The Car Collector Meetup ('Rod Runs)
Here locally, down by the river, is a restaurant that has an exceptionally long parking lot. And in that parking lot, every second Saturday of the month (weather permitting), you will see all sorts of rare, unique, exotic and custom built cars. To the eye, this is a real "movable feast." But equally as splendid to viewing these cars is having a chance to meet the people behind them.
Where else can you go to find a couple sitting on a home made bench, the back part crafted from a vintage tailgate of an F-100 Ford pick-up truck? Such creativity in both their custom made cars and what they do with their "spare" parts. Leading me to the question... is that for sale or can you build me one? Genius!
And the part I like the most... the stories from the owners. One that comes immediately to mind is a father and son who bring their vintage Continental and Jeep Grand Wagoneer to every event. The father who owns the Continental, is full of knowledge of that model and the history behind it. He's got a million stories about where that car has taken him over the years, making it a sentimental time piece. My uncle had the same car back in the 70's so naturally I wanted to spark up a conversation with him, and I am so glad I did. The stories we've shared! His son, the owner of the Wagoneer, and I also became good friends, all starting with us both having titles to these iconic Jeeps. We bounce the problems and issues we have had with them off each other, and these cars are almost always the opening topic of discussion when we meet.
It is a fun morning, often supporting local charities. There's good coffee and great company with fellow enthusiasts. Gatherings typically last for three hours or so, but the knowledge you gain and stories you hear make the time go by so quickly, it feels like you blink and it's already winding down.
Not to worry though - you don't necessarily have to wait a month for the next one. Getting in your car to leave, there will inevitably be a half dozen fliers for other local “Rod Runs” in nearby locations that can usually make this an every weekend event if your heart desires. Too fun!
Jason Paynter is a classic car appraiser, collector and unabashed enthusiast. He is also author of the new book, Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting & Investing in Classic Cars, available at Amazon! He lives in Louisville, KY with his beautiful wife and three sons who are (heaven help him) almost all of driving age.