No matter what car niche you roll in, sooner or later you'll begin to realize just how small it is. Travelling to events, you'll rack up friends across the country and start running into them in all sorts of places - it's awesome. Which is how I came to know Mike Nicholas, we were both out at the Bonneville Salt Flats for Speedweek - me taking pictures and he in his Shoebox Ford. Many may have just dismissed his cut-up old car, but I knew that a patina-sectioned Shoebox was something special. A relationship was sparked between us - and for Mike, that Shoebox opened up a rabbit trail into the world of hotrodding.
We've already told the story of the Hot Rod Hill Climb and how Mike resurrected the 60-year-old race in 2013, this Reliability Run is an addition to that weekend's activities that is just another excuse to get out, drive, and spark more of those relationships that add to the camaraderie in the hot rodding world.
Originally from Colorado, but living in So Cal now, it was nice to get back to Colorado roads with much more scenery and much less people. The Hill Climb's Reliability Run made the most of these roads and was not for the faint of heart. Over in California, many hot rodders may think twice before taking a drive up in the mountains - with carbureted engines affected by elevation and drum brakes that get tired on steep downgrades - but this didn't seem to phase these folks.
Starting at Morrison, just on the outskirts of Denver, the route took us through five checkpoints from Golden to Georgetown. I had my doubts that it was even going to happen come the morning of, it was just 30 degrees out with snow coming down - unheard of at this time of year. About 20 cars were there to start out, proving that they weren't afraid to drive their cars, with more people meeting up as the day went on. In addition to the stop points, hosted by various car clubs and local hot rod shops, road-goers could stop at various picture spots, museums, and a lunch stop.
The Deton8tors, Early Ford V8 Club, Denver Roadsters, Boulder Timing Association, Timberline Timers, Coloradans, DeLuxe Speed Shop, Colorado Springs Rod & Custom, and Nick's Garage were all fabulous hosts and made you feel welcome wherever you came from. It was an awesome day of getting out and driving in not-to-be-beat scenery with not-to-be-beat folks! See you there next year!