What started out as a small gathering on an old football field of like-minded gearheads, artists, and musicians who love traditional-style hot rods and kustoms has grown into an annual tradition in Austin, Texas. In its eighth year, it now takes over a large part of the Travis County Expo Center where it's held. Hosted by the Kontinentals Car Club, one of Austin's premier clubs, the Round Up is more than just a car show, it's a car happening, full of live music, entertainment, food, and drinks the entire weekend. From the mini-bike races to the artist and vendor area to a weekend full of cruising, there's plenty to check out in addition to the wall-to-wall car show.
Sounds like a good way to kick off the car show season, huh? We thought so and had been trying to get out to Austin for a few years now but there always seemed to be something happening that took precedence on the same weekend. This year, we just couldn't come up with an excuse to miss it. We decided if we were going to make it to the show, we were going to do it in a fashion slightly unfamiliar to us jet-setting magazine editors; we were gonna drive there in a hot rod.
Ridiculous as it may seem, it's rare for most magazine staffers to actually drive a hot rod to any of the two dozen events we attend throughout the year. Most of this comes down to simple logistics. It's impossible to drive from Los Angeles to Louisville, Kentucky, cover the show for four days, and drive back without being gone for less than ten days. Given that we have roughly twenty days total to put together each issue, you can see where this is going. A day on either side of the weekend is usually all we have set aside to get from point A to point B, which leaves driving out of the picture for the most part.
Noon on Thursday and Kev's still hammering away on the top to the pickup; typical for an R
We decided this year was going to be different. We were gonna drive to an event and Texas sounded like the best destination. And hell, the show was only three weeks away and our "roadster" only needed a month or two worth of work to get it roadworthy. Sound familiar?
Being the optimist that I can sometimes be, I agreed to ride shotgun with Kev Elliott in his '46 Ford roadster pickup that he originally built in England when he was the editor of Custom Car. Kev's now the tech editor over at Rod & Custom and convinced me during a lapse in judgment due to a food-induced coma one afternoon, to accompany him. The last trip he took in the truck consisted of a four hour drive that took him ten due to a faulty fuel pump and it's thirst for bags of ice, thanks to 100-plus temperatures across the California-Nevada desert.
"But it's only April so it won't be too hot, we might just hit a little rain in New Mexico. And I'm gonna build a top this week, so we should be fine..." His words offered little solace. But I still gladly hopped in when Thursday afternoon came around and, before too long, we were headed across Arizona without skipping a beat. What's the worse that can happen? We've got a cell phone and a bag of tools, a spare alternator, fuel pump, and starter, a fuel filter, and a section of fuel line. With a roll of 200mph tape and a couple zip ties we can fix anything.
Kev ended up wrapping up the top the morning we were scheduled to depart and though it didn't keep the rain out (remarkably we never got a drop), it did serve us well on the trip home when the mercury rose over 100-degrees across Arizona and into California, saving us from being baked. And save a couple of minor hiccups, the old Ford made it the 2,800 miles there and back without incident.
By the early hour of 3 p.m. however, we were well on our way East.
Lordsberg, New Mexico, was the stop for the night where, the next morning, we decided it w
Once fixed, Kev was all business as I appreciated the scenery.
...as I appreciated the scenery.
Most of the ride however, looked more like this, with us splitting the tunes.
I drove the leg into Texas where the fuel filter decided to get clogged and we were greete