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HOUSTON -- Shell Oil Co. recently named its "Ultimate Enthusiast" and plans to send him on the trip of a lifetime. Harold Craige of New Bern, N.C., was chosen as the grand prize winner of the nationwide contest and was recognized during the opening night gala of the 42nd Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
As the grand prize winner, Craige received a weeklong trip to Italy, where he and a guest will explore the country's historic sites and automotive history. The trip will include an exclusive Ferrari experience in Maranello, Italy, where Craige will witness firsthand how Shell has worked closely with Ferrari for more than 60 years in a technical partnership.
Along with fellow finalists Paul Gabriel of El Cajon, Calif., and Ross Luzzader of Hyde Park, Utah, Craige also received a VIP experience at Barrett-Jackson's car auction and a year's worth of Shell V-Power Premium Gasoline.
According to Shell, automotive enthusiasts from across the United States shared their stories of why they were the most deserving "Ultimate Enthusiast," but it was Craige's passion for the "rolling art" of automobiles, as well as his passion for educating future generations of drivers, that set him apart from the competition.
"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 the 71-year-old Craige. "I'm already counting down the days until I touch down in Italy. What a way to start off the new year!"
The judging panel included Roger Penske, founder and chairman of the Penske Corp.; Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson Auction Co.; Eddie Alterman, editor-in-chief of Car and Driver magazine; Larry Webster, editor-in-chief of Road & Track; Alan Taylor, host of Motor Trend Radio; and Tony Marini, executive director of Hot August Nights.
"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," added Elizabeth Hudson, US Fuels category manager at Shell Oil Products US.
The Shell Ultimate Enthusiast Contest is now closed, the company noted, but consumers can still win a $50 Shell gift card by becoming a fan of the Shell Facebook page and entering the daily online giveaway on the On The Road Tab.