Always one of the biggest events of the year, the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky is a must-go for folks in the hot rod industry. This year is no different, as more than 10,000 street rods poured into the fairgrounds for a weekend of the same stuff they did last year. With that in mind, it’s tough to find fresh, new cars to shoot, so the idea is to walk each and every isle to find the new stuff.
Since the NSRA opened up its limitations on model year, the show has improved in my opinion. It allows cars like this awesome Chevy II gasser into the show…even though it technically isn’t a street rod.
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.
The Saturday crowd ended up being pretty big…this picture was taken in the morning, but by mid afternoon, the fairgrounds looked packed as always.
It doesn’t take long to figure out that I’m a “Chevy guy”, although I like to think that my taste in cars is fairly broad. I guess you could’ve easily noticed that by my infatuation with Henry J’s and other oddball cars. Anyway, I’ve owned a few Mopars but nothing quite as nice as two cars that I photographed at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals South in Knoxville, Tennessee last spring. I’d seen the bright red Dodge at the cruise in at Coker Tire during the 2010 Hot Rod Power Tour and I wanted to shoot it then, but time constraints kept me from doing so. I spotted the car and another unique Mopar as soon as I made my first walk-through at the Nats South, so it was time to get it done.
It’s a good feeling, even with all of the frustration that goes along with it! We’re in the process of rebuilding the front suspension in my wife’s ’67 Camaro, so it’s nasty work that always seems to present problems along the way. It’s actually not that bad, since we have a total of 5 hours invested, and have already torn down the front end, stripped the control arms to bare metal, installed new bushings and ball joints, and hung the sway bar in place. It’s now ready for springs and spindles, and then we can replace the steering box, pitman arm, idler arm and tie rod ends. I’m really hoping the front end overhaul makes this car drive better because it was downright unsafe before the teardown.
A few of the new parts from Classic Performance Products.