I’ve been going to the NSRA Street Rod Nationals South for as long as I can remember. It’s always held on the first weekend of May and it was once a happenin’ event with more than 4,000 cars in attendance. However, the crowd has dwindled as of late, due to a number of factors, including the age of the participants and their willingness to sit out in the sun (or rain) the entire weekend. Regardless of that, I still go because it’s a great place to find vehicles to photograph, whether it’s for my magazine side work or for use in Coker marketing materials.
Normally I just drive a regular vehicle to the Nats South, and this was definitely the case when the NSRA regulated its participants to 1948 and older vehicles. I don’t have anything that old. So, now that NSRA lifted the age requirement and replaced it with a weird 30-year sliding scale, the Corvette is legal. With my recent desire to drive the Corvette more often, I figured this would be a good chance to get it out and put some miles on it. Here are some problems I ran into:
1. Weird vibrations at various speeds
2. Mysterious loss of power while in downtown Knoxville (great timing)
3. Window regulator malfunction on driver’s side making it nearly impossible to roll the window down.
4. Bolts holding the shift lever vibrated loose.
At least there were no major breakdowns on the trip, but these annoyances will need to be repaired soon or my desire to drive it will likely go away. Anyway, regardless of the car’s issues, I got plenty of work done over the course of the weekend.
So, if you’re familiar with the NSRA you know there is an age gap between me (25 years old) and the majority of its participants. There is also a gap in styles, meaning that my car fell somewhere in the middle…which is ok with me. I like the middle. These gaps never really bothered me as a spectator, but when I actually drove my car onto the fairgrounds, it made me realize that I’m just a kid in the eyes of these long-time rodders. Again, that’s ok, but it kinda makes you wonder what the old timers are saying about “that kid in the rough Corvette”.
That’s one thing that really makes me appreciate my friendship with Gerry Burger. He’s been a hot rodder for more than 40 years and he taught me pretty much everything I know about the magazine world. I worked for him at Buckaroo and now I work alongside him as a freelancer, and we’ve always been on the same page in terms of “what’s cool”. Having a friend like Gerry helps bridge the gaps, and it lets me continue to feed off his immense knowledge of the hobby. Either way, that’s enough rambling from me…see the full gallery of pictures here!