The “Run to the Sun” car show is almost here and I’m looking forward to it. My wife and I have been attending this event for close to thirty-five years, not as participants, but as gawkers. I’ve always said I’d love to enter a vehicle just one time and perhaps this is the year.
It’s not that we didn’t have anything to display. Our vehicles were always in Alaska and I didn’t have sufficient time to trailer one down. Those were the working years so vacation time was limited.
We’ve been to so many shows over the past fifty-years that it’d be impossible to count. The Street Machine and Street Rod Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota being a couple that we first traveled to. This was in 1974, 1976, and 1977, when those events were just getting off the ground.
Many shows don’t allow newer automobiles to be entered and I’ve never figured out why. It’s a pet peeve of mine. Modern vehicles like Hellcats, ZO6 Corvettes, Supercharged ZL1 Camaros, and even Tesla’s, turn teenage cranks more than ’32 Ford Roadsters or ’55 Chevys. Our local show allows most of the above except Tesla’s, and for some odd reason, Dodge Chargers were excluded.
Where demographics are concerned. I rarely spot but a handful of young faces taking in “Run to the Sun.” Most are middle-aged or ancient dinosaurs like me.
For those automotive venues allowing late model vehicles, I often hear the same cliché uttered time and time again by car show geniuses. “Yea, that car was purchased new and brought here. Anyone can do that!” In their minds, if a car isn’t old or “built” it’s nothing special. Usually, the ones vocalizing such had someone else build theirs.
My father owned a Texaco service station in the late 60s and early 70s. This was while I was in my teen years. As an employee, I took it upon myself to test drive some of the fastest iron that Detroit offered: Pontiac GTO Judges, Chevrolet Z-28 Camaros, Plymouth Roadrunners, GTX’s, and Ford 428 Mach 1 Mustangs to name a few. Those were all newer, showroom quality vehicles back then. Today, these same muscle cars draw a slew of admirers, although the numbers are decreasing as this older generation silently rides into the sunset.
We only have one vehicle eligible for this upcoming show. Our 1950 Chevy truck will have to suffice although it’s not pretty. Had we even been allowed to enter the Dodge Redeye Hellcat Charger, I would’ve hesitated. I’m sure some Sherlock Holmes would’ve wandered over with a buddy, stood there for several seconds with beer in hand before unwisely replying, “Yep, definitely purchased from a showroom and then brought here. Anyone can do that!” He would’ve only been partially right because it was special ordered in Ohio through a dealer friend of ours.
No biggie. I’m sure the owners of 426 Hemi Chargers, 428 Shelby Mustangs, 455 Pontiac GTOs, and SS-454 Chevrolet Chevelle’s had to endure the same head-shaking wisdom some fifty years ago.
Should someone ask if I built my ’50 Chevy, I’ll tell them like I’ve informed so many others. “No, Cloyd Boddington slapped it together.” Only seasoned car guys and gals will catch the humor!