Alright, Im going to dish out the big news right up front. For next year the NSRA Southeast Street Rod Nationals in Tampa will change names slightly to the Southeast Nationals (minus the Street Rod distinction). Why?, you might ask. Well, because starting with 2007 the event will be open to vehicles thru 1977. That is a departure from the 1948 and older only format that has been present since its inception, and characteristic of National Street Rod Association events. However, Tampa will not be the only NSRA event open to vehicles up to 1977 for next year, as the Golden State Street Rod Nationals in Sacramento, California, and the Northeast Street Rod Nationals in Burlington, Vermont will also be opened up as well.
With that being said, lets get to what happened during 2006. We once again had a ball at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa on October 13-15, 2006 during the 19th Annual Southeast Street Rod Nationals. It has always been among the highlights of our yearly event calendar, and an enjoyable way to relax while checking out some awesome cars and trucks.
Some of the early arrivals took the opportunity to attend the annual open house at Hercules Motor Cars - something we should make time to do in the future as weve always heard good feedback from those that have attended in years past, but havent been able to fit in ourselves as of yet. The Fairgrounds activity officially got underway on Friday morning, with lots of vehicles rolling into the expansive complex, and various vendors showing off their wares inside the air conditioned building. We once again had a booth set up inside to promote the magazine, but as usual we spent most of our time outside looking at the cool cars, taking pictures, and just plain having fun mingling with everyone. Hey, we dont want to be chained down to a table all weekend either....this is a fun outing!
The Tampa Knights are the host club that works in conjunction with the NSRA, and on Friday morning the Tampa Knights hosted their annual Poker Run, which consists of a scenic cruise around the area while picking up playing cards. After a good day at the Fairgrounds we then headed to the host hotel for the Kick-Off party. This is always a good place to be in the evenings, as it is basically an informal cruise-in taking place in the front parking lot. It would be impossible to keep track of all the laughs weve had there just hanging out with old friends and new acquaintances.
Saturday morning it was back to the Fairgrounds for some more fun, and luckily more good weather. We took plenty of pictures, and made the rounds again while talking to lots of other participants. While there were activities taking place at the Fairground on Saturday night, we chose to go back to the host hotel again for another round of fun there.
On Sunday the Winners Circle took center stage, as everyone checked out which cars and trucks received the picks. The drive-thru area where the awards were held was moved slightly, but as in years past it involved the recipients actually driving their winning vehicle in front of the assembled crowd to receive their plaque. This is always an exciting time, as you get to see the vehicles in motion and hear them rumble around. The huge Super Prize drawing culminated with giving away a new Chevy HHR, but in the end everyone was a winner by having such a great weekend....as fun is always the main goal at these events.
Many thanks once again go out to the NSRA, the Tampa Knights and all the other clubs that volunteered, for putting on another fun event. We look forward to the changes next year, which as mentioned include allowing vehicles through 1977 to participate. That should pump up the participation numbers, and the way I see it the more the merrier! For more info about the 2007 NSRA Southeast Nationals you can call 574-875-4032 or visit www.nsra-usa.com. CN