Man, I love this show. I was going to say “I used to” but honestly I still do. All the elements that made it so much fun and so cool are still there, but it may just have become a victim of its own success, as it’s grown amazingly in just 10 years, and with that is now attracting some cars that wouldn’t have entertained the show, nor it them, a few years ago. Snobby? Maybe, but I’d hate to see the Round Up turn into a fairgrounds type of event.

Of course it’s so much more than what happens at the Travis County Expo Center, what with cruising on South Congress Avenue, Saturday night at Austin Speed Shop, the Ski Shores Café cruise on Sunday morning, and this year, the Sunday afternoon shindig at Mercury Charlie’s. But Friday and Saturday at the Expo Center is the core of the event, and to this author, it isn’t about billet, white tennis shoes, and lawn chairs. Whitewalls, bias-plies, vintage mags, mini-bike races, and oily jeans speak more to me, personally.

For me, the Round Up is the new “Paso”; cool cars, neat people, and a whole weekend of non-stop activities that makes you want to take a vacation to get over it! Of course Austin itself is a great town with too much to do in a few days, and you can bet I’ll be thrashing on one of my cars to drive out there again next year, though I’m going to try not to do it non-stop next time.

There and Back

This job offers the opportunity to attend rod runs nationwide, but usually it’s courtesy of an airplane and rental car. Not quite the same as attending in your own hot rod. So for the second time running, the ’46 roadster pickup was pressed into service for the 3,000-mile roundtrip to the Round Up. Apart from a speeding ticket, two cautions for a missing taillight, and a brake light switch that bit the dust (thanks to Mark Gustaffson for the use of his shop and tools we got that taken care of before setting off for home), breakdowns were thankfully non-existent this time.

Freelance photographer Tim Sutton was my co-driver this year, and graciously took the wheel for the first seven or eight hours, while I succumbed to sleep deprivation caused by several nights working straight through attempting to get the truck painted before the trip. Switching drivers thereafter at every gas stop (every two-and-a-half hours or so) and driving straight through saw the trip completed just in time to join the Garage Crawl around Austin on the Friday morning. Coming home we made it back to the Pacific Ocean in just over 25 hours. Taking a couple of days might be wiser, but it sure beats catching a plane! (There’s nothing wrong with taking a plane, Kev—at least I made the trip! -Ed.)