This year's 1952 Chevy two-door began its Road Tour life at Woody's Hot Rodz in Bright, Indiana. When we decided to attend the huge Syracuse Nationals in New York on the Merrill Lynch Jones Group Tour, Woodys was the perfect place to begin the week long journey across Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.
Woodys Hot Rodz is located in Bright, Indiana on the Ohio - Indiana border near Cincinnati. Sunday night Chris Sondles, Ryan Faringher and the crew at Woodys greeted the Road Tour group plus about 50 additional rodders from the area. The hot dogs and brats were right off the grill and the beverages were cold as the Road Tourians greeted old friends and got to know the new members of the Jones Group Tour. Everyone in attendance was excited to get a look at the Road Tour Chevy which now has over 9,000 miles on the odometer and still looks as good as when it rolled out of Woodys shop 60 days ago. It has been turning heads for the last two months on the road and there are plenty of miles to go before we wrap up the season on the west coast in October.
Monday's drivers meeting took place at the entrance of the newly remodeled Hollywood Casino where we stayed Sunday night. It was then a short drive to the headquarters of SoffSeal where we were greeted again by Chris Sondles who is also Vice President of operations at SoffSeal. Founder Gary Anderson passed away in March after a long illness and Chris and Sandy Fox have taken over the management duties at the company that is the recognized leader in seals and gaskets in our hobby. We started our tour with coffee and donuts among some of the toys and antomobilia that Gary Anderson had collected over the years. Chris then gave us a look at the work that goes into the SoffSeal line of products.
Our next destination for day one of the Jones Group Tour was the National Museum of the US Air Force located on the grounds of Wright Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. The museum contains an incredible collection of planes from every era of the history of flight, from the Wright Brothers to an actual Stealth jet. The three hours we spent at the US Air Force Museum only gave us an overview of the huge facility. By 2PM it was time to roll down the road to Brookville, Ohio, the home of Brookville Roadsters.
The folks at Brookville Roadsters have been an important part of the Road Tour program in years past. In 2004 we drove a Brookville '32 roadster that was built by Hot Rods and Custom Stuff in Escondido, California. The yellow high boy was lots of fun to drive that entire summer. In 2007, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the '32, Dominator Street Rods in Northern California built us a "McMullen Coupe" that was powered by a blown flathead motor put together by Shadow Rods in Michigan. That Brookville bodied coupe was another great Road Tour ride.
We were greeted at Brookville by Ray, Chuck and Kenny Gollahon and given a tour of the facility where the Brookville Roadster parts are manufactured and assembled. The stamping equipment that is used to produce the body panels is amazing. The craftsmanship that goes into the assembly of these panels into complete bodies is even more amazing. We were also treated to a look at some of the collection of vehicles that the Brookville folks have accumulated over the years. Our visit at Brookville Roadster ended with some very good pizza in their cool showroom.
While those were the scheduled events for Monday of the Jones Group Road Tour, we did have a surprise in the evening. While cruising through the small town of Brookville, I noticed a group of rods, customs and classics assembled in a plaza parking lot. When I pulled in I saw old friend Jerry Van Brederode directing the parking of the vehicles. Jerry and I had become friends some years back when he worked with Donny Pelkington at Don's Hot Rods. Jerry now organizes a Monday night cruise at his son Jeff's restaurant, the Brookville Grille. The Road Tourians had a great time as we joined the group of locals for a nice visit at the Brookville Grille Cruise. It was a great way to end a fun filled day.
We are just getting started on the Merrill Lynch Jones Group Tour. Check back here for more updates from the road.