For the 12th time, street rod enthusiasts from around the globe visited Louisville, Kentucky, and the Kentucky Exposition Center for the world's biggest street rod party, the NSRA Street Rod Nationals. The event, which has topped 10,000 registered vehicles for all of its visits to Louisville, was in no way a disappointment to the tens of thousands of spectators that came to enjoy the one-of-a-kind display of pre-1949 vehicles.
One of the most obvious differences this year over previous visits was the newly completed exhibit building which permitted all of the inside vendors to be housed in one massive, nearly 500,000 square foot, building. Best of all, it was filled with exhibit booths representing every facet of the automotive hobby, and again everything needed to build a turn-key street rod could be purchased at the event. The 37th NSRA Street Rod Nationals was again the showcase of street rodding, and that included a new products display where more than 150 new items were introduced.
The showcase idea was carried over to the lobby areas of the exhibit building as well, as those wanting to check out the creations of the top builders and designers in the specialty car field had ample time to do so. With a lobby full of the automotive works of art from dozens of highly recognizable builders, it was the opportunity of a lifetime to see so many vehicles of this quality in the same place at the same time. This was a new part of the event this year that will continue and become even larger in the future.
The street rod technical seminars were again available and covered a variety of timely, interesting subjects, and you could have your street rod safety inspected by one of the NSRA inspection teams, or weighed courtesy of UPS. Women's World, which was again loaded with arts and crafts, jewelry, casual apparel, and tons of novelties, filled its new location, and free bus rides to area shopping malls were available on Thursday and Friday. There was the annual 29 Below Show of the vehicles owned by the younger street rodders, many new cars were unveiled in the Buckaroo Communications sponsored Pros Pick area, the Chrysler product entries were featured in Mopar Country, street rods with a material hauling heritage were highlighted in Commercial Way hosted by UPS, and "Outstanding Use Of Color" honorees were selected by PPG personnel that toured the grounds. There were games, three live entertainment performances, a church service, and people mover trams to make getting from place to place easier.
The place to be Saturday afternoon was the drawing for the Top Participant Prize in Freedom Hall where NSRA gave away a beautiful, brand new, turn-key 1932 Ford roadster pickup street rod built by California Street Rods.
The event's finale came on Sunday afternoon starting with the "Circle Of Winners" display of 42 vehicles and the presentation of their awards, followed by the balance of the more than $104,000 worth of Super Prizes given away featuring the special Nationals prize, a complete Backyard Buddy lift. With that the biggest street rod event of 2006 ended... but it's going to happen again next year when the 38th NSRA Street Rod Nationals visits the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky, on August 2-5, 2007. Until then...