Tuesday Road Tour #5 -- The Perfect Storm

The thunder we heard early Tuesday morning was a bad omen. As we rolled out of the Hampton Inn in Cincinnati, we were in the middle of a major rainstorm. Many times while traveling we've driven out of the bad weather. Unfortunately this was not the case. As we drove up I-71 in Ohio on this rainy Tuesday morning the rain came down even harder. It's no fun driving in the rain in a late model, much less a street rod, so it proved to be a long morning on the Road Tour. Finally, after a trying two hours of constant rain, it started to clear up as we got north of the Columbus area.

Our lunch destination Tuesday was the Akron headquarters of Gear Star Transmissions. This years' Road Tour coupe is fitted with a Gear Star transmission package and has performed flawlessly for 12,000 miles so far this summer. Gear Star's owner, Zack Farah invited us to stop by and have some lunch as well as have a look at their facility. After lunch and a shop tour, all on the Road Tour where given Gear Star t-shirts - a nice gesture by a class company.

Next on our tour of northern Ohio was Lobeck's Hot Rod Shop in nearby Cleveland. Owners Ginny and Barry Lobeck greeted us with some fresh coffee and cookies and we got a chance to take a look at some of their current projects. One of the rods they are working on is my own 1927 Retro T project. It was fun to show the group my own car. Lobeck's built the 1996 Tour Coupe that Debbie Walls is driving on this tour, and it's the first time the since named "Blue Skunk" has been back to visit the folks at Lobeck's.

From Lobeck's it was a 40-minute drive across the southern suburbs of Cleveland to the evening destination of Flaming River Products in Berea, Ohio. The folks at Flaming River have been major supporters of the Road Tour over the past few years and their facility is fantastic. PPG from nearby Strongsville, Ohio brought over their wild big display rig and we all enjoyed an evening of fun and food with our good friends in Northern Ohio.

What started out as a miserable rainy day, turned out to be one of the most enjoyable of the Road Tour.

Next up is Kalamazoo and the National North with some stops in Detroit. Check back soon as the 2006 PPG Street Rodder Road Tour #5 rolls on. I'm sure there are some more fun days ahead.

Jerry Dixey