NCCAR is the future for Northampton, neighbors

Published 8:40 am Thursday, October 14, 2010

I know nothing about cars. Actually, I do know a car will get me from point A to B and that it needs an occasional oil change, but when it stops working I’m at a loss.

I’m often at a loss to when I go to cover stories at the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research (NCCAR) in Garysburg simply because I don’t understand the automotive world. But I guess that’s where being a reporter comes in handy—we get to ask questions—even dumb ones if need be.

However, with just one experience at NCCAR even the “auto challenged,” like me, understand the sheer importance of the facility to the automotive industry, Northampton County and the surrounding areas.

NCCAR offers a facility where new automotive technology can be research, tested and developed. So far $16.5 million has been invested in the facility.

The site currently has 155 of 620 acres developed and includes a two mile ride and handling course and an Operations and Engineering Building where clients can lease offices and utilize garages.

When completed the ride and handling course will 4.6 miles and the facility will feature vehicle dynamics areas with high-speed entry and advanced chassis dynamics laboratory. To see the full site plan visit

So far with Phase 1A, the center is catching the attention of many.

One of those recent clients was Edison2 from Lynchburg, Va., a team that recently won the Progressive Automotive X-Prize for the mainstream class with the super fuel efficient VLC (Very Light Car) that can travel more than 100 miles on a gallon of gas.

NCCAR is not just attracting those serious about the automotive research field, but those looking to have fun.

In September, the National Auto Sports Association (NASA) held their second event this year at NCCAR.

On a local level, the Northampton East Automotive Team (NEAT) from Northampton County High School-East will be hosting their annual Electric Vehicle Rally at the facility in November.

It’s all pretty exciting when one thinks about the facility in general, but even more so when you realize it’s in Northampton County. NCCAR is putting this county of 22,000 citizens on the map and is paving the way to future. NCCAR has a lot of potential to help bolster the economy, education and workforce in the area.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.