Friday, May 1, 2009

The Pasadena Reliability Run 2009

You read that right. How appropriate that with all of this talk of traditional hot rodding and my pal Tom that I'm leaving bright and early in the morning for LA to partake in one of the coolest hot rod events of the year? Feels pretty cool to me anyway. 

To make things extraordinarily cool for me I'm getting to not only participate in the Reliability Run but will be doing it with Tom while driving the very '29 flathead roadster pickup that I wrote about earlier. That's right folks, the very car that I first saw that fateful night the day I met Tom. It all seems pretty surreal. This will not be the first time I've had the pleasure to drive this car while Tom rode shotgun, I had the chance to drive the car to the Throttlers annual club picnic/car show in Burbank two years ago. You can't imagine how "not worthy" I felt pulling into that event driving the old Tom Sparks roadster with Tom riding next to me. Pretty cool. Eventually I'll get to the part of that day when we left the show and got involved in a real live flathead roadster verses flathead roadster street race on the streets of Burbank. I guess you could say that if you'd told me in 1995 that that scene was in my future I wouldn't have believed you for a second. 

So that's the story, off to So-Cal in the morning. I'll spend the afternoon prepping the old roadster for its big run in the hills. I'm not even sure how long of a run it is. I believe that when they did the original run in the '40s and '50s it was 100 miles. I'm sure this will be a fraction of that but I understand that it is still a pretty decent challenge for man and machine. I participated in the 2001 River City Reliability Run ( which has since turned into the Pasadena Reliability run ) as navigator with friend Buddy Pepp while Tom rode shotgun with Bruce Meyer. I believe that was a 60 mile run. The cool thing about the Pasadena run is that is starts in the a.m. in the parking lot of Rose Bowl just as it did 50-60 years ago. We've all seen those super groovy Hot Rod magazine shots of the original run when all of the cars were in this same location back in the day and Saturday morning will be no different. Talk about nostalgia!? Not to mention that this run is notorious for attracting many original hot rods that participated in the original runs, like the Doane Spencer, McGee, and Ray Brown roadsters. You can bet I'll be taking photos. 

So that's my story. I have a great weekend to look forward to and I'll be back early next week to give you all the full report.    

Stay tuned!!!  

( The above photo was taken right after we got home from the Throttlers show two years ago. That's our friend Vic Cohen with his exceptionally well built '27 flathead powered roadster pickup parked next to Tom's original '29 RPU. This was the cast involved in the street race I mentioned. Vic's car is in a good bit better tune and I didn't really feel comfortable running Tom's old car flat out...  in other words we lost. Not used to losing, Tom was sitting next to me the whole time yelling at me to run it harder. I know I should have listened, but I think you understand.) 

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