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Power Tour

2018 Power Tour - Day 0

Like a fighter dancing around before the bell, a little dog about to go on a walk, or even me about to sip on my first drink of the night (or, let's be honest, the day), we're champing at the bit with the prospect of kicking off yet another Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour. Before we could head to the kickoff party venue, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast. Well, that is to say, Forrest and I enjoyed a hearty breakfast, while Shane did his Whole30 body good with an overpriced Cold Brew and some fresh fruit. I had fresh fruit too, I just put mine atop a stack of buttermilk pancakes. At least, I think I had fresh fruit as it was tough to make it out under the dollop or six of whipped cream. My idea of the Whole30 diet is to pack on thirty pounds during the Tour. This year, our kickoff party took place at Bowling Green's garden destination, Beach Bend Raceway Park, which happens to be part of the oh-so amusing Beach Bend Amusement Park. Hot Rods AND rollercoasters in one place? Consider me happier than a fat kid (or me) eating cake. While Shane wanted to hit the water slide, I refused to subject myself to the ensuing humiliation - and resulting shame spiral - that would come from standing next to him with our shirts off. There isn't enough cake on earth to cheer me up after that kind of spectacle. And while you may argue that cake is what continues to get me into these sorts of jams, I'd counter that jam slathered atop cake feels so right. Enough of my jam cake fantasies (and pie, because that's the stuff dreams are made of), it's time to get this kickoff party started. As usual, our Big Rig crew with Jonathan Stone at the helm was hard at work serving the many Tour goers who visited our area. And much like every year at the Tour, we unveiled a new shirt design. Best part is, they're only $5! Unless, of course, you want a XXL, in which case the price goes up to $10. I'd better watch my unhealthy obsession with jam cake and pie, otherwise I'm going to eat my way into a $10 t-shirt. This year we brought a very special 1970 Chevelle, but I'm not worthy enough to describe this one, so I'll let Forrest take it from here. "The Chevelle was the last car Al (Barbara’s husband, and our founder) built before he passed away in 1992. Mondo-torque city. Gary threw some 3.0 gears in the back, and freshened up the belts, hoses, tires, and brakes. What could go wrong? SS with bench seat and auto on the column – it’s a bit unusual, but really is a nice cruiser. And it's still rockin’ those billet rims that are older than some of the long haulers." Thanks, Forrest, couldn't have said it better myself, which is exactly why I asked you for help. Speaking or help, you wouldn't happen to have any cake with you? I can only take so much of Shane's Whole30-compliant road trip snacks. In keeping with Big Al's legacy, we brought our usual band of troublemakers back on Tour. Brian and Janet Thomson are returning with their Chevelle SS with a tire-melting 950hp LSX engine complete with a fresh coat of brilliant red paint. Our buddy Steen Gilbertson is also back (much to the apparent chagrin of Mrs. Steen), along with his number one son, Hunter (well, his only son, but still number one to us!) . Don't worry, Mrs. Steen, we will not cajole Steen into melting any tires with his fly yellow 572 Chevelle SS (unless he gets me a slice of cake, then all bets are off). And we have a new player in the mix this year, in the form of the 757hp Callaway Corvette AeroWagen. It's the shooting brake I deserve, but not the one I need right now (mainly because the larger cargo area is still not enough to handle my cake game). Our Shelby Terlingua Mustang is also back in the mix again. And of course, there's Charley Lillard and his Mark Stielow-built pro touring Hellfire Camaro complete with an LS9 drivetrain. As one does. I love nice cars and nice people (and a nice piece of cake), and Keith and Weslia Echols check two out of three of those boxes (nobody's perfect). This is their Pratt & Miller-built Camaro... and their Weaver Customs-built "Acacia" Caprice. Both owners and both rides are so nice! Let's face it, our Power Tour coverage wouldn't be the same if it wasn't for the longest hauler of them all - our own walking, talking legend, Forrest Tosie. How many Power Tours have there been? Ask Forrest, because he's been on every single one of 'em. This year, Forrest shocked the Power Tour power players, glitterati and fashionistas with this bold, brash and altogether insouciant Eddie Bauer number. It's a sun shirt that doubles as jaunty jacket, and in a pinch could even stand in as an artisanal pottery smock. Ask not where the future of the Power Tour is, because Forrest has it draped across his big, beautiful shoulders. The Shelby Terlingua and Callaway AeroWagen aren't enough for our own caution cone orange-clad superstar, Jim Holloway, so he picked up a couple of these folding e-bikes. But the siren call of the hi-po Terlingua is too much for Jim to resist and he jumped right back into the Mustang's saddle. Right after Shane extracted the e-bike saddle from Jim's nether regions. Sometimes those little bikes choose to fold up at the most inopportune moments. Jim went as quick as a 10.8 quarter in the AeroWagen. This calls for a celebration. We'll just need some cake. The team at HP Tuners brought out this scary fast diesel drag Dodge. This thing put on a coal rolling clinic. While we're on the subject of mean trucks, Pro Mater here laid down an 1/8-mile long set of elevens. I often find myself at odds with various members of my immediate family over the last piece of cake. I imagine this feud has much of the same implications, though it probably won't result with a fork in my cousin's hand in the end. This 911 Turbo S won my respect with an 11.5-second blast. You know what else I respect? A good piece of cake (c'mon, you can't say you didn't see that coming). The Magnuson supercharged Camaro went from the drag strip to autocross, complete the chute still attached... while our own Jim Holloway tore up the course from behind the wheel of the AeroWagen. Really loved this panel van from Strange Motion presented by Royal Purple. And I really, really loved this. What is it? That's a good question, right up there with, "May I have another piece of cake?" This is a Vega IMSA widebody, owned by Byron Burnham and built by The A-Team Restorations in Bend, Oregon. It's powered by a 550hp Don Hardy Race Engines LS3 with Hilborn fuel injection. And yes, that's an Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational number panel on the door. So much want for this one! I am so going to crush that rock paper scissors tourney on Friday. Trust me, I've got a system. Always love seeing this one on Tour, even though I don't have the feathered mullet, eight-track collection, and flared denim required to own something this boss. Raise your hand if you like cake too! See, I'm not alone here. I was so close to Goldilocksing this set up, because the bed of this truck is just right. Okay, buddy, now you're just showing off, although I do wish I could power nap through the Power Tour like his friend. Wake me when it's over, Shane! Only sharing this because he asked if I wanted a picture of his little red wagon. I'm just thankful that wasn't code for anything. So what if the Chevy Performance crew brought out this sick Shot Over Rig. What I lack in gear I make up for with a ton of moxie!!! See that, triple exclamation points. That enough moxie for you? Not sure if moxie will help get the valve cover back on, but I'm willing to give it a shot!!! I'm game as long as I don't have to eat the sandwich the dog wee'd on. Another wagon, this one a '59, much like our Special Delivery with just a little bit more patina and a little less polish. Our Callaway AeroWagen is the spiritual successor to this, the Hurst Hauler and quite possibly, my spirit animal. Because David Starsky's Grand Torino is what they'd expect you to bring. When they zig, you grab another piece of cake when they're not looking. Look at it this way, only six days and 1260 miles to go. Tomorrow we’ll be headed to Chattanooga State Community College in Tennessee, but only because that cake is the only ten I see. I'm working without a net here! Annette being the waitress at the diner with the very best pie. Okay, I'll stop now. In the meantime, please enjoy our gallery of pics from the kickoff party here. John Naderi for Mothers® Polishes•Waxes•Cleaners