On Wednesday morning we continued west from Gallup, New Mexico and climbed the hill to Flagstaff, Arizona. The Cracker Barrel in Flagstaff was filled with street rodders for about an hour around noon on Wednesday. With almost 55 cars on the Vintage Air Tour we really were a rolling car show where ever we stopped.
The trip south on I-17 is a beautiful drive as you drop down into the Valley of the Sun. With the recent wildfires and rock slides in the area we went a liitle further south than planned on I-17 but just past the Sedona area we got off the interstate and turned west toward the old mining town of Jerome. It was a beautiful drive and our actual destination was the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town. What we found at the Gold King Mine is hard to describe. It is a cross between a salvage yard, auto graveyard and the remnants of a classic turn of the century mining town. The treasures ranged from classic cars and trucks to an eclectic collection of tools and industrial equipment from bygone era. It was an interesting time at the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town.
From Jerome we drove to Prescott, Arizona and the home of USAC racing legend Jackie Howerton and his wife Sandy. With Jackie’s racing career solidly documented in the record books, he has turned his talents with metal fabrication into a full time occupation. We were able to see some of his current projects and enjoy some great Mexican food. We also enjoyed some western music while we spent some time with the Howertons . It was another evening that helps to make our AMSOIL/Street Rodder Road Tours so special. Many thanks to Jackie and Sandy for inviting us into their home Wednesday evening.
On Thursday morning we were up very early to beat the heat on the desert drive ahead. We dropped down out of Prescott on a beautiful winding road and eventually reached I-10. Between Phoenix and Palm Springs Interstate 10 passes through the hot and very dry areas around Quartzsite and Blyth on the Arizona – California border. We stopped in Indio, Ca. for lunch and then continued our trek west. By mid-afternoon we at the Wally Parks NHRA Museum in Pomona. The Wally Parks Museum is always a popular stop on our Road Tours. The building is filled with the vehicles and artifacts that tell the story of our hot rod hobby. On display was a 1940 Ford that holds a very special place in the hearts of all of the Road Tourians. Tom Medley was one of the founding fathers of hot rodding and had actually travelled on a number of Vintage Air Road Tours over the years. Tom passed away last March at the ripe and very well lived age of 93. His ’40 had been nearly destroyed in a fire a few years ago. Through the efforts of many folks in our hobby and industry and lead by the team at Hot Rods and Custom Stuff Tom’s legendary ’40 was brought back to life and presented back to Tom as a symbol of what he meant to so many in the hot rod world. It was great to now see it in the Wally Parks NHRA Museum as a fitting tribute to the man who brought Stroker McGurk to life.
Activities are already taking place at the Fairplex in Pomona. The 50th L.A. Roadsters Father’s Day Show starts on Saturday and the participants on the Vintage Air leg of the AMSOIL/Street Rodder Road Tour will be there in force. Check back here and see what we have traveled half way across the country to be a part of this weekend.