2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Hot Rod Power Tour and we’re proud to say we finally made it to one and didn’t just show up at one or two stops, we are official Long Haul members and when it was all over, we made a Cannonball Run from Wisconsin to Washington which was actually 300 miles further than the entire Power Tour which took all week to complete!
Starting out in Charlotte, NC at the insane looking 4 lanes ZMax Dragway, the kickoff was enormous with a car show including everyone going on Power Tour as well as drag racing and an autocross sponsored by Hotchkis. This was the perfect venue with miles of pavement. The driver’s meeting and send-off were at the same spot the next morning where Hot Rod Magazine Editor in Chief, David Freiburger gave us some advice, an inspiring speech, some funny stories, wished us luck, and sent us off headed for Tennessee.
The diversity of the event was probably my very favorite thing. There were so many unique rides representing all kinds of styles, themes, and genres. I must be getting old because I was kind of jealous of all the guys in CTS Vs. Except for the one that sounded like a C7R Le Mans racecar. That may have gotten old inside trying to talk over the supercharged exhaust for 5 hours everyday…..
Rolling through small towns and down winding two lanes in a miles-long parade of cool cars wound us through all kinds of places we would have never seen otherwise and everywhere we went, there were people lining the Main street, standing in their yards, at the end of their driveways, even parked in the grass highway median sometimes but always watching and waving. Especially in the South.
At the end of every day’s drive, we wound up in a new town in a new state where we typically overwhelmed the infrastructure and caused total gridlock working our way from the highway to that evening’s show. Show venues ranged from two different drag strips in North Carolina and Ohio, a two-mile-long riverside street in downtown Charleston, West Virginia, a couple of fairgrounds, the banks of the Mississippi River complete with a riverboat casino, and even a golf course!
From being in the industry for as many years as we have, we’ve made friends from all over the country which allowed me to hop around and ride in different cars and hang out with different friends and make new ones from day to day which was one of many highlights of the week and highly recommended to break up the event.
Everywhere we go, it’s always an awesome surprise to stumble onto cars running Rushforth Wheels and meeting different customers from all over the world, and Power Tour did not disappoint. We even met one client at a gas station in suburban Ohio with a killer 78 Malibu he put a lot of time and effort into and it was obviously sorted out because this was his 5th Power Tour!
When it was officially over eight days after it started, we got our Long Haul souvenir, said our goodbyes, and hit the road. This is when the real Long Haul started. We’d been gone 9 days at this point and were ready to get home and see our families so we pointed the Olds west and jumped on I-90 which is basically a straight shot to downtown Seattle. We rolled into town just in time to have Father’s Day dinner with our families and decompress from the preceding week’s activities.
Every car guy and gal should put this on your bucket list and for those of you on the West coast waiting for it to happen here; it won’t. Just accept it and know you will have to head East to take part in this one of a kind event. At the very least, plan a road trip in a cool car this Summer and make some memories.