Read all about the 2002 edition of Americruise 10th anniversary, Mooneyes tour out of Southern California, brought to you by the experts at Custom Rodder Magazine.
A Cross Country Caravan to Americruise
From the February, 2009 issue of Custom Rodder
Strap yourself in and pack the cooler. We're taking you on a road trip! For the past nine years the crew at Rod & Custom has had nearly all the over-the-road fun thanks to Americruise--a series of tours leading to a weekend event in the middle of the country.
Well, we'd finally had enough! We went out and bought R&C's parent company so that we could participate in the shenanigans, too! Our master plan came to fruition in June '02 as staffers from CUSTOM RODDER, Street Rodder, and Classic Trucks joined the R&C boys on this annual cross-country parade. Needless to say, we had a blast.
The 2002 edition of Americruise consisted of six tours--well, make that five, as the RB's Obsolete leg was blended in with the Mooneyes Tour out of SoCal. Combine that with the Vintage Air Tour cruising up from Texas, the Classic Instruments crew coming down from Michigan, the Fatman Fabrications-led group out of North Carolina, and the Lokar Tour out of Tennessee, and a good portion of the country was covered.
If the following photos and tour reports don't make you want to get out and cruise your custom, check your pulse. Then, check the newsstand for the Americruise special issue and keep your eyes peeled for info on next year's tour. You'll be glad you did.
The Vintage Air Tour began...
The Vintage Air Tour began in San Antonio, TX, and wound its way north to Lincoln. Our fearless leader, Rick Love, had an eclectic selection of stops planned, ranging from a GM assembly plant to the Dr. Pepper museum. But, just to keep things interesting, he threw in a few surprises, like a tour of a private musclecar collection and a scenic side-trip over the oldest bridge in Oklahoma. Here, Wayne and Mary Ann Davis lead the adventurous pack in their big and bright '57 Buick wagon
Let the good times roll! Richard...
Let the good times roll! Richard and Vicki Hoose drove in from Hurst, TX, in their '50 Cadillac, dubbed "Nadine." The Coupe DeVille's lid was lowered 2 3/4 inches by David Guymon, and the running gear was updated with a 350ci Chevy with Vortec heads connected to a 700-R4 transmission and a Ford 9-inch rearend. Up front, late GM disc brakes have been adapted to the stock suspension
On the third day of our tour...
On the third day of our tour we stopped at Darryl Starbird's National Rod and Custom Car museum in Afton, OK. Not only did the Starbirds feed us lunch, but they gave us the run of the place, including an up close look at the latest projects.
Venturing across the American...
Venturing across the American West, the Mooneyes Tour covered five states in six days while racking up about 2,000 miles and at least as many smiles. We began in Southern California, headed north to San Francisco, then aimed the caravan east on Interstate 80, picking up around 40 vehicles at some point along the way. The '50s and '60s contingent was dominated by Tri-Five Chevys, but there were also some more eclectic rides, like Paul and Teresa Gissible's '50 Chevy convertible and Michael and Ruth Hunter's '65 Wildcat, shown here monopolizing the Interstate through Nevada (or is that Utah?).
Along the route to Lincoln...
Along the route to Lincoln more cars joined the Vintage Air tour, bringing the final tally to 42. Ron and Shirley Lowrimore from Hugo, OK, came along in their 289 and C4-equipped '51 Ford.
"Cute" is a word that most...
"Cute" is a word that most hot rodders loathe hearing, but there's no better description for Barry and Paula Stagner's little red '53 Willys Aero sedan. This one is built right, too, with a Mustang II IFS, 400ci small-block, mild customization (frenched lights, dechroming, etc.), and a comfy interior with Toyota buckets and a T-bird rear seat. "Unfortunately, this was our first time [on Americruise]," says the couple, who drove up from Houston and joined us in Wyoming. "But it won't be the last!"
Our trek from California to...
Our trek from California to Nebraska included stops at Roy Brizio Street Rods, Sanderson Headers, Flowmaster Mufflers, and Wyoming Technical Institute. A big highlight for many was stopping at the Bonneville Salt Flats on day three.
Twice as many doors and twice...
Twice as many doors and twice as much fun! Updated with an Olds 350/TH350 combo and moderate lowering, Evan Locke's '50 Cad is the epitome of a comfy cross-country cruiser. The hot licks over black suede serve as a promotional tool for Evan's Colorado Springs-based business, Fat Boyz Auto Body.
We've been cruising with "Pontiac...
We've been cruising with "Pontiac Bil" Haas (center seat) since the very first Americruise in 1993. He has driven his '57 Pontiac Starchief every single year. Since there was no tour leaving from the Northeast this year, Bil drove from Merrick, NY, down to Charlotte to cruise with the Southerners on the Fatman Fabrications Tour. The 350/350 combo in Bil's Poncho wakes right up when he gets on it--and the extended rear bumper makes a comfy picnic bench come chow time.
On day two of our three-day...
On day two of our three-day pilgrimage, we spent a few hours in Evansville, IN, home of the E'ville Iron Street Rods LTD club, the well-known Frog Follies street rod show, and the A-Plus Hot Rod Shop. The guys at A-Plus had a big buffet lunch and a slew of some of the premier local iron waiting for us when we showed up. We scrambled onto the closest trailer to shoot a portion of some of the cars on hand.
On day three we crossed Missouri....
On day three we crossed Missouri. It was getting flat, so we knew we were close to Lincoln. Bill Kings was driving the Mustang 5.0-packed '40 DeLuxe, followed by Dave Laney and Ken Harvey in Dave's '39 Chevy coupe and Jim and Tani Wallace in their homebuilt '34 Ford Tudor. That '49 Chevy Fleetline in the fast lane belongs to our tour leader, Brent Van Dervort from Fatman and runs a Caddy 500 mill. Sweet ride.
Gordon O'Steen is as tenacious...
Gordon O'Steen is as tenacious as they get. He's driven his '55 Chevy mild custom on Americruise all 10 times. The Little Rock, AR, resident is also a regular participant of Hot Rod's Power Tour and just can't seem to get enough seat time. This year, he joined up with the Lokar Tour, which kicked off in Knoxville, TN, and wound its way through Missouri before converging on Lincoln.