Just off I-80, make a right, pass the gas station, and keep driving until the road ends. As soon as the hauler’s tires leave the hot pavement and touch the sacred salt of Bonneville, it’s like a boxer entering the ring for the championship fight. All the long hours of preparation are over. Danny Thompson and his crew are ready to rumble.
The 1992 NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky became one of the most memorable events in history, and not because of the car or spectator count. It was memorable because of a massive thunderstorm that hit the area and dumped nearly 5 inches of rain in just two hours, stranding hundreds of cars. Follow along as we talk about some of the issues that happened, the massive effort to get cars to higher ground, and the aftermath.
Over the years, some great stories have come out about the NSRA Street Rod Nationals. One of the best stories is about how it all started. The First Annual Rod & Custom Street Rod Nationals was a huge success with nearly 600 pre-1949 street rods from all over the country making the show. This weekend marks the forty-ninth NSRA Street Rod Nationals, and here’s the story of where it all began…
Have you ever owned a “normal” vehicle that had a special place in your heart? Most of the time, these vehicles are the ones that are the least valuable and the least exciting. It’s like going to the dog pound and rescuing the best dog you’ll ever own. Maybe it’s Grandpa’s old farm truck, Aunt Joan’s 4-door Valiant, or that beat-up Chevy Sprint that got you through college. Whatever it may be, these vehicles didn’t win your heart by their looks. They did it by providing you with experiences that stayed with you for the rest of your life.
When I get exiled from the living room, I either go out to the garage and tinker on the hot rods or grab something to read. On one particular night last week, the garage was too cold to paint the parts I was working on. I went back into the house to my mini-library of all of my car books and picked out one on Concept Cars. I had read this particular book many times before, but there’s one car in that book that has always intrigued the heck out of me. It’s the 1956 Chrysler Norseman.
“Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival” –Winston Churchill
After thoroughly enjoying the movies, “Dunkirk” and “Darkest Hour”, I became fascinated with exploring the mental state of the British people at the time.this got me thinking about the final stages of the war, when Hitler pulled out all the stops in his quest to start chipping away at England. Let’s look at the technical side of how the British defeated Hitler’s V-1.
On a hot day in October of 1967, a test pilot climbed out of a white NASA step van and walked toward the silver B-52 parked in front of the hangar at the NASA Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California. He had made this walk many times before, but today was going to be different. The X-15 hanging under the right wing of the B-52 was waiting, surrounded by busy crew members doing their final pre-launch checks. Just a few hours later, they would all be tipping back beers at Club Muroc in celebration of a milestone achievement.
Each week, a popular TV show opened with the actual NASA footage of the aircraft crash that critically injures Colonel Austin. Every young fan of the show could quote the words that played out during beginning of each show. As a 10 year old kid, I would never have guessed that my paths would later cross with the guy who was actually piloting the aircraft in that famous NASA video. That’s right, I worked with the REAL Six Million Dollar Man, Bruce Peterson.
A few nights ago, I was scrolling through the menu of my Amazon Firestick and came across the classic 1983 movie, The Right Stuff. For folks who haven’t seen it, it focuses on two important landmarks in aerospace. The first is the quest to break the sound barrier and the second is the creation of the space program. The movie has a great cast, but there’s one actor that steals the show. Dennis Quaid plays the role of Gordo Cooper, one of the Mercury Seven astronauts. As the movie progresses, you quickly discover that Cooper is the funnyman of the group, and a bit of a prankster. Quaid serves up an awesome performance, and because of that, you instantly become a Gordo Cooper fan
Even at 12 yrs old, I already knew that I wasn’t going to grow up and be a stick and ball professional athlete. No way. I wanted to be a professional race car driver. I wanted to be Dan Gurney. If you would have asked me who my heroes were, I would have said, “A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Don Garlits, Don Prudhomme, and Dan Gurney”. I was a gear head, but among my friends, I was a bit of an anomaly. They could quote stats consisting of their hero’s batting averages, steals, and touchdown passes. I could rattle off elapsed times, top speeds, and the names of everyone in the first three rows of last year’s Indy 500.
Something happens to all of us hotrodders every January. Once the buzz of the Holidays are over, we all go through the Winter Blues. There a lot of reasons in play that add to this holiday hangover. First of all, it’s usually cold outside. It could be that you spent a little too much on gifts and you’re trying to get your finances back in order. Maybe the looming April 15th tax deadline hit home when your 2017 W-2 just showed up in the mail and you’re certain that you owe the IRS. You probably over-indulged on the cookies and eggnog and you just can’t seem to separate yourself from the comfortable confines of your couch. Your hot rod project is being neglected, but don’t let it get you down. Round Six is here to help!
Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, the month of May is a special time. The Memorial Day holiday comes at a perfect time when you’re a kid. It signifies the end of the school year, the official opening of the public swimming pools, and the Indy 500. Louisville is a bit of a sports-crazed
Today, we’ve set the Way back Machine all the way back to 1889, and the location is Paris, France. Now, I know you’re thinking, ” Why would a thread from a gearhead-oriented website reference a time and date from the late 1800s?” Be patient, it’ll all be clear in a minute.