On Saturday the ELTA had their Summer Bash, which I mentioned in a blog post at the beginning of April. I have been looking forward to that event for so long.
While waiting for the event I have become good friends with several of the ELTA members, and have had two of their cars in Issue #2 of the magazine, which debuted at the Bash. I use just about every excuse I can to visit their shop, because it's one of the coolest places I have ever been.
On Saturday the whole place was transformed into something even better, the best hot rod event I have ever been to. Some of the cars in the shop were moved out to make room for some really special cars, and the front of the shop was lined with more special drag-racing cars from the past and present.
The entire street was lined with over 400 hot rods, kustoms, unrestored cars, restored cars, trucks, old imports, and many other styles. Even Al's minibike was parked in the street. A lot of cars that don't make it to any shows, make it here.
The large number of people coming out is mostly due to Mark Rogerson, the ELTA President. Mark has a passion for the drag racing and hot rod community unlike any other person I have met. Actually, this may not be true. There may be others out there with more passion, but they certainly don't know how to show it in the way that Mark does. Mark's personality is magnetic, drawing all these people in for the ELTA show. This year there were people from Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Michigan, and I'm not sure how far north in Canada. People in this community scramble to get their cars ready for the evening of the Bash. Paint jobs seen there were finished as late as the Wednesday before.
The best part of the event has to be how close to the action everyone is. At a track there are loud cars, but they are quite a distance away. Here you can feel the noise in a whole new way. The "cacklefest" at 8 o'clock was incredible. It's not often you can stand 10 feet away from a drag car when it fires up, then revs up. There are loud noises at drag races and tractor pulls, but there is nothing like feeling like you are being physically pushed by a sound. It's not something that can filmed or photographed, it's something that has to be experienced, and this is the only place I have ever experienced it. Before one car would shut down, then next one would fire up, and it kept on going. It must have gone on for 10 minutes or more.
All this goes off without a hitch. London's finest came by the day before and told them to keep the burnouts off of the main road and everything would be okay. The only rule around is "No Goofs", and if you need to ask about it, you probably won't understand.
I'm not sure how they plan on topping this year, but I'm willing to wait (impatiently) to find out next year.