Guest Blog! My buddy Dan Podobinski is a photographer based out of Indiana, he attends a lot of the same type of shows that I do. Since I can’t be everywhere at once, Dan was nice enough to share some of his images from the 2014 Meltdown Drags with all of you through the blog here. You may have seen some of his work recently in Car Kulture Deluxe Magazine, or on the HAMB. You need to go follow his page on Facebook here and buy some prints of his great photographs! And now on with the show!
In the five years since its first appearance, the Meltdown Drags has grown from a very small gathering of vintage drag race fans to an event of major proportions. This year drew over 500 race cars, some from as far as California, in addition to a nice little show ‘n shine area and a swap meet.
The organizers have managed to put together one hell of a show, at a cool old dragstrip…at a reasonable price. If you love vintage drag racing, the way it was in its heyday of the mid 60’s, then you absolutely must make plans to attend the 2015 Meltdown Drags in the quaint river town of Byron, Illinois. You will regret it if you don’t!
Guest Blog! My buddy Dan Podobinski is a photographer based out of Indiana, he attends a lot of the same type of shows that I do. Since I can’t be everywhere at once, Dan was nice enough to share some of his images from the 2013 Vintage Torque Fest with all of you through the blog here. Okay class now all together say “Thank You Dan!” You may have seen some of his work recently in Car Kulture Deluxe Magazine, or on the HAMB. You need to go follow his page on Facebook here and buy some prints of his great photographs! And now on with the show! ______________________________________________________________________________
The modern “car show” has, in many ways, become stale. The large, corporate run shows lack any real feel. Power parking, lawn chairs and crybaby dolls have become the norm.
The independent, regional hot rod shows that have sprung up in the last decade or so turn that trend on its ear and Vintage Torque Fest is at the front of the pack. Show creator and master promoter John Wells has managed to take what started as a vehicle to raise money for the charity organization that he and his wife Kim created (www.HelpingHannahsHeart.org) and turn it into a full blown festival of all things hot rod related.
There is more action packed into this two day event than one could ever expect to find at a large, corporate event. Aside from hundreds of traditional hot rods and customs we find a near constant stream of live music from rockabilly, surf and garage bands. There is, of course, the obligatory pinup contest, though this one is much classier than many I have seen. Speed freaks can get their groove on watching vintage jalopies race around the dirt oval and hot rodders even have the opportunity to take their pride and joy out for a few hot laps. Unfortunately, heavy rains kept track action at bay this year save for a few folks who stuck around the day after the show to get some seat time. This didn’t stop some guys however, as impromptu mini bike races sprung up on a far end of the fairgrounds, followed in short order by the big boys racing vintage flat track motorcycles around the makeshift circuit. As I said, nonstop action!
The excitement reaches a fever pitch with the charity art auction. Culture artists from around the world contribute themed pieces each year to be sold off to the highest bidder. The work is stunning and is worthy of display in any gallery. Besides the art in the auction, there are the numerous artists and vendors selling all types of hot rod and lifestyle merchandise.
If this sounds like it is right up your alley then I encourage you to first check out www.HelpingHannahsHeart.org and see what this organization is all about. Then, look up www.VintageTorqueFest.com and see what you are missing and, finally, make plans to be in Dubuque, Iowa this time next year and catch the nonstop action that is Vintage Torque Fest.
Guest Blog! My buddy Dan Podobinski is a photographer based out of Indiana, he attends a lot of the same type of shows that I do. Since I can’t be everywhere at once, Dan was nice enough to share some of his images from the 2013 Detroit Autorama with all of you through the blog here. Okay class now all together say “Thank You Dan!” You may have seen some of his work recently in Car Kulture Deluxe Magazine, or on the HAMB. You need to go follow his page on Facebook here and buy some prints of his great photographs! And now on with the show! ______________________________________________________________________________
’13 Detroit Autorama…
The Best of the Basement…
By Dan Podobinski
Detroit Autorama, the very words are enough to excite many a hot rodder, filling them with anticipation of what wondrous creations wait within the walls of Cobo Hall. This is especially true when it comes to the Autorama Extreme, an area dedicated to traditionally styled hot rods and customs as well as the amazing art that is inspired by them. It only seems appropriate that this part of the show is located in the lower level of Cobo Hall, away from the glitz and glamour of the indoor show circuit. This is where the real, honest hot rods are. Not that these cars are not nicely finished or held in high regard by their owners. They are, but these cars are driven, often hard and without mercy. With all of this in mind I present to you my very own “Best of the Basement” from the ’13 Detroit Autorama…
1. Larry Tucker’s 1934 Ford Pickup. In typical Jason Graham style it is an exercise in extremes. It’s delicate wire wheels and subtle brown paint stand in stark contrast to its 6-carbed, blown 454 Chevy.
2. Brian Wisniewski’s 1950 Chevy coupe came from New Jersey to join the fray. It’s fully dressed 6-cylinder , chrome reverse wheels and killer paint gave it the “look.”
3. Gene Winfield’s old 1935 Ford shop truck, now beautifully restored and residing with Gary Hatfield in Canton, Texas is an obvious choice.
4. Jim Richmond’s glorious tribute to the historic Pierson Bros. coupe is another obvious choice for inclusion on my list.
5. Chad Folkema’s fantastic A coupe on ’32 rails has been a favorite of mine since I saw it in its unfinished state at the Relix Riot show a couple years back. The flathead Lincoln V-12 and outstanding fit & finish make it a stunner.
6. Dave Gray is the lucky owner of the newly finished “Chemical City Coupe” 1932 Ford five window. With Buick Nailhead power and details galore, the Jokerr Fabrication built menace is pure evil on wheels.
7. Everybody in the hobby knows the name George Poteet and his Bonneville inspired 3-window Ford is a thing of beauty…stance courtesy of the boys at the Rolling Bones shop.
8. Jeff Watkin’s 1956 Buick Special is another looker. The satin black is offset by the wild, 60’s style red flake with all kinds of neat tricks buried in it.
9. Steve Gilmore’s 1963 Ford Unibody pickup is the kind of clean, simple daily driver we all dream of owning.
10. Mark & Ryan Rogerson’s 1955 Chevy is as pure a 60’s style street bruiser as you will find. A very stout, high winding small block backed by a Muncie 4-speed and a Pontiac rearend sporting 4:88 gears ensure that the stoplight to stoplight action will be a thrill!
11. Kerry Sitar’s 331 Hemi powered A on ’32 rails is just mean, and that’s enough.
12. My last pick, though not in the basement, would have fit right in. This wild, 60’s show rod styled 1934 Ford 5-window coupe belongs to Beau Boeckmann of North Hills, California. Take a moment to bask in what was the excess of 1960’s show rods!