The second full week of August will be more than just Monterey Car Week and the Woodward Dream Cruise this year. The History channel plans the first of what it hopes to be an annual “Car Week,” launching August 13.
The three-night, six-hour event launches with The Cars That Made America, a program hosted by stock car racer Dale Earnhardt Jr., who also was the executive producer.
“The series uncovers the stories of the visionaries who built America’s car landscape, changing our culture and shaping our country forever,” History’s news release said.
“Cars are a huge part of what America was built on – industry, innovation and inspiration,” Earnhardt Jr. says in the news release. “I am honored to be partnering with History as part of their event series ‘The Cars That Made America’ to educate viewers and car enthusiasts about one of my passions.”
In addition to Earnhardt Jr., History’s Car Week will include a two-hour Car Country special, “enhanced automotive-themed episodes” of American Pickers, Counting Cars and Pawn Stars, and a digital short-form series, “Best Car Ever.”
The programming begins Sunday, August 13, at 8 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific time zones) with Earnhardt Jr.’s The Cars That Made America. The second and third episodes are scheduled for 8 p.m. August 14 and 15.
“The special uncovers the stories of the visionaries who built America’s vehicle landscape and chronicles the epic journey of how the biggest names of the automobile industry became the legendary household brands that car enthusiasts have grown to love,” History said.
“Through gritty, character-driven reenactments and never-before-seen archival footage, the special showcases the career trajectories of seven iconic and revolutionary figures: Henry Ford, Walter Chrysler, the Dodge Brothers, William Durant, Lee Iacocca and John DeLorean.”
At 10 p.m. Sunday, Counting Cars features “Mustang Madness,” with actor Michael Madsen going to Count’s Kustoms for the restoration of a 1964 Ford pony car.
On Monday, August 14, at 10 p.m. Pawn Stars offers “If The Pawn Don’t Fit,” with host Rick Harrison taking a test drive in the infamous O.J. Simpson Ford Bronco.
On Wednesday, August 16, also at 8 p.m., the new, two-hour Car Country special debuts with “Best Car Ever,” which History says will celebrate “America’s passion for cars and the nostalgia they evoke with interviews from celebrity car enthusiasts.”
“Beginning with the 1970s, the show takes viewers on a ride through the last 50 years of U.S. car culture, exploring how everything from politics to pop culture has affected the way Americans consume and love the automobile,” the network said.
“Culminating with the cars of the future and what’s expected in 2020 and beyond, this special immerses car fanatics and novices alike in the lifestyle, technology, design, safety, luxury, trends and failures that defined each decade and paved the way for cars to come.”
“Best Car Ever,” it added, is a six-part short-form series, each episode featuring a different theme and interviews with such celebrity car enthusiasts and car experts as Tim Allen, Rob Corddry, Spike Feresten, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Fred Willard, Austin Dillon, Danny Koker and Wyclef Jean. Themes range from best TV car and best getaway car to best James Bond car and best family vacation car.
Viewers will gain an unparalleled understanding of automobiles from their inception to a peek into the future,” — Paul Buccieri
At 10 p.m. Wednesday, American Pickers features “Caravan of Cars” with Mike and Frank crossing American in search of potential automotive treasures.
NASCAR racer Brian Vickers will serve as the Car Week host, History said.
“Through epic storytelling and a broad look into the history of cars, viewers will gain an unparalleled understanding of automobiles from their inception to a peek into the future,” Paul Buccieri, president, A+E Studios and A+E Networks Portfolio Group, said in the news release. “From the names that we know to the iconic brands that we love, ‘Car Week’ is certain to take viewers on the ride of their lives.”