The Hot Rod Power Tour is now behind us but the memory lives on. Bret Voelkel summarizes one of the most important hotrodding events of the year:
“Well, the original plan was to do a daily update from the Hotrod Power Tour. That lasted until the second day when we were overcome by crowds, questions, getting to the next stop, and just general automotive nirvana!
It is continually amazes me that you can get 5,000 to 10,000 hotrodders to take off in the middle of the week to go to a place like Miami or Oklahoma [100 miles from anywhere you’ve ever hear of…] to look at a bunch of hotrods in the blazing sun and searing temperatures. On the other hand… why not?
We were driving the 2010 Camaro with our prototype struts and coilovers, and hauling our new 33 Ford with our motorhome and trailer. Both cars attracted their fair share of attention, the Camaro for its suspension and the 33 Ford for being new and, well, radical! I did endure a bit of “resistance” to the fact that I was hauling the 33 Ford instead of driving it. I accepted most of the “real hotrodders drive their cars” comments with a smile and a “God Bless”, but I did have to remind a couple of people that I really do have a significant history of driving my hotrods across the country. [anyone remember a orange and white blown 70 Pro Street Mustang that ran from LA to Detroit in '97?].
I was really looking forward to the Optima event on Friday at the Powertour at the Verizon Center in Arlington Texas. We had previously run the 33 in just a couple of autocross events with good success and wanted to see how our refinements had worked out. We were rewarded with a top 5 place in the autocross and a top 10 in the speed-stop challenge.
After the autocross we hung out at the motorhome [where we were staying anyway]. That had its own rewards too as we witnessed about 20,000 lovely Texas cowgirls make their way to the Eli Young concert that night at the Verizon Center! Texas girls LOVE hotrods!
The next morning we DROVE the 33 Ford and the Camaro out to Eagles Canyon Raceway, a distance of about 75 miles. The 33 drove well, but will certainly need some padding for the seat and a bit quieter gear in the rearend to be called “roadworthy”. On the track it was a different story. I am not ashamed to admit that I did not drive the car as fast as it would go…I drove it as fast and I would go! It needs a more aggressive brake pad and a rear spoiler…other than that, it is brutally fast! Not smoking the tires on corner exit was a conscious effort. The grip was great, the transitions were smooth and predictable, and, did I mention the power?
The best thing was we broke nothing…AND we were rewarded with 10th place out of 35 REALLY fast cars, including a highly prepped ZR1 Corvette from the Lou Gigliotti stable.
As I mentioned before, my son Andy accompanied us on the tour this year…this time less his mother and sister. Andy is not a die hard car guy…yet, but certainly enjoyed seeing the country from the bus as well as the social aspect of it all. He is all about “hanging out”! Look over the pictures and videos…I think we both had the best week of our lives. I know I did. ”
- Bret Voelkel
Photos from the Power Tour and Optima Faceoff:
Video: Ridetech 33 Ford at the 2012 Optima Ultimate Streetcar Qualifier Texas