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  • Writer's pictureDean Hempel

30th Annual Hot Rod Power Tour -- 2024

Another summer road trip with the Hot Rod Power Tour is in the books.  As we share this, the 30th annual trek around the backroads of America with long time and new made friends, the Power Tour for 2024 is now memory.  Now we didn’t say ‘good’ or ‘bad’ memory because it’s every lesson of life rolled into one week. 

Car people from every cross section of life come together for a week to share their experience.  We typically are what is known as the ‘Long Hauler Gang’ where we make the entire trip.  The old days saw 7 cities in 7 days and now it takes in 5 cities in 5 days.  Likely because of the travel days to get to the starting city and then home from the last city.  This year we could only make the first two days due to scheduling and travel distance from our base in East Tennessee. 

There’s no class or model year specification for entry…  just street legal.  Most of the venues for each day are drive early in the day and arrive at the next city; socialize, work on the car, eat, sleep, and repeat.  Day one usually starts the day before with early registration and credentials for vendors and car registrants.  Day one is a longer day with the main venue open from 9 am till 6 pm.  Registrants then gather around town and at the hotels for fun while the vendors pack up and drive to the Day two venue with a sleep somewhere enroute.  Day two through Day five are a little different.  Drivers on the tour meet up and follow the route to the next city in the morning.  Some like being in the pack with all the other cars while some want to be first and others last.  No matter what your preference is, you’ll be in some traffic jams. Once arriving at the venue, you head for the Long Hauler tent to get your card punched.  Then visit the vendor midway for their product and service freebies and tech talk. 

The Power Tour should be about the personal relationships that you make with other car enthusiasts.  You’ll be sure to find folks with great interests to share and relate with. Every aspect of automobiles/trucks is represented.  The great part we noticed was the tradition of family and generations of participants who make this their annual event.  Taking the time to be together and enjoying the scenes along the way… “Americana”.

So, if the Hot Rod Power Tour is on your bucket list, make sure you take some time to read through the experiences of other participants.  Some will be quite negative with complaints about something or other.  Some will be praises about how great things are.  One thing for sure is that it will be different next time.  Having a good running car doesn’t mean you’ll be without incident, but follow the OLD Boy Scout motto and “Be Prepared”.

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