If you’re reading this, then your favorite thing growing up was no doubt a new toy car. Your first instinct after receiving such a glorious gift was always to perform a complete inspection of said car. If the wheels roll, you were in good shape. Then, lo and behold, the doors might have opened. And the trunk. The hood too?! Just look at that gleaming chrome lump of a plastic engine. But the coup de grace was always a working steering wheel. Now that’s a toy! And the Hot Rod Power Tour is that toy car with a working steering wheel. It’s all that and a bag of sea salt and vinegar chips (we’re finicky about our snacks). Consider, if you will, the HRPT as the Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred Shot Range Model Air Rifle of events.
The Hot Rod Power Tour is equal parts epic road trip, gleaming car show and laid-back party, with some drag racing, autocross and burnout contests thrown in for good measure.
And Mothers® has been there since the start, participating in every single Hot Rod Power Tour. All 18 of them.
For some time now we’ve brought one of our Mothers® Big Rigs on the Power Tour, stocked with our finest wares, including our car care products, accessories and tons of sweet swag. This year we brought 5,000 t-shirts to sell, which were promptly snatched up by our fellow Power Tourists, buying up the entire stock on Day Two. Looks like we’ll need to bring more shirts next year!
We also use the Power Tour as an excuse to show off some of our way cool Mothers® Polish rides.
We always try to bring something special to the Power Tour and this year was no exception, as we brought “Pro-Pane,” our Mothers® Polish 1970 Chevelle.
Pro-Pane is fitted with a GM LSX 454 Crate Engine topped with a Magnuson supercharger. When the Magnuson hits 12psi of boost, Pro-Pane is good for 925hp @5,900rpm and 954.8 lb-ft of torque at 3,500rpm. But the most impressive stat is that it's all powered by propane.
On the left is Johnny Omundson of Obrothers Design, who played a key role in making our propane-powered Chevelle a reality. He was a veritable rock star on the Power Tour with everyone from hot rod builders to OEM powertrain engineers, asking if he can do the same for them. On the right is our Big Rig staffer, Robert Gonzales, who helped Johnny O’ in the last hours to finish Pro-Pane in time for the Tour.
Our Power Tour presence would be nothing without our Mothers® Big Rig crew. From left: Jeremy Chance, Steven Polen, Robert Gonzales, “Trucker” John Schafer, Johnny Omundson from Obrothers Design and our own Jim Holloway, who also managed the Pro-Pane’s build (Big Rig boss Jonathan Stone not shown because he was TCB). These are the guys who work ceaselessly for seven days, racing from stop to stop in our Big Rig setting up and breaking down daily, what is essentially a rolling road show, with display vehicles, technical demonstration stages, product displays and retail sales all for the pleasure of the Power Tourists. Thank you, guys for the tireless dedication and for making the Power Tour so much more than just a Hot Rod road trip.
Here’s Jonathan Stone, our Mothers® Big Rig Boss looking so very cool behind the wheel of an 800hp Chevelle. We tried to get him to do a burnout but he’s far too responsible for such shenanigans. Fortunately our own Jim Holloway is not.
And here are the guys who help make our Mothers® Power Tour blog possible. From left: Shane Christman, Ken Holland, Forrest Tosie, Robert Kennedy (our Mothers® Australia thunder from down under), Charley Lillard (FOM – friend of Mothers®) and our own burnout boss, Jim Holloway.
Our product demos run non-stop during the Tour. Here, Jeremy Chance is using our PowerBall 4Lights Headlight Restoration Kit on what must have been the most haze-free headlight housing in all of history.
At each stop, Power Tourists were treated to the weather prognostications, observations and the occasional PG-13 limerick of our own super salesman, Forrest, who could predict the weather with 100 percent accuracy most of the time. Well, some of the time.
But the Power Tour is and always has been about the people.
Some of which with hats that would put Ken’s to shame.
While others wore what apparently were hats of shame. Makes you wonder what would have happened had he won that bet.
With such a wide variety of people on Tour, the cars are just as diverse with everything from classic hot rods, to muscle cars and those patina’d rats.
This picture will tell you everything you need to know about the scope of the cars on Power Tour.
Where else but on Power Tour would you see something like this on the open road?
At Mothers®, we like to walk the walk and shake our money makers so to speak. We don’t shut up, we put up, which is why we drive our cars on the Power Tour. From our way cool, classic ’67 El Camino…
To our contemporary Corvette ZR-1.
It’s always refreshing to see our Power Tour rides mixed in with the more mundane commuters.
Often times the Power Tour would create a traffic jam of it’s very own.
With people lining the streets at times it manages to give the Power Tour a sense of occasion.
With more than 1,500 miles covered on this year’s Power Tour the trip becomes as much about the journey as the destination. Roadside sights range from the serene…
To the surreal. Hey look, the steer says, “Try the chicken. Please!”
Our own Forrest always manages to find signs like these. A noodling tournament at Wacker Park? Seriously, folks, we can’t make this stuff up.
Forrest always seems to see dead people too. Last year we visited Hank Williams Sr.’s grave and from this year we moved from Ramblin’ Man to the gentleman who never met a man he didn’t like, Oklahoma’s favorite son, Will Rogers.
From larger than life icons who have left this mortal coil to living legends we took some pretty cool detours from this year’s Tour. This is Rick Kirk of RK Machine in Ripley, OK (believe it or not) and he has amassed what has to be one of the greatest private collections of blue oval hot rod cars, parts and memorabilia that we have seen in a long time.
Rick Kirk’s 1965 BFX Comet Cyclone. Very rare. One of only three factory Weber Carburetor-equipped 289 Cyclones made in 1965 for BFX Competition. This is Jim Holloway’s “girl.” Since it belongs to Rick it’s not actually Jim’s girl, he just wants it that badly.
Another highlighted detour was a stop at Troy Trepanier’s shop, Rad Rides by Troy. It is impossible for us to convey to you how much awesomeness was encapsulated inside these walls.
After seeing the treasures of Troy as well as the pristine nature of many a Power Tour ride we can’t help but applaud the level of dedication that you people have to take these beautiful cars on a 1,566-mile road trip through all sorts of weather and road conditions.
Even a completely chromed undercarriage didn’t stop the owner of this tri-five Chevy gasser from braving the elements to join the Power Tour.
But as is the fickle nature of these classic creations, sometimes things would go wrong on the Tour.
When help is needed on the Power Tour there are always plenty of volunteers willing to lend a hand.
Sometimes all the help in the world is not enough, but even a catastrophic failure cannot break the spirit of the die hard Power Tourist.
Here’s a couple who define the spirit of the Power Tour. Rob and Sissy Harris drove from Nacogdoches, TX all the way to Warren, MI only to go right back again. Nothing like a 3,000-plus mile road trip to get the blood pumping.
Rob and Sissy get bonus points for making the trip in this ’51 Buick Riviera Special.
Rob and Sissy also get our enduring love and admiration for stuffing their Buick with this Viper V10 engine.
This Nova Greasel also caught our eye. It would take a far greater challenge than a little overheating to keep him from the Tour.
Another noteworthy ride was this PT Bruiser complete with a blown 283 and RWD conversion.
Power Tourers can achieve notoriety for a variety of reasons, like Bob Gifford of Spokane, WA who built this Stealth Cruiser from scratch. It definitely has a Cubist, geodesic feel to it.
We cannot forget our friend, Robert Bergman and his Redneck RV.
And what about these guys? Apparently they’ll race for food.
Their Old Fuzz of a Chevy truck looks hungry too.
This guy drove all the way from New York to Michigan for the start of the Tour and then long hauled the entire Tour.
And he did it in this chopped rat with hand controls.
We’ve seen Leonard and Linda Dieker’s ’32 Ford truck with its four-cylinder diesel and a five-speed on the Tour before. Leonard told us that our Mothers® Big Rig staff was invaluable on this Power Tour. After an oil leak coated the entire frame and undercarriage our tech experts were glad to help Leonard with the advice and product needed to clean up his ’32.
There were even some showstoppers among the celebrities, colorful characters and our old and new friends. This stunning Pfaff Designs 1959 Chrysler Speedster was one of our 2011 Mothers® Choice Award winners.
While Bruce and Judy Ricks’ 1956 Ford Convertible, better known as “Suncammer,” won our 2011 Mothers® Polish Shine Award.
But the greatest acknowledgement must go to the people at Hot Rod magazine as well as the other Source Interlink Media publications, who go to great lengths to produce the Power Tour.
Next year our own Forrest is threatening to tackle the Tour on a two-wheeled conveyance. If that’s what you want to do, Forrest, then we’ve got your back. Way back. All the way from the comfortable confines of one of our way cool Mothers® Polish rides.
No matter how Forrest decides to roll to the Tour, you can bet we’ll be back next year ready to go bigger and better than ever.
On behalf of our entire Mothers® family, thank you for tagging along and we cannot wait to do it all over again, no matter where the Power Tour takes us.
Remember you can’t wax off without waxing on first.
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