Street rods rule in Louisville with the big one for NSRA Nationals
Words & Photos: Todd Ryden
We just wrapped up a solid four days at the 48th NSRA Street Rod Nationals surrounded by well over 10,000 street rods and thousands of enthusiasts. Quite a swing from when the first event hosted about 600 vehicles in Peoria, Illinois! This was the 23rd year for the Nationals to be held in Louisville and the entire city gets behind hosting the show.
Not only were there thousands of cars to comb through, buy inside the Expo Center were nearly 400 vendors and manufacturers displaying the latest in gearhead parts, tools and components. Having the manufacturers on hand is the best way to learn about new products as well as the technology and the right way to setup and use the components. If you’re shopping for rod parts, there’s just no better place to come!
Speaking of new products, our congratulations to Advanced Plating for being honored with the NSRA Company of the Year, to CAL Custom Automotive and winning the Elite Builder of the Year award (which is voted on by 40 different builders), to Joe Petlick of Motorstate Distributing who was named Person of the Year, and to the New Product winners: Watson StreetWorks, Dakota Digital, Cooling Components, and Brookville Roadster.
If you haven’t been to an NSRA event in a while, you really need to check one out again. There’s a great swap meet and recently they added an autocross event to test out your rod, or just sit back and watch the action. This year, the SEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance hosted 12 technical seminars brought to you by some of the top names in the industry. The HRIA also presented their Pinewood Builders Challenge where builders and manufacturers pull out all the stops and create the most advanced pinewood racers you’ll ever see. Better yet, these cars are raffled off later in the fall (at the SEMA show) to raise money for the SEMA Cares Charity foundation.
As you can tell, there’s a lot more to the NSRA Nationals than just hot rods. Also, if you think it’s just a bunch of street rods, think again. The NSRA allows vehicles that are 30 years old and prior, so these days it’s not rare to see a Grand National sitting next to a ’32 roadster. We spied loads of great looking square bodies, mid ’70’s Monte Carlos and Grand Ams, and a lot more. Be sure to check out their schedule to find one near you.