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.
This deeply channeled A roadster was running a full-house Buick Nailhead, metallic paint a
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.
We started our Lonestar Round Up weekend with a garage crawl to several local shops. The f
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.
This is the back lot at Mercury Charlie's and this photo captures the mood of the Lonestar
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.
Pipeworx was next on the stop and it seemed each shop had cooler cars and smaller parking
If patina is your game the Lonestar Round Up is the place to be. This '36 coupe rolls on e
The next stop on the tour was Mercury Charlie's Shop. Rods and customs filled the shop, an
The final stop on the tour proved to me the most rewarding. The Dell Children's Medical ce
The Continental Club opened its doors on South Congress Avenue in Austin as a social club in 1957. Over the past 50 years it has hosted a mile-long list of who's who in the music scene; from swing to rock to blues to jazz to country twang, it has seen it all. It wasn't until the late '80s when current owner Steve Wertheimer took over that the music of the Continental Club began to infuse with hot rods and customs in what many would call a natural fit. "Everyone (all of my car buddies) hung around the club all the time and that was sort of the centerpiece, a gathering place," Wertheimer says.
After several road trips to California in their traditional hot rods and customs, namely the Paso Robles Show, the 15 or so car guys decided to make themselves an "official" club in the mid-'90s. "After seeing all the clubs (with their jackets and plaques) out there at shows we decided we wanted to run some plaques in Austin since it was such a rarity here." Paying homage to their favorite hangout, the Continental Club, the guys "played off the name and went with The Kontinentals."
Scott Hayes motored in with the Royal Shifters Car Club from Ruston, LA. The '27 tall T co
Wertheimer calls The Kontinentals a "super loose" organization who all share similar vision regarding the style of hot rods and customs they like to build and drive. The club of 25 members, mostly Texas based, are a club with "no rules, no meetings, no officers, just a bunch of dudes who are all good friends, hang out, and plan excuses to get their cars out." And that they do. They still continue their annual pilgrimages to California in "traditional stuff and very tasteful customs." He continues, "All the cars (in the club) are built to drive everywhere ... we go on many long-distance excursions and put many miles on all of the cars."
It was also the trips to Paso Robles that inspired the Kontinentals to hold the Lonestar Round Up. After one of their annual trips to Paso they decided to test the waters of holding their own traditional hot rod and custom show. "We came back one year (about 10 years ago) when the HAMB was in its infantile stages and made a post asking 'If we threw a car show in Austin, would anyone come?'" Wertheimer says. "The response was very positive from the few folks who were on HAMB way back when so we decided to give it a shot."
The many shades of suede; while primer comes in three basic colors, the joy of suede paint
After viewing old footage from early car shows in California, the Kontinentals "miraculously procured" House Park Stadium where "the turf for Friday night football is sacred" and held the first Lonestar Rod & Kustom Round Up. It was a one-day, informal show without even a stage-the bands played on a flatbed trailer. Due to the steady increase in attendance over the past nine years they have moved the show three times to what they believe to be their final location. "We are now at a facility that can handle our size with plenty of room to move around with the added attraction of the swap meet," Wertheimer says.
One thing that hasn't changed though has been the quality of the cars. At the first show back in 2002 they hosted a killer line up of cars, even with less than a hundred present. "Cars at the show that first year included Lee Pratt's gold '40 Ford, Billy Gibbon's 'Eliminator', Von Franco's '32 coupe, and the Kennedy coupe owned by Jim Jard," Wertheimer says. He believes that trend has continued, especially in 2010. "Something happened this year. There was a big change, not so much the number of cars that came in for the show, it was the quality of what showed up that was really elevated this year." He continues, "There were some super-fine, quality hot rods and customs here in town, not a lot of cobbled-together stuff that you scratch your head and say 'why?' Just some super-fine stuff that I would love to have in my garage."
Shoebox Fords are a popular venue and when you see a lineup like this you begin to underst
What will the 10th anniversary of the Round Up hold? According to Wertheimer, "We are just starting to talk about it at the secret headquarters ... be assured there will be something pretty special about next year both artwork- and artist-wise, music-wise, as well as some special events to commemorate the 10th anniversary, so stay tuned!"
For more information about the Lonestar Round Up visit: www.lonestarroundup.com. More information and photos of the Kontinentals and their cars can be found at www.kontinentals.com. In addition to the Lonestar Round Up, the Kontinentals also host Day of the Drags, a drag racing event held every October at Little River Dragway near Temple, Texas (www.dayofthedrags.com).
Timeless comes to mind when you see Charlie Duran's black Deuce coupe. Stock top, roof ins
Rick Banuelos rolled in from Santa Ana, CA, in this slammed '37 Chevy coupe. The filled qu
This Model A coupe has "the look." From the perfectly filled fenders to the pleasing top c
One nice thing about building a Model A elbow-high is it provides a meeting place. An open
This was one of our favorite A coupes at the entire event, and there were a lot of them th
Yet another row of pure hot rod flavor with painted rims and whitewalls blending with scal
Tony Jaramillo motored into the Round Up with this gorgeous lime green '54 Ford custom. Pa
The seldom seen '34 Ford phaeton makes a great hot rod. Julius Engoren drove in from La Mi
Rick Grape's Deuce roadster wears a set of super-traditional scallops. The white headers a
Michael Larson's '50 Ford Club coupe is a textbook early mild custom. Super wide whites an
Jim Schrock rides with the Thunderbolts Car Club and his '31 coupe makes a great graphic s