Bill Lay’s ’31 Ford roadster started life as a coupe and now features a cut-down ’37 Chevy
For the ultimate in excitement there’s nothing like topping off the tank, grabbing a map, and heading off to a large national event like the 13th Syracuse Nationals. Once you made your way into Syracuse you were greeted by some of the finest cruising roads, especially if you were able to work your way through the scenic Finger Lakes region with its breathtaking views. Syracuse is also a city with a long history of automotive culture steeped in tradition as it was the birthplace of numerous automobile makes, including the Franklin, while also being the home of one of the largest collections of automobile memorabilia at the Museum of Automotive History. Add in spectacular architecture, great nightlife, and a wide selection of restaurants, and you have a winning combination.
When Friday hit, it was time to pick up your credentials at the host hotel and head over to the event and get settled in. Once you entered New York State Fairgrounds you were greeted by the massiveness that encompassed 360 acres, featuring immaculate tree-lined roads, classic vintage buildings, countless horse and livestock barns, and loads of open-air eateries exuding plenty of fairgrounds charm. After you parked your ride it was time to grab your show program, check out the day’s happenings, and put some miles down. While walking the event you were able to check out literally thousands of some of the most bitchin’ hot rods, customs, muscle cars, and restos covering what seemed like every square inch of the fairgrounds. On Friday and Saturday there were a number of informative tech seminars presented by many of the industry’s leading manufacturers, like ididit, Vintage Air, and American Autowire, to name a few. There was plenty of opportunity to stop and check out hundreds of vendors who were showcasing all of their latest products for your ride on both the fairgrounds as well as in many of the numerous exhibition halls. Every year the Nationals staff works hard to gather an exciting number of Hollywood celebrities for a weekend-long meet-and-greet. This year visitors had the chance to talk with Catherine Bach and John Schneider, both well-known for their roles on the iconic TV series Dukes of Hazzard, as well as American Graffiti’s Candy Clark, and Dan Woods of Speed Channel’s Chop, Cut, Rebuild. Professional hot rod illustrator Scott Fisk was also on hand promoting and signing his brand-new book, Hot Rod Illustration 101, Drawing Autos with Motive. Still want more? You could have stopped by the AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour tent and met up with our very own Jerry Dixey to see the ’40 Ford coupe he has been driving cross-country this season, as well as talk with him about many of his long-haul experiences.
Gassers like Kevin Doolittle’s ’55 T-Bird are wicked, especially with a mile-high frontend
It’s not often you see a subtle ’56 Chevy mild custom like Jack Gowen’s with a perfect sta
On Friday and Saturday evening the nation’s top pyrotechnic experts lit up the sky with sc
Next generation 18-year-old Stan Jesberger’s hopped-up ’29 Ford featured a 5-inch chop, 4-
One of the coolest mini-events within the show, known as the Old Skool Roundup, is situated within a huge open-air pavilion, giving traditional hot rod and custom owners a place they can call their very own. Walking into the area you immediately pick up a neat vibe thanks to all the cars being parked amongst numerous culture artists and vendors. To add even more style, the roundup also featured its very own homemade trophies and a nonstop flow of entertainment, from rockabilly DJs as well as searing live sets from Alibi, the Gas House Gorillas, Krypton 88, Steve Southworth, and Tombstone Hangs.
To keep the coolness rolling, a special signature award for the Syracuse Nationals, known as the Winfield Award, presented by legendary customizer Gene Winfield, garnered plenty of attention all weekend. Through an application process, Winfield hand-selected 12 cars from which he decided on a final six, recognized as the Winfield Select Six. Car owners arrived from all over the country to compete for the award, which was presented by Meguiar’s and included a custom-made trophy, jacket, and check for $5,000. This year’s winner was Lauren Rose with her elegant ’41 Hupmobile.
Housed within the same building was the legendary Artie’s Party, a pinstriper’s panel jam, which featured over 70 pinstripers from all over the country as well as participants from Australia, England, and Canada. The group worked tirelessly all weekend long creating exclusive works of art to be auctioned off for charity.
Ed Bobowicz gave his ’42 Chevy Fleetline a mild shave, frenched headlights, Budnik wheels,
It doesn’t take much to transform a ’57 Buick Riviera. Bill Laskewicz slammed his on wires
There were a few well-executed mild customs at the fairgrounds, including this Chevy with
Think this sounds like a blast, just wait because after the main event ends it’s time to head out and grab a bite, gas up, and come back for the night’s fun-filled festivities. As the sun sets, the grandstands at the fairgrounds is the place to be to check out everything, from old-timey dirt drags, to tractor pulls, wild flamethrower exhibitions, and a fireworks grand finale.
To wrap the weekend up, one of the most anticipated portions of the event was the legendary Sunday giveaway program where excited registered event participants assembled around the main stage to see who would be lucky enough to be called in for a chance to win the giveaway car. This year it was a classic ’57 Chevy Nomad given a custom makeover by Chop-Shop Customs and Tucci Hot Rods. The lucky award winner was David Archambault of Albany, New York, who received the keys.
By the time the weekend came to a close 7,769 cars had rolled through the main gate (arriving from 30 states and five Canadian provinces) along with over 80,000 visitors who stopped in to check it all out. Thanks to the support of the Central New York Car Club Association (who are the hosts of the show) and area service clubs, donations were made from proceeds of the event in the amount of $101,800 (which included $77,200 from the Panel Jam auctions) to a number of local charities bringing the 13-year donation total to an incredible $620,144. This is one event that continues to grow with each passing year, and we can’t wait to check it out again in 2013.
The winner of the third annual Winfield Award was Lauren Rose with her glamorous ’41 Hupmo
Full of style, Karl and Diane Brenner’s ’57 Buick Super had to be the ultimate street crui
Some Deuces are just badass like Jeff Bornstein’s roadster with its 6-71 huffed small-bloc