The NSRA Mid-America Nationals is held every May in Springfield, MO. The long Memorial Day
The Woody's Hot Rodz Tour kicked off with a weekend of fun at the NSRA Mid-America Nationals Plus in Springfield, Missouri. This was the first season for the extended year format and by the looks of the turnout by both participants and spectators, it was a success. Mixed in with the traditional pre-'48 cars were plenty of street machines, muscle cars, and special interest vehicles. Big-block Tri-Five Chevys were right at home rumbling around the grounds next to the '32 and '34 Fords.
The '10 AMSOIL/STREET RODDER Road Tour tent was a gathering spot for all of the Woody's Hot Rodz tour participants. The Road Tour roadster pickup was on display all weekend and created quite a buzz on the grounds. With 2,500 fresh miles on the odometer, the Cotati Speed Shop-built Shadow Rods XL27 generated questions and positive comments from everyone who stopped by to take a look.
George Lange has a fantastic collection of vehicles that range from traditional hot rods t
The weather was great all weekend in Springfield. By Sunday afternoon Road Tour participants from Texas, South Carolina, Missouri, Michigan, and Ohio gathered at the Road Tour tent. They picked up their goodie bags and all-important itineraries that mapped out the week's activities as our travels would take us across Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. It was then onto York, Pennsylvania, and the NSRA East Coast Nationals Plus by Thursday afternoon. Along the way we had stops scheduled at private car collections, street rod shops, parts manufacturers, and suppliers.
Our Sunday evening layover was in Fenton, Missouri, just south of St. Louis. Everyone arrived about 7 p.m. and many went out for some authentic St. Louis barbecue. Monday morning was Memorial Day and we had been invited by car enthusiast George Lange to get a look at his amazing collection of special interest vehicles, which include some of the coolest hot rods and muscle cars on the planet. George's interests run the gamut from traditional '32, '33, and '34 street rods to turbocharged Mustangs and George's wife Kathy's Goodguys' award-winning '57 T-bird. It was a very special treat to have George give us some details about the history and construction of each of the vehicles on display. Many of the cars in George and Kathy's collection were built by premier builder Bobby Alloway.
The great thing about George and Kathy Lange's collection is that each and every vehicle r
We were also invited to make the short drive and visit the shop of the Stirnemann Brothers. Jack and Harry are well known for their traditional-style hot rods and innovative powertrains. It was an educational morning at the Stirnemann Brothers' shop as Jack and Harry walked us through some of their current projects. By 11 a.m. it was time to head east toward our Monday evening layover in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, near Cincinnati. It was a somewhat rainy drive but we all arrived safe and sound by 7 p.m.
Our schedule for Tuesday was very busy so we wasted no time after our 8 a.m. drivers' meeting. Our first stop was just down the road about 15 minutes to the Woody's Hot Rodz shop in Bright, Indiana. Chris Sondles and the crew at Woody's built last year's Road Tour '52 Chevy, which we drove over 20,000 miles during the summer of 2009. They are also scheduled to build next year's Road Tour '55 Chevy. We got a sneak peek at a '57 Chevy project that they have begun for George Poteet. They are busy at Woody's, to say the least.
Just down the street from George Lange's collection is the hot rod shop of the Stirnemann
From Bright it was a short drive to C. Cook Enterprises in nearby Erlanger, Kentucky. C. Cook Enterprises is the official metal shaper and engine detailer of this year's Road Tour. By the looks of their shop they are well qualified in both areas. Clay Cook and the crew at C. Cook Enterprises have plenty of projects to keep them busy and Melissa Signore keeps things under control in the front office. Clay also conducts metal shaping classes in the shop as well as at shops around the country. They are a talented group at C. Cook and it was a very interesting stop on Tuesday morning's tour of the Cincinnati area.
It was then a 30-minute drive north to Danny's Rod Shop in Goshen, Ohio. Danny and their trailer have been fixtures at rod runs and swap meets in the Midwest and South for years. The trailer is always stocked with the latest parts and accessories. The shop itself is located in the small town of Goshen and it is also filled with tons of things that street rodders need. It was a nice lunch stop at Danny's and a good break before we again continued our drive north in the Buckeye State.
There is another project that has already begun at Woody's Hot Rodz. George Poteet commiss
After a nice cruise through Amish country we arrived in Delaware, Ohio, for a special visit at the shop of probably the most famous family in drag racing. The folks at Jegs Motorsports agreed to open their doors for a Road Tour visit. Scott Woodruff was our host and tour guide at Jegs and he gave us some real insight into what is involved in campaigning a winning professional drag racing team year after year. It was obvious from everything that we saw that dedication, hard work, and pride play a major roll in that winning formula. After the tour of the racing facilities, Scott gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the business end of Jegs. The size and scope of their mail-order business was mind-boggling. Dedication, hard work, and pride were again evident in the mail-order end of things. We all walked away with a real respect for the accomplishments that the Jegs family has achieved over the past 50 years.
By 5 p.m. we were all tired and hungry. We had made reservations at a famous Amish restaurant in nearby Plain City and we were able to enjoy some great Amish cooking together and to recount the amazing visits that we had made during the long but very interesting day on the Woody's Hot Rodz Road Tour.
Chris Sondles and the crew at Woody's Hot Rodz greeted us on Tuesday morning. Woody's buil
After our busy Tuesday on the Road Tour we were up on Wednesday with another full schedule on tap. It was a very short drive to the AMA Motorcycle Museum in Pickerington, Ohio. Most street rodders have an interest in vehicles of all types and there were many of us on the tour who found the AMA Museum lots of fun. There was plenty to see with a wide range of motorcycles and memorabilia on display.
From the AMA Museum we headed east across Ohio and into Pennsylvania. Our destination for Wednesday afternoon was the central Pennsylvania town of Altoona and a get-together at Dan Baker's Alumicraft Street Rod Grille shop in nearby Bellwood, Pennsylvania. We arrived at the hotel about 4 p.m. and Dan's father, Delmar, came to the hotel to greet us in his newly completed hot rod Volkswagen Beetle. Delmar started the business in the '70s and son Dan took over about 10 years ago. Alumicraft has grown over the years to become the leading manufacturer of billet aluminum hot rod grilles in our hobby. Many of the Road Tour vehicles of recent years have featured an Alumicraft billet grille. After some great barbecue and a surprise birthday cake for me, Dan gave us a tour of the facility. It was amazing to see the wide variety of grilles that come out of this small family run facility. It was yet another example of hard-working, talented folks making quality products right here in America.
A short drive across the river from Cincinnati is Erlanger, KY, the home of C. Cook Enterp
Thursday morning was another beautiful, sunny day and the drive from Altoona east across the mountains was gorgeous. We traveled over 50 miles on Route 30, which is the old Lincoln Highway, the first road to completely cross the United States. Our destination for lunch was the Totally Stainless facilities in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Totally Stainless is the official stainless fastener supplier of the '10 Road Tour. Our hosts for lunch and a tour of the business were owners Sherry and Doc Hammett. Doc went into detail about the special fasteners and stainless hardware that Totally Stainless offers in their extensive line of products. Their Total Loc header bolts have kept our roadster pickup headers tight and leak-free all season. After a good lunch it was a very short drive to the new visitors' center at the Gettysburg National Military Park. Gettysburg was the location of one of the fiercest battles of the Civil War and the site of Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address. While some of the Road Tourians had visited Gettysburg before, for many it was their first time; the new visitors' center is fantastic.
C. Cook Enterprises opened up their huge facility for a tour of all of the special equipme
By Thursday afternoon it was time to get to York and the NSRA East Coast Nationals Plus. We arrived at headquarters registration at about 3 p.m. and the traditional parking lot festivities were in full swing. This was the first year for the new NSRA extended-year format and everyone was wondering what the response would be. One look at the lot at registration told the tale. The turnout was huge with plenty of street rods joined by customs, muscle cars, and street machines. The total registration after all was said and done was 3,847. That was an increase of over 400 cars from last year and the later-model cars seemed to fit right into the mix.
It was a great weekend at the NSRA East Coast Nationals Plus. The threat of showers did not keep anyone away and the grounds were filled with participants and spectators all weekend. It was a great wrap-up to the Woody's Hot Rodz Tour. With two Road Tours of the '10 season in the books, we'll take a few weeks off, and then it's down to San Antonio, Texas, for the start of the Vintage Air Tour to the NSRA Rocky Mountain Nationals plus in Pueblo, Colorado.
Traveling through Amish country we made our way to Delaware, in central Ohio. Delaware is
Watch for the coverage of all the '10 Road Tours in upcoming issues of STREET RODDER.
Just northeast of Cincinnati, in the small town of Goshen, we made a lunch stop at Danny's
There is no name in drag racing that is better known than Jegs. What began many years ago
It was a long drive across Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania to the home of Alumicraft
Just down the road from Delaware is the town of Plain City, OH. This mural adorns the side
Wednesday morning we stopped at the American Motorcycle Association Hall of Fame and Museu
After dinner Dan gave us a tour of the shop. The amount of work that goes into the product
After the tour of the facility it was time for a great lunch. One of the best parts of the
The drive across central Pennsylvania was beautiful. At one point we traveled on the origi
Just down the road from Totally Stainless are the historic battlefields of Gettysburg. A n
Our next stop was the headquarters of Totally Stainless near the historic town of Gettysbu
Upon arriving at the NSRA East Coast Nationals in York we gathered a few more Shadow Rods
The NSRA East Coast Nationals is always big. This year's version was even larger with the