After our great Sunday on the Intercity Road Tour we all had dreams of Archie Lewis's collection of vintage tin being in our own back yard and our shop being filled with all the toys at the Soncy Road Body Shop. Then the alarm went off, we woke up and it was 6 a.m. on Monday morning. Instead of heading off to work though, we were headed down the highway on the road to Louisville.
Our first stop of the day on Monday was the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma. I had stopped at the Museum way back in 1996 when it had just opened and I was in the first year of the Road Tour. As we walked through the Museum I remembered the interesting displays that told the story of the Mother Road. Each display covers a different era in the history of Route 66 from the construction of the road in the twenties to the end of the Route 66 era in the seventies. It is a great stop that doesn't take lots of time but is very interesting and informative.
Street Rodder Publisher Tim Foss and his two sons Jeremy and Ryder have been traveling with us in last year's 1952 Road Tour Chevy. Super Chevy Publisher Ed Zinke has been with us all week in his 1964 Chevelle convertible. Classic Truck Editor Jim Rizzo has also been traveling in his recently finished Model A pick-up truck. Jim has been having some mechanical issues with the truck during the trip and the older Mustang radiator finally gave out on Monday. The decision was made to leave the pick-up in Oklahoma City at Parr Automotive. Riz jumped in with Ed in the Chevelle. It was then decided that Tim, Jeremy and Ryder in the '52 along with Ed and Jim in the Chevelle would take an alternate route and head directly toward our Tuesday evening scheduled stop at Comp Cams in Memphis.
From the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum, the main group headed toward Alton, Oklahoma the home of Darryl Starbird's Rod and Custom Hall of Fame and Museum. It was a four-hour drive and we arrived around 4 p.m. Darryl greeted us and gave us some background about the Hall of Fame and some history of his amazing career in the car customizing business. The Museum contains many of Darryl's famous show cars and also includes many other significant rods and customs. The Hall of Fame has walls that are tributes to the people who have been inducted over the years. Most of the famous builders of the past and many present builders have a section in the Hall of Fame. After our tour we were treated to great burgers and beverages in the backyard of Darryl and Donna Starbird's home. It was a very cool evening with one of the true icons and nice guys of our hobby. Thanks to the Starbirds for welcoming us to their Hall of Fame, Museum and their home.
We got a very early start on Tuesday because we had almost 450 miles to travel to arrive at Comp Cams in Memphis. After our 7 a.m. driver's meeting we made the 30-minute drive to Odd Rods in Carl Junction, Missouri near Joplin. Operated by Rusty Jackson, Odd Rods has come onto the scene recently with two very high end Packard street rods. We were greeted at Odd Rods by Rusty, his Mom Linda, brothers Ryan and Randy, many local customers and friends. Besides the two Packards, we got a look at some of the projects that are on deck at Odd Rods. Rusty is another one of the new young builders who are bringing some new creativity and energy to our hobby.
From Odd Rods we headed out on our 400-mile trip to Comp Cams in Memphis, Tennessee. Our route took us past Springfield, Missouri and through some very beautiful portions of the Ozark area of Missouri and Arkansas. We arrived in Memphis on a day that was setting records for heat and the humidity was at about 100 %. After fighting some traffic tie-ups we all finally arrived at Comp Cams by 5 p.m. We were greeted by Hailey Douglas and her team from the marketing department at Comp Cams. We were given an in-depth tour of their huge facility that includes many of their different divisions and manufacturing facilities. Provisions had been made for the folks at Comp Cams to install one on their new FAST EZ EFI injection systems on the '52 Chevy. While work began on that installation we were treated to Memphis barbeque and door prizes were handed out to some lucky Road Tourians. Many thanks to Hailey and all the folks at Comp Cams who made our Tuesday evening visit very special.
On Wednesday it was rise and shine. It was time to get to Louisville and the huge NSRA Street Rod Nationals plus. It was a six-hour drive to Louisville and we made it while enduring some record setting temperatures. When we arrived at the Kentucky State Fairgrounds the thermometer had hit 101 degrees. Things were in full swing at both the registration area and at the fairgrounds where vendor set up was taking place. We settled in to our hotels and anticipated the opening of the event on Thursday morning.
The Intercity Lines Tour to the NSRA Street Rod Nationals had been full of adventure and fun. As is the case with all of our Tours, we were able to visit some fantastic collections of vehicles, meet some great car folks and enjoy some wonderful meals and camaraderie with folks who enjoy street rods as much as we do. Thanks to everyone who made the trip so enjoyable. It will be a great weekend at the Street Rod Nationals. The weather report calls for sunny skies Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Sunday afternoon after the awards another group of Road Tourians set out for a long trip west to Bonneville for Speed Week. The Dynamat Tour to the Salt Flats includes many cool stops along the way. Check back here next week for all of the updates as we continue on to Wendover, Nevada. Call the Road Tour Hotline at 800-664-1362 for all the latest info.
I hope you can join us on a Road Tour in the near future.