Are you tough? Is your ride tough? Are you willing to test your limits to discover just what you’re made of? If you’re in search of the ultimate proving grounds for gearheads and their dream rides, then buckle up because HOT ROD Power Tour 2018 is approaching. And we’ve got answers to some of your burning questions.
What is HOT ROD Power Tour?
For nearly a quarter of a century HOT ROD Power Tour has been caravanning across the greatest nation on earth. What began as a humble attempt to increase enthusiast participation at the magazine’s Power Festivals has since turned into a much-anticipated and beloved event, attended by thousands. All across the country, car lovers prepare their rides to participate in a tour that spans over 1,500 miles through seven states across seven days. It is a grueling test of craftsmanship, driving, and endurance.
So, why do it?
Mark Storjohann of Edelbrock has attended every Power Tour since 2007, both in his own vehicle as a long hauler and as a rep for Edelbrock. “When you experience a hardship on Power Tour, when you experience the heat and the long days—it gives you a sense of accomplishment. Almost like a victory in battle,” says Storjohann.
If you’re itching for more details, this summer’s road trip “will take over the highways and by-ways of the southeast … running from Tennessee, all the way down to Georgia, and [then] back up to North Carolina … winding through a 1,000-plus-mile route,” according to HOT ROD Network. If that sounds tough, that’s because it is. But Storjohann is quick to reassure us: “It’s like being Rocky at the top of the steps. Having that long hauler sticker on your car: that’s a medal. It’s something you’ll never forget.” It’s an opportunity to ride alongside thousands of the best cars and prove that you’ve got what it takes to be there.
Who will be there?
And speaking of the best, a lot of big names attend this event each year. This year Roadkill’s Mike Finnegan, Flying Spark’s Emily Williams, and Sam Madhavi of Sam’s Garage are all on deck. Each will have their time on the main stages which are sponsored by none other than FiTech Fuel Injection. Other notable sponsors you may have heard of are Mothers, Edelbrock, Painless Wiring, Optima Batteries, and QA1—just to name a few. And some exciting live appearances are set for the stages including Caleb and the Gents, Neal Duke, and Brooke McBride.
Each year HOT ROD Power Tour gets bigger and bigger. In fact, this year over 6,000 vehicles and a staggering 100,000 spectators are expected to attend. “It’s just awe-inspiring to see all those hot rods in that density,” comments Storjohann. And while the legendary names are an exciting addition, the real backbone of the tour is made up of the cars and their drivers. Another thing to feel good about when you sign up for the biggest road trip in America.
What if something goes wrong?
So, you want to see the cars and you want to see the cities—but maybe you’re nervous about breaking down. (Which, honestly, is highly likely.) “When something happens, typically, on the Power Tour, you’ve got a swarm of people that you’ve never met—you don’t even know their names as they’re pulling up—that just go so far out of their way to help you,” says Storjohann.
It’s not something anyone wants to experience, but if it happens, you won’t be on your own. Chevrolet Performance even offers the assistance of on-site techs to help stuck riders get back on the road. And HOT ROD Network offers plenty of tips on their website for participants, including this prep list for those taking the tour.
A Shared Passion
Perhaps the best part about the HOT ROD Power Tour is that every single participant is sharing and celebrating the same passion. A passion that drives its enthusiasts, both literally and figuratively, to new places with new people. Everyone is welcome—Ford fans, Mopar Nuts, Chevy lovers, and import enthusiasts all fill the roster. Last year, HOT ROD Network was delighted to see a solar car joining the fun. Participants are enthusiastic and everyone involved is ready to lend a hand, share stories, and make memories. The only question left is: when are you signing up?