Some of you are probably door handle deep in this morning's snowdrift and so you should be in the middle of the winter. But then there are those of us who are already thinking about driving our street rods this summer. Yes, the summer driving season is something every rodder dreams about throughout the "dead" of winter (and, probably all year 'round). However, this summer could be something special for those that read this editorial, as you will be getting a heads-up on planning for it!
For starters, Tom's Fun Run #28 is gearing up for this year, but with a twist or should I say with a major expansion! TFR is well known as California's oldest and continuous running driving event. In the past TFR was a single-day event that typically happened around mid-April. Well, there has been a slight change. In fact, the change is huge and those of us around the office think it is spectacular.
TFR has grown up as events go. It may have taken 28 years, but we figure that is just about right as none of us wanted to rush into uncharted waters without having plenty of experience on our collective "hard drives." This year TFR will be expanded to become "America's Oldest Driving Event." Yes, I said America's. There will be multiple starting points that will begin early in July so that we can arrive at our destination--the 8th Annual Goodguys Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. How's that for taking our local, single-day event and jumping into a cruise across America category?
We have spoken to several street rod manufacturers about hosting individual starting points from around the U.S. To date we have Jack Chisenhall and Rick Love of Vintage Air in San Antonio, Texas, hosting one starting point, while Chico Kodama of Mooneyes will host another leg from Santa Fe Springs in Southern California. (Warning: Should you find yourself on the Vintage Air cruise you will be making plenty of stops at the "local" Dairy Queen. Just make sure to follow Rick's directions on how to get there!) Others we are hopeful of enlisting into our "cavalcade of rodding heroes" are Gary Heidt of Heidt's Hot Rod Shop in Wauconda, Illinois, and Brent VanDervort of Fat Man Fabrications in Charlotte, North Carolina. But more on them and other starting points from around the U.S. in later issues of SRM. (There will also be the latest in current and updated info continuously at www.streetrodderweb.com.
TFR '05 will still feature the always-popular Poker Run as in years past, but with a twist. You will select a card at pre-selected stops as you drive from your starting point and head toward Columbus, but depending upon the route you are on this could occur over one or more days. This will give those participating on the cruise a chance of winning some nifty prizes. Keep your eyes "tuned" as there will be more on the prizes that can be won as well as other nifty goodies--like t-shirts and other memorabilia.
Last year Bill Mitchell of World Products had so much fun driving his hard charging coupe cross county, eventually ending at Goodguys Indy, that he has already committed to this year's event--technically making him entry number one. His only caveat was, "I want to drive on the longest leg, that's the fun of owning a street rod--getting to drive it." Well Bill all of us at SRM couldn't agree more and, for the time being, you are the unofficial entry number one. For those that would like to travel with Street Rodder's very own road warriors (Tech Editor Ron Ceridono and web guru Nick Licata) will, once again, begin their journey from San Antonio, Texas, and proceed in whatever direction eventually leads to Columbus.
The folks at Goodguys Rod & Custom Association have agreed to provide a corral of sorts allowing for all of the TFR legs to meet as we arrive in Columbus on Thursday the 7th of July just as the 8th Annual Goodguys Nationals (July 8-10) is about to begin. Once you arrive at Goodguys everyone is then on their own to enjoy the event, as well as enjoy their new found friendships and swap stories with others from all the legs of Tom's Fun Run '05, "America's Oldest Driving Event."