Marking the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day is all about traditions, and chances are those traditions involve automobiles at one point or another. Whether you’re heading to the beach or a friend’s house for a backyard barbecue, the long weekend is an excellent excuse to relax and enjoy the weather before fall rolls in. In addition to packing up all of your white pants until next year, here’s some cool stuff to check out for the three-day weekend.

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Road Trips

At $2.42 per gallon, the average price of gas is about a dollar less than a year ago, so it isn’t any surprise that the AAA estimates that 35.5 million people will take to the roads this weekend for road trips of more than 50 miles. If it holds up, this figure would represent the highest volume of travelers since 2008. Of course, it isn’t likely that many road trips will be as cool as the recent cross-country expedition recently completed by the Historic Vehicle Association. The group traveled from Dearborn, Michigan to San Francisco, California in a 1915 Ford Model T to commemorate the same trip Edsel Ford took a century ago. Read more about the month-long road trip here.

NASCAR

Of those road trippers, a large number of NASCAR fans will be making their way to Darlington, South Carolina for the return of the Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend. From 1950 through 2003, this race was run over the three-day weekend, but for the last 10 years, the dates were moved to November and April. For 2015, the Southern 500 is right back where it should be, and to celebrate, many teams are running classic paint schemes on their race cars.
Some of the cooler looks include Clint Bowyer’s No. 15 Toyota with its Buddy Baker Tribute paint job, Trevor Bayne’s No. 6 Ford painted up to look like Mark Martin’s old Valvoline car and the iconic No. 43 STP Ford that will be driven by Aric Almirola. Perhaps the best is the No. 42 Mello Yello Chevrolet being driven by Kyle Larson, which most fans should remember as the hero car from Days of Thunder. Even Goodyear is getting in on the action with its own retro look painted on the tires. For the whole lineup of retro cars, check out NASCAR’s image gallery here.

Auctions

Another Labor Day tradition is the Auctions America event held in Auburn, Indiana. While there will be no shortage of exciting cars and memorabilia auctioned off this weekend, some of the coolest cars come from the Lingenfelter Collection. The lot of six cars that Lingenfelter will be unloading includes the 2014 SEMA award-winning Corvette Stingray and a 900-horsepower Camaro ZL1 that topped 200 mph and ran the quarter mile in 10-second range (both claim to be firsts for the car).

Football

This weekend marks the kickoff of college football, and Hyundai is getting in the team spirit. On its home page, there is an assortment of hypothetical car wraps applied to the 2015 Hyundai Sonata that display fans loyalties to their teams. While none of them are actually offered for sale by Hyundai, they still look extremely cool. Personally, I am a Florida Gators fan, but I think the Hyundai did its best work on the UCLA Bruins and Arizona State Sun Devils designs. Check them out and download your favorite here.

Drive Responsibly

Wherever you end up going this holiday weekend, just be sure to be drive safe when you’re out on the roadway. If you’re at a barbecue, tailgate or anywhere else and you’ve had too many drinks, AAA is offering its Tow to Go program in select areas where you and your car can be taken home (within 10 miles) for no charge. And if this program isn’t available in your area, just call a cab.

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