After the Friday visit at Eastwood we made a stop at the local Sonic for burgers and shake
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.
The second annual Eastwood Summer Classic car show was the perfect place to begin the Fact
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.
Cars rolled into Eastwood early Saturday morning. The FFR-sponsored Road Tour hospitality
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.
With plenty of special sales and product demonstrations, the Eastwood retail store was fil
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.
Sunday we headed north to Pocono Raceway where we weathered a huge storm but it was worth
Monday we were up early and heading east. Our first stop of the day was at the famous Oran
Our second stop was at the recently opened Motorcyclepedia Museum. Hundreds of vintage and
After a tour of his fantastic shop, Bill Borneman and his wife, Kathy, treated us to a gre
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 in the Hartford, CT, in time to check in and head to Mark’s Classic Cruise-In.
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.
On Friday evening all the Road Tour participants were invited to Blast from the Past Stree
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.
Tuesday afternoon we arrived at the Factory Five Racing headquarters. FFR President Dave S
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.
Two FFR ’33 Hot Rod kits were featured on the Car Warriors TV show recently in which the c
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.
On our way across Massachusetts we paid a visit to the Intercity Lines terminal in Brookfi
This was what we saw as we approached the headquarters of the Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop j
On Wednesday evening we had a real treat as we were able to attend a special presentation
Ken Schmidt (left) and Keith Cornel (right) of Rolling Bones fame have redefined the terms
On Friday afternoon many of the participants on the FFR leg of the Road Tour gathered at t
The Surf City Garage “Attention to Detail” Award went to two Road Tour couples at the Syra