No matter what type of classic you have, hot rods are meant to be enjoyed. While some may find parking their lawn chairs at a downtown show the best way to enjoy their cars, those on the 2012 RodFather Goodguys Road Tour couldn’t disagree more.
To them, enjoying their hot rods is all about driving them and not just short distances, but on long cross-country tours like the one they’re currently embarking on from the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana. Lucky for us, we got to catch up with the guys on the trip and some locals at the evening stop for day two of the lengthy two week road trip to see what they all thought so far of their adventure.
We first brought you news of the RodFather tour back in June and found ourselves wishing for the chance to tag along. With so much other hot rod coverage to bring you, a two week adventure out of the office just wasn’t feasible. But when we found out one of the tour stops would be right in the backyard of one of RA’s staff writers, we jumped at the opportunity to catch up with the rodders and hear about their travels first-hand.
With the tour kicking off at the Bonneville Salt Flats on Friday September 14th, nearly 100 rodders and their pre-1949 hot rods headed East, hitting Wyoming and the famous Wyotech on day two.
After lunch and a few tour stops in the Equality State, tour goers jaunted down to colorful Colorado where they stopped at Pinkee’s Rod Shop in Windsor.
This is where Rod Authority joined in on the action and met the crew at shop for an inside look. Pinkee’s, known for amazing hot rod and street rod builds across the industry, is less than a mile away from the venue that held the Goodguys Colorado Nationals earlier this summer.
It is also the home to well-known builder Eric Peratt, who’s done the honor of giving out Builder’s Choice awards at two Goodguys shows this year, so it was a very fitting stop for the rodders along the journey headed East to Indy.
Tour participants trickled in during the afternoon, some getting to the facility as early as 3 p.m. while others, including the fearless leaders, Gary Meadors and Andy Brizio, arrived closer to dinner time. No matter when they arrived, the rodders were greeted with music, some good mexican food, their favorite beverage and an atmosphere fitting of the legendary names and amazing cars.
Unable to all fit in the parking lot, hot rods, rat rods, street rods and even some local American muscle flowed onto the streets surrounding Pinkee’s, gaining plenty of attention from passer-byes and folks in the area for a swap meet.
The cars of Meadors, an amazing green 1948 Crysler Town and Country Woody convertible wielding a Viper V10 under the hood, and Brizio, a crisp purple 1932 Ford ‘vert with a vibrant flame job, found their spots front and center on Pinkee’s lawn. “I enjoy every single day,” Meadors told us about the tour, “What’s not to like?”When asked if this was truly his last big tour, Brizio told us, “Ya, I’m too old now.” Walking with a cane that matched his hot rod and telling stories with the best of them, Brizio is still a serious rodder but his long distance road adventures are behind him and even with celebrating his 81st birthday on the road on Sunday September 16th, we don’t think he’ll ever be too old to still enjoy his hot rods.
“So many of my friends came out, you wouldn’t believe it,” Brizio told us, referring to the 50+ close friends that signed up to make this last big trip with him.Although the tour included names like Sid Chavers, Gary Heidts, Gary and Marc Meadors, and Roy and Andy Brizio, not to mention some of the most gorgeous hot rods we’ve ever seen, we didn’t find a pretentious party in the bunch. In fact, all were very welcoming and willing to talk cars with just about anyone, including those wanting to bench race, tell stories from long ago and talk to the legends they’d grown up inspired by.
Among the rodders we talked to, Keith Bush had an amazing story of determination to tell. He wrecked his ‘32 Ford Tudor, which he’s had since 1956, two years ago, flipping it six times. Determined to keep the car alive and bring it back to it’s glory, Bush searched for someone to rebuild the car and received it back better than new earlier this year. “I’ve been driving it and it’s worth every bit of money I didn’t have,” Bush told us laughing. “I’m going to drive the wheels off of it.”
Another interesting story we heard was told by Brian Hill, his 1939 Ford Woody an immaculate car with amazing wood panel detailing running from the exterior of the car in through the interior, making up the custom dash. As he revealed to us, Hill’s inspiration was a Chip Foose drawing done in the 90s that portrayed a twist on the classic Woody design. “I saw the drawing and I had to have the car,” Hill told us. “I’m not into the four-doors and I didn’t want to need a ladder to do the roof, but this one I could do.”
At a show, Hill spoke to Foose himself and told him he was creating the car from a drawing. Later on when the car was finished, Foose saw Hill’s creation and said it was a nice car but it had the wrong rims on it, referring to his own rims he used in the concept drawing.
With Foose’s help, the unique hot rod now has Chip Foose wheels and the appropriate tires on it for the perfect stance that’s now “Foose approved.” He went on to tell us, “Everything’s custom made from scratch,” he estimated about 6,000 hours went into the car, including countless hours of woodwork Hill put in with no prior experience.The stories from rodders and hopes for the trip were echoed among all participants. With interest in the tour stops along the way, laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and returning home with the cars in one piece, rodders headed to their hotel for the evening as the beautiful Colorado sunset painted the sky. In all, it was an amazing adventure to be able to talk to some of the legends and rodders and wish them a happy and safe rest of their trip. From all of us here at RA, safe travels – see you at the next stop!
Check out more pics from our stop at Pinkee’s in this GALLERY: