By Wednesday evening the Eaton Detroit Spring Road Tour was very near the destination of The NSRA Richmond Nationals. We spent the evening in Lynchburg, Virginia and the skies actually looked like they would stay clear for awhile. Many of us took a little time Wednesday evening to yet again wash the vehicles. We all hoped it would be last vehicle cleanup we would do for awhile.
After our Thursday morning 7:30AM divers meeting we made our way across town to the shop of Sonny Leonard and the home of Sonny's Racing Engines. From his shop, Sonny Leonard and his talented crew build record setting racing engines for the drag strip, tractor pulls and high performance boats. Sonny was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule and give us a personal tour of the facility. Sonny's specialty is big cubic inch General Motors engines and if you want the works it would be one of their 811 cubic inch 1700 HP hemi head monsters. Yes I did say hemi head. Sonny casts and machines hemispherical heads for big block Chevy engines. These were some serious motors we saw with some serious prices from $16,000 to $90,000. How fast do you want to go? It was a very interesting stop at Sonny's Racing Engines and we all appreciated the personal tour.
By 10AM it was time to move on down the road. I had been contacted a few months ago by two street rodders from the Virginia area that wanted us to experience some true southern hospitality. Mike Shumaker and Mike Turner had contacted Barbara and Al Moore owners of the Farmer's Caf in the small Virginia town of Blackstone mid-way between Lynchburg and Richmond. The two Mikes knew that Barbara and Al would be anxious to have our Tour stop by the Farmer's Caf for lunch. Barbara and Al even wanted to pick up the tab for all of us. That is real Southern hospitality. When we drove into Blackstone we were really given the royal treatment. Chief of Police Nick Kuzmiak and some of his officers had blocked off parking on the main street of Blackstone in anticipation of our arrival. We all enjoyed the great food at the Farmer's Caf and were overwhelmed by all the attention. Many thanks to Mike Shumaker, Mike Turner, Chief Kuzmiak and our gracious hosts Barbara and Al Moore and staff at the Farmer's Caf in Blackstone. It was one of the high points of our entire week.
By 1PM it was time to get to Richmond and the NSRA Nationals. We arrived at the Headquarters hotel and picked up our registration materials. On Friday we all set up camp in the Street Rodder tent at the event and enjoyed the shade and the company of our fellow Road Tourinans all weekend. It had been a great week on the Eaton Detroit Spring Tour. From the Woodward Dream Cruise to the great food and all the wonderful stops along the way it had all been fun. We soon forgot about the rain of earlier in the week. Sometimes it takes a little adversity to bring folks together and we had become one big family by weeks end. Many thanks to Sandy and Mike Eaton and everyone who helped make this Tour a success. It will long be remembered by all of us who took part in it.
Be sure to check out the earlier Tour blogs by clicking on the previous pages at the bottom.