The Classic Automobilia Road Tour ended on Sunday at the Northeast Nationals in Burlington, Vermont. While it was the end of one tour it was actually the beginning of my cross-country journey to begin the Sherm's Custom Plating Tour, which was scheduled to start five days later in Escondido, California, 3,000 miles from Vermont.

Over the past 14 years and 325,000 miles, I have made the crossing many times but it had been a few years since I'd needed to put together three or four 800-mile days in a row. I knew the AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour Chevy was up to the challenge and I felt that I still had a few long-distance runs left in me. I set my sights on the "Left Coast" and rolled out of the fairgrounds on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. I made a very brief stop at my home in Youngstown, Ohio, and on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. I pulled into the parking lot of the kick-off hotel in Escondido, California. It was time to start the Sherm's Plating Tour and set out on the road to the NSRA Golden State Nationals in Sacramento, California.

Road Tour participants had already arrived at the hotel and I was greeted by Gary Matranga, president of Sherm's Custom Plating. I've known Matranga for years and when Sherm's came on board as a sponsor I invited Matranga to ride along for the week with me in the Road Tour Chevy. Friday evening we were special guests at Cruisin' Grand in downtown Escondido. It's a very cool event that is held every Friday evening during the summer. The streets are blocked off and filled with hot rods and collector vehicles. The weather was "California gorgeous" and it was a lot of fun.

Saturday morning we gathered at Randy Clark's Hot Rods and Custom Stuff in Escondido. Clark, his wife, Peaches, and some of the crew greeted us with coffee and pastries and a tour of their paint and assembly facilities. Hot Rods and Custom Stuff built the yellow '04 Brookville Roadster Deuce highboy Road Tour car. We took a minute and got the tour Chevy up on the lift for a quick once over before heading out. It was good to see that Clark and the folks at Hot Rods and Custom Stuff are still keeping very busy building some very high-quality vehicles.

From Escondido we headed north toward the L.A. area. Some of our Road Tour folks were scheduled to attend the Cruise for a Cure event at the Orange County Fairgrounds and others were bound for the Petersen Museum to attend the RM Auction. The Icons of Speed and Beauty auction included many very famous hot rods, show cars, and race cars of the last 50 years. It was exciting to be able to see cars like Ed Roth's Druid Princess, Tony Nancy's 22 Jr., the Little Red Wagon, Boot Hill Express, and many others as they went across the auction block. By 4 p.m. it was time to head to San Dimas, which is near Pomona. After dealing with the L.A. traffic, it was good to land for the evening. It had been an exciting day on the Sherm's Custom Plating Tour.

Sunday we had our morning driver's meeting and made the very short drive to the NHRA Wally Parks Motorsport Museum at the Fairplex in Pomona. We were greeted at the Museum by Director Tony Thacker and spent about an hour checking out all of the great cars and displays on hand. It is a place that I never get tired of visiting and there is always something new to view at the NHRA Wally Parks Museum.