The NSRA Nationals North plus, held every September in Kalamazoo, Michigan is one of the most popular events on the entire NSRA schedule. Rodders from across the Midwest gather for the fall weekend that has become a wrap up to the long summer of rod runs in the central United States. The following weekend near Burlington, Vermont the NSRA Northeast Nationals plus is held and rodders in the New England area wrap up their season. With just about 1,200 miles and one week separating the two events it is the perfect time to organize an AMSOIL/Street Rodder Road Tour between them. Canadian Classic Cars is one of the premier Canadian dealers for special interest in the country. They are located in Rockland, near Ottawa and right on the way to Burlington from Kalamazoo. They were the perfect choice to sponsor the run across Canada.
After two weeks at home in Ohio I headed toward Kalamazoo for the Nationals North. There were 18,000 miles on the 2010 Road Tour Pick-Up. I had left the truck at Jim Wise Hot Rods in Elkhart, Indiana for a check up before heading back out on the road again. Jim is the owner of Wiseguys Seating in Elkhart and has also been a street rod builder for many years. Jim and the crew were just completing a total build of a very beautiful 1936 Ford Coupe. Jim was debuting the candy apple beauty at Kalamazoo and the customer would be seeing the car for the very first time at the event.
I arrived in Kalamazoo on Wednesday evening and spent Thursday setting up the AMSOIL/ Street Rodder hospitality tent at the fairgrounds. Things got rolling on Friday with beautiful weather and a fairgrounds full of street rods and special interest vehicles covering the grounds. The Canadian Classic Cars.ca Road Tour participants began stopping by the tent to pick up their goody bags, credentials and schedule for the week. We held our driver's meeting at the tent on Sunday afternoon and 35 registered Road Tour participants rolled off the grounds early in the afternoon. The Canadian Classic Cars.ca Tour was underway.
Our first stop on Sunday afternoon was at Shadow Rods in Saginaw, Michigan. This year's Road Tour car is based on a Shadow Rods XL27 Roadster body and chassis. We were greeted by owner Jon Hall, Mark Kirby who heads up Shadow Rods all aluminum flathead project and marketing director Paul Beling. Jon , Mark and Paul had just returned from a run to the west coast with Jon in his Shadow Rods pick-up and Mark driving the 34 Ford test car with a Shadow Rods new aluminum flathead under the hood. The 5,000 mile shake down was a huge success and the flathead is very close to being available to the general public. We all enjoyed the tour of the facility and a look at Jon's extensive collection of vehicles. By 6 PM it was time to be on our way. Our plans were taking us into Canada Sunday evening for our first nights stay in Sarnia, crossing the border at Port Huron.
After our Monday morning driver's meeting we headed east on the one hour drive to London, Ontario. We had been invited to see the home and car collection of Steve Plunkett in London. Upon arriving at Steve's home we realized that we were in for a real treat. To say that Steve likes classic cars is an incredible understatement. Housed in the beautiful buildings on Steve's property are some of the most beautiful cars on the planet. Steve's passion is the Cadillac marquee and it would be hard to find a more extensive collection in the entire world. Steve took the time to personally walk us around the grounds of Fleetwood Farms and gave us a background on almost all of the vehicles in his collection. The setting was amazing and the cars were breathtaking. Each June Steve organizes a charity event that raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for many worthwhile causes. The Road Tour very well may be making a run to Steve's event in the next few years. The two hours we spent at Steve Plunkett's Fleetwood Farms just scratched the surface of his fantastic collection. We will definitely be back.
From London it was a 2 1/2 hour drive to Oshawa. In 2007 we made a stop in Oshawa had met the great members of the Motor City Car Club. When they heard we were traveling to Burlington they again rolled out the red carpet. We were greeted at our hotel by about 15 members of the club and made the short drive to the beautiful new Oshawa City Hall. There we were formally greeted by the Mayor of Oshawa who welcomed us to their city. It was then on to the Armory where we were treated to a delicious dinner provided to us by the City of Oshawa, the Chamber of Commerce and the Motor City Car Club. The setting was the Officer's Dining Room at the Armory and it was a very classic and historic setting for a get together. After dinner we were joined by many of the member's of the Motor City Car Club for a meet and greet back at our hotel.
It was a great first day on the Canadian Classic Cars.ca Road Tour. We are just getting started. Our plans for the week include a visit to Canada's historic Parliament Hill, a cruise in Ottawa, some museum stops and a dinner and visit at Canadian Classic Cars. Check back here for an update on all of our adventures as we travel to the NSRA Northeast Nationals in Burlington, Vermont.