Every now and then we are all blessed with the opportunity to travel to another region in the country or around the world and experience a culture or environment that we have not previously been exposed to. Sometimes we are visiting friends or family, while others we might be on holiday. Regardless, there is always one common denominator –> the chance to explore somewhere new and different! When it comes to exploring America, there are some iconic places that are worth travelling to, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles.
While these cities are undoubtedly scenic and have a certain charm that is impossible to ignore, there is another part of the country that you may not have heard of –> the rural areas outside of the big cities. The reason this region has not received its share of attention is that it does not always lend itself to popular culture –> think of the countless “B” movies that were filmed in Las Vegas but never actually appear in town!
However, if you visit the right places, you can find some hidden gems that you would otherwise never know existed. One of these under-the-radar locations is the small town of Winchester in West Virginia. Not only is it rich in culture and history, but it also happens to be near the birthplace of American firearms legend, John Moses Browning.
If you are a fan of the iconic “Thunderball”, this is the place you have been looking for. The annual John Moses Browning Invitational Shotgun Shoot is something that you should not miss if you are even remotely a fan of his work. The event was first held in 1953 and since then, it has grown both in size and prestige. Now in its 85th year, the tournament has drawn attendees from around the world and continues to grow in popularity each year. This year’s event will be held at the Winchester Country Club from June 6th to 12th.
What Is The Purpose Of The Invitational?
The purpose of the Winchester Invitational is to bring together the most exciting and experienced shooters from around the world and to have them duel it out on a dusty track miles away from the lights of the city. It is a week of competition that tests each shooter’s skill and determination to take out their enemy while sitting down with a beer and a barbecue afterwards. The concept of “destroying your enemy’s cars” is definitely appealing, but it gets even better!
Each of the competing vehicles is custom-built with modern amenities and amenities that the car manufacturers of today boast about. The cars themselves are quite an eye-catcher with their stylings ranging from modern to a more classic rock and roll look. The list of vehicles that will be there this year is quite impressive and includes such legendary cars as the Ford Thunderbird, the Chevy Corvette, the Jaguar XJ12, the VW Beetle, the BMW 3 Series, and many more!
There is no theme or competition class this year, allowing everyone to come together and have some fun with their cars. In fact, the only rule is that the vehicles must be driven on the track – no stationary shots! The best part of this event is that drivers are not allowed to contact organizers or security in any way –– including text messaging! This ensures that every competitor comes into the event with a level playing field and that no one has an advantage just because they know someone on the inside.
The competition is fiercely fought over and the world’s best drivers often come out on top. This year is no different with 12 cars set to battle it out over the course of the week. While some may argue that the sport of auto racing has been declining in popularity over the last few years, we would beg to differ. This is one of the rare occasions where you will find a large gathering of people who share a common interest – cars!
Winchester Is One Of America’s Most Historic Cities
Winchester is one of America’s most historic cities, and not just because of its connection to the legendary John Moses Browning. The town was established in 1788 and was initially named after the British general, George Washington – who later became America’s first president. Over the years, the name was changed to honor the General. In 1900, the year before Browning was born, the population of the city was just 7,500 people. Today, that number has ballooned to nearly 100,000. The rapid growth of Winchester is mainly because of its convenient location –– it is just minutes away from I-81, which connects the city to both Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
One of the things that make Winchester so attractive is the fact that it is close to both coasts and has easy access to major cities like New York and Chicago. With its proximity to major population centers, it is likely that you will find most of the hotels in the city fully booked for the event. There is also a Convention Center that can accommodate groups of up to 20,000 people. Something else that makes Winchester special is that it is a driving town –– the median age is 44, which is almost half the population. It seems that many of the current generation grew up watching legendary drivers like Henry Ford, Amelia Earhart, and George Washington himself conquer the track every week. This has undoubtedly contributed to the city’s quirky personality and love for their cars!
The City Has A Rich Heritage
Winchester is rich in both culture and history. One of the city’s main attractions is the Winchester Heritage Museum, which houses many historic artifacts relating to the city’s founding and subsequent growth. The museum also features a collection of over 200 antique vehicles, many of which are on display outside. Even if you are not a car enthusiast, you will find something to interest you in the museum. One of the unique things about the museum is that it features a wide variety of oddities and curiosities that are not usually associated with car museums – such as an Indian Burial Ground, a display of Victorian era clothing, and the Jimmy John’s lunch cart from the 1980s!
If you have any interest in American history, you will not want to miss the chance to visit the city that gave birth to many of our most beloved motor vehicles.