• Contest winner is Crystal Gerber, a Kelley Blue Book employee
  • Crystal shows "family hotrod" at local charity events
  • American Cancer Society chosen as recipient of $10,000 donation

Crystal Gerber, winner of the AutoTrader.com 15th Anniversary Contest, chose the American Cancer Society as the recipient of a $10,000 donation. Gerber, a Southern California resident and employee at Kelley Blue Book, received the most votes in the Facebook contest, which asked participants to share stories and photos of how they use their cars to help others in their communities. Gerber uses an unusual car to help others: The vehicle she calls her family hotrod is a drag racer that she shows at local charity events.

She posted a photo of the car at the recent Edelbrock Rev'ved Up 4 Kids Car Show in Torrence, Calif. The show benefits the Edelbrock Family Foundation, an organization focused on the education and training of America's youth. Gerber says the drag car always excites show attendees.

"The crowd loves to see, hear and smell it when we fire it up, and the kids love to sit in it," Gerber explained.

We wanted to know a little more about the Crystal's unique car so we asked a few questions:

Is this a retired drag racer?

This car was the last front engine dragster to win the NHRA Top Fuel World Championship title back in 1971. The car was built in 1971 and won the World Championship in 1971 due to it's radical design. In 1972 most of the fuel dragsters went to rear engine design, as they are today. My father-In-Law bought the car right after it won that World Championship title.

Have you ever driven it? Raced it?

I have never raced this car but my father-in-law did and now it's a bit of a family tradition. It has been run with moderate success since then.

Recently we decided to make it a "show car" and fire it up at various charity events, including many children's charities, wounded warriors fundraisers, and many events for the cancer society. It's been fired by my husband as well as several members of our team.

You obviously enjoy helping out in the community. Are you excited to win a $10,000 donation to American Cancer Society?

We are very excited about winning the $10,000 for the American Cancer Society. We have had several close friends and family members suffer from this disease so it's close to our hearts. We are truly hoping this money will help to find a cure!

You also got a $100 gas card. How long would it take the drag racer to burn up $100 worth of gas?

The gas card will go towards fuel/nitro methane for the dragster. Nitro is about $25/gallon so this will pay for us to fire it up for one typical charity weekend.

The 15YR/$15K Charity Giveaway provided $15,000 in donations to six charitable groups. Both employees and the public could enter, and the winner chose one of the six charitable groups to receive the grand prize.

Although Gerber chose the American Cancer Society for the $10,000 donation, the other five organizations were winners, too. American Red Cross, EarthShare, Feeding America, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Special Olympics each receive $1,000.

What it means to you: In celebration of 15 years in business and giving back, AutoTrader.com donated $15,000 to six charities through a contest on Facebook.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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