NSRA events have been on our yearly rod run schedule ever since The Rodder’s Journal debuted at the Nationals in 1994. This weekend the Nats East will be taking over York, Pennsylvania, and since I’m located on the East Coast, I was able to make the short trip to catch some of the pre-event happenings.
Ralph and Linda Miller’s ’30 Ford Tudor recently took “Hot Rod of the Year” honors at Goodguys Nashville Nationals. Hilton Hotrods’ Bobby Hilton drove the panel-painted sedan up from Virginia for the Winters Performance open house. The supercharged early Hemi was built by Ross Racing Engines.
We were able to jump in the Model A to grab a photo of our camera car for the day: Pat McNeal’s ’55 Chevy two-door post. It’s powered by a smallblock that used to run on alcohol in one of Pat’s late model dirt track racecars.
he plan was to meet up with Hilton Hotrods owner Bobby Hilton and longtime Baltimore rodder Pat McNeal for the blast north. Bobby was driving the blown Hemi-powered ’30 Ford sedan he recently completed for Ralph and Linda Miller, and Pat’s nasty 358 smallblock-equipped ’55 Chevy would serve camera car duty for the day. Our first stop was the open house at Winters Performance, where both the Tudor and Dave Thomas’ Traditional Metalcraft-built ’35 Chevy (from TRJ #70) would be on display.
Along with the Model A, Dave Thomas’ ’35 Chevy coupe was also on display at Winters’ open house. As cool as it looked when we featured it in baremetal, we love the ’57 Cadillac Biarritz color, sprayed by Richard and Brandon Glymph.
Winters’ operation is impressive to say the least, and it turns out they also throw a good party. There were hot dogs on the grill, rods and customs filling the lot, and tours of the facility throughout the afternoon. It was good catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones, and the revolving array of cars cruising through the lot made for a fun afternoon. We appreciate the folks at Winters inviting us up for the event.
Among the constantly changing group of cars that rolled through Winters’ lot throughout the day was Clyde Warden’s Maryland-based ’51 Merc. The nicely chopped top, floating grille, modest lowering and ’57 Cadillac wheelcovers with wide whites nail the ’50s custom look.
We remember Dick Railing’s chopped Deuce five-window looks great parked next to Gordon Wozack’s full-fendered ‘ 32 roadster. Both hot rods hail from Pennsylvania.
By the time we left Winters it was getting late in the afternoon, so we headed straight to the Nats East event headquarters—the Wyndham Garden hotel—where the kick-off party was in full swing. The lot and surrounding area was packed with all manner of rods, customs and muscle cars as everyone settled in for the weekend ahead. And with lots sun of and mid-70s temps, it’s bound to be another great Nats East.—Curt Iseli
Over at the Wyndham Garden hotel we caught the NSRA Nats East kick-off party. One of the first cars that caught our attention was Joe Horisk’s black-on-black ’33 Ford three-window, from Wilmington, Delaware.
Among all the early Fords on display it’s always nice to see early-’30s Chevrolets in the mix, and there were an abundance of them in York. Oddly enough, Mike Ricotta’s flamed ’33 Chevy hails from Fords, New Jersey. The chopped coupe has been a hot rod for decades, and it was recently refurbished by the Hot Rod Garage East in Denton, Maryland.
Doug Wood’s ’64 Olds custom proves the point that mid-’60s cruisers need little more than mild lowering, mags and narrow whitewalls to be cool. Doug and his Olds hail from Fallston, Maryland.
There certainly was no shortage of traditionally-styled machines in attendance at the pre-party. We can’t remember the last time we came across a hot rod ’37 Nash Lafayette, but we liked this one a lot.
Bobby Cullipher’s mild custom ’36 Ford cabriolet looked right at home next to Al Casteen’s latest hauler—a ’40 Ford outfitted with ’36 front sheetmetal. Both Al and Bobby are members of the Portsmith Street Rod Association from Virginia.