This whole Americruise idea goes back much further than the cool cross-country hot rod runs that Rod & Custom readers do every summer. We're just the descendents of the automotive travelers who drove back and forth across America on Route 66 and other U.S. and state roads in the days before the interstate highway system. And those folks were the descendants of the pioneers, settlers, outlaws, and cowboys who first did these trips in wagons and on horseback. You can hear their stories at the Route 66 Museums in Elk City and Clinton, Oklahoma; at the Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, Kansas; the Heritage Center in Abilene, Kansas; the Pony Express Barn Museum in Marysville, Kansas; the Smith Collection at Speedway Motors in Lincoln, Nebraska; and in every heartland town and prairie road in between.

Dennis Overholser from Painless Performance took us to all of these places, and a few more, during the fantastic Americruise Southern Tour from Ft. Worth, Texas, to Lincoln. With Dennis' '36 Ford panel truck leading the way, Bob Boudreaux's '38 Chevy at the back of the pack, and approximately 50 cars and trucks of every description in between, this was one of the biggest and best Americruise tours ever. I like to think we added our own chapter to the long history of traveling across America. We definitely created a few more stories.

Why Are You Americruisers?We asked that question to Dennis and Linda LaDrew, who have been participating in Americruise since the beginning. "For us, it's about the tour," Dennis said. "It's about getting there. And it's the people you meet on the way." Linda agreed. "It's everybody helping out each other. You always have a friend at your side, even if you never met the guy before."

"I pulled to the shoulder to make a phone call, and about five cars stopped to make sure we were OK," Dennis said.

Dennis and Linda are already signed up for Americruise '08. "We'll start from wherever the tour starts. It doesn't even matter where it's going. It's how we get there that matters."

Where it's going in 2008 has not been decided yet, but as soon as it is, we'll post that information at www.rodandcustommagazine.com.