Check out the coverage of the 2006 Americruise car show featuring rods and customs from across the country - Custom Rodder Magazine
2006 Americruise Car Show - Cruisin Again
Checkin' out the customs of Americruise
From the January, 2007 issue of Custom Rodder
Author: Damon Lee
Photography: Jim Aust, Kevin Lee, Nick Licata, Tim Bernsau
It's easy for publications to preach about enjoying rods and customs out on the road, but it's a much bigger undertaking to actually do something about it. Our friends over at Rod & Custom put their money where their mouths were in the early 1990s by creating Americruise, a summer event where more than half the fun was caravanning down the road to get there.
Enthusiasts across the country responded by making Americruise a successful annual happening for more than 10 years. The event went on temporary hiatus a few years ago, but returned in 2006 with renewed enthusiasm and a fresh perspective. Two tours were organized: a West Coast leg, sponsored by TCI Automotive, that left from Southern California; and an East Coast jaunt, sponsored by Air Ride Technologies, that originated at Fatman Fabrications in North Carolina. Both meandered their way across the land in late July to a familiar Americruise destination: Lincoln, Nebraska.
Unfortunately, the Custom Rodder editorial staff was unable to participate in either tour-maybe next year. However, we did have official Primedia photographers at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds the weekend of July 28-30, scouting out some of the coolest '50s and '60s cruisers among the more-than 1,500 registered vehicles. Besides the usual showin' and shinin', this year's Americruise had an autocross course and other participatory events set up to help make sure driving was a focal point of the event. It looked like a fun time with some cool cars. Check out the photos and see if you don't agree.
Jim Meyers' '57 Chevy Bel...
Jim Meyers' '57 Chevy Bel Air was originally customized in the early '60s with a '57 Buick grille, canted '58 Edsel headlights, and '60 Chrysler taillights. Jim remembered it from back in the day, tracked it down, bought it, and rebuilt it with a few modern touches like Intro wheels and beige upholstery.
A new twist to the 2006 Americruise...
A new twist to the 2006 Americruise was an autocross course where participants could test their driving abilities and their cars' agility. Bruce Hartford's small-block-powered '62 Falcon is shown here navigating the cones.
Driving events were also part...
Driving events were also part of Rod & Custom's Rod of the Year and Custom of the Year contests. This is Jerry and Marilyn Stephens' '51 Nash Rambler showing its braking prowess in the Go & Whoa competition. The silver bullet sports a Chevy LT1 V-8, custom frame, and Air Ride Technologies suspension.
Jim Hatcher's two-seat T-bird...
Jim Hatcher's two-seat T-bird looked sharp with flawless black paint, shaved emblems, and custom aluminum grilles. Its performance was potent, too, thanks to a supercharged small-block Ford V-8.
The eventual Custom of the...
The eventual Custom of the Year winner was Gary Kuck's '60 Corvette, built by Dale Boesch. A thoroughly modern chassis with independent front and rear suspensions, big disc brakes, and an LS1 mill complements the frameless windshield and smooth black body.
Mike Reh recognized the clean...
Mike Reh recognized the clean lines his '56 Plymouth hardtop got from the factory, so he simply smoothed them off by shaving the trim and applying a paint treatment mimicking a Fury model. Speaking of fury, there's a Torqueflite-backed 354ci Hemi turning those Intro wheels.
Yeah, it's been around for...
Yeah, it's been around for years, and you've probably seen it before, but R.J. Frizell's '58 Impala is always worth another look. Built by Doug Thompson, this sweet mild custom has all the proper period touches-tube grille, tasteful scallops, and chrome-reverse wheels. We wouldn't change a thing.
Longtime Custom Rodder contributor...
Longtime Custom Rodder contributor (and the editor's pappy) John Lee dusted off his flamed '65 Chrysler New Yorker and cruised it around the fairgrounds.
Hey, we dig trucks, too! We...
Hey, we dig trucks, too! We didn't get a name on the slammed 'n' sublime F-100, but we know the '64 Chevy belongs to Kansas' master of subtlety, Roger Ward.
Whenever Americruise comes...
Whenever Americruise comes to Lincoln, Speedway Motors throws a Saturday night party where enthusiasts can hang out, show off their rides a little more, chow down on tasty food, and tour the fantastic Smith Collection museum.
This clean '57 Chevy two-door...
This clean '57 Chevy two-door wagon was spied in the Speedway Motors lot Saturday night, looking sharp with shaved trim and handles, a louvered hood, a turquoise-and-white spray, and tasteful 10-spoke Intro rollers.
Gary Wakehouse won a Custom...
Gary Wakehouse won a Custom Rodder Top 10 pick several years ago with his beautiful blue '58 Impala. Since then, he's updated it with frenched '59 Pontiac taillights, a ribbed decklid, and other subtle-but-cool body mods. It still has a three-carb 348 under the hood.
Station wagons are still cool,...
Station wagons are still cool, especially when they're as slick and clean as this Chevy II.