By now you’ve read the stories of most, if not all, of the eight legs that comprised the 2010 AMSOIL/Street Rodder Road Tour. For many, the Road Tour is an annual traditionfor others, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The 2010 Dynamat Tour from Louisville to Bonneville was my first time traveling with Jerry Dixey and his Road Tourians, and I was eager to meet the people who make these trips so great. I got to know dozens of participants and hear their stories. What follows is a handful of those stories. You’ll find more on the streetrodder.com website. The only way to hear them all is to become a Road Tourian yourself, like these people did. Then you’ll have stories of your own to tell.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
’34 Ford Sedan
John McGinniss has been a hot rodder since the ’50s and made his first trips to Bonneville in 1951 and 1955 (there were only two gas stations around back then, he told us). John has stories about meeting and hanging out with Erik Rickman, the famous Hot Rod
magazine photographer. After watching the movie, The World’s Fastest Indian
he knew he had to go back to the salt. There wasn’t a Road Tour participant having more fun than John. His ’34 sedan, which he’s owned for five years, was one of several Florida cars on this trip. After a while we started wondering if there were actually several clones of this car because every time we looked in the side mirror, there was that chopped yellow ’34, coming up and flying past us.
’56 Chevy Wagon
Ed Tesar knew it was the right time to make his first Street Rodder Road Tour and his second trip west of the Mississippi. He recently retired and had recently purchased the ’56. "Why not?" he decided. "I had the time and an empty credit card so let’s go!" Except for the addition of air conditioning, Ed hadn’t changed a thing after buying the wagon a year earlier. The old 350 small-block provided faithful power and the car was comfortable, handled well, and made a great long-distance cruiser. He and his new friends, the Barrows brothers with the Willys, ran together for most of the trip. He ended up staying in Bonneville for Speed Week and went back in September for the World of Speed. He especially enjoyed seeing friends in South Dakota, and visiting places he’d never been.
Jack and Gail Hiraishi
Pearl City, HI
’34 Ford Coupe
When Jack and Gail Hiraishi participated on Americruise in 1999, they figured it would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip. "Then we did it twice, then three times. Now we’re having so much fun we keep coming back." They have joined several Americruises, Power Tours, and Road Tours in a variety of hot rods. They had 300 miles on the new engine in the ’34 before this trip. "It’s hard to drive a lot of miles in Hawaii," Jack reminds us. The most valuable lesson they’ve learned on all their trips, Gail says, is to expect the unexpected. "You learn not to let the little things bother you. If something breaks, you get it fixed and get on with it." "What always surprises me, Jack says, is that when I bring the mechanical things I’ll need for the car, nothing happens."
Carl Rocky Forsberg
’39 Ford Coupe
Rocky’s small-blockpowered coupe "Bottle Baby" is an original body on a custom-built frame. It was once a drag racer, and hasn’t lost much of its quarter-pounder personality. It gets driven just about every weekend "in the six months of driving time we have in Minnesota." This was his first Road Tour. "The timing was perfect to go to the Street Rod Nationals. I had never been there. Then I read about the tour and decided to hook up with that. I got to see my brother in Milwaukee, and my daughter in Salt Lake City. I arrived the day before my grandson’s 1st birthday. When we get out to the salt flats, I’ve got a buddy running a car out there. So, I’m covering a whole lot of bucket list items at one time."