They say everything is bigger in Texas and each year the Vintage Air Road Tour proves that statement is true. Rick Love from Vintage Air has developed quite a following with folks from the Lone Star State and beyond. Rick and Vintage Air owner Jack Chisenhall enjoy nothing more than hitting the trail with a group of fellow rodders and spending a week on the highway. This year Rick and Jack decided to go somewhere new and sights were set on Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and the Shades of the Past Street Rod Association's 31st Hot Rod Roundup. It was a popular decision as almost 60 vehicles were registered to take part in the tour.
The festivities got started on Saturday evening of Labor Day weekend at the traditional wienie roast and driver's get-together. Sales Manager George Packard gave everyone a look at what goes into the production of a Vintage Air product. Sunday morning we gathered back at the Vintage Air headquarters in San Antonio and headed north to Customs and Hot Rods of Andice, Texas. Texas is famous for its barbecue and hospitality and we got plenty of both at our stop in Andice.
It was then on to Waco, Texas, and the Dr. Pepper Museum. Dr. Pepper is the soda of choice for most southerners and we got an education on the history of this famous brand. Monday was Labor Day and we celebrated in the small Texas town of Ben Wheeler. This crossroads was on the verge of extinction until Brooks Gremmels and his wife, Rese, rode into town a few years ago, not on a horse but on a motorcycle and saved the day. The town is now filled with art galleries, craft shops, and is a music and cultural destination year round. From Ben Wheeler it was on to Shreveport, Louisiana, where we visited the Barksdale Global Power Museum and their amazing collection of American warplanes.
Vicksburg National Military Park houses memorials and monuments that are dedicated to the
Tuesday we had a history lesson as we visited the Vicksburg National Military Park. This historic site was the location of one of the longest and hardest fought battles of the Civil War as both sides fought for control of the Mississippi River. The memorials in the park honor the soldiers who took part in this turning point of the war. Tuesday afternoon we headed east and arrived in Meridian, Mississippi, at Mike Goldman Customs just in time for dinner. The food was great and we got a chance to see the shop where Mike and Sherry Goldman and their crew have been turning out show-winning vehicles since 1990.
Wednesday morning we stopped in Alabaster, Alabama, for lunch at Tim and Cici Spencer's Buffalo Wild Wings. Lunch was courtesy of the Spencers and we passed the hat to raise money for the local Humane Society. It was a short drive to the Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum near Birmingham. We were all amazed at the size of the museum building itself and the number of vintage motorcycles on display. This is a place that any classic motorcycle enthusiast has to visit. Wednesday evening we were greeted by Angie and Alan Johnson at Johnson's Hot Rods. The folks at Johnson's had just returned from Bonneville Speed Week where they debuted a Studebaker-based land speed car that is as quick as it is beautiful. At dusk the crew at Johnson's pushed the Studebaker outside and fired it up to the delight of everyone in attendance.
We were greeted by Corky Coker himself at Coker Tire and Honest Charley Speed Shop and Gar
Thursday morning we rolled on to Chattanooga, Tennessee. We were greeted at Coker Tire by Corky Coker. From Coker Tire it was a short walk across the street to Honest Charley Garage. Greg Cunningham and his team at Honest Charley were responsible for the construction of our fantastic 1951 Ford that led the Road Tour all summer. Greg walked us through the shop and talked about some of their current projects. Honest Charley Speed Shop is just around the corner and then it was back to Coker Tire for a look at their vintage car and motorcycle collection. We were treated to a great lunch before setting out on the three-hour drive to our final destination of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and the Shades of the Past SRA Hot Rod Roundup.
It was a fun two days at the Shades event. We had the AMSOIL/STREET RODDER tent set up in the middle of the participant parking area. The Hot Rod Roundup has become one of the premier events in the country. The high quality of vehicles in attendance, the size of the vendor area, and the treasures in the swap meet have all helped increase the popularity of this event every year. Saturday afternoon the Top 25 vehicles were on display and the Painless Performance Products STREET RODDER Top 100 was announced. The drawing for the Alloway Hot Rods–built roadster and the huge 50/50 drawing kept everyone's interest until late Saturday afternoon.
It was a fantastic week on the Vintage Air Road Tour. Rick Love announced that the 2014 Vintage Air Tour will be heading to the 50th edition of the L.A. Roadster's Father's Day Show and Swap Meet. Details about that and all of the other 2014 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tours can be found at streetrodder.com. That is also where you will find expanded coverage of the 2013 Vintage Air Road Tour.
On Labor Day we visited Ben Wheeler, TX. This small town has become a center of arts, craf
John Young (left) and Al Redmon worked hard to keep John’s “Peaches and Cream” ’55 Chevy s
On the evening before we headed toward Pigeon Forge we were able to get a look at the Vint
Just outside Shreveport, LA, we visited the Barksdale Global Power Museum. Formerly known
Mike and Sherry Goldman greeted us at Mike Goldman Customs in Meridian, MS. When we arrive
Tim and Cici Spenser are rodders and they also own the Buffalo Wild Wings in Alabaster, AL
One photograph cannot convey the size of the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingh
Angie and Alan Johnson greeted us for dinner at Johnson’s Hot Rods in Gadsden, AL. This li
The collection at Coker Tire consists of an amazing group of autos and motorcycles that ar