Both the NSRA Milwaukee Nationals and the Right Coast Syracuse Nationals are relatively new on the car show scene. They both welcome the later model cars to their events and attract street rods, customs, muscle cars and special interest vehicles. This year the two events landed on back to back weekends so they were chosen as the bookends to the Classic Automobilia Tour. Started in 1989, Classic Automobilia in Younstown, Ohio specializes in pedal cars, vintage gas station items and all those items that make the car hobby even more fun.
The weekend was spent in Milwaukee at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds. The Street Rodder/PPG Road Tour tent soon became the gathering place for all the folks that had signed up to travel on the Classic Automobilia Tour. We had folks from Canada, Wisconsin, Oregon. Texas, Virginia, Ohio and Michigan traveling along for the week. After a great three days of good weather and high quality cars at the NSRA Milwaukee Nationals it was time to head out on the highway. Our stop for Sunday evening was in LaPort, Indiana. The reality was that the city of Chicago and its dreaded traffic snarls layed between us and our evenings lodging. It actually wasn't too bad as the Sunday afternoon traffic was fairly light by Chicago standards. There were still some tense moments but all the Road Tourians managed to make it through.
Many of us enjoyed a good meal at a Mexican restaurant in LaPort and got to know our fellow travelers a little better.
Monday morning at 7:30 we gathered for the morning drivers's meeting in front of the hotel. We soon headed off to our first stop at Jim Wise"s Hot Rod Shop in nearby Goshen, Indiana. Jim is the President of WiseGuy's Seating whose seats have made my life comfortable for the last three Road Tours. Jim is also a very talented car builder and he invited us to stop at his home and shop for some donuts and coffee and a look at his latest projects. There were a number of cars in various stages of assemble with one nearing completion for it's debut at the NSRA Nationals in Louisville in two weeks.
Our next stop was at the Auburn Cord Dusenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana. Housed in the original Auburn dealer showroom the museum is an incredible art deco showplace with examples of all of these fantastic marquees on display. It is well worth a visit. From Auburn it was time to make the three hour run to Flaming River's facilities in Berea, Ohio. The folks at Flaming River have been long time supporters of the Road Tour program with their high quality steering components. This year the tradition look of a dropped axle with the smooth ride of an independent front suspension is achieved on our coupe with a Flaming River Dominator front axle. It is the best of both worlds. We were treated to dinner at Flaming River and were given a tour of their manufacturing facilities. It had been a great first day on the Classic Automobilia Tour.
Check back here for all the details of the rest of the weeks activities as we stop and see Fred Warren's unbelievable collection of street rods including the famous Smoothster. We then pay of visit to the facilities of BackYard Buddy. From there we stop at the Classic Automobilia showroom in Youngstown, Ohio and drop by my home for some refreshments.
Click on the pages at the bottom for previous Road Tour blogs and watch for the complete story in Street Rodder Magazine. - Jerry Dixey