Our destination for Monday afternoon was the Hartford, Connecticut, area and the largest weekly cruise in New England. Mark’s Classic Cruise is held in East Granby near the Hartford Airport every Monday evening with anywhere from 400 to 900 vehicles in attendance every single week. We were not disappointed. We were led in early and given parking spaces right in front of the live band. The well-manicured grounds immediately started to fill with special-interest vehicles of all types. The car count was over 475 and it was a great evening. Road Tourians Les and Sandy Goss were presented with a trophy for their ’32 Ford coupe. Road Tourian Dan Justice won the 50/50 drawing, and all of us were called to the front for a round of applause. It was a great evening for our wandering little band.

Tuesday we started out in Hartford with our morning drivers’ meeting. From there it was a beautiful three-hour drive across Connecticut, Rhode Island, and onto our destination of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Situated on Cape Cod Bay, New Bedford is a former whaling industry center that has a rich history and New England charm.

We arrived at our hotel about 1 p.m. and folks had lunch and took a quick look around the town. By 3:30 we gathered and headed north 20 miles to the headquarters and manufacturing facilities of FFR. When we arrived we were met by a contingent of local car folks who had turned out to say hello, get a look at the Road Tour ’40 coupe, and to take a tour of the FFR showroom and manufacturing plant. We were all greeted by FFR President David Smith and office manager Sally Green. David is passionate and proud of their success. He is also very proud of the fact that all of the FFR components and products are made by American workers in the United States. David took us on an in-depth tour of the manufacturing area. We were able to see the work that goes into producing an FFR kit. In the showroom we were able to get a close look at all of the FFR models, including the very popular ’33 Hot Rod kit. Many thanks to David and the FFR team for a great evening and for their continued support of our Road Tour program.

We had a full day scheduled on Wednesday. We got an early start with a 7:30 a.m. drivers’ meeting at the hotel in New Bedford. It was a two-hour drive to our first stop at the Intercity Lines facility in Brookfield, Massachusetts. Intercity has been the official auto transport company for the AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour for a number of years. While we are usually driving our Road Tour cars, there are times when we need to get the cars across the country for special events. We also have folks who would like to participate in a Road Tour that starts or ends a long distance from their home. This is where using a competent, experienced auto transporter becomes important.

We were greeted at Intercity Lines by manager Joe Nail and members of the Intercity Lines team. They were ready for our visit with coffee, doughnuts, and bagels. We watched as a vintage car was loaded onto one of the many Intercity Lines haulers. The process of inspecting, securing, and protecting each vehicle was explained in detail. The folks at Intercity Lines know how careful we are with our vehicles and they treat them the same way. It was an interesting demonstration and we were all given special Intercity Lines T-shirts and coffee mugs.

Our destination for Wednesday afternoon was Saratoga Springs, New York, and the famous Rolling Bones Hot Rod shop. We had visited Keith and Ken on previous tours. They have a huge following in New England and they had put out the word that we were stopping by the shop. There was a field full of hot rods and rodders waiting for us when we arrived. It was a great mix of vehicles and everyone greeted our group. The grill was fired up and hot dogs and hamburgers were enjoyed by all. Thanks to Keith, Ken, and all the folks who greeted us at Rolling Bones.

Wednesday evening we had a special treat in store. The Saratoga Automobile Museum had a new NASCAR display called “Moonshiners to Millionaires” They had assembled a collection of NASCAR vehicles for the display and Hall of Fame driver Bobby Allison was the guest speaker at a fund-raiser at the museum. We were invited to attend and when we arrived they had us park our vehicles in front of the museum. It was a great evening as Bobby Allison told stories of the early days of racing and his involvement in the sport. After his talk he signed autographs for everyone. It was another great Road Tour evening.

Thursday was the final push to our Syracuse Nationals destination. The drive from Saratoga Springs to Syracuse was a beautiful trip through the rolling hills of New York. We arrived in Syracuse just after noon. Many folks headed to the picnic and others went to the headquarters to register. It was a fantastic weekend at the New York State Fairgrounds and the Syracuse Nationals. The weather cooperated and overcast skies kept the heat down on Friday. The grounds were packed the entire three days. Many of the FFR leg of the Road Tour participants gathered on Friday at our hospitality tent for a group picture.

It was a great week on the FFR leg of the tour. We had plenty of fun and memories this summer and formed friendships that will last a life a lifetime. If you are interested in joining us on one of eight AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tours take a look at the 2013 schedule. Get registered and join us on the highways of America.