The Factory Five Racing Tour got off to a great start with a weekend kickoff that included shop tours of the Factory Five Racing headquarters and manufacturing facility in Wareham, Massachusetts; Perewitz Cycle Fabrication in Bridgewater, Massachusetts; a history lesson at Plymouth Rock; and a Texas Road House cruise for charity in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. With almost 20 vehicles participating, the group was a good size to keep everyone together and folks quickly became acquainted with each other. We had participants from Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and even two couples from Canada.

Activities started Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Factory Five Racing complex in Wareham. We were greeted by the president and founder, Dave Smith. Opening in 1996, Factory Five Racing has grown from a company that originally just produced Cobra roadster-style replicas to a company that now manufactures four styles of sport and racing vehicle kits. They have recently entered the street rod market with a component kit that makes the financial challenge of building a decent street rod well within reach of most people. Dave took our entire group on an in-depth tour of the Factory Five Racing manufacturing facility and headquarters. Beginning with raw materials, the chassis and almost all of the bodies are manufactured right on site in Wareham. After the shop tour we were treated to sandwiches and Dave gave us a history of the company. On display in the showroom was a completed Factory Five Racing '33 Hot Rod, owned and built by Tony and Judi Zullo, who just won a number of awards at recent car shows in New England.

Intercity Lines, the official auto transporter of the '10 Road Tour series, sent one of their transporters to the open house at Factory Five Racing. Transport driver Bob Shaw showed us what goes into the preparation and loading of a vehicle that is moved by Intercity. It was an informative demonstration as Bob detailed the loading process and used the Road Tour pickup as an example. It was a great time and an educational afternoon as we kicked off the Factory Five Tour, which will take us to our ultimate goal of the Syracuse Nationals, scheduled to begin the following Friday at the New York State Fairgrounds.

At the Sunday morning drivers' meeting, we were joined by motorcycle legend Dave Perewitz. He had built one of the first Factory Five Racing hot rods over a year ago and he was on hand to lead us in a tour of the Cape Cod/Plymouth Rock area on Sunday morning. The sun was shining and it looked like the showers of Saturday had moved out of the area. It was a pleasant drive as Dave Perewitz led us on a two-hour cruise that permitted us to see the original Plymouth Rock and a replica of the Mayflower. We also made a brief stop at DMC Racing in Halifax, Massachusetts. Owner Dennis MacPherson gave us a tour of the facility where Dennis and crew build very fast race cars, with turbo and supercharged engines as their specialty. We then traveled onto Perewitz Cycle Fabrication and Dave Perewitz gave us a personal tour of the facility where so many fantastic motorcycles have been created over the course of almost 30 years in the custom cycle business. Daughter Jody had prepared some delicious food for everyone, and we spent about two hours at the motorcycle shop.

It was then time to head north to our late-afternoon/evening stop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. With just a little coaxing we convinced Dave Perewitz and friend Renee Brown to join us on the 90-minute trip to the Texas Road House in Newington, New Hampshire. Hot Rod Bob Carney had organized a Sunday night charity cruise event at the Texas Road House to benefit the Birch Tree Center for Autistic Children known as the Seacoast Cruise-in. The event brought may local folks out to meet and greet the STREET RODDER tour group and to raise money for a good cause. Great music was provided by the Del-Rays and Road Tour participants were treated to some very tasty ribs. It was a fun evening in Portsmouth.