Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hot Rod Power Tour - Day 3

Monday, June 4, 2012 – to Champaign, IL

317 miles - second longest travel distance on the Tour.
Time change to Central Standard Time.

Today's weather started out with overcast skies and no rain. Our first
day in shorts!

Our first of three hospitality stops this week was at Lane Automotive

where they served us hot dogs and drinks. The place was a massive
building in the middle of nowhere that sold all kinds of circle track
parts. We walked around the showroom and looked at all the cars in the
parking lot.

The roads we drove today were mainly Indiana farm roads (not too much
Interstate). We passed agricultural communities where the main crop
was corn. There were corn fields in all directions. On some straight
stretches of roads we were the only ones on the farm roads, for as far
as we could see.

As we drove through small towns along the way, we saw people in lawn
chairs out by the side of the road waving at us. This was also the
first time we followed a group of 6 Power Tour cars and travelled as a

“Following a wagon car”

The “wagon car” was the most interesting car we followed today. As
Gene was driving he saw a car ahead that had a large black pole
sticking up above the vehicle (?). We really couldn't see the vehicle
because the cars ahead were blocking the view. Eventually, we saw the
car up close. This vehicle was a full size replica of a red “Radio
Flyer” wagon with a full size black handle sticking up from the front
bumper! Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it.

We pulled into our tour stop for the night – the University of
Illinois Assembly Hall. It was a large parking lot surrounding an
enclosed domed basketball facility. It started to lightly rain, so we
weren't able to walk around as much as we would have liked.

“Ready for takeoff”

Definitely, the most interesting vehicle we saw in the parking lot
today can best be described as an airplane and car mixture. A young
guy built a custom frame with a 5.9 Cummins turbo diesel engine
surrounded by a homemade jet fighter airplane body (with the wings and
tail cutoff) It had a straight axle steering on the front and
hydraulic steering on the back (4 wheel steer)

We enjoyed talking to this eccentric young guy.

Question: “How did you get a title and tag for this vehicle?”
Answer: “I just put on a tag from another car, The police have never
asked for my registration or insurance. Plus I have replica machine
guns on both sides”.

Question: “What kind of vehicle is this?”
Answer: “It's a Peterbilt. I built it myself and my name is Peter”.

I hope he gets a feature article in Hot Rod magazine. See the attached
photo of his vehicle.

-Mark R

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