This summer and fall, owners of classic and special interest cars can get their pride and joy the attention it deserves by joining the 2016 ARP/STREET RODDER Road Tour. The 21st running of the tour, and the eleventh one where members of the public have been invited to participate, consists of eight week-long vacation road trips that travel to major automotive events all over the land.
Over the years of the Tour there have been as many as eighty special interest cars taking part, with the average number being between twenty and thirty-five cars, mostly carrying couples who share a passion for wheels. Each day can see the road trippers cover anything from 250 to 400 miles, with gas and restroom breaks when needed. The classic cars don’t necessarily travel in convoy. Because the route is mapped out in advance, participants are free to take to the road at their leisure, all meeting up at each day’s destination. Hotels and evening activities like tours of local ‘rod shops’ are arranged in advance.
The Road Trip first rolled into St Paul, Minnesota on June 10th for a weeklong celebration of the fine art of the automobile. The culmination of that week is the Back to the 50s Car Show that boasts almost twelve thousand registered vehicles, as the Minnesota Street Rod Association hosts their 43rd annual event at the State Fairgrounds. As the Road Tour stays in the St. Paul area for the entire week, participants are invited on day trips that visit museums, car collectors and workshops to whet their auto appetites.
The second week sees two tours, The Ford Performance Coyote Tour which travels from St. Paul to Pueblo, Colorado for the NSRA Rocky Mountain Nationals, and the Vintage Air Tour, going from San Antonio, Texas to the same destination in Colorado. Over two thousand custom street rod cars are expected to be on show in Pueblo between June 24th and 26th, along with entertainment for enthusiasts and families alike.
July’s tour is a trip from Wareham, Massachusetts to Syracuse, New York for the largest classic car show in the northeast, the Syracuse Nationals, where over 8,000 automobiles will be on display. August sees the Road Trip hit Motor City, Detroit, with a grand culmination in the Woodward Dream Cruise. The cruise is a Detroit tradition held on the third Saturday of every August since 1995. Over 30,000 classic cars cruise down Woodward Avenue, watched by a million spectators from all over the world.
The Road Tour’s fixtures for September take in Nashville and Pigeon Forge in Tennessee for the Shades of the Past event, and Burlington, Vermont where the NSRA Northeast Nationals will be held. A grand finale is expected in The Sherm’s Custom Plating Tour, set for October 14th to 23rd. This tour of Northern California takes in the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield.
Registration to participate in any of the tours costs $75, which includes ID badges, window stickers and a goody bag of catalogs and literature, along with all the behind-scenes access to collections and workshops along the road.