For Starters

Street Rodder - - Contents -

♦ I found my­self read­ing an ar­ti­cle the other day about the best car shows in the coun­try. Now, this ar­ti­cle dealt with more than rod runs the way you and I might think of a car show. It was about car shows in gen­eral, such as in­door, out­door, restora­tion, mod­i­fied, and new car shows.

For starters, I was pleas­antly sur­prised to find this read­ers’ poll had a Top 10 ded­i­cated to the Best

Car Shows in the coun­try. The judg­ing panel was de­rived from USA To­day read­ers’ choices. Since I wasn’t one of the read­ers who voted I’m not sure where, when, or how these read­ers were ac­cu­mu­lated and how or why they voted. But the fact re­mains the world of hot rod­ding did very well.

Of the Top 10 list of win­ners in the cat­e­gory (you can see the list be­low as taken from the dig­i­tal ver­sion of USA To­day), I must say there is lit­tle that I would “ar­gue” with as to the rank­ing. Granted, I am par­tial to ma­jor rod­ding events such as the NSRA Na­tion­als in Louisville and the Goodguys Rod & Cus­tom As­so­ci­a­tion Na­tion­als in Colum­bus, of which nei­ther made the list and that does sur­prise me. Look­ing at those events that did make the list I find it some­what baf­fling these events didn’t but, hey, to each his own.

The top 10 win­ners in

the cat­e­gory Best Car Show are as fol­lows:

1. Cruisin' The Coast, Mis­sis­sippi Gulf Coast 2. Back to the 50's, St. Paul, Min­nesota

3. Van Na­tion­als, Rens­se­laer, In­di­ana

4. Iola Car Show, Iola, Wis­con­sin

5. EyesOn De­sign, Grosse Pointe Shores, Michi­gan 6. Amelia Is­land Con­cours d'El­e­gance, Fer­nan­d­ina Beach, Florida

7. Grand Na­tional Road­ster Show, Pomona, Cal­i­for­nia 8. Rad­wood at Hoop­tieCon, Sonoma, Cal­i­for­nia 9. Capi­tola Clas­sic Car Show, Capi­tola, Cal­i­for­nia 10. L.A. Auto Show, Los An­ge­les, Cal­i­for­nia

I must ad­mit a few of the shows I had to look up as I wasn’t fa­mil­iar with and one, the Van Na­tion­als, in its 46th year, brought back a great deal of nos­tal­gia to the whole van hap­pen­ing in the ’70s. Looks like burnout ses­sions have re­placed wet T-shirt con­tests but there still ap­pears to be co­pi­ous amounts of al­co­holic bev­er­ages. Still lots of early vans with oc­tagon por­tal win­dows!

If you want a 180-de­gree turn then take a look at EyesOn De­sign in

Grosse Pointe Shores, Michi­gan, at the Ed­sel and Eleanor Ford House. This in­vi­ta­tion-only event is based on imag­i­na­tion and qual­ity and the over­all num­bers de­scend from the thou­sands to 200-300. Here you will see both for­eign and do­mes­tic con­cept and pro­duc­tion ve­hi­cles where imag­i­na­tion is para­mount.

When one gets back into the realm of our world it truly is ex­cit­ing to see that num­ber seven on the list is the Grand Na­tional Road­ster Show (ar­guably the longest run­ning and old­est car show around) and one of our Pain­less Per­for­mance Prod­ucts

Top 100 events. For those rod­ders who haven’t made the trip west dur­ing the cold climes of late-Jan­uary you are miss­ing out. This is truly one of the “bucket list” events ev­ery hot rod­der should make the ef­fort to at­tend.

Mov­ing up the list to num­ber two is the Back to the 50’s event (one of the Pain­less Per­for­mance Prod­ucts Top 100 gath­er­ings) that has it all, es­pe­cially for those rod­ders who like va­ri­ety. Back to the 50’s also has the ad­van­tage of be­ing held at the Min­nesota State Fair­grounds, which is ide­ally suited for cars and trucks. Lots of tree-lined roads that me­an­der about the grounds, giv­ing rod­ders plenty of time to cruise and take a look at what’s over yon­der. This rod­ding get-to­gether typ­i­cally draws in the neigh­bor­hood of 10,000 hot rods, mak­ing it one of, if not, the largest in the coun­try (which prob­a­bly means the world!).

Top­ping the list and the Best Car Show of 2018 was awarded to the Cruisin’ the Coast event that is held along the Mis­sis­sippi Gulf Coast and links mul­ti­ple cities over nine days that cov­ers ap­prox­i­mately 45 miles along High­way 90. It lit­er­ally is a trav­el­ing car show of hot rods. It too is one of the Pain­less Per­for­mance Prod­ucts

Top 100 events and while it hap­pens at the end of each year it is ac­tu­ally the kick­off event for us, mak­ing it the first of the Top 100 events for the up­com­ing year.

Well, hav­ing three ma­jor street rod events, and all of them Top 100 events, is an honor of achieve­ment for our hobby. Maybe next year we can get sev­eral more of our crown jewel of rod­ding events onto the list.

Brian Bren­nan Net­work Di­rec­tor/Ed­i­tor face­book.com/brian.bren­nan.710

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