I was having a very rough time pounding out this report on the final day of the 2011 Hot Rod Power Tour. After this, all that’s left is the crying (and I reserve that for my special time in a fetal position in the shower each morning). Of course there is also an epilogue that I need to put together and once I figure out what epilogue means I’ll get right on that.
Then it dawned on me. I’m depressed. Much like a solider removed from active duty I find myself already missing the action (except without all that bravery, service to my country, honor, valor and life-threatening conditions). Sure, I’ve only slept two hours each night for the last week (my multi-hour naps don’t count as they’re not “quality sleep”) and after spending 1,600-plus miles in a car with one of the Mothers Marketeers, Shane, I kind of want to hurt him, hurt him bad. But then I realize that I love this Tour; and Shane, he may very well be my brother from another Mothers.
After popping my Atomic Fireballs on the Power Tour, its clear to me that this is like summer camp or a college semester for adults (technically) who like hot rods and driving. And just all kinds of cars in general. Before I get too sentimental I should just get into our coverage from this last leg from Muskegon, MI to Detroit Rock City. And no, I’m NOT crying! I just have something in my eye.
This last day began with more rain, which proved even more challenging for me since all I packed was shorts and flip flops (what can I say, I’m from Southern California, the land of palm trees and pedicures). We decided to start the day at Bob Evans, which was perfect because all we seem to do is eat, drive, eat, drive, with breaks for hanging out to talk cars and pull each others’ fingers. Yes, it’s been that kind of Power Tour.
Once inside we ate here and got gas (sorry, as I said, it’s been that kind of Power Tour). And to our sweetheart of a server, Sam, please accept our apologies for having to deal with a pack of Tour-weary tourists who’ve been away from their significant others for far too long. And thank you for not spitting in our food. At least I hope you didn’t spit in our food, because we’d never know and it would just be your dirty little secret, a shot at vengeance against a group of unruly customers. You did spit in our food, didn’t you, Sam? From left we have Steven from Anyone agency, Mothers Marketeers Ken and Shane, Michael from Anyone, Sam (Hi, Sam!), Fearless Leader Jim, Savvy Salesman Forrest, a blue hair giving me the crooked eye, and my blueberry crepes (what can I say, I was feeling continental).
After we sufficiently harassed Sam, we went to gas up. Here’s our Fearless Leader Jim pouring in a blend of 111 octane Rockett Brand racing fuel. Note to Amy from accounting, this stuff’s like $48 a gallon. I know! Expensive, huh? Well, what are you gonna do, except of course, expedite our expense reports to avoid any unnecessary additional paperwork later.
One of the things that amazes me so much about the Power Tour is how the tour goers are not afraid to drive their cars, no matter the conditions.
Even our own Fearless Leader got into the act. And if you’ll indulge me for a moment of company pride I cannot help but marvel at the way the deluge of rain just beads off the Mothers finish on our El Camino. I’m just so proud of my Mothers.
Once we arrived at the Metro Beach Metropark in Detroit I was able to get a group photo of our Big Rig crew. These guys drive all night ahead of the Tour to set up everything in order to display cars, conduct tech demos, answer questions, give away swag and sell our Mothers wares should a discriminating Power Tourist feel the need. From left: Trucker John, Jonathan, Steve, Robert and Jeremy. Power Tour wouldn’t be the same without our Mothers Big Rig and our Mothers Big Rig would not get there if weren’t for you. Thank you very much, Boys!
Robert has been worried about what I’ve been writing about him in our event coverage. You have nothing to worry about, Robert as it’s great to have someone on the team with your energy and in-depth product knowledge.
This image however has HR violation written all over it. But I can make it go away, Robert. I just need you to confirm with Amy from accounting that the price of 111 octane is $48 a gallon. Which is exactly what it is, right, Robert?
But I won’t mess with Trucker John. Well, because he’s Trucker John. Enough said.
Our Fearless Leader Jim is either taking a picture of something really cool or he just beat his top score on Angry Birds.
These guys are my heroes. Our Mothers Marketeers. A couple of true American Badasses, like Starsky and Hutch or Bo and Luke (Cagney and Lacey, Ace and Gary?). In addition to directing the editorial content for our Mothers Power Tour blog, these guys prevented a impending disaster when an unsecured tent almost took flight, which could have resulted in heavy damage to many a hapless down wind car. PSA time. Keep your tents secured, Power Tourists.
Here is my Man Main Shane! He loves his Atomic Fireballs and only rocks New Era hats. He’s cool. Even though he slept most of the way while on Tour, was the worst navigator ever, didn’t drive once and drank like a fish every night. While some may argue that this might describe me, I say that’s your opinion and you’re not entitled to it since I’m the one who’s writing the blog.
And while our other Mothers Marketeer Ken is shown here in the pea shooter position, he did drive one very long leg of the Tour and he is one of the few people on this Earth who can pull off a jaunty hat with aplomb.
This man needs no introduction. Forrest’s back, baby! Every day our Savvy Salesman is up on stage issuing meteorological forecasts, giving away Mothers Detail Buckets and being mistaken for Bob Bondurant.
This year I wasn’t the only N00B as the hipsters from Anyone agency rolled out to get a taste of the Tour. And Ken sure was glad they made it out, because Michael wrested the title of The Award With the Most Delicate Bladder away from Ken, who potty danced so hard to achieve. I was going to take a shot of Michael leaving every men's room from Indy to Detroit on his Bowls Across America Tour but I couldn't keep up with his frequency.
This is Ashley Zimmerman and her little tot rod. I like your style, Ashley. And where’d you get that jacket? Do they make that one in XXL? Um, it’s not for me.
We spotted Chip Foose signing autographs in the Magnaflow booth.
Some of Michigan’s fastest street legal drag cars were in our booth at Detroit.
And they even cooked up some brats for all of us Mothers to enjoy.
Speaking of hot dogs Michelle from Hot Rod Magazine says this is the new Miss Hot Rod. Since Michelle is rather adorable herself, I’ll just go along with it.
Look at the crowd around Jim Kirby and Dick Harrell’s ’68 Camaro AA/FC drag car. Shane did some digging and learned that the car puts out more than 2,000 hp and has gone as fast as 7 seconds in the quarter. In other words, I've got it, Shane. How about we agree on this. I won't tell you how to do your job, so don't tell me how to do mine. Some people, sheesh!
This Mustang “GT TT” features twin T-61 snails.
I just now got this one. Woody. Viagra. Funny stuff and a damn fine looking car.
Check out this mean green machine. It’s a 1978 AM General 5 ton 4x4 pick up with 52-inch tires and a 855 ci small cam Cummins inline-6 diesel 4-cycle engine making 250 hp.
Forrest says he would much rather see a Vega like this...
Instead of this Vader’d out drag car. I say there’s room for both styles. And if not, I have money on mine to eat Forrest’s.
It's got a cop motor, a 440 cubic-inch plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks.
This Camaro SS is set up to drag, from wheelie bars and even in these very wet conditions the owner still insists on running slicks.
One of the boys from Ford in Dearborn brought this authentic Focus RS 500 (1 of only 500) with a 350 hp 2.5-liter, 5 cylinder engine and 19-inch wheels. There were only 500 of these made to mark the end of the current model which will come off line in September of this year. It is not available in the North American market. Why do you have to tease us like that, Ford?
Whatever this is, its full of win. I promised I would buy these guys a beer if they made it to Detroit. They did. And I didn’t. Honestly, guys, if I get back to The Tour again I will buy you that beer.
An age old debate, scallops vs. flames.
This Ford was fitted with a Buick Electra V-8.
I'll close with this shot of a U.S. Air Force jet flying over our last leg stop at the Metropark to conclude our 2011 Power Tour coverage, with our wrap-up coming tomorrow (so that's what epilogue means!). I want to thank everyone at Mothers for making this possible, and to you for bearing with me as I tried unsuccessfully to fill Forrest’s formidable shoes (I’ve found rolled-up socks to work wonders). I’ve had a great time and I hope you did too.
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