It really is like stepping back in time. The Pasadena Roadster Club was established back in 1945 when a couple of previous clubs, the Flyers and the Velociteers merged. The roots of those two clubs reach back into the '30s.

In 1947, the Pasadena Roadster Club held its very first Reliability Run. Those early runs started at the Rose Bowl and ended at the same spot after a 100-mile tour through the local mountains and desert that really did test the reliability of those early hot rods that participated. In order to keep things safe and promote a positive image in a community that may have had a negative impression of hot rods and hot rodders, the speed limit was enforced and dependability and driveability was rewarded over speed.

By the mid-'50s, the Pasadena Roadster Club and the Reliability Run were gone-but not forever. The Club was re-established in 2002. In 2004, the Reliability Run was brought back, following the same route as it had half a century earlier. You could make the same claim about the Pasadena Roadster Club. The world has changed a lot since the middle of the 20th century, and the hot rod hobby has changed with it, but the club works hard to preserve a little bit of the old days. Club members must have a traditional, original-bodied '36-and-earlier topless car, which could be a roadster, rpu, phaeton, touring, cabriolet, or modified, built with period parts. The Reliability Run is open to the public, but the participating cars must meet the same rules as club member vehicles, and the event is limited to 100 cars. The Rose Bowl is no longer the starting and finishing point, but for the most part, the '10 Reliability Run has changed very little from the '47 event, and participating in this revived historic event feels like crossing a bridge to the early days of hot rodding.