It was rise and shine Wednesday morning in Tupelo, Mississippi. Rick Love went over the scheduled activities at the regular morning driver's meeting. On tap for the day was a short drive to Elvis Presley's birthplace and museum then back on the Natchez Trace for the trip to Franklin, Tennessee for the evening.
Elvis's Birthplace and Museum was very interesting and included the actual small home were Elvis was born and lived until his family moved to Memphis when he was three years old. The museum was filled with artifacts and did a good job of telling the story of Elvis's early days in Tupelo. The Birthplace and Museum is run by the city and we were told the story of how the funding came about. In 1956 when Elvis had become a star, he returned to Tupelo for a concert. His pay for the evening was $10,000. After the concert he went to the city fathers and handed them the check that he had earned. He asked them to clean up the area where his original home was located and build a park. They did and it has been enjoyed by all who have visited ever since.
For lunch we stopped at the Meriwether Lewis Site which is where the famous explorer is buried. Sandwiches were provided by George Poteet and it was a chance to pose for a group photo. After lunch it was back on The Natchez Trace and we arrived in Franklin, Tennessee about 5PM. With nothing in particular planned for the evening it was a chance for folks to catch up on laundry and some needed car repairs. Thunder storms in the area provided a great light show but we were spared the threatened tornados.
Thursday morning started with a great breakfast at the famous Loveless Caf near Nashville. Since 1951 the Loveless Caf has been favorite of Nashville musicians and celebrities from around the world. We were served family style and everyone got their fill of fantastic biscuits, gravy, eggs and bacon. The Loveless Caf is definitely worth a stop when you are in the Nashville area. We then headed to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville. It is a great facility and does a wonderful job of telling the story and history of country music. A special exhibit was on display that covered the lives and careers of Hank Williams and Hank Williams Jr.
For lunch we stopped at Hunter's Custom in Nashville. Owners Johnny and Linda Fruend greeted us with goodie bags and pulled pork sandwiches. Hunters has been in business for many yeas and carries a complete line of street rod and truck accessories and is known for their extensive line of custom wheels. Their retail showroom is filled with a huge selection of parts and accessories.
From Nashville it was a short one hour drive to Bowling Green and the NHA Hot Rod Reunion at Beech Bend Raceway. The folks from the NHRA Wally Parks Museum again went out of their way to make everyone on the Vintage Air Road Tour feel welcome. We had a special parking area in the middle of all the activities for the weekend. The AMSOIL / Street Rodder hospitality tent was a center of activity for all the Tour participants. It also gave all the attendees at the Hot Rod Reunion a chance to get a good look at the Road Tour Chevy. Friday evening many of the Road Tourians went as a group to see the Bowling Green Hot Rods minor league baseball team play. We were asked to park our cars in front of the stadium before the game. Rick Love was even asked to through out one of the first pitches. It was a great evening.
It was a fun filled weekend at the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion and a perfect way to cap off the Vintage Air Road Tour. It had been a great week on the road and new friendships were forged. Many thanks to Rick Love and Jack Chisenhall for all of their efforts in again making the Tour a success. Watch for complete coverage of the Vintage Air Road Tour in an upcoming issue of Street Rodder Magazine.
There are still six more Road Tours to go. The AMSOIL Tours leaves right from Bowling Green and heads to AMSOIL Headquarters in Superior, Wisconsin and then on to the big show in St. Ignace, Michigan. Check back here for all the latest reports form the road.