It was a great day and evening in Youngstown, Ohio as everyone on the Tour enjoyed the incredible street rod collection of Patti and Fred Warren, the Backyard Buddy facilities, Classic Automoblia's showroom, the stop at my home and of course the food and hospitality of the folks at the Quaker Steak and Lube in Austintown, Ohio.
Wednesday morning it was time to head towards New York and the Syracuse Nationals. It was a foggy morning in Ohio as we made our way up Route 11 towards Lake Erie. It was then east along I-90 as we had made Niagara Falls our destination for an afternoon sightseeing stop. For those that had never seen the falls it is an amazing sight. We spent some time at the edge of the Falls and then had some lunch. After lunch we made the short drive to Lockport, New York, the home of the brand new facilities of Mac's Antique Auto Parts. President Rick McIntosh and Vice-Present brother Randy McIntosh greeted us and gave us a personal tour of their just recently opened showroom, offices and warehouse. To say these folks stock some Ford parts is an understatement. In addition to their inventory of 1900 - 1972 Ford parts, their on-site upholstery facilities manufacture high quality realistically offer interiors for Ford vehicles up to 1952. After the tour of the facilities the folks at Mac's provided sandwiches for everyone. I had a surprise when Ken Horner showed up at Mac's in his 1937 Ford Phaeton. It was great to see two old friends as Ken was the winner in 1998 of the Road Tour Phaeton. I had spent 25,000 miles and touched all 48 states in that Phantom Phaeton and it was fun to see Ken and his prize once again.
On Thursday morning the time had come. The only thing between us and the huge Syracuse Nationals was some beautiful New York countryside and good two lane highways. We arrived at the headquarters Holiday Inn about 3 pm on Thursday. This was my first trip to the Syracuse Nationals. Bob O'Conner and the Right Coast folks have done their homework and everything at the 8th edition of the Syracuse Nationals was running smoothly when we arrived. The next three days were spent enjoying all the things that have helped this event grow into a 7,000 car spectacle. The New York State Fairgrounds was packed all weekend as tens of thousands of spectators covered the grounds to enjoy the street rods, custom cars, muscle cars and special interest vehicles on display. There was plenty to see and do with burn out contests, a thrill show, demolition derby and live entertainment kept everyone busy from dawn till late into the night.
The Street Rodder tent was a popular spot as the Right Coast folks provided special reserved parking around our tent for all of the Road Tourians. With our Road Tour coupe on the cover of the current issue of Street Rodder there were lots of questions about my ride for the summer. Many folks asked about the different wheel and tire combination that has appeared on the coupe over the summer. We have switched wheels and tires for each event. It was the idea of Wheel Vintique owner Mike Stallings. Mike wanted folks to see how different wheels and tires dramatically change the appearance of a vehicle. It is an exercise that has had great results. Everyone seems to have their favorite combination.
The weekend went by quickly as the Syracuse Nationals and the Classic Automobila Tour came to a close on Sunday. It was a fun week for everyone and especially for me. There is about a week before I head out again, this time to the NSRA Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. The Eaton Spring Tour begins a few weeks after that, traveling from the Woodward Dream Cruise to the NSRA Richmond Nationals in Virginia. The Street Rodder PPG 2007 season wraps up with the Performance World Car and Truck Show Tour in September as we travel from the NSRA Nationals North in Kalamazoo, Michigan to the NSRA Northeast Nationals in Burlington, Vermont. Check back here at the website or call our Road Tour hotline at 1-800-664-1362 for all the latest details.
Get ready as we will soon announce our 2008 Road Tour schedule. We have some great Tours planned and a challenge for anyone that has the desire and the time to spend about three weeks on the road with us next June. Keep in touch and I hope to see you soon on the Road Tour.