Special Olympians will ride in classics in Connecticut

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More than 100 Special Olympic athletes from all over the world will ride in classic and exotic cars August 22 in the Twilight Dream Cruise and Wrangler Rally through the streets of Connecticut cities New Britain, Newington, Avon and Farmington.

Skip Barber, founder of the race driving schools that bear his name, will lead the cruise and will be inducted in the Dream Ride Hall of Fame at a dinner following the cruise. The cruise ends in Farmington with a dinner and concert featuring Cassadee Pope and Danielle Bradbury, two stars of The Voice television show.

“It is humbling to see how important both the Dream Show and Cruise have become to support these very Special Olympians,” said Dean Cusano, sponsor and chief judge of the event. “I am honored to have my team of eight prestigious judges who volunteered their time, skills and knowledge to work with the Hometown Foundation to create this event.”

The other judges include Wayne Carini of Chasing Classic Cars; Larry Boardman, the “Car Guy;” Leigh Dorrington, automotive historian, writer and founder of the Saratoga Fall Ferrari Festival; Matt Dunham of Classic Motorsports; Andy Reid of Classic Car News, restoration specialist Gary Mastronunzio, and David Traver Adolphus of Hemmings.

“The direct involvement with the athletes is so rewarding as we see the excitement over automobiles make an overwhelming difference in so many lives,” Cusano added. “Honoring Skip Barber is a huge addition to the event as all people and organizations combine forces and work towards one common goal–to help Special Olympics athletes. The result is very powerful.”

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Nicole James has been involved in the automotive world her entire life. Her dream car is a 1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe. She currently drives a 2005 Mustang affectionately known as Marilyn and uses the car to participate in track events, car shows, and explore the world around her. Nicole joined the ClassicCars.com Content and Marketing team in 2014. Nicole is an automotive journalist and the creator of Pretty Driven - an online source for car culture and news for millennials, as well as a contributor for ClassicCars.com. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @Nicoleeellan