We were invited by longtime street rodder Henry Dana to visit the famed headquarters of Da
Monday morning it was rise and shine on the Cruise to Ocean City Tour. After our morning drivers' meeting, we rolled out of our hotel in Concord, North Carolina, under threatening skies. While most of the Road Tourians were used to the rain by now, trying to keep the cars clean was getting pretty old. There was a lot to see and do today and we were not going to let some rain dampen our spirits.
The first stop of the morning was Steele Rubber Products in Lexington, North Carolina, just west of Mooresville. Steele Rubber Products is the official weatherstripping supplier for the Road Tour. In 1958, Lynn Steele needed some rubber gaskets and seal products for his '31 Cadillac. As has been the case for so many companies in our hobby, Lynn couldn't find the parts he needed, so he made them. The rest is history and Steele Rubber Products has become the leader in gaskets, seals, and rubber products for the special interest vehicle market. We were greeted by the Steele Rubber Products staff when we arrived. Steele Rubber Products president, Matt Agosta, pulled the late-Lynn Steele's '31 Cadillac out to sit beside the Road Tour pickup. After some coffee and doughnuts we were given tours of the manufacturing facilities at Steele and we all got an education about the process that is involved in manufacturing rubber products. At the end of our visit, vice president of marketing, Eric Saltrick, made sure that everyone on the Road Tour received a goodie bag, and the folks at Steele thanked us all for stopping.
Near Greensboro, NC, is the small town of Belews Springs. For the second year in a row we
Next up was a visit to what is hallowed ground for the NASCAR community and fans worldwide. Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) is located just outside of Mooresville, North Carolina. It is a beautiful facility that now serves as a tribute to what many consider to be the greatest driver who ever competed in NASCAR. Our host was longtime street rodder Henry Dana who has the enviable job of restoring and maintaining the late-Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s collection of special interest vehicles. The building's interior is beautiful and contains the trophies and cars that tell the story of the "Man in Black's" amazing career.
While we were at DEI, some of the local street rodders stopped by to say "hello". Tom Busch brought his nostalgic '32 Ford five-window that has all the right touches. Tom has relocated to North Carolina from Las Vegas since his two sons became involved in racing. Tom is Kyle and Kurt Busch's father and a very knowledgeable hot rodder. It was a very interesting visit at DEI.
We were given a tour of the manufacturing facilities at Steele Rubber Products by company
About 45 minutes north is the town of Welcome, North Carolina, and the home of Richard Childress Racing (RCR). We had been invited to visit the huge facility by the head of equipment manufacturing at RCR, Rick Grimes. We were treated to a great lunch in the large meeting room at RCR and then got a chance to see the workshop area. We saw an amazing lineup of race cars in various stages of repair and assembly. Some of the Road Tourians toured the RCR Museum while others did some shopping in the gift shop area. (Thanks to everyone at RCR for a great afternoon visit to a very classy operation.)
It was onto Kernersville to check into the hotel before our trip to the Classic Auto Restoration Services (C.A.R.S. Inc.) facility in nearby Belews Creek, North Carolina. Jim Barber and the staff were ready when we arrived and Jim immediately took us on a tour of their huge facility. There are always dozens of builds going together at C.A.R.S. Inc. that range from the classics to very potent muscle cars with plenty of street rods in the mix too. After the tour we all sat down and enjoyed some of the best barbecue on the planet. It is always a pleasure to stop and see Jim Barber and the folks at C.A.R.S. Inc. It had been a great day on the tour and the Road Tourians were exhausted.
Our stop for lunch on Monday afternoon was at the huge facility of Richard Childress Racin
The work in progress at C.A.R.S. Inc. ranges from high-performance muscle cars to frame-of
Tuesday morning we visited the Whitsett, NC, location of Jet-Hot Coatings. We were greeted