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Power Tour

2014 Power Tour - Day 1

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Welcome back to our coverage of the 2014 Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour. Today saw us kick things off at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina.

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After a very late night and an early start Shane needed his Starbuck’s fix and I just needed a nap. Just some me time, to reboot and recharge. Know what I mean?

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Since it is the twentieth anniversary of the Tour, Mr. Hot Rod and resident Road Killer, David Freiburger took time out of the driver’s meeting to interview this guy. He’s been on nearly every leg of every Power Tour. Now that’s a long hauler. And his beard game is on point to boot.

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This guy is trying to cram ten pounds of stuff into an eight-pound trunk. Truly an art to making it all fit!

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Hey you, on the right, get your act together and get a Mothers shirt!

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As we left Charlotte, today’s route took us through some beautifully windy

two-lane roads on a 233.3-mile mega leg to Knoxville, Tennessee.

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Just one of the beautiful views we were treated to today.

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Thanks to Forrest, you can see how we get our pictures on the road. It ain’t pretty squeezing my plus-sized frame out of a passenger window, but whatever it takes to get the shot, as they say.

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Here’s our own Jim Holloway stretching the legs on Mom’s ZR1. Not shown is Ken Holland, because he didn’t come this year. Suddenly, the Tour no longer makes sense to me. For shame, Ken. For shame.

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Hello, Steen and Hunter. This Chevelle makes the most wonderful noises out on the road. Much preferred over the noises my body was making after last night.

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This one is glorious. Forrest tells me it’s a Studebaker Hawk GT. If Forrest had to guess, he would say it’s a ’63. I would say it’s bitchin’ and blue.

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We spotted Bill and Connie Rainey’s yellow turbo Pinto last year on the Tour. This year we saw their orange Pinto on the road. This one belongs to Connie and it was salvaged from the junkyard (no jokes, people!). If you think the exterior is clean…

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Check out the engine bay!

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This guy with this positively shagadelic silver Pinto wagon runs with our friends Bill and Connie Rainey. Oh, behave!

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You’re welcome.

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We saw Larry Freed’s ’82 Checker taxi out on the road. But what’s that poking out

of the hood?

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Oh, nothing special, just a 427 with dual Holleys perched atop a Weiand high-rise intake manifold.

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As with any road trip full bladders and empty stomachs and fuel tanks necessitate stops.

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So we made a run for the border (and the restrooms!). This is Rich and Paige Udell’s sexy ZR1.

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Our friend Kevin Byrd also brought his BMW E30 M3 with perfectly sacrilegious LS swap.

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Meanwhile, our own Jim Holloway and Shane Christman set to work applying our official Power Tour support vehicle signage.

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Instead of helping I chose to take pictures of Forrest taking pictures. Now that’s some Inception stuff right there.

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For lunch, we went to Cracker Barrel and aged a few years waiting for a table. So we got up and left.

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And then we drove 40 miles down the road to another Cracker Barrel. This is Shane and the one and only Matthew Boice from Hot Rod. Matt bought Shane a couple of large blue-balled suckers. I’ll exercise a little self-restraint and resist the urge to comment any further.

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My, what big melons you have, Jim.

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After 233 hard miles (and a refreshing nap for yours truly), we all made it safely to Knoxville’s Chilhowee Park. Well, all of us except for Ken Holland that is. Alas, poor Ken, we hardly knew him.

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At Chilhowee Park our Big Rig crew was busy as always.

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Such a great venue for a Tour stop.

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This is Lime Crush, a ’66 Suburban built by Roadster Shop and Mr. Gasket. It was one of our 2013 Mothers Polish Choice Award winners and for good reason.

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Wanna win Hot Rod’s Drag Week? You’ll need something like this. Tom Bailey’s Project SICK Second ’69 Camaro with a twin-turbocharged Brodix 615ci mill good for six-second quarter-mile passes all while logging more than 1,000 miles in a week. So money.

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This is Sta-Bil’s ’71 Camaro built by Jared Zimmerman and Lou Santiago, the hosts of Velocity’s CarFix. It features an LS3 with a Tremec T-56 six-speed manual and you can actually win it!

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We spotted Rutledge Wood signing autographs in the Magnaflow booth.

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Up close with Hot Rod’s Crusher Camaro.

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Take a look at this beast!

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Hey look, it’s Magnaflow’s Rich Waitas and he’s driving a Lucra with an LS3.

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Antron Brown’s DragQuoia was parked nonchalantly in the Chilhowee lot.

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I know this will be a great video. I know this because the producer is wearing a pink shirt. Hey, it’s science.

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While not a common sight on the Power Tour, this Outlaw Carrera still struck a chord with many of the fans in the outer lots.

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Another odd duck that caught our eye was this very clean BMW 2002tii.

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It’s a crime to put something so nice in such close proximity to the Andy Gumps!

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I believe this is what Larry the Cable Guy would refer to as gittin’ r done.

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Our friends own this clean Maverick. I’m running the image because we like the car, but also because they might have bore witness to some of our shenanigans the night prior. Consider this shot hush money, if you will.

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Butch Leedy’s ’74 Cuda grabbed our attention with its ’09 Viper Snake Green Pearl paint and 528 Hemi Indy crate motor.

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You say pota-to, I say po-tato. Torino, Javelin, let’s call the whole thing off. What must Huggy Bear think of this?

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I’m at odds with this Tri Five Chevy. Part of me wants to like the car for the shaved body molding; the other hates the look sans signature moldings.

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Oh so minty.

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These guys had the right idea. The tailgate turned up to 11. I’ll take mine medium rare with bacon please.

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I really liked this smoothed ’62 Impala and the tag piqued my interest even more.

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And the engine bay backed up the claim on the tag. Very clean installation.

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GeeTO Tiger, rawr!

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This Screaming Chicken Indy pace car ushered in the eighties in the best way ever.

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The Chevy Motor Medics were on the job helping Tour goers, no matter what make car they drive.

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This is Heather, the Hot Rod bartender (yes, they have their own bartender). We sponsored her today, so you can say that’s Heather’s been brought to you courtesy of Mothers. And with that, we’ll leave you until tomorrow, when we’ll travel a whopping 301 miles to Charleston, West Virginia. That will make for some good naptime for yours truly.

Click here to see even more great images from Day 1!

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