The time has come to put the finishing touches on your new ride, ready your old ride, or hook up with a buddy as the driving season is about to begin in earnest. The first leg of what proves to be the most fun you can have sittin' on your butt is about to begin. The 2006 PPG / STREET RODDER Road Tour's six legs of driving across America begins with Allstate Insurance Corporation presenting the 16th annual Cruisin' Ocean City event in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 19-21, and ends with the 23rd annual National Street Rod Association Mid-America Nationals in Springfield, Missouri, on May 26-28. Oh, you will not be alone, as Road Tour chauffeur Jerry Dixey will be setting the pace with this year's GM Performance Parts Ram Jet 350-powered '34 Chevy coupe from Outlaw resting on a Roadster Shop chassis with Heidt's independent suspension, all kept rolling by a set of Wheel Vintiques wheels. Let's say you get tired of looking at or speaking to chauffeur Dixey (that's understandable), there will be a handful of rodding celebs (at the time of printing), such as Johnny Freund from Hunter's Custom Automotive, George Poteet (every rodder wants to be adopted by George and/or at the very least gather up his cast-off vintage tin), and several others to be added later on, including a member of the STREET RODDER staff (want your car in a magazine?).
Our Road Tour drive will begin with one of the East Coast's largest automotive events. The 16th annual Cruisin' Ocean City 2006 presented by Allstate will be the largest and most successful in the citywide event's history, with 6,000 street rods, custom rods, street machines, and other specialty cars on display. Allstate will play host for the event's major activities, which include the daily Parade of Cruisin' along the Ocean City Beachside Boardwalk, the Saturday night concert held at the Ocean City Convention Center, and the closing ceremonies at Ocean City's Beachside Inlet on Sunday, May 21. The event will feature famous pop celebrities from the automotive and entertainment world. Previous Cruisin' Ocean City special guests included designers Darryl Starbird and Norm Grabowski; actors Candy Clark and Bo Hopkins; and musical groups The Beach Boys, The Drifters, Ray Peterson, The Impressions, and Frankie Ford.
After Sunday's awards ceremony, the first leg of the Road Tour drive, sponsored by Fatman Fabrications, is scheduled for a 140-mile afternoon cruise that heads south along Route 13 for our overnight stay at Virginia Beach. The afternoon buzz will take us across and through the 21-mile-long Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Our Sunday evening stop will bring us to Flatlanders Hot Rods in Norfolk, Virginia, where we will enjoy an evening cruise around Virginia Beach led by Chief Flatlander Alan Thornton.
Monday morning, the Road Tour drive will head west, covering 350 miles across Route 58 to Interstate 85 and then south just in time for dinner sponsored by Fatman Fabrications. (Remember, you are traveling with the staff from SRM; of course there will be ample food stops!) Brent Vandervort and the staff of Fatman will be our hosts in the Charlotte suburb of Mount Hill, North Carolina. We will visit the North Carolina towns of Raleigh, Durham, High Point, and Concord in NASCAR country. Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord has invited us to stop for a special tour at the facility.
Tuesday we will travel along one of the most scenic drives to be found anywhere, and that's along Interstate 26, which will take us through the Smoky Mountains. Then Interstate 40 will take us through the towns of Asheville and Knoxville. Our destination is Nashville, Tennessee, where Johnny and Linda Freund will be our evening hosts at Hunter's Automotive Custom.
Wednesday the pace picks up, but how bad can it be? You will be traveling in your street rod along with other rodders all aiming at having a good time! Our first stop that day will be at the Advanced Plating facility in Nashville, Tennessee, with our own tour guide Steve Tracey of Advanced. Afterward, it's a short drive across town to visit the Gibson Guitar facility.
After lunch, it's back into our rods and time to head west across Interstate 40 toward Jackson, Tennessee, and then south to our evening stop in Holly Springs, Mississippi, about 30 miles south of Memphis. George Poteet will go from fellow driving companion to our host for the evening, which includes dinner and a tour of his collection of street rods. Yep, the day's drive will be well worth it.
Thursday morning will have us setting out on a 250-mile trip to Springfield, Missouri, through the Ozark Mountain area of Arkansas and to our weekend destination--the National Street Rod Association's Mid-America Nationals. This NSRA event has grown to include 2,100-plus street rods in a great Memorial Day weekend party.
If you want more information, a way to register, or just to get some questions answered, call the Road Tour Hotline at (800) 664-1362, or visit www.streetrodderweb.com and get the latest scoop. If you have some vacation time, are socially unemployable, or whatever your good fortune, this is going to prove to be a great 10 days and 1,372 miles of shear rodding ecstasy.
Artist Eric Brockmeyer has supplied us with this year's rendering of our 1934 Chevy coupe
The Boardwalk at Cruisin' Ocean City allows cruising and everyone is sure to see plenty of
Every event has a parking lot, and Cruisin' Ocean City is no different--lots of automotive
There is a Fun Zone, which should prove a great "hiding" place for the kids while Dad (and
The action doesn't stop at Cruisin' Ocean City when the sun goes down--no sir, the action
| Ocean City, MD To Springfield, MO|
|0||May 19-21||Friday, Saturday, Sunday||Cruisin' Ocean City, MD|
|140||May 21||Sunday||Virginia Beach, VA|
|344||May 22||Monday||Charlotte, NC|
|422||May 23||Tuesday||Nashville, TN|
|216||May 24||Wednesday||Memphis, TN|
|250||May 25||Thursday||Branson & Springfield, MO|
|0||May 26-28||Friday, Saturday, Sunday||NSRA Mid-America Nationals|
|Total Miles: 1,372 miles|
|Total Days on the Road: 10 days|
Click here to download a printable version of the information on tour dates and cities the 2006 Road Tour will visit.
Just in case you want to work on your tan while in Ocean City, there is a reason the city
Our destination on the 2006 PPG / STREET RODDER Road Tour drive # 1 is the NSRA Mid-Americ
This will be the 23rd NSRA Mid-America Street Rod Nationals, making it one of the older an
Two thousand-plus is the count. Nothing but street rods--now that's a lot of early iron ca
Once the awards are completed at the Mid-America Nats, it's back home and you will have ju
The '34 Chevy coupe body comes by way of Outlaw, while the chassis is from the Roadster Sh
Doug of the Roadster Shop preps one of their frames to accept a Heidt's front crossmember;
The frame is readied for a GM Performance Parts Ram Jet 350 engine, while the 200-4R overd
All motor, tranny, and suspension mounts were taken care of while at the Roadster Shop.
What better way to make sure you have a comfortable ride than to install an independent re
We have had an experience with a Heidt's IRS once before on the M2000 roadster and it prov