The Eaton Detroit Spring Road Tour got off to a fantastic start with beautiful weather and a great location to enjoy the 13th Annual Woodward Dream Cruise. Sandy and Mike Eaton are our hosts for the entire week's activities as we travel from Detroit to the NSRA Nationals in Richmond, Virginia. Saturday's Dream Cruise lived up to its reputation as the largest single day automotive event on the planet. From our vantage point at the special Eaton Spring hospitality lot between 13 and 14 Mile roads on Woodward, the Road Tourians were at ground zero for this unbelievable event. We had gathered at the Hampton Inn by 7:30 AM Saturday and made the short trip to our special viewing area by 8. Our day on Woodward was a great way for all of the Road Tour participants to get to know each other. The grill was fired up about noon and we were all treated to burgers, brats and corn on the cob. Our location was perfect and many Road Tourians made a pass or two up and down Woodward Avenue. While traffic was heavy as usual, this year it seemed to flow much smoother than in previous years. It was a fun start to the Eaton Detroit Spring Road Tour from the Woodward Dream Cruise to the NSRA Richmond Nationals.
Sunday morning many of us gathered at the hotel to make the trip to the Henry Ford Museum in nearby Dearborn. The beautiful weather had turned very wet and it was a perfect day to spend some time inside a soak up a little history and culture. The special display at the Henry Ford was " Star's Cars and Guitars" and it was a very cool exhibit. We had a special tie-in with a number of the vehicles. Fellow Road Tourian Jimmie Vaughn had his Cadillac on display along with a number of his guitars. The Tom McMullen Tub that was featured in some Van Halen videos was also part of the exhibit. If you haven't checked out the Henry Ford, be sure to do so the next time you are in Detroit. There is lots to see.
Sunday evening we were all invited to the home of Betty and Fred Birchard. Betty and Fred are members of the Holy Cross Classic Cruisers car club and they along with 10 other members were registered to be part of the Eaton Tour. The club had put together a picnic for Sunday evening. With the weather still on the wet side, it was moved indoors and we all enjoyed sloppy joes, potato salad, baked beans and plenty of ice cream for dessert. It was a wonderful evening at Betty and Fred's beautiful home. Thanks so much to all the Classic Cruisers.
Monday morning it was time to head out on our journey. Unfortunately it was still raining very hard. All 21 registered vehicles met at the Hampton at 8AM. No one was going to let some rain spoil the excitement and at 8:45 we rolled out into the storm. It was a short trip to our first stop at Goller's Hot Rod Shop in Defiance ,Ohio. Unfortunately the short trip was made a little more difficult with downpours and rising water along the Maumee River. We all made it but it was not a good way to start our journey. Phil Goller greeted us and we got a look at his facility. Phil has been a good friend of mine for quite a while and a fantastic street rod builder even longer. He recently took over the line of flathead engine parts that had been marketed by Mark Kirby of Motor City Flatheads. Mark was responsible for the beautiful flathead motor in this year's Tour Coupe. Mark was on hand at Goller's when we stopped. He and Paul Rebman did a great job of doing the cooking the hot dogs and delicious hamburger for all of us to enjoy.
After lunch we headed south again. Still traveling in a downpour, our destination for the evening was Brookville, Ohio and the Brookville Roadster shop. Ray and Kenny Golahan greeted us with great pizza and we all got to go behind the scenes and see how the steel Brookville Roadster and Coupe bodies are produced. It was an eye opening experience to see how over 200 individual pieces go into the 32 Ford Coupe body that I have been driving all summer. It had been a long and tiring but fun first day on the road with the Eaton (or Eatin' Tour as we now call it). As we went to sleep we all hoped the weather would begin to cooperate on Tuesday.
Check back, I'll keep you posted.