After a rather long trip by AMSOIL/Street Rodder Road Tour standards from the L.A. Roadster's Father Day Show to St. Paul, we arrived in the Twin Cities on Thursday afternoon. We had survived two long 550 mile days, three shorter ones, dodged a tornado in South Dakota and visited some very cool places. It was now time to be part of the Minnesota Street Rod Association's Back to the 50's Weekend, the largest event of its kind on the planet. Over the weekend almost 12,000 1964 and earlier rods, customs and special interest vehicles would be covering the huge Minnesota State Fairgrounds. There had been some major rainfall during the week leading up to the event. We had experienced the effects of that rain as we navigated various detours on our way into town from our previous night's stay in Brandon S.D. The rains continued on Thursday after noon but nothing dampens the spirits of the diehard rodders during the biggest car weekend of the year in St. Paul.
Thursday evening some of the Road Tourians made an appearance at the Scavengers Car Club pre 50's Weekend picnic. The rain certainly didn't slow down the members of the Scavengers or their guests and it was another great get together with a cool car club. Friday morning the sun came up, the skies were blue and there were rods and customs everywhere. For as large as this event has become, the Minnesota Street Rod Association goes to great lengths to make sure that everything runs smoothly. The logistics of getting almost 12,000 vehicles through the gates each morning is a feat in itself. Making sure that everything runs smoothly after they are inside the grounds is a monumental task. With a huge team of MSRA members and the overall cooperative attitude of the participants at the show things really do come together very well.
By noon on Friday the Minnesota State Fairgrounds was covered with vehicles of all different styles and shapes and sizes. The only requirement was that they needed to be of 1964 and earlier vintage. There were vehicles to suit every taste. As anyone who has ever attended this event, the range of food available is almost as great of the variety of vehicles. If it can be eaten off a stick then it is available at Back to the 50's. Friday at noon the participants that traveled together on the MSRA Back to the 50's Weekend Road Tour gathered at the AMSOIL/ Street Rodder hospitality tent for a family portrait. Nothing bonds folks together like long days on the road and a touch of adversity thrown in to make the whole group a little stronger.
The fun continued Saturday at the fairgrounds. There were tons of vendors displaying their wares all around the grounds. Celebrities like Paul Peterson from the Donna Reed Show and Rick Dore from Car Hoarders were on hand to greet the crowds and sign autographs. Wings Kallahan kept things rocking and rolling all weekend over the PA system. At noon on Saturday at the AMSOIL/Street Rodder tent a new group of Road Tourians were given their goodies and itineraries for the Aeromotive Road Tour to the NSRA Rocky Mountain Nationals was slated to get started the next day. The cruising and live music went on into the night each evening. It was an internal combustion party that has no equal.
By Sunday morning many of the MSRA Road Tour participants had started their journey home. Some of us maded the trip back to the fairgrounds to check out the deals in the swap meet. The rain hit again about noon and it was time to go. It had been a fantastic week on the MSRA Back to the 50's Weekend Road Tour. Many thanks to the Minnesota Street Rod Association for their support and cooperation during he months leading up to the event and during the entire weekend in St. Paul. Dale Sohlstrom had again been my point person with the MSRA and he went out of his way to make things work well and run smoothly. It was a memorable tour and definitely a memorable event . It is too earlier to say for sure but don't be surprised if you see the Back to the 50's Weekend back on the AMSOIL/Street Rodder Road Tour schedule next year as we celebrate 20 years of driving street rods across America.