Every year when the open house rolls around we always speculate at how big of a turnout we will have. Like anyone holding an event, you hope for a record turnout, but you are never quite sure how the attendance will be until the event is actually over. Year after year we always think, “that is probably as big as it’s going to get”, but if hosting the open house has taught us anything it is that it can always get bigger. This year was no exception.
Although the event traditionally doesn’t start until 4pm, people were already starting to arrive as early as 2pm this year. By the time of the official start the event you could hardly see the parking lot or the field in front of our facility. From 4pm until around 7pm the place was packed with a steady flow of car show participants and members of the hot rod industry. However, it is a safe bet that some of the early arrivers were just trying to make sure they got one of the gift bags available to the first 200 participants. Who could blame them? Most bags this year were stocked with hats, t-shirts, and other gearhead oriented goodies from some of our preferred vendors.
However, gift bags were not the only reason people were eager to attend, many were ready to chow down on Nashville style barbecue from Whitt’s and jambalaya by Cajun Kenny. The past couple of years we have been treated to Cajun Kenny serving up jambalaya, which has been a great addition to the meal and a popular choice of those in attendance. The food is always a good indication of how much the event grows each year. It seems like we always order more food year after year and still run out by the end of the evening.
The hospitality and entertainment didn’t end there. This year we were fortunate enough to get The Bart Walker Band to come out and perform for the crowd. If you have never heard of Bart Walker you will want to check out his music. He is an incredible guitar player and together with his band they create incredible rocking blues music. There seemed to always be a crowd of people gathered around the stage in awe of his skills. The sounds of The Bart Walker Band were the perfect soundtrack for viewing all the cars in the parking lot as well as the feature cars within our facility.
This year’s feature cars showcased an impressive array of award winners all equipped with finishes by Advanced Plating. The group was headlined by a couple of Great Eight Ridler Award finalists, Dan Duffy with his 1956 Chevrolet 210 built by Tommy Manner and Rocky Boler with his 1933 Ford 5-window coupe built by Creative Rod and Kustom. Also front and center was America’s Most Beautiful Roadster contender Ronnie and Debra Goodwin with their 1932 Ford Roadster built by Street Rods by Michael. However the gallery of rides didn’t stop there. Lokar brought out their Goolsby Custom’s built 1969 Camaro convertible, which was the 2013 Goodguy’s Muscle Machine of the Year, while Carrie Strange of Strange Motion showed off her 1964 Chevrolet Corvair she and her husband Tim built. Furthermore, our own Steve and Sheri Tracy had a couple of their cars on display including Sheri’s 1955 Chevrolet 210 Wagon built by Larry Griffey Hot Rods and Restoration, as well as Steve Tracy, Chip Gerber, and Gene Gerber’s Salt Flat’s Lakester built by Syclone Motorsports.
In addition to the incredible array of feature cars the last major facet of this year’s open house was the shop tours. This year, just as in years past, we had four of our skilled technician’s walk groups through the facility to see just what everyone’s parts go through start to finish. Not only is this highly informative, but it also allows everyone to see just how much work goes into the restoration of a part before chrome plating.
At the end of the event it was hard to believe it was already over, but it was nice to know that all of the hard work and preparation had paid off. To all who attended, thank you for coming out to the event and checking out our facility. If you were unable to make the event this year, we hope you will be able join us next year. Until then, here are some photos from this year’s event for your viewing pleasure.