HOUSTON, Jan. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Submitting entries that showcased an enduring passion for all things automotive last fall, enthusiasts from across the country competed in the Shell V-Power® "Ultimate Enthusiast" Contest. With an eye toward originality of the entrants' story, photo, and true demonstration of the contests' theme, the judges narrowed down the entries to the top three finalists, Paul Gabriel of El Cajon, Calif., Harold Craige of New Bern, N.C. and Ross Luzzader of Hyde Park, Utah.
Gabriel, a self-proclaimed lover of cars of all makes and models, has shared his passion with his two sons who accompany him to car shows, rallies, gatherings and also work with him on father-son restoration projects. "Paul has been a true inspiration to his son Nico, as he taught him the value of a dollar and encouraged Nico to save from a young age," said Roger Penske, founder and chairman of the Penske Corporation. "This has allowed Nico the opportunity to restore his own car and become a future 'Ultimate Enthusiast'!"
In his entry, Craige characterizes himself as an "old man who feels privileged to have lived and participated in the wonderful world of automobiles." In reviewing his submission, Tony Marini, executive director of Hot August Nights, marveled at the lifelong enthusiast's automotive passion: "When it comes to being an 'Ultimate Enthusiast' I would say Harold fits the bill. His love for automobiles started when he was a young boy and as he has grown, his love for cars has grown."
Motorsports enthusiast Luzzader said that if money were no object, his love for sports car endurance racing would lead him to ownership of an automotive racing team, with duties as both driver and owner. "Being a driver and a team owner are both very challenging and each position would demand the most out of Ross," noted Penske. "Ross has done his due diligence in researching his chosen field and I am sure he would work hard to become a successful driver/owner."
The three finalists will be flown to Scottsdale, Ariz. for a three-day, VIP experience at the 42nd Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction January 13-20, 2013. The experience will include access to the world famous car auction and an invitation to Barrett-Jackson's opening night gala on January 14, 2013. All three finalists will also receive a year's worth* of Shell V-Power Premium Gasoline, which helps deliver maximum protection for optimal performance of their most prized possession.
"We are thrilled to host the finalists of the Shell V-Power Ultimate Enthusiast Contest here at our world famous Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction," said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company. "We know the finalists will feel right at home here alongside their fellow car connoisseurs and among the thousands of collectible vehicles that will be crossing our auction block."
"At Shell, we share a similar focus as our finalists," said Elizabeth Hudson, US Fuels category manager at Shell Oil Products US. "With the Shell V-Power 'Ultimate Enthusiast' Contest, we wanted to honor enthusiasts by awarding them with once-in-a-lifetime automotive experiences and celebrate our shared passion for performance."
To help identify the nation's most die-hard automotive enthusiast, Shell teamed up with industry insiders to find the one person that best embodies what being the Ultimate Enthusiast means. The panel of judges included 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.
In addition to honoring the top three finalists at Barrett-Jackson, the grand prize winner will be announced at the event and will receive an "Ultimate Enthusiast" week in Italy where he and a guest will have the chance to explore the country's historic sites and rich automotive history. Should the grand prize winner be unable to redeem the grand prize, they will be offered $10,000 in Shell V-Power Premium Gasoline.
While the Shell "Ultimate Enthusiast" Contest is now closed, consumers still have the opportunity to win a $50 Shell Gift Card by becoming a fan of the Shell Facebook page at www.facebook.com/shell and entering the daily online giveaway on the On The Road tab.
For more information on the Shell V-Power "Ultimate Enthusiast" Contest, visit www.shell.us/ultimateenthusiast or find us on the On the Road tab on Facebook at www.facebook.com/shell. For more information on the benefits of Shell V-Power Premium Gasoline visit www.shell.us/vpower. For ways to save at the pump and information on our approach on Smarter Mobility, go to www.shell.us/smarterdriving.
*For the purposes of this Prize, "a year's worth of Shell V-Power Premium Gasolines" is calculated as the average consumer's yearly gasoline consumption of 636 gallons (4.5 fuel purchases per month x 11.77 gallons of gasoline per purchase x 12 months) at an average August 2012 cost of $3.991 / gallon (consistent with the U.S. Department of Energy statistics for "Motor Gasoline Retail Prices, U.S. City Average" released on August 29, 2012 (636 x $3.991 = $2,538.276).
Shell Oil Products US, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company, is a leader in the refining, transportation and marketing of fuels, with a network of approximately 6,000 Shell-branded gasoline stations in the western United States. Another 8,300 Shell-branded stations in the eastern and southern are managed by Motiva Enterprises LLC, a 50/50 joint venture between Shell Oil Company and Saudi Refining, Inc.
Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with 93,000 employees in more than 90 countries. [(NYSE:RDS.A) and (NYSE:RDS.B)]
About The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company
Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing products and services to classic and collector car owners, astute collectors and automotive enthusiasts around the world. The company produces "The World's Greatest Collector Car Auctions ™" in the finest cities in the nation. Barrett-Jackson also endorses a one-of-a-kind collector car insurance offering for collector vehicles and other valued belongings. For more information about Barrett-Jackson, visit http://www.barrett-jackson.com or call (480) 421-6694.
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SOURCE Shell Oil Company