As car people, we spend countless hours and endless numbers of dollars on our street machines. What’s the best thing about them? Putting them to use of course! While we drive our autos to work, school and play, it’s sometimes nice to get out on the open road. Even better, gather together with a few friends and see what adventures lie ahead on a road tour.
This brings me to The Runabout. Some friends from North County San Diego, hot rodders like myself, decided to bring together like-minded individuals in their area and head out on a road tour. No car shows, no BS, just getting in your car and doing what cars do best – hitting the open road.
Russ and Justin ended up organizing a get together with 30 of the nicest traditional cars in the area.
Being one of the privileged individuals to join in on this drive-centric day, I swear it was the largest collection of ‘36 Fords I’d seen together in a really long time. It was invite only and you had to show up ready for anything. These boys are a bit of loose cannons and you never know what they have in store for you.
Arriving at Russ’ family house in Vista, California brought back a bunch of memories for me. The area seems to be full of farms and orchards, but in actuality it’s a hot bed for hot rodding and drag racing. A sparse area filled with wonderment and beautiful sights, no wonder these people flock there to do what they do. The run was set to go through 80 miles of some of the nicest country North County has to offer.
Special stops to get apple pie in Julian (famous for it)…
…and a quick song on the Jukebox at the Hideaway. It took the better part of the morning to get through all the stops and long winding roads, but no one was in a rush. Everyone was just amped to get in their cars and roll.
I hopped in with my land speed buddy Jim and his girl Des. We roared through the canyons in his ‘32 sedan living the lap of luxury, otherwise known as Jim’s back seat.
His ’32 Ford is hopped up, but not with a V8. Maintaining it’s stock Model B 4-banger from way back in ’32. It didn’t miss a beat and left quite a few behind us playing catch up.
There's just something special about being out in the world. You against the white lines and fading images in the rear view mirror.
When we hit Julian we really had a chance to stretch our legs and get to talk to one another. I ran into my old friend, Rockabilly Jesus, and his girl sitting in his newly purchased ‘36 3-window. We highlighted the finer points of chopping the car. He felt it was too nice to cut up, and I agreed that it was but assured him all the same that it would be a perfect candidate for losing a few inches here and there. When doing a chop, its always good to start with the nicest possible car body, making the job that much easier.
As we played follow the leader with Justin in his ‘31 coupe, Russ followed up the rear in his ‘56 Chevy shop truck acting as a support vehicle. The bed was filled to the brim with everything from a spare white wall to points and condensers, just to get you back on the road in case someone broke down.
Turns out the only person who needed anything was Russ himself! Down the road from Julian he blew an airbag line and had to do a roadside repair to the so-called support truck…at least he had everything needed to do it with! Although the chase truck had an issue, there wasn't another breakdown and everyone was able to get through the 80 mile drive to the finish.
At the end, food, drinks and bands were waiting for us at Justin’s. Of course plenty more bench rodding and gum flapping with friends transgressed.
Why can’t everyday be this nice, I wonder? Perhaps it can. Gather some friends and head out on some cool roads around your area, we sometimes forget what cars are all about. Having fun on the road and enjoying what you've worked so hard for is what it’s all about.