People Who Have Made A Difference:

Vern Walker
Walker Radiator was already a major force in the street rod aftermarket when their ad appeared in our very first issue. Vern was also instrumental in creating the Street Rod Nationals.

The success of the Street Rod Nationals has a lot to do with the locations and the number of exhibitors. It's always been promoted as a family event, and now it's becoming more and more of a historical event, with a lot of memories for everyone. We caught a lot of flak when we opened it up to the later cars, but we're getting younger people in. Every time you do it, it's a whole new ball game. We have more than 500 volunteers helping. Without them, there could be no Street Rod Nationals. There is no way you could put it on because there's so much going on. Each year we add a little more to it. We've been in Louisville a while. It just works. We used to move around, but it seemed like we could make the show better if we found a good spot and stayed there.

My father started his business in 1932, and we've stayed in the same location, right next to Sun Records in Memphis. He started it as a repair shop, and it the early '50s, we started manufacturing industrial cores. In the early '60s I built my first Model T radiator. I took me three weeks to build that rascal and I said we'll never build another one of those things! Well we did and now that's all we do.

Everybody was just at the right place at the right time for it to click. STREET RODDER and all the other publications always helped me. We do a lot with the Road Tour. This year a tour came through and we had about 50 or 60 cars here. It's been a good relationship.