The '10 Lonestar Round Up actually begins with a barbecue on Thursday evening, and then it slows to a crawl-a garage crawl that is. Bright and early Friday morning, the garage crawl takes you on a tour of three very cool shops and ends up at the Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas for a brief car show for the kids in the hospital.

It's a great way to kick off a rod run, see a little bit of Austin, and, of course, we're never going to pass up the chance to snoop around in shops like the Austin Speed Shop, Mercury Charlie's, and Pipeworx. The sights and sounds of hot rods motoring around town in the morning is a great way to wake up and start a rod run.

After the breakfast meeting at 7 a.m. the crawl is underway at 8 a.m. sharp. This year the crawl was bigger than ever with around 100 hot rods of every description, taking the tour with leader Mark Gustafson doing a fine job of keeping things together and keeping us on schedule. The hospital show ended around noon and anytime you can put a smile on a kid's face you are having a good day. From there we headed out to the Austin Fairgrounds to join in the first day of the Round Up.

The Kontinentals Car Club does a great job of producing the event and while the growth brings with it challenges, the event still has a very strong independent, down-home feeling with great live music all day long, cool cars, and fun people on hand for the weekend. Add in some almost-fast mini-bike racing in one of the stock barns and you get a feeling for just how much fun this event has to offer. And then there is the whole nightlife thing down on South Congress in downtown Austin.

The cars in attendance are almost entirely vintage-style hot rods, with a mix of primer and rust being the most dominant finishes. Barn finds and cars built in the "as found" finish make for some very interesting hot rods. The cool thing is seeing a row of cars with rust, patina, and gorgeous Candy Apple paint all parked side by side having fun. The mix of cars is impressive too, with a great sampling of cars from the '20s through the '60s on hand. One of the things we really enjoy about the event is the diversity of power for these hot rods; we saw everything from hopped-up Model A four-bangers to a Jag V-12 stuffed between hot rod framerails. And the other refreshing thing about the Round Up was the diversity in age groups, with old gray hairs hanging out with the younger set all centered on building wicked hot rods.

The event is a laid-back affair. The gates open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, but that is probably because of the aforementioned cruising and hanging out on South Congress Street until the wee hours of the morning. Saturday was yet another picture-perfect day with cars and spectators filling the fairgrounds. This event is a reminder that the independent, local club-produced events still have something to offer that professionally produced events can't seem to duplicate. This year even the fairgrounds was getting crowded, so we can only imagine how many cars will show up next year, as you know things tend to be big in Texas. If you're looking for a weekend of fun with hot rodders holding an event that has that old-time, local club, real rod run feel, plan on attending the 10th Annual Lonestar Round Up next year, April 15-17 in Austin, Texas, and yes it will all begin with a crawl on Friday morning.

Everything is Bigger and Better in Texas
(or so they would have you believe)
Now its ninth year in, the Lonestar Round Up has become a homecoming of sorts, not only for Texans but also traditional hot rod and custom fans nationwide. Cars and spectators who once filled the cozy House Park Stadium, the oldest football stadium in Austin, now pack the giant Travis County Exposition grounds. The show has grown from a meager 85 cars in 2002 to nearly 1,200 in 2010. None of this would have ever happened though without a club, a music club that can trace its roots way back to when what we call "traditional" was vogue.