A Celebration of Classic Cars: The 54th Annual NSRA Street Rod Nationals

Reliving the Glory Days of Street Rodding in Louisville By Brian Brennan - Photography By the Author The NSRA Street Rod Nationals have become a revered tradition for car enthusiasts across the country. Since its...

Reliving the Glory Days of Street Rodding in Louisville

By Brian Brennan - Photography By the Author

The NSRA Street Rod Nationals have become a revered tradition for car enthusiasts across the country. Since its inception in 1970, the event has grown in popularity, with Louisville, Kentucky, serving as the proud host for over two decades. This year, the 54th edition of the Nationals once again showcased the charm and allure of classic street rods.

The Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville The Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville is once again home for the 54th Annual NSRA Street Rod Nationals. This year over 9,000 street rods made the trek as well as 58,000-plus spectators.

From the moment you set foot in the Kentucky Expo Center, you're transported to a bygone era. With over 9,000 street rods on display and an impressive attendance of over 58,000 spectators, the Street Rod Nationals truly capture the spirit of automotive craftsmanship and passion.

A Mecca for Street Rod Enthusiasts

The numbers speak for themselves. The event boasted an impressive 649 swap spaces, 224 exhibitors, and a staggering 9,112 registered street rods. It's a testament to the enduring appeal of these timeless automobiles. The Street Rod Nationals have become a gathering of like-minded individuals, where camaraderie and shared enthusiasm create an unforgettable atmosphere.

Mike Goldman of Mike Goldman Customs Mike Goldman of Mike Goldman Customs took home Elite Builder of the Year with the ’52 Chevy woodie belonging to Kevin and Lynne Kirby.

But the Nationals are not just about showcasing the cars. They're an opportunity to recognize the talented individuals who bring these beautiful machines to life. Mike Goldman of Mike Goldman Customs was awarded the prestigious Elite Builder of the Year title for his exceptional work on a '52 Chevy woodie. This honor is a testament to the dedication and craftsmanship displayed by the builders involved.

The Ultimate Gathering of Roving Street Rods

The Street Rod Nationals is not just a local affair; it attracts enthusiasts from all corners of the United States and beyond. The event witnessed impressive long-distance journeys, with street rod clubs such as the Lone Star Street Rod Association and the Northeast Arkansas Street Rod Club covering thousands of miles to attend. The sense of adventure and the love for street rodding truly knows no boundaries.

Nathan Tanquary of Nates Hot Rod Garage Another in the running for the Elite Builder award was Nathan Tanquary of Nates Hot Rod Garage with the ARDUN-powered ’29 Ford highboy coupe belonging to Dennis and Beth Kilpatrick.

The highlight of the event was undoubtedly the giveaway of a '77 Chevy pickup, crafted by Harrison's Rod & Custom. Gerald Earney Jr. of Supply, North Carolina, was the lucky recipient of this remarkable vehicle. This generous gesture is just one of the many ways the NSRA celebrates the passionate community that surrounds street rodding.

Honoring Excellence in the Automotive Industry

Aside from the stunning display of street rods, the Nationals recognized the outstanding contributions of individuals and companies within the industry. March Performance Products was crowned the 2023 Manufacturer of the Year, while Justin Padfield of Scott's Hotrods 'N Customs received the prestigious NSRA Person of the Year award. These accolades highlight the innovation and dedication that drive the street rod community forward.

Scott Williams of SoCal Look familiar? This Deuce highboy roadster was in competition for the AMBR award early in the year. It belongs to Scott Williams of SoCal and was beautifully put together by Scott Williams of Swillco Speed Shop.

More Than Just Cars: A Complete Experience

The NSRA Street Rod Nationals is not solely about the cars; it offers visitors a multifaceted experience. There are numerous attractions, such as the Michigan Hot Rod Association Rod Repair Shop, providing much-needed assistance to street rodders in need. The Safety Inspection Program, UPS-sponsored Commercial Way, and vintage displays like the Vintage '33 Display sponsored by Vintage Air, all contribute to making the Nationals a truly immersive event.

Larry DeBevec's '57 Buick Caballero wagon Love those wagons, so how about this ’57 Buick Caballero wagon belonging to Larry DeBevec out of CMX Customs in Summerville, SC, under the watchful eyes of Vinnie and Lourie Minichiello.

The NSRA Street Rod Nationals have become an iconic gathering, celebrating the rich heritage and timeless appeal of street rodding. If you haven't had the chance to experience this one-of-a-kind event, mark your calendars for the first full week of August. Prepare to be transported back in time as you revel in the beauty and craftsmanship of these magnificent street rods. It's an experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

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