Another Power Tour is in the books. Nineteen years long, nineteen years strong.
I’ve always said that the Power Tour is the wildest, road trippin’, rolling car show ever conceived but even more than an eclectic mix of outstanding hot rods of all shapes and sizes, the Power Tour is about the people.
You can’t have a great party without great people (and Cheeze Whiz, that’s always a must!). The cars may be the stars, but it’s the participants on the Power Tour who make this trip so memorable.
To handle all these people the vendor pavilion has swelled in scope and size accordingly.
Nineteen years ago, our own Forrest Tosie and Ken Holland chased the Tour with little more than a single car and a wing and a prayer. Today, our Mothers presence involves our Big Rig, Pete, and an elaborate set up recreated at each stop.
Every year we sell a limited edition Mothers Tour t-shirt and this year was no different. Want one of these shirts? You need to earn it by coming on the Power Tour with us. I’ll be putting mine on eBay. I didn’t wash it as I’m pretty sure my stains of sweat and desperation will only add to the collector’s value.
Our Big Rig crew also put on product demonstrations at each stop. Next year I hope they incorporate some Kabuki Theatre performances into the schedule.
Long before we brought our Mothers Big Rig on Tour, our own Forrest Tosie has been going on stage providing daily weather reports.
And giving out Mothers finest by the bucket full.
Mothers does more than bring our Big Rig on Tour, we drive it, every single mile of each and every leg.
This year we brought back our ZR14MOM as well as another very special Corvette, Brian Thompson’s 850hp Hurricane Grand Sport.
Things would seem slightly askew if we came with a pair of Bowties without bringing a couple of Blue Ovals to get the balance back in check (fear not, Mopar fans, we’ll take care of you too!). This year we brought a pair of red RTR Mustangs created by champion drifter, Vaughn Gittin Jr. The primary red RTR Spec 2 car makes 480hp while the wilder cherry red RTR Spec 3 is a collaboration between Mothers and Vaughn with some 650 supercharged horses.
While it’s true that Mothers stacked the Tour with Corvettes and Mustangs Krashy Ken Holland and I were reduced to camera car duty in a rented SUV. By the way, that crack in the windshield? Totally there when we picked it up. Totally.
There’s a badge of honor among Power Tourists and that’s being in the long haul gang. This year that meant going on every leg, from Arlington, Texas to North Concord, North Carolina. It’s the road trip equivalent of getting into the 200mph Club at Bonneville, or perhaps the Mile High Club.
Some of the long hauler cars would surprise you.
While others still, would simply bemuse you.
I give you the Boys from Illinois and their anti hot rod. This beast shoots flames from the roof rack-mounted skull while the trailer hitch-mounted BBQ cooks up burgers and apparently most of the paint. I’ve been betting against these guys from finishing the Tour for a couple years now. When they rolled into zMAX Dragway this year I realized that, once again, I owe them many beers.
Other characters were more about the clothes than the cars. Our new friend Tom Zorn Jr., known as the “Diamond Digging Sasquatch Hunting Poet,” didn’t want to buy a Tour shirt like everyone else. However he was crazy enough to want one of our staff shirts and Jim was crazy enough to swap shirts with Tom. What is this, the World Cup?
Steve Beauregard was one of my favorite people I met on the Tour, and not just for his choice of headwear. He put a supercharged 350 inside his beautiful ’34. You know what else he put inside of his Coupe? Anyone who wanted to sit in the yellow Ford. In a world filled with “Do not Touch” signs Steve welcomed fans of all ages to sit in his car. Thank you for being the coolest hot rod owner ever, Steve.
Another solid Power Tourist is Richard Troxell from Seymour, Indiana. He’s been coming on the Power Tour for more than a decade and Forrest and Ken have been taking pictures of his son since he was little boy. Now that he’s all grown up, who am I to interfere with tradition?
After a long drive the party’s just getting started on the Power Tour. While most tailgate parties take place outside of the event, the parking lot at the Tour is the party.
Some people like to party harder than others.
And for others still they come equipped to party all night.
The biggest challenge of taking the Power Tour on the road is the challenge that the road itself presents. But that doesn’t stop the Tour goers from shining their cars up every day, which warms our hearts here at Mothers.
It seems every stop reveals an even greater mix of cars.
From this van that looks to be easily rockin’...
To George Poteet’s Talladega Torino built by our friend, Troy Trepanier and his Rad Rides by Troy crew.
Troy doesn’t build carpet queens. He actually drove Poteet’s Torino. Hard. With all apologies to the surviving families of those bugs, that’s what I like to see on the Power Tour.
Rather than choose a side, some Power Tour participants would rather split the difference, like the owner of this BMW E30 M3 with an LS3 swap. I’ve heard the LS can be found in just about anything, but this is ridiculous.
Out on the road the Power Tour creates the most incredible traffic jams.
Where else can you see something like this 1955 Morris Minor Series II Traveller, owned and built by Zach and Libby Merrill of Greenville, SC.
Since Zach works in Michelin’s Tweel Technology department he put these amazing tire/wheel combos on his little, British woodie. Then he proceeded to go all the way with them.
I’ve got to give it up for the guy who would drive this Pro Stock Camaro on the Tour.
Or this Camaro owner who was not afraid to face a tropical typhoon.
Sometimes the stress of the journey can test these machines, but overcoming these challenges just makes finishing the long haul that much sweeter.
Along the way Power Tour participants were able to test their rides on our Mothers Driving Challenge autocross course...
And the zMAX four-side dragway.
Our own Jim Holloway made the local news.
And our friends at Magnaflow hooked us up with invitations to some very special side trips.
One such side trip was our tour within the Tour of the Gas Monkey Garage in Dallas. Aaron Kaufman, Richard Rawlings and their Gas Monkey Garage crew welcomed us into their shop, which is also where they film their Fast ’n Loud show for the Discovery Channel.
Another marvelous side trip was our visit to the Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum located on the eastern edge of Birmingham, Alabama. While the collection heavily favors motorcycles it was a worthwhile look at some of the most rare and prestigious two-wheeled vehicles ever produced.
In Holly Springs, Mississippi, some of us were privy to witness the inside of George Poteet’s Camel Toe Racing Shop.
While others paid homage to the shrine of left hand turns, the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Ken and I were too busy trying to figure out if the rental car agency was going to charge us for mileage. 1,659 miles! Can that be right? And, um, you should probably pay no attention to the recorded max speed. That was probably done when our Garmin was hooked up to another car. While on a closed track.
On Tour we even rubbed elbows with some celebrity skin, such as Tap Out clothing company founder Tim “Skyskrape” Katz.
And Rutledge Wood, NASCAR on SPEED TV reporter, host of Top Gear USA and all-around really cool guy seen here with his ’49 Chevy Step Van.
The vivacious Courtney Hansen also raised our spirits and our core body temp this year on the Tour.
While we’re lounging about with the A-listers the work never stopped for the Hot Rod Magazine crew.
Another hard worker who showed up on Tour this year is our mother, as in mom, Barbara Holloway. Barbara continues to adhere to the original values of Mothers, as this car care company is still family owned, just like when it was established so many years ago.
Our own Jim Holloway bought a box of rocks that many of us contend was cursed. How else can you explain our spate of mechanical trouble, attention from the local law enforcement, a random illness and the crazy weather? Good point, it is the Tour after all.
Shane was able to strike a pose with Courtney in front of the Mothers RTR Spec 3.
Which didn’t sit well at all with me. Fortunately Courtney joined my pity party.
In addition to delivering our RTR Mustang Spec 3 safely to Concord, Shane took some really great Instagram pix. How could he not? Look at that pro stance. Just look at it!
My chauffeur for the week was the Krispy and Krashy Ken Holland, a grizzled Tour veteran. Ken is one of the people responsible for the massive Mothers presence on the Tour and he has been to almost every one of the past 19 editions.
Ken’s Tour involvement is only bettered by this man, Forrest Tosie, our sales representative with a golden touch and a silver tongue. He’s been providing daily weather reports, obscure sitcom trivia questions and bucket loads of Mothers goodness for nearly two decades now.
Our boys on the Big Rig are the unsung heroes of our Mothers Power Tour participation. From right we have Jonathan, Jay, Steve, Troy and Robert. These guys are the reason Mothers looks so polished on the Power Tour each year.
Trucker John is the one who pilots our Big Rig, Pete, safely from stop to stop on the Tour.
One last group photo before turning the lights out on the 2013 Power Tour.
This is becoming a horrible tradition on the flight home, a me sandwich with Shane and Ken bread. I want to thank everyone at Mothers for bringing me on the Tour with them. I’ve enjoyed every moment of the past three years. Now, only 16 more to go before I catch up with Forrest and Ken.
This could be you on next year’s Tour. There’s always room for more good friends and great cars. See ya on the long haul in 2014!
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