The big news for the 2007 edition of the NSRA Southeast Nationals, held October 12-14, 2007, were the changes in year restrictions for participating vehicles. Traditionally all NSRA events have been for 1948 and older cars and trucks, as per the definition of a street rod being pre-1949. However they recently opened up some of their events to newer vehicles - and the Southeast Nationals was one of them. The new rules allowed vehicles 30 years or older to attend, and apparently it went over very well as there were 1,668 registered vehicles for 2007, which is up about 400 over what the show has been averaging in recent years. The increased numbers were immediately evident when walking the grounds, as there were vehicles parked in areas that were not utilized before at the Florida State Fairgrounds site in Tampa. Also, there was a noticeable rise in people walking around checking everything out. If you figure each car probably has at least two people in it, that equates to 800+ more people....not counting the additional spectators. I’d imagine that next year will grow again, as everyone spreads the word how great the show was!
Early arrivals were once again invited to an open house at Hercules Motor Cars, while the kick-off at the Fairgrounds took place on Friday morning. We once again had a booth set up inside the air conditioned exhibitor building, but outside looking at the cool cars is where we spent most of our time. Plus there was the swap meet area, model car contest inside the exhibitor building, and arts and crafts to check out. During the day on Friday and Saturday we took tons of pictures of the show vehicles while at the Fairgrounds, then at night we hung out in the parking lot of the host hotel with friends, just swapping stories and having some laughs. There were also evening activities at the Fairgrounds, which we heard were fun as well.
Before we knew it Sunday rolled around, and that meant those lucky people that received various picks pulled their vehicle into the “Winners Circle” to be on display in a designated area before the ever popular drive-thru awards presentation that afternoon. Over $100,000 worth of “stuff” was included in the Super Prize Giveaways all weekend, and the event concluded with one lucky participant’s name being drawn for the Chevrolet HHR.
We offer our thanks again to the NSRA, the Tampa Knights host club, and all the various other volunteers that made the event a blast to attend. This is one of the annual events we look forward to well in advance, and it never lets us down.
If you have a show vehicle that is 30 years old or older and didn’t attend this year, be sure and make plans to check it out next year. And if you were there this year, tell all your friends that weren’t how well it went with the new year cutoff. We hope to see everyone in attendance having another very memorable weekend on October 10-12, 2008. For more info you can call the NSRA at 574-875-4032 or visit www.nsra-usa.com. CN