One of the most enduring—if not endearing—stereotypes of Kentucky folk is their taste for moonshine whiskey. Although mostly supplanted by the many fine brands of Bourbon whiskey brewed around the Commonwealth, there are still a handful of misty “hollers” where “white lightnin’” is still being cooked in the pale moonlight.
But Kentucky’s quaint tradition of moonshining has left at least one legacy that seems to be growing in intensity: automobile customization. Even if they no longer find it necessary to outrun the cops and revenuers, local car enthusiasts are still keen to modify and beautify their stock cars; and Louisville-based car clubs seem to be expanding at a steady rate.
Last month’s Carl Casper Auto Show  filled the huge Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville with hundreds of breathtakingly beautiful vehicles, and thousands of enthusiastic fans. And our own chapter of American Speed was this year’s recipient of the prestigious Club Award for its outstanding work in promoting automotive customization.
American Speed is a national car enthusiast’s community that was formed around the mission of providing a supportive environment to fuel the passion of local car enthusiasts both locally and nationwide. This community is split up into local chapters and each chapter hosts events, participates in shows, and hosts local gatherings. Two of American Speed’s founding members, Patrick and Chris Miesner, still hold the titles of President and Vice President, respectively, in the Louisville chapter.
Originally, American Speed was an American-made car community, but that changed in January of 2007 with the addition of the Import division into the community. By remaining true to their commitment of focusing on family, friendship, and respect for others, the local Louisville chapter has grown every year with close to 100 members in the local chapter currently. With the escalating interest of the community and both local and national businesses, American Speed has been able to acquire sixteen sponsors including Napa, Xtreme Audio Sound, Bumper to Bumper, Cool Cars, Wheel play, Mustangs Unlimited.com and many more.
Membership benefits offered by American Speed include a custom e-mail address, discounts through the club’s sponsors, bimonthly new letters regarding upcoming events and what is going on within the club, full access to their website, and two American Speed decals for member’s vehicles. Upon forming a new chapter with American Speed, members will receive a custom website and section on the American Speed forum; and all members will receive their own e-mail address, conference room for all meetings, decals and logos for vehicles, shirts, and polos, discounts through the club’s sponsors, and bimonthly news letters containing upcoming events and news about the club as a whole.
For current up-to-date information regarding American Speed’s upcoming events, shows and gatherings, head on over their website: www.American-Speed.com. This is an outstanding community filled with friendly and helpful car enthusiasts, and if you are looking to network with fellow car enthusiasts or a friendly family oriented environment, American Speed is what you need.
Photo credits: American Speed, and Tom McAdam, IV, who contributed to this article.