From Sebastopol it was a short drive to Cotati Speed Shop in Santa Rosa, California. Zane Cullen and the crew at Cotati were the folks who built the 2010 Road Tour pickup. Formerly know as Creative Concepts, these folks have been turning out award-winning vehicles for a decade. Zane was recently inducted into the Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame and is one of its youngest members. There were many projects in the works at Cotati and the crew was very helpful in answering questions about each of the vehicles in the shop. The 23,000 miles on the odometer of last year’s Road Tour vehicle is a testament to the fact that Zane and the Cotati crew can build a vehicle that can go as well as show.

Monday morning was scheduled to be a very full day of Road Tour excitement. After our daily morning get-together at our hotel in Rohnert Park, just south of Santa Rosa, we headed north. It was a short drive to Heraldsburg and the beautiful home of Steve and Glenda Castelli. Located in the middle of a vineyard, their home and surrounding buildings are filled with fantastic automobiles, automobilia, and collectibles. Steve has spent a lifetime gathering pedal cars, bicycles, gas pumps, neon signs, and anything and everything relating to our hot rod heritage. The displays that Steve has put together are mind boggling in their size. The cars in Steve’s collection include muscle cars, vintage drag cars, and a very special Willys that Steve campaigns on the vintage drag racing circuit. One of Steve’s most recent acquisitions is a mid-’70s Camaro that Gary Matranga from Sherm’s actually raced very successfully in the late-’70s. It was great to see Gary reunited with the car for the first time in over 30 years. It was an amazing morning at the Castelli’s home and a great start to our day.

Next on our schedule was a visit to Richmond, California, tell see the collection of Al Engel. Located in a huge warehouse on the waterfront, Al’s collection includes street rods, classic cars, Bantams, military vehicles, automobilia, and motorcycles. When we arrived we were greeted with cold drinks and snacks. Al walked with us through the collection and answered all of our questions about the vehicles, the automobilia, and his lifetime of collecting. Al is another example of a great person who enjoys sharing his automotive passion with others.

From Al Engel’s our journey continued to Oakland. After checking in at our hotel on the waterfront it was a very short drive to Moal Coachbuilders in Oakland. Steve Moal has carried on the family tradition of automotive metalworking that dates back to the days when his grandfather operated a traditional coachworks business. Steve’s son, Michael, was on hand to give us a tour and answer all of our questions about the many project vehicles under construction. The team at Moal’s practices their craft on many different types of vehicles and currently has a number of street rods mixed in with a totally handbuilt sports car. It was then back to the hotel to spend the evening on the patio enjoying some great food, beverages, and recounting the day’s activities.

Tuesday our first stop of the day was at Arlen Ness Motorcycles in Dublin. Arlen has been a motorcycle icon for many years and his new facility is fantastic. We were given a tour of the shop, which includes a collection of Arlen’s great motorcycles from over the past 40 years. From Arlen Ness Motorcycles it was a short drive to Danville and the Blackhawk Automotive Museum. We were privileged to get a very special tour of their collection of classic automobiles. From the beautiful facility to the fantastic group of vehicles on display, everything is first class at the Blackhawk Auto Museum. After our tour we were invited to park our vehicles in the circle in front of the museum for a special photo opportunity. Thanks to everyone at the Blackhawk for making our special visit possible.