The Dynamat Tour kicked off a week on the road with a get-together at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals Plus in Louisville, Kentucky. The participants on the tour gathered at the STREET RODDER display in the exhibit building on Saturday at noon to pose for a group picture with all of the Road Tourians who were in attendance. This Road Tour reunion has become an anticipated annual event at Louisville. After the large group shot, the Dynamat participants posed for a picture together. The itineraries, goodie bags, and T-shirts were distributed to the anxious participants. Dynamat President Scott Whitaker greeted the group and spoke briefly about our upcoming trip to Speed Week at the Salt Flats. We were then all given a goodie bag that contained a Dynamat baseball cap and sunglasses, which both came in handy at the Salt Flats.
On Sunday afternoon after the awards ceremony we headed north and arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana, for the evening. Everyone in the group got a chance to meet and greet each other and check out the vehicles that would be traveling on the tour. There were 35 cars registered and 50 people making the trip. The group was mixed with folks from across the country, including two groups from Australia. Cars ranged from traditional street rods to some later model street machines. Also joining us on the trip to Bonneville was STREET RODDER Feature Editor Tim Bernsau who was piloting the '09 Road Tour '52 Chevy.
Monday morning's drivers' meeting was held at 8 a.m. where we went over the schedule for the week and some of the logistics of traveling on a Road Tour. It was then time to head northeast for the two-hour drive to Manteno, Illinois, and the shop of Rad Rides by Troy. Upon arrival we were greeted by Troy Trepanier and the crew. For the last 20 years Troy and his staff of incredible craftsmen have built some of the finest street rods and street machines on the planet. From the "Sniper" to the Ridler-winning "First Love," the cars have captured awards and accolades at every major car show and event in the nation. We were given a tour and got an up-close look at all of their latest projects. It was then time for some great Mexican food for lunch as everyone enjoyed the tacos from a local restaurant. By 1 p.m. we all headed out. We knew that between us and our evening stop in Racine, Wisconsin, were some very busy freeways around Chicago.
As it turned out the freeway was running fairly smooth for a change and we actually made it to our destination of the Radisson Hotel on the Harbor in Racine by about 4 p.m. The hotel was located right on the water and the view was fantastic. At 5 p.m. we all gathered in the hotel lobby and walked about four blocks to the Yardarm Pub for dinner. Road Tourian Tim Caffery's wife, Lisa, and her sister, Lauri, own the Yardarm and had graciously invited us to enjoy a special meal in the banquet room of the restaurant. There were over 40 hungry Road Tourians who really appreciated the meal and the hospitality.
Tuesday we were up and rolling after our 8 a.m. drivers' meeting. Our destination was the new Harley-Davidson Museum about 45 minutes north in Milwaukee. We arrived by 9 a.m. and were greeted by Beth from the museum staff. The museum was amazing, with an incredible number of motorcycles and displays that told the history of the Harley-Davidson Company. The three floors were filled with bikes and memorabilia. We all had a great time at the museum and strongly recommend that you stop if you are in the Milwaukee area. It was then a five-hour drive across Wisconsin to LaCrosse and then north along the Mississippi River on the Minnesota side. It was a beautiful late-afternoon drive. We arrived at the Treasure Island Resort and Casino about one hour ahead of some strong thunderstorms. We were in for the evening and there was plenty to do inside.