For the last 25 years hot rods, muscle cars, and street machines have gathered by the thousands each year for a test of man, machine, and the open road: The Hot Rod Power Tour.
If you haven’t run the Tour before, taking a favorite classic car across the country can raise some questions and eyebrows.
So what’s it really take to run the Tour?
For starters, check out the below video of a $1,000 Pontiac Firebird running 2019 Hot Rod Power Tour through breakdowns, rain, and some of the best times a person can have without the cops getting called…
It doesn’t take a particular kind of car or truck to run the tour — everything from supercharged street sweepers down to bone stock barn finds run the route every year. You’re going to see cracked paint, sedans, cheap tires, and Mexican blanket upholstery work pasted all over the lot at every stop.
The point is about driving your car, seeing new parts of America, and meeting more people that make being a car person so good.
Here’s one that nobody tells you: breaking down can be a really good time.
Whether it’s a routine flat tire, an unexpected failure, or the result of getting goaded into one of the tour’s epic hotel parking burnout contests, things break.
Invariably, total strangers will stop to loan time, tools, expertise, and even their own parts to keep you going. Some of the best friends and times on the Tour are people you didn’t know in places you’d never planned to be at 3 am.
The Tour is much more than 7 parking lots too. Hot Rod goes the extra mile to scope out museums, roadside attractions, and cool local spots to get sandwiches and ice cream along the route.
Many of the stops on the tour include track rentals to run down the quarter-mile or try a hand at autocross during the day — that is if the back roads and manual steering haven’t worn you out already.
It can be done pretty cheaply, too. Sure, you’ll spend an extra $20 a day to fuel your dinosaur and it’s a few dollars a day to register for the week, but there’s no wrong way to run it.
While the cheapest hotels go pretty early, plenty of folks running the Tour try out local camping spots, AirBnb, or pick spots a few miles into the next day’s route for better rates and a chance at sleeping in.
So is Power Tour for you?
If you’re more worried about rock chips, melted plug wires, or saving it for the next guy, best keep it under the tarp and watch it all on Youtube later.
If feeling like Burt Reynolds, taking the back roads or enjoying your old car with new people sounds like a good time to you, then pack your good Zip-Ties and a spare screwdriver…
A Look Back at the 2019 HOT ROD Power Tour from Chevrolet Performance
The 2019 HOT ROD Power Tour covered seven cities in seven days and featured more than 6,000 vehicles on the weeklong road trip. Chevrolet Performance served as the presenting sponsor and was there for every step of the 1,500-mile journey. Take a look back at the stunning builds and interesting people on tour…
The 2020 Hot Rod Power Tour
When: June 7–June 13, 2020
Where: Summit Motorsports Park, OH to Alliant Energy Center, WI
The 26th HOT ROD Power Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance will continue in 2020 with exciting new features for auto enthusiasts worldwide, as the highly anticipated seven-day, seven-city journey is expected to bring together more than 6,000 vehicles and 100,000-plus spectators making this event the largest traveling car-show in the world!
The full list of 2020 HOT ROD Power Tour stops will include:
- KICKOFF on Sunday, June 7: Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio
- Monday, June 8: Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Dayton, Ohio
- Tuesday, June 9: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis
- Wednesday, June 10: World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, St. Louis
- Thursday, June 11: State Farm Center, Champaign, Ill.
- Friday, June 12: Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, Davenport, Iowa
- FINALE on Saturday, June 13: Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wisc.