Things were understandably weird for a while when ROD & CUSTOM first came under the Primedia corporate umbrella several years ago. It was almost like being behind enemy lines as former rival magazines became "sister publications." Tempers flared, coffee was spilled and, sadly, a few donuts were hurled in anger

The bickering and awkward feelings eventually faded, however, and we all learned to play nice. Heck, we even managed to find ways to work together, especially when we began teaming up for events. ROD & CUSTOM drafted magazines like Custom Rodder, Street Rodder, and Classic Trucks to take part in our annual Americruise tour. In turn, we were finally able to take part in Southern California's oldest driving event, the annual rite of spring known as Tom's Fun Run.

Named for Street Rodder founder Tom McMullen, Tom's Fun Run (TFR) was conceived as a way for the magazine to interact with its local readership. It was also an excuse to have fun with cars where they belong-out on the street. Throw in the friendly competition of a poker run and you have all the makings of a fun spring Sunday.

This year's 27th annual event, held April 18, attracted more than 225 rods, customs, trucks, and even a few musclecars. True to form, the 80-mile driving route stuck to surface streets and SoCal's few remaining backroads, providing a welcome respite from the daily freeway grind so many endure. Another tradition upheld was donating the proceeds to charity-more than $3,200 was raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation this year.

Like any event, TFR couldn't happen without the help of many sponsors and contributors, both local and national. This year's tour stops were hosted by Currie Enterprises, Brothers Truck Parts, and Total Cost Involved. The California Custom Roadsters crew pitched in by serving coffee and donuts at the kickoff-something they've done for more than a decade. Poker hand prizes were contributed by Budnik Wheels, Eagle One, Vintage Air, and Goodguys, while a laundry list of other companies provided handouts and silent auction contributions.