In the world of street rodding there’s nothing quite like the National Street Rod Association’s Street Rod Nationals. The event has been around since 1970 (Peoria, Illinois) and will be celebrating its 50th anniversary August 1-4, 2019, in Louisville, Kentucky (home for the past 21 years). The Nats has called Louisville home 24 times over its 50-year history and this will be its home at least through 2025. Held at the Kentucky Exposition Center with nearly 750,000 square feet under roof with arguably the world’s best air conditioning unit, it would be hard to imagine a better location.
During the nearly 50-year history the registered number of participating street rods is right around 418,389 cars; we will probably add another 10,000-12,000 this summer. You can see attending the Nats is a time-honored tradition. I have made the drive to the Nats in either my own roadster or with a friend 13 times. (I’m hoping I still have one more left in me … does anyone want to make the drive?)
So, what are you going to do for the 50th? Will you be able to attend? If you are a “bucket list” kinda hot rodder this might be a good one to check off. I know I’ll be there but right now the dilemma is “… to drive or not to drive.” (I think it was Shakespeare who first uttered those words.) Now, I realize that shouldn’t be all that hard but I have some additional goodies that are making this decision a bit more difficult.
Let me let you in on a little secret about the STREET RODDER booth at this summer’s NSRA Street Rod Nationals. Normally we would have our booth all decked out with three or so hot rods, with one being the current-year Road Tour car. But we have upped the ante and increased our booth space significantly. Our goal is to have a booth that honors the 50 years of the Nats as well as STREET RODDER and how each is an integral part of the other’s growth. Our goal is to have some nifty graphics showing off each of the cars back in the day when they were “the latest trend.” In fact, if you follow STREET RODDER online (streetrodder.com) you have seen historical pieces showing off various Street Rod Nationals taken from the file cabinet of fellow street rodder and magazine guy supreme Gerry Burger. (Apparently he’s old enough to have black and white photos, remember them!)
We now have a 60×70-foot booth that will hold somewhere around a dozen hot rods. The first Road Tour car will be there, the 1933 Ford coupe that’s now owned by Debbie Walls of Lokar. Next up will be the current Road Tour car, a 1955 Ford built as a mild custom by the craftsmen at Hollywood Hot Rods under the watchful eyes and well-mannered hands of Troy Ladd.
We think we can fit somewhere between 12-15 hot rods, which should make for a great representation of the past 50 years of rodding and the Nationals. At the time of this writing we have confirmed nine cars. Be on the lookout for the Tom McMullen 1932 Ford highboy roadster and “Project X,” the 1957 Chevy, which is the longest-running magazine project car.
You can also expect to see the Richard “Magoo” Megugorac’s 1929 Ford highboy roadster, the last lil’ red roadster built by Magoo and also an AMBR contender courtesy of his son, David. Speaking of “Lil’” we will also have the white 1929 Ford highboy roadster once belonging to Lil’ John Buttera, now under the guardianship of Karpo Murkijanian. This is truly one of the benchmark cars of our industry.
Other cars that will be gracing our booth will be the 1933 Ford roadster owned by Larry Olson and built by Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop that went onto win the AMBR award as well as the SEMA Battle of the Builders. The first SpeedStar coupe built by Bobby Alloway and now owned by George Lange will also be present along with the “Iron Orchid,” a 1933 Ford highboy coupe built in a stunning mid-’60s custom show car style and now owned by Galpin Motors President Beau Boeckmann.
A first blush, so to speak, on what you will be seeing plus plenty more exciting cars at the 2019 NSRA Street Rod Nationals STREET RODDER magazine booth … the 50th anniversary and going strong. SRM
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