A lot went on at this year’s Shades of the Past Street Rod Association’s Hot Rod Roundup No. 29 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, now held at Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Adventure Park. But, before we get into this year’s goings-on how about a little background on why this event is rapidly becoming one of the country’s premier rodding events?
In every club there’s always the “go-to” guy and in Shades that would be Dan Draper, the club’s treasurer and rod run chairman. Draper tells us today’s Shades came about as a result of trying to resurrect the old Gatlinburg event back in 1982. The event had run its course with the city and it was no longer welcome. (I remember one time Norm Grabowski and I entering a rollaway bed in a race down a steep side street and ended up in a stream—well, you now know why we aren’t there anymore!)
Bruce Ricks brought his Steve Cook–built ’40 Ford with a well-detailed Flathead featuring
A home was found at the Grand Hotel in Pigeon Forge after the club promised to cover 250 rooms—gutsy move for a bunch of good ol’ denim-wearing southern hot rodders who had drawn a humble 80 cars the last time around. There’s an old expression about risk versus reward: the size of the reward is in direct proportion to the size of the risk. In typical car guy fashion, the Shades Car Club figured that sounded doable and the Grand Run was born at the Grand Hotel.
The club also began its tradition of giving back to the rodders who supported them. At the first Grand Run in 1983, they gave away $1,000 to a lucky participant whose entry number was 1,000. The event was a success but trouble was a brewin’. By 1986, the Grand Hotel sent them packing. Up came the stakes and the show moved five blocks west to the Water Circus, which had plenty of parking, and the new event was off and running.
It was at the Water Circus in 1987 (Shades No. 5) that the date was moved to the Friday and Saturday after Labor Day. Yet the Shades club had to overcome another chuck of adversity. Water Circus was sold and a Quality Inn was built in the parking lot that was to be the home of Shades 1987.
Tater Pruitt brought his ’55 post-Chevy with a 503-inch big-block sporting a Blower Shop 6
Apparently southern rodders don’t like moving far; again with bags in hand they moved several blocks down the parkway to Porpoise Island. The next year it was back to the Quality Inn as its construction was now complete. With all of the adversity the event continued to grow and proved successful.
Having outgrown the Quality Inn site, the club leased a nearby 52-acre pasture in 1993 and the Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup had a home for the next 17 years. Of course, pastureland isn’t without its own set of unique circumstances, such as muddy under footings and dusty grounds, but by 2007 the event grew to 3,291 entrants. It was in 2002 that the event welcomed cars up to 1964 and then in 2006 opened the event to pre-’73 hot rods, as the dynamics that make up our hobby (and economy) began to have an impact on the number of entrants.
It was in 2010 that Shades was moved to Dollywood Splash Country (DSC). The available space was smaller but it was paved and eliminated the muddy and dusty conditions. DSC also offered an idyllic family setting, boding well for hot rodders and family. Being a well-known theme park on a local, national, and international level adds greatly to the overall entertainment value.
Now in 2011 the total entrants is pushing 3,000 cars and all indicators show that the expanded year cutoff and the new location at DSC have had a positive impact and bode well for the future.
Rusty Quesenberry of Radford, VA, brought out his “oh so kool” ’57 Ford that pumps through
Shane Davis of Talmo, GA, had his ’23 T-bucket on hand that runs a Tri-power feed small-bl
The Shades event featured 146 commercial exhibitors, such as Bobby Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop.
Woody’s Hot Rodz had their replicated Tri-Five on exhibit. One happy Texas rodder plunked
This year’s Shades of the Past giveaway car was a Rat’s Glass ’32 Ford highboy roadster wo
Jack Sheppard took home a specialty award presented by Pete & Jakes for his black Deuce fi
Mentioned earlier was the giveaway program. This year at DSC the Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup No. 29 made a handful of rodders very happy but the financial “aid” goes beyond rodders and well into the local community. This year’s fifty-fifty drawing approached $45,000, with $22,905 going to Steve Braden. (At the awards ceremony, upon receiving the cash prize, he reached into the box and pulled out a handful of bills and handed them to the “future rodder” who had pulled his winning ticket. One of those very neat touchy-feely moments rodders aren’t normally associated with. We know one youthful rodder who enjoyed the rest of the weekend, assuming Mom didn’t deposit all of the cash in a savings account.)
SoffSeal sponsors the Mighty Muscle Top Five and this year’s No. 1 pick went to Jerry Denn
Shades also offers $10,000 to a preregistered entrant who has his or her name pulled during the awards ceremony. Even though you win the $10,000, your ticket is placed back into the drawing for a chance to win the giveaway car. This year Mary Curry walked away with the cash.
We mentioned that the Shades Car Club is well aware of their community obligations and in the past nine years the club has donated $39,700 to the Blount County Empty Pantry Fund, as well as an additional $39,700 to the Toys for Tots of Blount County. (At the time of this writing the club was preparing to give another $4,000.) Other community benefactors are the Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville at $2,500 and the Share it Forward program with another $2,500 that benefits Dollywood Company employees in need. (Editor’s note: It’s this type of community involvement that ingratiates rodders with community leaders and places our hobby in a good light with the community. It’s also the right thing to do. —B.B.)
More specialty honors went to William Shores with his ’67 Chevelle taking home the Detroit
The Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup is well known for its awards. Rodders understand the judging is “tight” but fair. There’s the coveted major awards that begin with the Top 25, which moves you along to the Fab Five, which moves you into contention for the Best Street Rod, Best Street Machine, and Best Street Cruiser, and then the biggie, Best Overall. The Best Overall is selected by the owners of the cars that make the Top 25—how’s that for sharing the responsibility and reward?! This year the Fab Five were comprised of Alex Covington for his ’67 Nova, Rodney Harris for his ’32 Ford coupe, Doyle Thomas for his ’63 Rambler (featured in this issue of SR), William Shores for his ’71 Mustang, and Bruce Ricks for his ’56 Ford. From this selection, winning their respective best of categories, were Harris (street rod), Covington (street machine), and Ricks (street cruiser). The Best Overall, as selected by the Top 25 owners, was Ricks for his ’56 Ford named “Suncammer,” built by Steve Cook of Oklahoma.
The ’55 Chevy Cameo pickup belonging to Dennis Bunton took home the Chrome Insurance speci
Other notable awards included the Street Rodder/Painless Performance Products Top 100 (10 recipients) and the Street Rodder Pick. (The AMSOIL/Street Rodder Road Tour Popular Hot Rodding Tri-Five Cruise also used the Shades event as the end destination of one of the weeklong tours, adding to the overall individuality of the event.) There were 16 Specialty Awards handed out by industry personalities. The SoffSeal Mighty Muscle comprises another collection of awards going to five outstanding muscle cars, with one being selected as the overall winner. This year it went to Jerry Dennis for his red ’62 Chevy Impala 409-powered hardtop.
John Burroughs took home the specialty award from Cruisin’ Style magazine for his ’32 Ford
The Hot Rod Roundup also houses an event within itself. There’s the Southeast Deuce Gathering sponsored by the Southeast Deuces that has been part of Shades since the inception. This year 100-plus ’32s were present with Bobby Benfield awarded Best Closed, Bob Baker awarded Best Open, Gene Suelzle awarded Best Commercial, and Keith Rutherford awarded Ladies Choice.
Arguably, the event everyone is waiting for is the car giveaway. This year the Rat’s Glass ’32 Ford highboy roadster built at Bobby Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop in Louisville, Tennessee, was the grand prize. Numerous industry manufacturers take part in supporting this project and it is appreciated by all—Shades and participants.
Another of the Top 25 Shades picks went to Len Evans for his brilliant yellow ’41 Willys.
The Road Tour pulled into the Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup No. 29 as its ending dest
Jeff and Steve Webb drove their PPG Ebony Black ’50 Ford from hometown of Knoxville, TN, t
The Road Tour pulled into the Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup No. 29 as its ending dest
The Shades Car Club has given away “something” since 1987, and what you many not be aware of is each year there are two major prizes. They have given out 1 rolling chassis, 2 GMC shortbed pickups, 13 unfinished cars, 2 Mullins trailers, 22 newly built cars, and 3 restored cars. Of the giveaways, one of particular interest was the rolling chassis in 1988 that was provided by Boyd Coddington and was loaded with Lil’ John Buttera custom-built pieces. For many years there was a giveaway car but there was also an unfinished car (required paint, upholstery, etc.) as a secondary prize. Back in 2005 there was a ’33 blue highboy roadster given away but along with this was a silver ’63 Buick Riviera. In 2006, aside from the Deuce highboy roadster, there was also a white ’63 Ford Thunderbird given away. In 2007, aside from a silver Deuce highboy roadster, there was a black big-block ’68 Chevy Malibu given out. In 1993 there were two Mullins trailers provided by Outlaw that were given away. There are many outstanding and well-known events within the rodding community. Now that the Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup has moved into this ranking, giving back to rodders and the community is likely one of the contributing factors to achieve this lofty status.
Arguably the most famous and longest running magazine project vehicle is the ’57 Chevy (Pr
Next is the 30th anniversary of the Hot Rod Roundup in 2012 and all indicators are the Shades of the Past Street Rod Association is planning accordingly. Look for something special. Should you find yourself in this part of the country (or within a day’s drive), this is one of the summer’s keynote events. Best to register early and guarantee you have a room and be in the running for all of the other benefits.
Painless Performance Products presents Street Rodder Top 100
Each year the Street Rodder staff picks 100 choice cars from 10 selected events. Of those cars, online readers nominate five finalists. The one that garners the most votes earns the coveted Painless Performance Products/Street Rodder Street Rod of the Year. To learn more, visit www.streetrodder.com.
Chris Ryan, South Carolina / ’48 Cadillac convertible The RideTech-equipped Caddy 96 is pa
Kevin Goita, New Orleans, LA / ’61 Chevy Impala The two-tone green and cream bubbletop is
Herb Jenkins, Murfreesboro, TN / ’48 Ford coupe This black primered Ford coupe runs the tr
Robert Lawson, Jonesboro, TN / ’32 Ford highboy five-window The Deuce highboy coupe rides
Buddy Lowman Jr., Claremont, NC / ’55 Chevy Bel Air Shades Top 25 honors as well for this
Linda Kitchens, Harper, TX / ’49 Chevy pickup It’s Linda Kitchen’s daily driver and she br
Darryl Odom, Parrish, AL / ’32 Ford highboy pickup Another Shades Top 25 pick is this high
Stan Parker, Owings, MD / ’32 Ford highboy roadster The classic black highboy rests on a m
Bobby Hardin, Savannah, TN / ’55 Chevy Nomad The original Tri-Five sheetmetal rests on an
Ted Novicki, Greenwood, IN / ’37 DeSoto coupe Timeless in its approach, the ’37 DeSoto fiv
Relays and solenoids take on a different look but have the same basic function. They are used to control high current flow by using internal contacts that are designed to do so. They require a small amount of current for their activation so the switch can be a small one in the dash or a sender in the engine.