It’s been 20 years since issue #1 of The Rodder’s Journal was published. One of the ways we’re celebrating our anniversary is with a summer-long road trip in the TRJ roadster. Our first destination is the Lonestar Round Up this weekend in Austin, Texas, and we’re planning several more stops across the country on our way to Baltimore, Maryland, for the TRJ Revival September 27th and 28th. We haven’t had much time for turning wrenches because we’ve been hard at work on the magazine the last few months. But after finishing printing issue #63 on Friday, we spent the weekend getting the roadster ready for the trip.

We’re off to Austin, Texas for the Lonestar Round Up! Stay tuned here and on our Facebook page for more updates from the road.

We’re off to Austin, Texas for the Lonestar Round Up! Stay tuned here and on our Facebook page for more updates from the road.

 

Less than 24 hours ago, we were re-installing the rearend quickchange after a last-minute thrash to fine-tune the stance and improve the ride quality.

Less than 24 hours ago, we were re-installing the rearend quickchange after a last-minute thrash to fine-tune the stance and improve the ride quality.

We’re hitting the road this afternoon, and we’ll be posting updates here and on our Facebook page as we make the 1,800-mile drive to Austin. The Round Up has always been one of our favorite events, and we’re looking forward to attending with our own hot rod. The Rodder’s Journal booth will be set up there as well, with a full complement of TRJmerchandise–from subscriptions and books to back issues, hats, t-shirts, and more.

We pulled the Deuce and Steve Coonan's '65 Riviera out of our studio just in time for the sky to open up and remind us why we’re grateful for the new BopTop.

We pulled the Deuce and Steve Coonan’s ’65 Riviera out of our studio just in time for the sky to open up and remind us why we’re grateful for the new BopTop.

 

Consummate hot rodder Dennis Kyle is riding shotgun on the 1,800-mile trip.

Consummate hot rodder Dennis Kyle is riding shotgun on the 1,800-mile trip.

Those of you following our 20th Anniversary road trip on Facebook know we left San Francisco Monday evening in a downpour. We were headed south for the Lonestar Round Up, and we thought with any luck we could outrun the rain. But luck hasn’t been on our side so far, and before long the rain was the least of our worries. Luckily we have some good friends along the way, and we think we’re still going to make it. Here’s what’s gone on so far…

Despite rain and clouds all the way down I-5 on the first day of our trip, it was good to be on the road behind the wheel of a hot rod.

Despite rain and clouds all the way down I-5 on the first day of our trip, it was good to be on the road behind the wheel of a hot rod.

 

Co-pilot Dennis Kyle has a garage full of cool old cars. Behind his wife Debbie’s '64 Rambler American convertible is Dennis’ Deuce roadster and chopped five-window project.

Co-pilot Dennis Kyle has a garage full of cool old cars. Behind his wife Debbie’s ’64 Rambler American convertible is Dennis’ Deuce roadster and chopped five-window project.

We drove over 400 miles Monday, finally arriving in Long Beach at Dennis Kyle’s house tired, wet, and wondering why the rear suspension we worked so hard on the day before was giving us trouble. Tuesday morning we put in a call to our friend Ryan Reed and promptly headed east to his Reed’s Ride Designs in Corona to see if he could help us iron out our suspension woes.

At Reed’s Ride Design, the Winters quickchange came out, we replaced the buggy spring, and we think we’ve got it just about right in terms of ride height, quality, and load capacity (the trunk is packed to the gills for the trip). Parts from Pete & Jake’s and So-Cal Speed Shop helped get us back on the road.

At Reed’s Ride Design, the Winters quickchange came out, we replaced the buggy spring, and we think we’ve got it just about right in terms of ride height, quality, and load capacity (the trunk is packed to the gills for the trip). Parts from Pete & Jake’s and So-Cal Speed Shop helped get us back on the road.

It’s difficult to dial in a buggy spring suspension on the first try–and sometimes even on the second. Predicting how the spring will settle and striking the right balance of ride height and ride quality–both with the spring loaded and unloaded–often takes trial and error. After spending the afternoon at Reed’s chasing parts and making adjustments, we think this third time was the charm.

We got to check out Ryan Reed’s uncle Rick’s Deuce roadster while at his shop. Ryan recently completed a makeover on the smallblock Chevy-powered highboy, seen here with the TRJ roadster.

We got to check out Ryan Reed’s uncle Rick’s Deuce roadster while at his shop. Ryan recently completed a makeover on the smallblock Chevy-powered highboy, seen here with the TRJ roadster.

We managed to have a lot of fun even when the going got tough. A few other friends stopped by throughout the day to help out, including Ryan’s uncle, Rick Reed, and Rob Fortier, who was getting ready to leave for the Round Up as well. We capped off the afternoon barbecuing and bench racing at the shop.

Back on the road Tuesday night, we gassed up just west of the Arizona border. We’ve got a lot of ground to make up.

Back on the road Tuesday night, we gassed up just west of the Arizona border. We’ve got a lot of ground to make up.

We don’t know what the results of our efforts will be, but we think we’re going to make it to Texas in one piece. We appreciate Ryan Reed’s help–and that of everyone else pitching in and cheering us on along the way. We’re back on the road today, and there’s more barbecue waiting for us in Austin, if we ever get there. Stay tuned here and on our Facebook page for more updates…and keep your eyes peeled for the TRJ roadster on the road to Texas.

Things are looking brighter–literally. Today’s drive through Arizona on I-10 has been nothing but blue skies and sunshine. With any luck by midnight we’ll be nearing the Texas state line.

Things are looking brighter–literally. Today’s drive through Arizona on I-10 has been nothing but blue skies and sunshine. With any luck by midnight we’ll be nearing the Texas state line.

Our trip to Austin has been a wild ride. We made one more unscheduled stop at Hot Rods by Dean in North Phoenix, Arizona, to address a wheel vibration and brake line issue. Back on the road Thursday, we hightailed it through New Mexico and east into Texas. Seventy-five miles outside of Austin the local authorities welcomed us with a friendly request to mind our speed, and by a little after 1 a.m. last night we were pulling up in front of the Continental Club—ground zero for Lonestar Round Up pre- and post-show activities.

We made it to Austin late last night and managed to find prime parking in front of the Continental Club alongside Alex Gambino’s chopped ’54 Chevy.

We made it to Austin late last night and managed to find prime parking in front of the Continental Club alongside Alex Gambino’s chopped ’54 Chevy.

 

As the Round Up got rolling we caught up with our friend Jack Stirnemann, who was there with his wife Kathy and their turbocharged flathead-powered '34 three-window.

As the Round Up got rolling we caught up with our friend Jack Stirnemann, who was there with his wife Kathy and their turbocharged flathead-powered ’34 three-window.

Today the Round Up kicked off under the warm Texas sun, and as in years past the Travis County Expo Center is packed with some amazing hot rods and custom cars from all over the country. Here are some of the highlights, and we’re also posting photos throughout the weekend on our Facebook page. Stay tuned as our coverage of the Lonestar Round Up and the first leg of our 20th Anniversary Road Trip continues!

Keep scrolling for more photos from the Lone Star Round Up.

Master metal craftsman Jimmy Hervatin has been hard at work on his Keith Weesner-inspired full custom F1 pickup.

Master metal craftsman Jimmy Hervatin has been hard at work on his Keith Weesner-inspired full custom F1 pickup.

 

The Austin Speed Shop just completed a full makeover on Round Up co-organizer Brian Auderer’s “Big Daddy” Roth-style Model A Tudor, “The Jewel.”

The Austin Speed Shop just completed a full makeover on Round Up co-organizer Brian Auderer’s “Big Daddy” Roth-style Model A Tudor, “The Jewel.”

 

Longtime Texas hot rodder Charlie Duran drove out from Willow Park in his stock-bodied hot rod Deuce three-window.

Longtime Texas hot rodder Charlie Duran drove out from Willow Park in his stock-bodied hot rod Deuce three-window.

 

By this time most of you are familiar with Lee Pratt’s recently resurrected ’55 Chevy Nomad, but it was great to see the gorgeous multi-layer paint glowing in the sun.

By this time most of you are familiar with Lee Pratt’s recently resurrected ’55 Chevy Nomad, but it was great to see the gorgeous multi-layer paint glowing in the sun.

 

Immediate post-war Mercs have gained popularity with customizers in recent years, and looking at Hiram Miller’s lowered ’46 convertible we understand why.

Immediate post-war Mercs have gained popularity with customizers in recent years, and looking at Hiram Miller’s lowered ’46 convertible we understand why.

 

Among the lowriders on hand is Rick Banuelos’ in-progress ’37 Chevy Master DeLuxe. Parked alongside is Mike Wilhite’s scalloped ’36 Ford slantback sedan.

Among the lowriders on hand is Rick Banuelos’ in-progress ’37 Chevy Master DeLuxe. Parked alongside is Mike Wilhite’s scalloped ’36 Ford slantback sedan.

 

Mid-’50s Fords make excellent mild customs, as evidenced by Tim Sharp’s Timball, Texas-based ’54 Ford Customline.

Mid-’50s Fords make excellent mild customs, as evidenced by Tim Sharp’s Timball, Texas-based ’54 Ford Customline.