Year in Review: SEMA Builders Panel, 50th NSRA Nats & Triple Crown of Rodding11/30/2019
It seems every year is more hectic than the one before. I’m sure most of the craziness rests between my ear lobes but as our industry grows and technology takes leaps and bounds it sure seems there’s a lot more crammed into 12 months than ever before.
For starters, this was an epic year with the 50th NSRA Street Rod Nationals. Brought back lots of great memories and, of course, for those who attended the event you will remember the STREET RODDER booth. It was loaded with 15 hot rods from the past and present and everyone felt it accomplished our goal of showing rodding over the past 50 years. Some of the cars in the booth were Magoo’s roadster, Lil’ John Buttera’s roadster, Bobby Alloway’s coupe, the McMullen roadster, among others whose hot rods have never been seen by the Nationals’ crowd or it’s been a very long time so it refreshed all of those long-ago great memories.
The Nats brought together 12,000-plus hot rods of all years, from Model T days to the mid-’70s. It really is a great feeling and a wonderful sight to see all these different hot rods spanning the true breadth of our sports history. Here’s hoping that this excitement will continue into 2020 and beyond.
Then there was the Triple Crown of Rodding held yearly (this being the fourth) at the Shades of the Past event (37th Hot Rod Roundup) at Dollywood Splash Country. What can we say … it was a hit. You are looking at one of the top rod runs in the country, a really fun town (Pigeon Forge) to hold an event, the host destination (Dollywood) is very cool on so many levels (and that includes all members of the family), and then there’s the Triple Crown of Rodding.
The popularity of the award and the competition is clearly ramping up. The founding companies—Advanced Plating, Classic Instruments, and Vintage Air—along with the supporting sponsors—PPG, Art Morrison Enterprises, ARP, Schott Wheels, and Wilwood—are onboard for another year to guarantee that the fifth will once again be a success.
The year wraps up with the SEMA Show, at least for us magazine types. If you have been to SEMA you know what I mean when I say it’s big … too big. If you haven’t been, well, I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. It’s mind-numbing for sure and there’s no way to see it all … in a week! But should you have specifics in mind that’s a good place to start.
One of the great things about SEMA are all of the conferences, panels, and get-togethers that exist. If you are making a living from our industry there’s a lot that can be accomplished while at SEMA. I walk my usual rows, meet with many people, some of whom I have recently seen and some that I haven’t seen in a year, but then there’s the self-education portion.
Self-education at SEMA comes in many forms but for me it’s attending several different meetings or get-togethers and, my favorite is the Builders Panel. (This year the panel was monitored by Rick Love of Vintage Air and was made up of Bobby Alloway, Troy Trepanier, Kyle Tucker, and Charley Hutton. Names anyone reading this should know from our industry. And by some sleight of hand I found myself on the panel. Believe me I bring nothing to this group when it comes to building cars … maybe it’s some of the behind-the-scene stories that I have that keeps me in the loop?) The panel members talk about the industry, their experiences, their success, and failures. All of this makes for great listening and from this come some great questions, which spawns even more great stories.
I have touched upon three events that made up the excitement of this past year. The incredible number of events, whether they be national, regional, or neighborhood, in show in scope our hobby is doing well. Of course, there’re any number of changes that are on the horizon and, as any potential for change, those who are prepared will weather them well … others won’t.
What’s on the horizon? I can take a guess but that’s all it would be. But suffice it to say, electric hot rods are in our future and the list climbs from there. SRM
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