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2016 Hot Rod Power Tour is Hotter Than Ever

By Patrick from Merrimack, NH, United States (52nd Annual Antique & Classic Car Meet - Stowe, VT) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Patrick from Merrimack, via Wikimedia Commons
The 2016 Hot Rod Power Tour starts next Saturday, June 11, through Friday, June 17. The Hot Rod Power Tour is the USA’s largest cross-country road trip. The 22nd annual event will focus on the south-central part of the country, with stops in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

2015 Hot Rod Power Tour Highlights

The 2015 tour set a record with a total of 6,095 enthusiasts and drivers joining in for all or some of the 1,500-mile experience. A total of 2,120 joined the Long-Haul Gang that traveled the entire route during last year’s Power Tour. An estimated 116,000 spectators came through the tour stops during the week.

One of the highlights of last year’s Power Tour was an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the largest burnout at the Memphis International Raceway. On June 9, more than 110 Power Tour participants spun their tires at the same time, breaking the previous record of 107 cars set earlier in 2015 in Australia.

The 2015 event started in Madison, Wisconsin, and concluded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Last year’s event also created quite a social media buzz. The tour generated more than 10,000 new Hot Rod followers on Instagram, while Chevrolet Performance’s Instagram account chalked up another 6,000 followers. In addition, HotRod.com chalked up a 350-percent increase in page views pertaining to the Power Tour.

2016 Hot Rod Power Tour Schedule

Here’s the list of venues, day-by-day;

June 11 – Gonzales, Louisiana – Lamar Dixon Expo Center

June 12 – Baytown, Texas – Royal Purple Raceway

June 13 – Austin, Texas, – Circuit of the Americas

June 14 – Grand Prairie, Texas, – Traders Village

June 15 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Remington Park

June 16 – Wichita, Kansas – Kansas Pavilion

June 17 – Kansas City, Kansas – Kansas Speedway

Participation and Registration Options

Although there are certainly many muscle cars and vintage classics on the tour, any car or truck owner can join in the fun. That is, it is O.K. to register any year, make or model vehicle. Rental cars are not accepted because of insurance requirements. Registrants receive a vehicle window sticker and two adult credentials. Additional passengers are welcome, and they are not required to register unless they want their own credentials.

On-site registration at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center is available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, June 10, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 11. Registration is also available June 7-12 at all venues from 12 noon to 6 p.m.

Both pre-registration and on-site registration is available. Single-day registration is $45 in advance and $55 on-site. This single-day registration includes entry at one of the venues. The multi-day registration allows vehicle entry at every venue. A goodie bag and two credentials are also included. This multi-day option is $99 in advance and $125 on-site.

There are also a limited number of VIP Gold Packages available. They include vehicle entry at every venue, preferred parking at every venue, a goodie bag with a bonus gift, two VIP credentials and attendance at the kickoff VIP barbecue. The VIP Gold Package is available for $300.

Finally, a limited number of the VIP Platinum Packages are available as well. This ultimate package includes vehicle entry at every venue, preferred parking at every venue, a goodie bag with bonus gift, a VIP gift, two VIP credentials and attendance at the kick-off VIP barbecue. The Platinum Package also includes a hotel room (including taxes) at the host or co-host hotel in every one of the seven Power Tour cities. The VIP Platinum Package also includes a $25 food voucher every day (seven vouchers total). The cost of the Platinum Package is $2,000.

Whether a driver pre-registers or not, it is still necessary to go to the “participant registration” area, typically situated close to each of the daily venues. To obtain credentials, a valid driver’s license, valid government-issued registration and proof of insurance is required. Only the listed registrant may pick up the credentials.

To alleviate onsite congestion, registration is often nearby. Signs direct drivers to a “participant registration” location at each venue. Starting June 1, online registration costs the same as on-site registration. Furthermore, onsite registration closes on June 9 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Tips for Participants and Spectators

A frequent Power Tour participant offered advice on how to get more from the experience. Those planning to make the entire trip enhance their chances for a great experience by planning ahead. Some newcomers start out by covering just a stop or two the first year, so they get a feel for the unique Power Tour experience.

Mechanics along the Power Tour route are seldom left looking for work. Participants should bear in mind that any long road trip is a rigorous trek, so up-to-date maintenance is a must. Any long hauler planning to travel the whole route is well-advised to invest in appropriate parts replacements before the tour gets underway. Those in a 1960s classic car or other vintage collectible would do well to bring along hard-to-find spare parts.

Naturally, those that want to limit the miles on their vehicles inquire about trailering. The power tour does allow trailering but no trailer parking is provided any venue and each participating vehicle must proceed in and out of a venue under its own power.

Many participants will spend their fair share of time walking and milling about, so comfortable shoes and clothing are a must. Lots of fresh, clean clothing comes in handy after checking out downtown areas, getting caught in a rain storm or after touring the lots on a warm day.

Although this year’s tour includes a number of larger cities, when thousands of participants descend upon a community, rooms are sometimes in short supply. This is especially true in June, when a given city is potentially hosting multiple events.

Participants and spectators alike often see the most when they simply stake out a spot near the entrance or exit points at each venue. This makes it easier to identify the cars that are worth checking out up-close. It’s then possible to follow a vehicle in to take a closer look under the hood.

Great Fun for Car Enthusiasts

The 2016 Hot Rod Power Tour route includes both highways and scenic byways. Drivers pass through small towns where they have an opportunity to re-connect with some of the best of America’s heritage. Of course, the opportunity to enjoy local cuisine is another plus. This year, it’s possible to enjoy everything from Cajun and Creole dishes in Louisiana to a juicy Texas steak in Austin. There are also onion burgers and catfish to look forward to in OKC, and slow-cooked Kansas City BBQ at the end of the journey.

The 2016 Hot Rod Power Tour offers unbeatable camaraderie, endless photo opportunities and shared experiences with fellow enthusiasts. It’s a mid-June experience destined to attract thousands of drivers and tens of thousands of spectators.

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