Event Coverage: My Favorite Shows Year After Year

It’s no secret that I get to a lot of events across the midwest. I certainly have my favorites, this is a partial list of the shows I like, with a link to the show’s official website if possible and some of my show coverage where I can. My philosophy is different than many, I don’t think that a huge car count is always a good thing. My favorite experiences at shows have all been when the car counts were less than 250. I don’t have anything against the bigger shows, I’ve had great times at them as well but the very best experiences were these select smaller ones.

Texas Thaw – 1st Weekend of March – Denton, TX

Texas Thaw – Vintage Drag Racing and car show, all the proceeds go to a great cause. What better way to kick off March but to head to North Texas for some drag racing?

2013 was my first trip to the event, here are the photos I took that day  or if you prefer to see the best stuff in blog form you can go here. Here is an article that I did for Rod Authority on the event.

Lonestar Roundup – 1st weekend of April – Austin, TX

Lonestar Roundup – This is one of the bigger shows on the list. 2013 saw a reported 1700 vehicles, I’d say 75% were traditional hot rods and kustoms of many different flavors. Add to that a great garage crawl on Friday morning, and Austin’s fantastic food and music. It’s hard to go wrong with the Lonestar Roundup in your travel plans. Here’s the gallery and here is Part 1 of the coverage on the blog.

Stray Kat 500 – 1st full weekend of May – Dewey, OK

Stray Kat 500 – Full Disclosure, this is the flagship Stray Kat Kustoms event and I am very blessed to be a member of the Stray Kat Kustoms Family.

I’ve covered this show a couple of times for Car Kulture Deluxe and for my site here, here is the 2013 gallery.

Vintage Torque Fest – 1st weekend of May – Dubuque, IA

Vintage Torque Fest – 2011 was the last time I was able to attend the Vintage Torque Fest, since then the show has conflicted with the Stray Kat 500.

This year my good friend Dan from Dan’s Hot Rod Photo covered the event and was kind enough to share those images here. Here is my 2011 Gallery.

KKOA Leadsled Spectacular – Last weekend of July – Salina, KS

 KKOA Leadsled Spectacular – This one has an advantage, this is my home town show. 1850 cars this year, plus run what ya brung drags and a bunch more.

Here’s the coverage on the site for this year and the full gallery here.

H.A.M.B. Drags – 3rd weekend of August – MO-KAN Dragway

 H.A.M.B Drags – I’ve been attending the H.A.M.B. Drags for a few years, and I’ve never had a bad time. I’ve nearly had heat stroke but never a bad time.

This year’s coverage is here and the full photo gallery is here.

Greaserama – Labor Day Weekend – Platte Co. Fairgrounds, Tracy, MO

Greaserama – Always a good time, good people, and some kool rides. Coverage. Gallery.

Starliner – 2nd Weekend of Sept. – Wichita, KS

 Starliner – Much like the Stray Kat 500 this one is easily amongst my very favorite shows. The people, the brotherhood, the planes, the Garage Krawl, there is just no end to what’s to love about this show.

I’m working on a magazine article on the show now but you can see the coverage on the site here and the full gallery here.

Iron Invasion – 2nd weekend of Oct. – Woodstock, IL

 Iron Invasion – 2012 was the first year of the 2nd show that Vintage Torque puts on. It was a long drive, it was cold and about 750 cars showed up, it was a blast.

See the coverage here and the full gallery here.

PUT THESE SHOWS ON YOUR SCHEDULE! If you’re into traditional hot rods and kustoms these are shows that you need to be attending in the Midwest. There are some more that I hope to be attending in the next couple of years and we’ll add to this list.

These shows are ones that I have attended multiple times and I’ve enjoyed myself every time. There are another 10 or so that could be on this list but this is MY absolute favorite list, these are the ones that I have had the best times at. Your mileage may vary.

What are your favorite shows?

See you at a show,


Guest Blog: Dan’s Hot Rod Photo goes to Vintage Torque Fest

Guest Blog! Dan’s Hot Rod Photo goes to Detroit!

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.