Static car shows can be fun, but getting out and driving hot rods and customs is even more so. Reliability runs have been around for decades, with the Pasadena Roadster Club's run dating back to the late 1940s for example, though these days you'll usually find them to be invite-only events. This limits the number of attendees, as well as dictating the style of the cars that participate. Oftentimes, organizers will want to keep the style to a particular era.

Around a decade ago, Jim and Carrie Benitez hosted their Ranch Run in North San Diego County, an event fondly remembered by many who took part. So much so that three local hot rodders, Russ Hare, Justin Baas, and Rob Bennett decided the time was right to organize a similar event. A route was planned, a name was decided—The Hot Rod Roundabout—invites were mailed out, and early one Saturday in late March, some 30 hot rods descended on the departure location in rural North County.

Rather than pinpoint a specific era, or style of car, the guys invited cars they thought were plain cool, with the large majority being 1950s- and 1960s-style cars. Powerplants ranged from blown Hemis to mild Flatheads, with every body style from roadsters to sedans and pickups to coupes. Somewhat interestingly, the most common year represented was 1936, with no less than two cabriolets, two roadsters, and two coupes, though one of the latter was a 1935. Are 1936s the new 1932s?

We were having too much fun to check, but the route had to be around 100 miles, with a couple of stops, one for gas at Dudley's bakery near Julian, and the second at the Hideout Saloon in Santa Ysabel. The final destination was the property of one of the organizers, where we were treated to barbecue and a band, while we nursed our sunburned heads before heading home. It's days like these that make hot rodding so much fun. Why not get some buddies together and plan something similar in your area? We don't want to have to wait a full year to do it again!