Factory Five Racing President and CEO Dave Smith greeted us on Saturday to kick off the To
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.
We were given an extensive behind the scenes look at the Factory Five Racing production fa
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.
Tony Zullo and his wife, Judi, had their award-winning Factory Five Racing '33 Hot Rod on
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.
Many rodders from the area stopped by to greet the Road Tour participants. Intercity Lines
Monday on the Factory Five Racing Tour was one of the fullest days of activity that we have ever seen on an AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour. The day included some history lessons, some very exciting laps on a NASCAR racecourse, and a visit to one of the nicest hot rod shops in the nation. Beginning in Portsmouth, the day began with our usual morning drivers' meeting as the details of the day's activities were discussed.
Our first stop was at the USS Albacore submarine, which is on exhibit near downtown Portsmouth. It was built in 1952 in Portsmouth and served in the Navy from 1953-72. It was the first of the modern submarines with a cylindrical hull, the standard shape of the modern submarines. In the '50s and '60s, it set speed records for submarines. In 1985, after years of inactivity, it was brought back to Portsmouth and put on display. It was a very interesting tour as we were able to walk through the ship and imagine what life is like on a submarine.
After our tour of the area we gathered at Dave Perewitz's motorcycle shop in Bridgewater.
From the USS Albacore it was just a five-minute drive to downtown Portsmouth. Our stop and visit for the morning in Portsmouth was at the Strawbery Banke Village and Museum. This collection of buildings dates back to the earliest settlers of New England. Saved from demolition in 1958, the collection of 32 buildings represents life in the early days of Portsmouth and our nation. The folks at the museum were excited to see our group of vehicles and invited us to drive in and park on the lawn. Visiting Strawbery Banke on the same day was a group of Hupmobile owners who were also invited to drive their classics onto the grounds. It was a nice mix of hot rods and Hupmobiles on display among the historic buildings.
After our visit there and some lunch in historic downtown Portsmouth, it was time to get back on the highway. Our destination for the afternoon was the New Hampshire Motor Speedway about one hour away in Loudon, New Hampshire. It was a great drive through the New Hampshire countryside. When we arrived we were greeted by track officials and a pace car. Arrangements had been made and we were actually permitted to make a few laps on the road course that had been set up for the day. It was very exciting as we put our vehicles through their paces on the track. Thanks to all the folks at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for making our afternoon a very exciting one.
Sunday morning after our drivers' meeting we headed out on a tour of the nearby Plymouth R
Our final stop for the day was at Lowery's Auto Restorations in nearby Tilton, New Hampshire. Started by Jim Lowery Sr. 50 years ago, the quality craftsmanship has continued with Jim Lowery Jr. We were greeted by Jim Lowry Sr. and Jr. and family. It's an unbelievable facility that is a cross between a horse and a horsepower farm. Lowery's specializes in high-end auto restoration and the construction of period-perfect hot rods. Their work has been shown at Pebble Beach and on the pages of STREET RODDER. We enjoyed some great pizza and got a chance to enjoy their beautiful shop and setting in the countryside of New Hampshire.
After our busy day on Monday, activities on the Factory Five Racing Tour continued as we made our way to the Syracuse Nationals in New York. From our daily morning drivers' meeting on Tuesday we made a quick stop at the Tilt'n Diner for a group photo. From Tilton, New Hampshire, it was a beautiful drive across the state and into Vermont. We made a stop at the Quechee Gorge Village on the New Hampshire Vermont border. The Village is a collection of shops and a Farmer's Diner where we enjoyed an early lunch and some shopping before heading out on even more beautiful highways. Our destination for the afternoon was the Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop just outside of Saratoga Springs, New York.
It was a 90-minute drive north past Boston to our destination for the evening, the Seacoas
In recent years Ken Schmidt and Keith Cornell from Rolling Bones have become famous for their very cool traditional hot rod projects and their exploits as they travel across the country to Bonneville each year. When the Road Tour arrived about 3:30 p.m. the party was in full swing. Burgers were on the grill, beverages were flowing, and there were about 100 cars and occupants waiting for us. It was quite a gathering and greeting at Rolling Bones. The shop is as basic and functional as the hot rods they build. There were current projects on display, including the mock-up of the planned Bonneville car for next year. It was a great afternoon at the Rolling Bones facility. Thanks to Ken, Keith, and everyone who took the time to come out and greet the Factory Five Tour Tuesday afternoon.
After spending the night in Saratoga Springs we headed out on Wednesday morning with our sights set on Syracuse but we had one more stop to make along the way. Dave Tucci Jr. and Sr. and family and crew had invited us for lunch at Tucci Engineering in Marcy, New York, near Utica. The folks at Tucci have been building some very slick street rods and street machines over recent years and their awards and coverage in all the magazines are a testament to their high-quality work and results. While enjoying some great pizza and calzones, we got a tour of their shop and some background into their current projects. We'd like to thank the folks at Tucci for being another one of the high-quality build shops who welcomed us on the Factory Five Racing Tour.
The narrow streets of Portsmouth and the shops that line the downtown section give the tow
By Wednesday afternoon we reached our destination of Syracuse, New York. Activities in the area were already in full swing for the huge event later in the week. Thursday there was a big participant cookout at Oneida Lake and a poker run in the afternoon. The event kicked off on Friday at the New York State Fairgrounds and things were hopping all weekend. The Right Coast folks do a great job of filling each day with plenty of things to keep both spectators and participants busy. There were also plenty of activities in the evening, including a demolition derby, figure eight racing, and fireworks each evening. This year marked the beginning of the Gene Winfield Award program. Hot rod icon Gene Winfield personally picked three street rods and three customs from a sea of entries and then these six vehicles were on display all weekend. On Saturday evening at the dinner dance, the winner was announced and awarded the trophy and a check for $5,000.
We were joined on the drive up to Portsmouth by Dave Perewitz and Renee Brown in Dave Pere
All of the participants had a fun-filled week on the Factory Five Tour and everyone said that they would definitely like to do another tour. Many thanks to all of the folks who made it such a special week on the road-four down, four tours to go.
For our '11 Road Tour plans check our website www.streetrodderweb.com or call the Road Tour hotline at (800) 664-1362.
The narrow streets of Portsmouth and the shops that line the downtown section give the tow
Our visit on Monday morning in Portsmouth was at the USS Albacore. This submarine was the
Our New England history lesson continued on Monday with a visit to the Strawbery Banke are
From Portsmouth it's a one-hour drive to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. We we
Lowrey's Auto Restoration is located on the Lowrey farm. The facility is immaculate and th
After checking in to the hotel we drove to Lowrey's Auto Restoration in nearby Tilton, NH.
On Tuesday morning we took our group shot at the Tilt'n Diner. This classic restaurant is
We stopped for lunch on the New Hampshire/Vermont border. The Quechee Gorge Village area i
Owner Ken Schmidt and Keith Cornell and the Rolling Bones crew rolled out the red carpet "
After lunch we made our way across Vermont to Saratoga Springs, NY, for a visit at the Rol
Wednesday morning as we got closer to Syracuse we stopped at Tucci Engineering in Marcy, N
The '10 Syracuse Nationals was huge. The New York State Fairgrounds was covered with parti