Previews of coming events.
Are you a planner? I am. Spontaneity and I have never gotten along. Whether it’s summer vacation, a long weekend, or even tonight’s dinner, I like to have a plan. So while I’m writing this in the early days of April, I’m already making plans for what I’ll be doing in November because, well, that’s what I do. Yes, it assures my having hotel rooms and (relatively) cheap air fares, but it also gives me peace of mind and plenty of time to prep.
To be fair, it’s not just my anal nature that causes me to make long-term plans for November. It’s a busy month here on the West Coast. It always starts with spending most of the first week in Las Vegas and the SEMA Show, and ends with the Thanksgiving weekend, a daunting time for anyone intending to travel. Drag racing fans will be headed to the NHRA Nationals right after SEMA, off-roaders to the Baja 1000 the week after that, and most local automotive journalists convene at the Los Angeles Auto Show right after Thanksgiving.
The weekend before Turkey Day, I typically leave sunny Socal for the blustery climes of Chicago to attend what is by far the best muscle car show on the planet, the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals.
I’m there on behalf of my other TEN gig at Muscle Car Review magazine. But this year I’ll be doing Deluxe duty there, too, as the Nickey Gasser Shop will have a special display of the straight-axle cars it has built over the past few years. Some of them you’ve seen here: Jim Jard’s Bird of Prey T-bird (May 2018) will be there, as will the ’56 Nomad we featured last year (“Mark of Excellence,” May 2017) and the Nashty ’55 Nash we wrote about two years ago (“Nickey Gets Nashty,” Mar. 2016). We also expect to see the Dragnasty ’62 Corvette and several Novas among the dozen or so cars in the display, including Bill Thomas’ Novel Nova.
MCACN takes place Nov. 17-18 in Rosemont, Illinois, right next to the O’hare Airport. Visit mcacn.com for more details about the show, and book your rooms early, as local hotels do sell out.
My visit to Chicago will be briefer this year than usual, because on that same weekend HOT ROD and In-n-out Burger are marking their 70th anniversaries with a special event at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.
If you’re a local hot rodder, neither of these institutions will need any introduction. For those of you not from around here, InN-out has carved out a distinct niche among fast-food restaurants by offering incredibly fresh and delicious made-to-order burgers, fries, and shakes, often served from impossibly tiny buildings surrounded by a long line of cars full of folks waiting to indulge in Double-doubles, Animal-style fries, and more.
In-n-out has a rodding connection, too. Not only do you see its familiar white and red food trucks at car shows and races all over the Southwest, but InN-out’s founder, Harry Snyder, was an investor in the original Irwindale Raceway and peddled his burgers there, too (as told by
Dick Martin in two of our stories, “A Racer’s Best Friend: Steve Gibbs,” Mar. 2017 and “The Carl Swift Story,” Sept. 2017).
On Saturday, Nov. 17, this celebration of “70 years of burgers and burnouts” will include an outdoor car show, special exhibits of HRM history including cover and feature cars, appearances by current and past magazine staff members, and “a rare opportunity for historic vehicles to drag race the hallowed lanes of Pomona,” say show organizers. Oh, and did I mention the fresh burgers coming off the In-n-out trucks?
I’ll be there, thawing out. Hope to see you. For more info on the event, log on to www.hotrod.com/events/nhot-rod-70th-anniversarycelebration. The real planners among you can already buy tickets and register for the car show at theenthusiastnetwork.tixonlinenow.com/ hotrod70registration.
> Ray Brock photographed Joe Weatherly being flagged off for a qualifying run at Daytona Beach in Feb. 1956. Weatherly grabbed the top spot for the convertible race with a 117.801-mph run. Weatherly’s ’56 Ford convert was part of a three-ford team fielded by Pete De Paolo, with drivers Curtis Turner and Fireball Roberts rounding out the trio. “Turner, Weatherly and Roberts had the top three spots well taken care of in their ’56 Fords until midway in the race when Weatherly broke a crankshaft pulley and had to retire,” wrote Brock in HRM’S May 1956 issue. Turner and Roberts won the race, with Herb Thomas in a Chevrolet finishing Third.