What can we say that hasn’t been said about the Lonestar Round Up? After 18 years, the Austin, Texas-based event continues to deliver the thrills and fun you expect from a supercharged 392 launching a gasser off the line.
If you aren’t familiar with the Round Up, we’re here to tell you this show is a must-attend for anyone that digs traditional hot rods, great music, and friends. Not only is the show itself a blast, but the after-hours fun kicks in once you peel away from the sprawling Travis County Fairgrounds where the “official” show is held on Friday and Saturday.
The Round Up was started and continues to be hosted by the local rod club, the Kontinentals. The first gathering was when a small group of like-minded traditional rodders gathered at an old high school football stadium for an afternoon. Since its conception, the show has grown immensely, but continues to be fueled by its original roots — to celebrate hot rods and customs, drive them, and enjoy the experience with others.
The show officially gathers on Friday and Saturday at the Travis County Fairgrounds, just east of town. It was moved out to these grounds about a dozen years ago allowing for more rodders and spectators to join the fun. Not only are there rows of pre-’64 classics to check out, but there’s plenty of great music on tap on the main stage – this IS Austin, Texas, remember. This year saw a stellar lineup including everything from classic Texas country blues, to Russian surf rockers and ska/cumbia flavors.
Every great show needs to host a swap meet so rodders can dig around and find the parts they need to make it to the show next year. We saw a lot of cool parts from complete Flatheads to chassis, rare intake setups and gauge assemblies. If you weren’t looking for parts, you could stroll through the car corral to pick up a turn-key cruiser or a serious project to thrash on to make the show in ’20.
There are more than crusty swap-meet parts available through an eclectic mix of vendors throughout the show. Get a haircut, check out some amazing artwork, or get the straight word from a number of manufacturers and builders displaying their wares. An all-day event means you’re going to need snacks, and as always, Lonestar delivers. Again, this is Austin for crying out loud, so if you wanted BBQ, Mexican, souped-up burgers, or turkey legs, you have your pick. Be sure to try a scoop of Amy’s Ice Cream or an Oasis brew (or both!).
As if there isn’t enough happening on the grounds of the Travis County Expo Center, once you leave the grounds, it’s like another event. If you need more live music, just cruise up South Congress to any number of clubs (with a mandatory stop at the Continental Club).
Or, go a bit further into town and prowl 4th or 6th street. Top Notch Burgers hosts a cruise night and drive-in movie; Austin Speed Shop opens its doors for a rollicking good time open house; Jo’s Coffee serves up more music and java and you can grab a Home Slice right down the street. The music scene is non-stop, along with food trucks and other great spots for a late-night bite.
Austin, Texas, is known for many things; the State Capital, South by Southwest, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Texas University, a technology hub, and more. In early April, however, it becomes the epicenter of the rod and custom world thanks to the Kontinentals and the Lonestar Round Up. Check their website to block your calendar for next year’s event – we’ll see you there. For now, check out the teaser gallery below!