It was Friday, the 14 of August 1970, and the first Street Rod Nationals was about to begin. Six hundred street rods and many more rodders were coming from across the country to see how other rodders enjoyed and built their cars.

This past summer there were 11,003 registered street rods and, again, many more rodders who travelled the highways and "blue lines" to arrive in Louisville, Kentucky, and achieve the same satisfaction. There were exhibitors then albeit a handful, while this summer saw 327. (Name the two manufacturers who were in attendance in 1970 and in 2009? See this answer and more at the end of the article.)

To begin to name all those who have contributed in some fashion to the success of the Nats would be a monumental task, at the very least, but it is safe to say literally thousands of rodders have helped make the Nats what it has become and what it will be. However, it can be said that 39 clubs with their cumulative membership helped make 2009 the success it was. Of these clubs, the Memphis Street Rods participated in its 39th year while the Michigan Hot Rod Association should be recognized for its 38th year-lending a helping hand as they run the Rod Repair Shop. (Name the three manufacturers who have sponsored the RRS since 1972? The MHRA has logged over 200,000 miles going to National events, helping rodders free of charge.)

More than half of the clubs have participated for greater than 20 years and another 13 clubs for 10 or more; right down to the NE Arkansas Street Rod Association in its second year of volunteering.

Another manufacturer marking a landmark this past summer was Total Cost Involved Engineering celebrating its 35th anniversary as a displaying manufacturer. To recognize this accomplishment, TCI Engineering prepared a fully appointed Model A 35th Anniversary Signature Chassis. The $10,000 chassis included: complete front and rearends, brake lines, engine, and transmission mounts. The chassis also carries a bronze plaque authenticating its origin.

On Sunday a drawing was held at their booth with Bob Balkow winning the chassis. We should also point out that Balkow also participated in our Road Tour ride along to Bonneville, and he also wants to take this opportunity to thank Bob Juliano of Juliano's Hot Rod Parts for bringing the chassis home.

As good a reason as any to attend the Nats, first and foremost is to see all the cars, but a close second has to be the new products section. Here you can see the latest from the smallest component right up to a complete car.

There are three major categories, with the ultimate goal being to take home the NSRA New Product of the Year. (When was the first year the new product section was added to the Nats?) Group A for products with a retail price up to $100, Group B for products with a retail price between $101 and $500, Group C for products with a retail price above $501, and a special category for Best New Safety-Related Product. (When was the first year there were three categories and what were they?)

From the dozens and dozens of great products, the following went home with the "gold." (How many new products have there been since the segment's inception?) Bob Drake Reproductions won Group A for its adjustable '32 Ford pedal pad; Speedway Motors won Group B for its 9 Super 7 carb; Brookville Roadster won Group C for its '32 Ford full-fendered roadster pickup; and Watson StreetWorks won Best New Safety-Related Product for the Hot Slot flush-mount taillights. (What manufacturer has won the most Best New Product awards?) (What was the first year and who won the first Best New Safety-Related Product?)