The Sherm's Custom Plating Tour from L.A. turned out to be one of those special tours that everyone who was along for the drive will be talking about it for a long time. The largest AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour in history got a great start in sunny Southern California. With 100 registered vehicles it was destined to be a huge freight train of street rods headed for the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

Activities got started at the Nethercutt Collection and Museum in Sylmar, California, as folks gathered to get their credentials, itineraries for the week, goody bags, and road tour hats. About 70 of the 100 registered vehicles arrived at noon and filled the parking lot with some great-looking cars. The two-hour tour at the Nethercutt Collection was breathtaking.

Next up was a visit to Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) in Van Nuys. GAS is part of the Galpin family of auto dealerships, including the largest Ford dealership on the planet. We were greeted by Dave Shuten who heads up the custom vehicle collection for GAS. The vehicles on display include the largest group of Ed Roth vehicles anywhere, tools from Von Dutch's shop, and some very rare Mustangs. Pasta and salads were enjoyed by everyone. We also took a short walk to see Dave's workshop and saw some projects that are in the works. It was a great wrapup to a great first day on the Sherm's Custom Plating Tour.

With more folks joining in on Friday our group had grown to about 80 vehicles. After our morning get-together it was off to the Wally Parks NHRA Museum in Pomona. The hour drive went smoothly with little traffic by L.A. standards. The museum holds so many treasures from our hot rodding past that we were busy for two hours seeing the cars and memorabilia on display. There was a fantastic special exhibit tracing the history and contributions of hot rodding pioneer Dean Moon. Rose Dickinson from the museum staff had arranged for a food vendor in the parking lot and we had a picnic lunch. By 2 p.m. it was time to get back to Burbank.

After some time to relax in the afternoon we made our way to Troy Ladd's Hollywood Hot Rods shop just three blocks away from our hotel. Troy and crew had built our beautiful 1940 Ford coupe and it was on display. It was headed to the SEMA Show to appear in the Ford booth all week. It is a huge honor to be asked by Ford to be part of their display at SEMA.

It would be difficult to put together a better day than we had on Saturday. Our day started with a quick drive from our hotel in Burbank to the Petersen Automobile Museum. Our route took us through Hollywood and down Wilshire Boulevard to the museum. Originally funded by Robert Petersen of Petersen Publishing, the museum tells the story of automobiles in American life with an emphasis on hot rods, custom, and performance vehicles. The three floors contain displays that cover many aspects of our car culture society. After our museum visit many of us grabbed a burger and fries at the Johnny Rockets restaurant attached to the museum.

From the Petersen Museum it was a 40-minute drive to the Signal Hill shop of Hot Rods & Hobbies. Owner Scott Bonowski and his talented crew did the paintwork on our 1940 Ford coupe. The copper color and the quality of the job were the most complemented features of the car. The facility at Hot Rods & Hobbies is truly state of the art and when we visited it was filled with projects.

It was then a short drive to Huntington Beach and the headquarters of Surf City Garage. We spent time seeing one of the finest car and automobilia collections in the country. From muscle cars of the '60s and '70s to classic Harley-Davidson motorcycles and vintage neon signs, the Surf City Garage collection was amazing.

On Sunday morning it was a short drive to the Million Dollar Breakfast Cruise in Tustin. This event takes place the first and last Sunday of each month. We arrived with our group of vehicles and found a special parking area waiting for us at the Enderle Center where the cruise is held. It was a fun morning in Tustin.

Our destination for the afternoon was the Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad near San Diego. The museum contains an amazing number of miniatures custom-made by some very talented craftsmen. It is a fantastic display of miniature engineering at the Craftsmanship Museum and well worth a visit.

Monday the Sherm's Custom Plating Road Tour started with an early drivers' meeting. It was going to be a long day as we traveled from Escondido to Phoenix. Our journey took us up into the mountains east of Escondido. Hot rodder Jim Sheridan had invited us to his home in Julian for a real ranch breakfast. Jim, his wife, Jan, and some friends were ready when we arrived. Breakfast for 125 people was enjoyed by all.

The next six hours took us down the mountain and east on I-8 and then on I-10 into Phoenix. After checking in at the hotel we all headed to Hot Rods by Dean. Dean Livermore had invited us to visit his shop and enjoy some sandwiches. Dean's shop is filled with projects in various states of assembly. They are a full-service hot rod shop and equipped for complete paintjobs and vehicle assembly. The team at Dean's built our 2005 Road Tour 1936 Ford and will be building our 2014 car. It was a good evening at Hot Rods by Dean.