediatric Cancer.
“Battle for Rome”
Ritchie Evans and Jerry Cook’s Rival Cars
Premieres March 3rd at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
One of the greatest battles in NASCAR history was Hall of Famer Richie Evans and rival speedster Jerry Cook. Ray is determined to uncover - and revive- the cars that made these men famous. They purchase the car from Jimmy Spencer and take us through the side-by-side restoration process of Ritchie Evans #61 car and a replica of Jerry Cook’s #38 car. Through the build Ray uncovers legends’ stories through the eyes of guys who were there in Rome, NY, like Robin Pemberton and Steve Hmiel. Both cars will hit the track at Martinsville – site of one of the greatest races in modified history and the tragic death of Richie Evans himself. Legends live again as Ray recreates one the racing world’s most celebrated rivalries on a track that has seen it all.
“Secrets of GM Design”
General Motors Concept Cars
Premieres March 10th at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
General Motors VP of global design Ed Welburn takes AmeriCarna behind the scenes to talk about the history and development of the company’s concept cars that never made it to production. In a rare tour at the factory’s inner design studio, Ray gets an exclusive look behind the creative curtain at the GM plant in Detroit.
“The First Mustang”
Highlighting Mustang Milestones for 50 Years
Premieres March 17th at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
In this episode, Ray celebrates the 50th birthday of the Ford Mustang through the lens of three distinct Mustang owners who hold a slice of the car’s incredible history. In Chicago 1964, schoolteacher Gail Wise unknowingly purchased the first ever Mustang to ever be sold to consumers. It was three days before it became available to the public and her husband reveals the incredible restoration that brought the earliest Mustang ever sold back to its 60’s glory. John Grafelman is a farmer in Illinois and life-long Ford lover. A few years ago he found an old car hidden in a barn – it took some time but he convinced his friend to sell it to him. After some detective work he discovers he purchased 1968 Ford Design Chief Larry Shinoda’s personal car he tinkered with to invent the BOSS 302. Lastly, Ray travels to Dayton Ohio to interview Gale Holderman the Mustang stylist who won the company’s contest to draw and design Mustang.
1950’s Glasspar Cars
Premieres March 24th at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
Post World War II, a large generation of American soldiers were looking for cars that mirrored the incredible sports cars they saw overseas in Europe. After searching for an affordable way to recreate these, one manufacturer responded with a durable, cost effective option: a line of fiberglass sports cars. Very few of these cars still exist but there are collectors who are constantly looking to save pieces and parts of these virtually unknown vehicles – many of them at the Smithsonian Museum. This episode presents a unique look at how the narrative of American war time experiences often shaped the nation’s automotive demands.
“Surprising Discoveries in New Jersey”
An Inspired Schultz & A Mario Andretti Barn Find
Premieres March 31st at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
Ray explores buying a unique, hand built car that the Schultz family has kept in their New Jersey home for years. The car was originally called the Schultz El Fierro but it’s officially titled in New as a “Schultz Special” from 1958. It was used to drag race and held numerous racing records, but most important to that family was that it was driven by the legendary Carroll Shelby. With a frame and style much similar to the Shelby Roadster, the Schultz family wonders if it inspired one of the most wellknown automobiles in America. In another epic New Jersey story, Ray finds Mario Andretti’s 1965 Indy car. The catch: it’s completely in pieces hidden away in a garage. The iconic driver talks about his days on the track with that car and Ray attempts to negotiate a deal to buy the parts.
“Million Dollar Movie Cars”
Casting Cars In Major Motion Pictures
Premieres April 7th at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
How do you cast a car in a movie? What are the secrets to the build? Hollywood car designers give Ray the ultimate tour of some memorable movie cars. Includes a look at the recently found “Hells Chariot” – last surviving car from original Grease movie, the backstory of “Bumble Bee” from Tranformers, the making of tank from Hunger Games, and the iconic 1968 Chevy Impala from American Graffiti.
“Hot Rodders Holy Grail”
The Legacy of Willie Glass
Season Finale April 14th at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
While visiting the estate of automotive genius and land speed record holder Willie Glass, Ray discovers a lost set of the extremely rare Ardun Heads – a hot rodder’s dream discovery. He visits the infamous H & H Flatheads outside Los Angeles and discovers a surprise connection to the Earnhardt family.