Day Two of the 2012 Hot Rod Power Tour led us from Muskegon, MI all the way to Champaign, IL some 317 miles away. You can’t just tackle that sort of mileage without preparation and a game plan so a visit to Bob Evans was in order before we got on the road to Champaign. Here we see our own Jim Holloway fueling himself up with a cup of mud before we topped off our tummies. And if Amy from accounting is reading this post Shane misplaced the receipt following his rather stirring “bunny ears” impersonation.
While our friends from Hot Rod devised a great route to Champaign giving us the opportunity to share the road with many a polished Power Tourer we had plans for an impromptu detour.
Since it had been all of three hours since we stuffed our pie holes at Bob Evans a visit to Jimmy John’s was in order. Krispy Ken insisted on extra mayo for everyone! And no, that was not a euphemism as our hardening arteries can attest.
The break gave our friends from Firestone a chance to raise and lower their air ride suspension. All Shane could do was point out how his voluptuous Volvo has the same exact feature. Shane, don’t get so distressed, did we happen to mention we were impressed?
Some of our good friends also came along to Jimmy John’s. Charley Lillard brought his ’69 Camaro affectionately dubbed “Jackass” with a complete ZR1 drivetrain stuffed underneath it (LS9 and all!), while Mark Thatcher from ColorRite brought his ’70 Olds 442.
Mark’s 442 is a very rare W-30 model.
After lunch a quick gas stop was in order where Shane topped-off our radical rental with some $600 in fuel (true story! Sorry, Amy, no receipt).
While Shane topped-off, Mark checked out some of the baseball scores. No, we didn’t have the heart to tell him the fuel pump did not feature a sports ticker.
But enough about eating here and getting gas, our detour took us to a very special place.
Rad Rides by Troy is located in Manteno, IL, which was on our way to Champaign, and the Trepaniers opened their shop doors for a very special private tour.
Only a small group of Power Tourists who managed to keep up with Jim Holloway and our Mothers® Polish big-block Elky were treated to glimpse into the world of Jack and Troy Trepanier.
The showroom showcased a small collection of Troy’s past works.
This is Troy’s 1962 Chevy Biscayne, known as The Chicayne. This car won our coveted Shine Award in 2002 (shineaward.com). The powerplant is a twin-turbo 406 cu. in. Dart Iron Eagle making all of 1,200hp!
Hal Wing’s 1954 Buick called the G54.
The G54 is so named because it’s Art Morrison chassis has been infused with the complete powertrain from a Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG.
George Poteet’s Boss-powered ’69 Ford Torino is quite simply, a work of art.
Blowfish, George Poteet’s 1969 Cuda was in the Rad Rides shop receiving some work.
In 2006 George Poteet took Blowfish to the Utah Salt Flats and took home the World Record in the Blown Fuel Competition Coupe F with a 255.6-mile average speed. At the time the Cuda was fitted with a Chrysler four-cylinder hemi head. Who knows what madness is in store for this blown fish next.
Over on the workshop side of the facility we spotted Troy’s latest work-in-progress, the F87. According to Troy in his RadRides.com blog, “At Rad Rides, we like building cars that have been somewhat ignored. It’s akin to starting with a blank canvas.” We think its safe to say that the third-gen Camaro has definitely been ignored over the years.
Here’s more from Troy on the F87, “About ten years ago, Joe Lendway came up to me and asked if we would be willing to build his 1987 Camaro. Joe’s a GM engineer from Michigan who works with product development in laser brazing, welding processes, and fusion bonding on new GM cars. Joe is a great guy who is big into workmanship. He had a vision, I thought it would be a cool challenge to build a Third Generation Camaro. But what do you do to a Third Gen Camaro with all that plastic, the big rear hatch, and those square headlights?”
“Don’t get me wrong, I like Third Gen Camaros. I rode to school in a Third Gen Camaro Berlinetta with V6 power,” continues Troy. “But I struggled with the idea of building one and making it killer. For about six months I tried talking Joe into something easier to make cool, like a ’69 Camaro. But Joe was determined. He had bought the car new in ’87, had spent a bunch of time swapping motors, and had done some great body work on the car prior to sending it our way. No matter what I said, he was not about to give this car up. He wanted to make a statement that Third Gens can be as nice as any street machine on the road.”
The chassis is from Art Morrison and Nelson Racing Engines supplied the long block 406 small block motor with twin turbos. The team is shooting for 1600 horsepower, backed up by a GM 4L80E Bowler Transmission.
We want to thank the Rad Rides by Troy team for their gracious hospitality. From left: Angie Trepanier, Judy Trepanier, our own Jim Holloway and Jack Trepanier.
Once we got back on the road it was a quick jaunt to the University of Illinois. As we got closer we could see that parking was at a premium.
Champaign! This calls for a celebration.
Assembly Hall is home to the Fighting Ilini and the Orange Krush, but on this day it became home to the Power Tour.
The boys in the Big Rig, ever vigilant, had everything set up upon our arrival.
Here’s Steven Polen hard at work selling our Way Cool Mothers® t-shirts.
Another satisfied customer! We tried to trade him a shirt for his hat, but he wasn’t having it. We only wanted the hat because we think Forrest would look quite fetching in it and possibly give Krispy Ken and his jaunty hat a run for his money.
Jeremy Chance spent the afternoon putting on demos for our Mothers® Polish PowerBall 4Lights® Headlight Restoration kit.
Our own Ken and Shane bumped into Joe Sebergandio. Joe is making the Power Tour a better place with Pioneer Electronics.
Now we understand why we missed Troy Trepanier during our visit to Rad Rides by Troy. He was holding it down at Assembly Hall.
Mothers® Polish has a great partnership with Rad Rides by Troy.
In Champaign it would appear that a little rain fell mainly on the plain, but it was not enough to dampen the spirits of our fellow Power Tourists.
Just look at these guys. Their chapeaus put Ken’s jaunty hats to shame!
Even Eleanor got into the spirit by rocking the rollers on the dyno.
We like this guy’s style. He’s earned his refreshing beverage after a day on the Tour.
While it looks like this guy may have already consumed a few on his own, this is the second year we’ve seen this helmeted warrior and disturbingly we have never seen a motorcycle in his presence.
If you ever find yourself with a hankering for a 315/30R30 tire our friends at Pirelli have you covered.
The GM Motor Medics are back on Tour this year.
As always they can assist anyone on the Power Tour with mechanical help, no matter what kind of car you own. How cool is that!
This new Camaro in the American Wheels booth was intriguing until we discovered that the car was wrapped. Fake patina!? Really, people?
What a great gasser! Ironically, this is the same nickname we’ve bestowed upon Ken.
This second-generation GTX convertible...
Features a late model 5.7L V8 Hemi!
Phillip Lee West’s ’64 Chevrolet C-10 Short Bed with a 502ci Ram Jet.
Steven R. Fjelsted from Wisconsin owns this ’62 Ford Falcon with a 289 and C4 transmission.
At least we don’t need to worry about this 1950 Suburban getting damaged from exposure to the rain.
This isn’t just any Ford. It’s a Ford Deluxe.
Best sign ever!
This ’51 Buick Riviera Special looks anything but special…
Until a peek under the hood reveals the Viper V10 motor.
This Blue ’51 Plymouth Suburban two-door Wagon has been pumped up...
With a late-model Hemi 5.7.
Jason and Jill Frazer’s ’65 Mustang with a 289 and a T5 transmission.
Classic Cherry Malibu...
With a late model GTO mill.
The unconventional Hudson “Twin H-Power” set-up with dual single-barrel carburetors atop a dual-intake manifold.
If our short bus looked like this we wouldn’t have had such a complex in elementary school.
Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner hardtop in mid-operation.
Allow us to present to you, the Stealth Cruiser, built from scratch by Bob Gifford of Spokane, WA.
This Nova pulled in to Assembly Hall puking a little bit of fluid. It also sounded and smelled a little funny.
The sound came from a 6.2L Diesel from a GMC truck. And the smell is because this thing’s a greasel! It runs on reclaimed vegetable oil from the deep fat fryers used by restaurants. Yes, it smells like McDonald’s!
We get it, this Chrysler New Yorker is a boat.
A Toyota Supra on the Power Tour is a rare sight indeed, especially one with a single-turbo conversion and chassis code tags.
Super Beetle has powers far greater than those of mere mortal Beetles.
Team America, F yeah!
This STUDE...baker was snapping necks all day long.
We like the catch can, er bottle.
Even Magnaflow’s Richard Waitas gave the Studebaker his personal seal of approval!
The Concorde has landed.
These two were the last people we would expect to be driving this one. But at least they brought out some matching golf chairs.
Day Three of the Tour will go for 174 miles from Champaign, IL to Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL. Stay tuned!
Remember you can’t wax off without waxing on first.
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