First thing we did was stop for gas before heading for Memphis. By this time, I’d noticed my car was consuming oil at a rate that can only be described as alarming. My current running theory is either a loose valve cover, which I’ve already replaced, or horribly worn piston rings. Either way, I finally decided to don the Power Tour sticker as I felt I’d made it far enough, plus you feel cool. Sam did some lining up to make sure it was somewhat centered, and stuck the thing on.
With that in place and all fluids topped off, we hit the road. We got rolling at a decent time, so we expected to have plenty of time to visit vendors and get our time punches.
We abruptly ran into a traffic jam.
And then got lost, it was not the last time this happened.
With the aid of modern technology, we figured out another way to get where we needed to be. Unfortunately, not long after getting into Tennessee the Benz decided to give us it’s first real issue. There must be some loose junk floating around in the gas tank, because I have an intermittent issue with fuel starvation. At first I thought it was something I messed up during the carburetor rebuild, but it seems to hit at mostly random times. We noticed a pattern eventually, as it was much more prevalent on bumpy roads, so the gunky tank theory seems to be winning out so far.
Those guys in the GNX stayed at the same hotel we did the previous day. We spotted them checking out Sams Galaxie in the parking lot and ended up talking for a good hour or so. They joined us on our journey the very next day, but departed in Memphis to head back home. I never caught either of their names, nice guys though. I hope they made the drive back fine!
Luckily we didn’t lose a whole lot of time, just a few minutes on the side of the road to let things settle, and some extra fuel that Sam had in his trunk. The only other problem we encountered was Dads Chevelle developing a leak in the fuel tank when full. That got us back on the road long enough to make it to our destination for the day: Memphis International Raceway. There were plenty of great cars to see, so we did some wandering after getting to what vendors we could.
I got a closer look at the engine bay of the Django truck from the previous day, that looks like a very large compound turbo setup.
The Showbread car was also there as a VIP again, I saw this car run the autocross twice on the first day and it did very well. I got to chat with the owner a bit, had to let him know I liked the build. It almost has a time attack vibe to it, and carbon fiber always wins for me.
I also got a nice close look at a Ford GT40 1000, just look at that twin turbo setup.
As usual, a collection of awesome and unexpected vehicle appeared:
As well as a large amount of vehicles with LS swaps, some older vehicles with updated engines, and some vehicles that you wouldn’t expect to have an LS. Like a Mazda RX8.
There was also a record setting burnout setup, but they only allowed those with automatic transmissions to enter. They were afraid of people running into walls, which happened anyway. Naturally, the RoadKill guys had their new van (with an LS) and the Draguar. Unfortunately, the Draguar did not leave the track under it’s own power.
They did set a record though! I believe the previous was something like 104 vehicles, and Hot Rod got 114 or so out on the track for their record.
With that, it was about time to start packing up and heading home, after snapping a few more pictures (here you go Skeeter!). The field we parked in was slightly muddy, so getting out was more fun than I expected.
Naturally, we couldn’t leave Memphis without stopping for some great BBQ and sweet tea. It really was great!
We followed the official Power Tour route for a bit in the morning, it makes for some great driving but is definitely more time consuming. We also ended up stopping for gas at the same place as most of the other Power Tour participants, which made for some fun trying to get a pump to fuel up. After getting fuel, we hit the road again, not planning to stop until we reached out next destination in Hoover Alabama.
We arrived even earlier than the previous day, and broke the 1,000 mile mark just before arriving around 3. The Hoover Metropolitan Stadium has some pretty good parking, so we didn’t get stuck on grass or mud this time. At this point we only had a few vendors to get to yet, as we tried to get them all checked off on the Power Tour cards. The parking lot also made it easy to get around and check out all the awesome vehicles that showed up for the day. There were a few Edsel around, an unfinished project, and a small bucket car that looked like it would be horribly uncomfortable at speed.
We even got to chat with the guy that created this crazy mashup, it’s a whole lot larger than it appears in the pictures. It took 5 years and something like 16 sheets of metal to create, using a GM 1500 frame and interior. The back half, doors, and much of the other body work was all done by hand, and was powered by a 12 valve Cummins engine. He also let us know that he likes to drive fast and averages 25 mpg with this thing. He wasn’t kidding, he speed past us doing at least 80 mph past us.
We also finally got a closer look at a pair of Rat Rods we’d been seeing on and off since the tour began.They’re from Wisconsin and made the trip with a friend of theirs that owns a Hellcat. They were featured in a Hot Rod story titled “Two rats and a cat”, which i can’t seem to find now.
We headed out and stopped at our hotel for the night the Beymont. However, the hotel had recently been sold to Red Roof, and neither party cared much about the reservations that had been made prior. Ali was less than impressed with the service we received, and a lot of other Power Tour participants were equally unhappy. So we got turned away and just headed on down the road another hour to a slightly shady place that didn’t charge too much.
Two of the rooms above us had obviously had their doors forced open, and one had it’s windows broken. Our door didn’t exactly hut right, but it was close enough to keep the mugginess outside and the cold air in. We set up for dinner in the parking lot, and then turned in early to get a jump on the next days drive, which would take us to Gulfport Mississippi.