HOUSTON, Jan. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With a panel of automotive industry insiders including Roger Penske and Craig Jackson serving as the judges, Harold Craige of New Bern, N.C., a self-described "1941 model with modern updates," emerged as the grand prize winner in the Shell V-Power ® " Ultimate Enthusiast" Contest. Automotive enthusiasts from across the country shared their stories of why they were the most deserving of the title of the "Ultimate Enthusiast," but it was Craige's passion for performance and educating future generations of drivers that set the grand prize winner apart from the competition.
As the newly-minted grand prize winner, Craige will receive an "Ultimate Enthusiast" week in Italy, where he and a guest will explore the country's historic sites and rich automotive history, including an exclusive Ferrari experience in the Prancing Horse's home town of Maranello, Italy where he will have the fantastic opportunity to witness first-hand how Shell has worked closely with Ferrari for more than 60 years on its technical partnership.
"I'm thrilled to be recognized as the 'Ultimate Enthusiast' and incredibly honored that these superstars in the automotive world thought so highly of my entry and ultimately my passion for cars," said Craige, a 71-year old whose submission detailed an unwavering appreciation for the "rolling art" of automobiles. "I'm already counting down the days until I touch down in Italy. What a way to start off the new year!"Craige was announced as the grand prize winner at the opening night gala of the 42nd Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he was joined by fellow finalists Paul Gabriel ( El Cajon, Calif.) and Ross Luzzader ( Hyde Park, Utah). All three finalists received a VIP experience at Barrett-Jackson's world famous car auction and a year's worth* of Shell V-Power ® Premium Gasoline, which helps deliver maximum protection for optimal performance of their most prized possessions. "We wanted to find and celebrate true automotive enthusiasts and we did. There were so many unique tales but they all had one thing in common...an overwhelming passion for all things automotive and a deep appreciation for the automotive community," said Elizabeth Hudson, US Fuels category manager at Shell Oil Products US. "While we received a variety of amazing stories, Harold truly stood out and demonstrated an unrelenting passion for automobiles and performance and it's with that same pride in performance that goes into the development of fuels like Shell V-Power ® Premium Gasoline." Top entries were scored by a panel of judges including Roger Penske, founder and chairman of the Penske Corporation; Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson Auction Company; Eddie Alterman, editor-in-chief of Car and Driver; and Larry Webster, editor-in-chief of Road & Track; Alan Taylor, host of Motor Trend Radio; and Tony Marini, executive director of Hot August Nights. "Harold possesses a rare trait that I really admire," said Penske. "[In his entry] he showcased an ability to educate others in the realm of automobiles and strives to teach the future generations the value of an older automobile."