2010 NSRA MidAmerica Nationals

Just got done with the weekend of attending the NSRA MidAm “Street Rod Nationals (plus)”. It’s funny, when you talk with the NSRA reps, they all publicly tow the “party line” about the change in the format of the events to be 30 years or older. Most of them that I talked to don’t like it, but they are supportive of it.

As those of you who know me would expect, I did talk with as many NSRA reps as I could and let them know that I was disappointed in the decision making at the top of the NSRA totem pole. My understanding is that the percentage of “late model” registrations were higher in Springfield than at the other events this year. There were several that boycotted the event this year, but the numbers were up from last year, so I am sure that the NSRA will consider the change a “success”. Heck, there were already so many “pass by” cars (those that I’d rather pass by them than look at them) before, and all they did was increase the numbers of those!

I will admit, there were some cool late models, like the blue and white ’57 Ford convertible from Minnesota, the ’57 Ford Ranch Wagon and the surf green shoebox woodie. But there were also a bunch of turds there, too. (Sorry, dad, I know you don’t like that kind of language!) I had half a mind to take the camera and just shoot the polished and unpolished turds, and use that as my “event coverage”, but decided not to waste the effort.

Highlights

  • * the “Street & Performance” booth, with the green ’57 chevy with the “Goodguys” participant sticker still proudly displayed in the windshield, directly displayed to the crowd.
    * my sister, in trying to explain to the PPG rep that we were siblings, announcing “We’re brothers”, then trying to dig out of that confusion
    * hanging with dad and my step mom
    * harassing Don Albers about the red ’40 pickup that he chose for Dickie’s “Thumbs Up” award, because it had a V butted windshield and had a “Streetrod” piece of trim on the bed siderails.

  • Out of the 31, or so, cars that were picked for the awards, I think 15 were “late models”. Was I surprised, no. Was I disappointed, yes.

    See…it’s not that I don’t like the late models, but it’s what the very name of the NSRA is. “National Street Rod Association”. I would propose to Vernon Walker and Bubba Bugg that they refine that to be “Not Street Rods Anymore”.

    (side note…I did peel the NSRA Member sticker from my windshield on my way back to the house on Sunday)

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    5 Responses

    1. Lynn

       /  June 11, 2010

      Just returned from the NSRA Nats East, York, PA and I agree with your blurb. Far too many late model award winners. Sadly, many were, as you so abtly describe, “turds.” Late models, albeit, way later than at a GoodGuys show, were nothing more than cars you can see at the grocery store parking lot. A few really cool late models were not picked, had to wonder what the reps were looking at? Or did they know what to look for? After all, it is, or was, the National Street Rod Association. The numbers at York were down. I believe many diehard streetrodders boycotted. We’re seriously thinking about not returning and ironically the hotel forgot to have us register for next year. Omen?
      GoodGuys events bring out really cool late models, NSRA needs to take note. But then again, it’s all about the money, right NSRA owners?

    2. Howell Fowler

       /  August 6, 2010

      Just had to comment on the above editorial. I try to attend all the cruise ins and rod runs that I possibily can. But have you looked at the age group in attendance ?
      Most of us probably won’t be here in 10 yrs and then what ? When Iwas coming up the 18-30 yr. old was the hot rodder,and what are the automotive interest of 18-30 yr old today. Hondas,new trucks,jeeps and not much of anything else. The average young married guy just can not afford the street rods of today. Price any Ford 1940 or older. In my opinion that is why we have to admit 1949 and up cars to our events. To my 22-yr old his 77 Nova is a hot rod .
      We have to make it possible for our youth to become involved in street rodding or our hobby will not be recognizable 15 yrs. We need to think of the future of our hobby and not ME today.
      By the way I own a 35 Ford coupe(5 window owned for42yrs.),48 Ford 4-dr,a stock 40 Ford and several other cars and trucks and I am 67 and hope to see street rodding thrive for the future of our children.
      Thanks,Howell Fowler

    3. Roger

       /  August 8, 2010

      After volunteering for the NSRA for several years, I could see the writing on the wall. It is just about the money. There are kids, around the 30 year old bracket, that are into cars. But the big events don’t cater or entertain them. We just attended the KEMP show in Salina Ks. And the “kids” were there. “Rock-A-Billy” , “Rat Rods” “Pin-up girls” and tatoos. Thats what the new craze is. Maybe we don’t care for it, but they are out there.
      Years ago the NSRA changed how we made rep picks. This change was definately for the worse. Trailer cars were not the best decision to pick. But now it’s OK. NSRA probably won’t pay any more for trophies, for the rep picks, unless a sponsor steps up. They make a lot of money. Most all the work is performed by volunteers.
      Many don’t remember the 70″s with the NSRA Street Machine Association. It died also. I have a Street Machine, but nothing beats driving a real Hot Rod.

    4. Dan

       /  August 11, 2010

      I would like to submit a non-member show visitor’s perspective. I couldn’t agree more with Howell’s comments. I live in Louisville, my sons and I (and sometimes the wife) go to the show every year. I see the demographic as getting older, and the rods are cost-prohibitive- and I own three antique cars. I prefer to keep my cars 100% original, so I may be considered a purist by that faction… but I really don’t care about that. That is just my preference.

      By opening the event up to more recent cars, you are bringing in a new demographic who obviously like cars, but probably wouldn’t really care about cars made in the 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. However, once they come in to see the muscle cars, they may get really intrigued by the older rods and prefer to go that route.

      I am a car guy. I appreciate all types of cars. As I mentioned, I like them 100% original, but I will never begrudge anybody for cutting up and “ruining” a perfectly good car like some of the original purists might say. I appreciate an original 1936 Mercedes Coupe (which my friend has the only one in existance), as well as a tricked out 1929 Model A Street Rod, as well as a 1969 Cobra Torino or 1973 Dodge Challenger Trans Am.

      So, with that said, I think the NSRA did a brilliant thing, and the general public probably likes it a lot more.

    5. Kevin Jackson

       /  September 10, 2010

      I have been in to cars of all types for years. I love street rods and own a 1947 Ford Coupe as well as 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s cars. I have been going to NSRA events since 1985 and have not missed the event in Oklahoma City since, and I have been going to the Springfield MO event for 12 years straight. I have even gone to the Louisville NSRA show for the last 4 years. I was not a big fan of the change at first but after going to all 3 events this year I have no problem with the change. In fact I took my wife’s 70 chevelle convertable to the OKC and Springfield show this year, because my 47 coupe is being repaired because of a wreck a few years ago. I know that every one is entitled to their likes and dislikes but boycotting a show because of them letting later model cars in is like cutting your nose off to spite your face. And just remember one more thing how would you like it if someone called your car a “turd” just because they did not like it. You would not appreciate it.