The Factory Five Racing (FFR) Road Tour was again headed to the Syracuse Nationals. For the second year our starting point was the Pottstown, Pennsylvania, headquarters of the Eastwood Company. Last year their Eastwood Summer Classic was a huge success and they decided to do it again. It was the perfect place to begin our week.

The AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Factory Five Racing Road Tour got off to a good start on Friday evening and Saturday in Pottstown. The participants met for an early evening meeting at the hotel for the first drivers’ meeting of the weeklong tour to the Syracuse Nationals.

After our meeting we made the short drive to Eastwood’s headquarters for some greetings and photos and off to the Sonic Drive-In for dinner. There was rain in the area so we kept in touch with the folks at Maple Grove Raceway as our plans called for us to visit the track after dinner to see some drag racing. During the rain delay we spent time getting to know our fellow Road Tourians. It was about a 20-minute drive to the track and things had dried out where we watched some local grudge racing and tuning. We were surprised by the number of folks who had come to the track to see the Road Tour ’40 coupe. By the time dark came we all went back to the hotel.

Saturday morning we realized that the showers had hit Pottstown overnight. The skies were beginning to clear as we had a short meeting and drove together to Eastwood where cars had already begun to arrive. The Road Tour participants were granted special parking and a hospitality tent. As early as 8 a.m. cars started to roll in and by noon there were 300 special-interest vehicles on display. The Eastwood showroom was open and the Eastwood team gave demonstrations on the use of their shop tools and equipment, while the DJ kept things rocking. By 3 p.m. the door prizes were handed out and another great Eastwood Summer Classic was in the books. (Watch for news of next year’s event. The Summer Classic seems to be on track to becoming a summer tradition.)

The Road Tourians headed back to the hotel to freshen up before the evening’s activities. We had been invited to Blast from the Past Street Rods by owner Bill Borneman. We met Bill at last year’s Eastwood Summer Classic and he wanted to have the Road Tour visit his shop. Bill gave us a tour of his huge facility and we got to see projects that he and his crew are in the process of completing. One of the highlights was an up-close look at the recently completed recreation of the early ’60s custom car, the 69er (featured in the Winter ’13 issue of SRP). Bill and his team recreated the custom that was originally built by hot rod icons the Alexander Brothers from Detroit. The new version debuted at the 2012 Detroit Autorama. It’s a beautiful example of show cars of bygone days. After our tour Bill invited us to walk across the street to the Hill Top Diner where Bill and his wife, Kathy, treated us all to a great dinner. It was a perfect ending to a good two-day start to the FFR leg of the Road Tour.

After the great Eastwood Summer Classic on Saturday we had an easy morning and Sunday afternoon planned. Our schedule called for us to be at Pocono Speedway by 5 p.m. to take some “easy” laps around the famous D-shaped track. With Pocono just two hours away from Pottstown there was plenty of time for sightseeing and carefree cruising. A few folks hit the flea markets. Some of the folks went to one of the many auto museums in the area. I headed about 30 minutes south for a good old history lesson at Valley Forge. We all had fun doing just what we wanted for a few hours.

By mid-afternoon we were making our way to the Pocono area. The weather was very hot and humid and thunderstorms were getting more frequent in the area. By 4 p.m. the sun was out and the sky was blue. We were all gathered at the track and waiting for the NASA sport car group to wrap up their driving classes so we could get a lap or two with our cars. As activity on the track started winding down the thunder and storm clouds started rolling in. Walter Van Ness is on the Pocono Speedway facilities team and in charge of weekend activities. Walter drove up in a track truck and said we needed to pull our cars inside the pit buildings immediately because a bad storm was ready to hit. We didn’t need to be asked twice. We drove into the pit buildings and in less than a minute the skies opened up. It was the hardest rain I had seen in many years and it continued for about 30 minutes. The water started to rise and the drains could not handle the deluge. It stopped as quickly as it started. The problem was that there was a 7-inch standing water moat around the pit building. We had to wait another 30 minutes and the water started to recede but the tunnel entrance was still flooded. It was Walter to the rescue as he decided to let us go out Gate 3. Then with a smile he said that the best way for us to get to Gate 3 was for us to pull out on the front straight of the track. Then we were instructed to follow him for two laps around the raceway and then to exit the course. We got our laps in after all. It was a great way to end a Road Tour Sunday.

Monday we had an early drivers’ meeting at 7:30 a.m. We had a full day ahead. It was a beautiful drive up the Delaware Water Gap area and on to Newburgh, New York. Our first stop was at Orange County Choppers (OCC); their showroom is huge and filled with many of the bikes from the show. Of course, many souvenirs were pitched and we got a chance to see some filming being done. Paul Sr. and Rick were discussing progress on a project and the cameras were rolling.

From OCC it was a short drive to Motorcyclepedia, a motorcycle museum that has only been open a year. We were all amazed at what we saw at Motorcyclepedia. It was the largest collection of vintage motorcycles I have ever seen. One room contained an Indian motorcycle from every year that Indian built bikes, 1901-53; the display was incredible. Other areas displayed Harley-Davidsons and British bikes. There was a section devoted to choppers of the ’60s and ’70s. One display even talked about STREET RODDER founder Tom McMullen and his early days manufacturing custom motorcycle parts. It is an incredible collection and not to be missed.