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Hot Rod Power Tour 2003 - May 29 to June 6
2003-06-06
Laddie & Beau (my son) Roussel Long Haulers on 2003 Hot Rod Power Tour...Beau & I covered 2,801 miles on the Hot Rod Power Tour 2003.... We stayed in eight (8) cities (Huntsville, AL, Nashville, TN, Memphis, TN, Jackson, MS, New Orleans, LA, Lake Charles, LA, Shreveport, LA, & Arlington TX, in nine (9) days while cruising along the Power Tour route and some side trips of interest to us... And, had a great time traveling with our other two new Prowler friends Jim Pollister (PA) and Bert Dowdrick (CO). Beau & I both had a great time... This was a nice father & son adventure. This was the Largest Turnout in nine (9) years of Hot Rod Power Tour. And, the Largest number of Long Haulers (1,000) in history (on the 2000 tour there were 275 Long Haulers - we only made two segments that year). Hot Rod has decided to stick with this new format. No segment on the tour to be more than 225 miles per day. Shorter trips provide a chance to detour and investigate side trips while arriving early enough to get good night sleep. My guess is there were around 3,000 total registered cars with 65% being GM and the other split Mopar & Ford with the edge to Mopar. We had four (4) Prowler Long Haulers on this tour: Beau & Laddie Roussel (LA -Yellow Prowler) Jim Pollister (PA - Red Prowler) Bert Dowdrick (CO - Mulholland Blue Prowler) Ray Klackle (LA - Red Prowler) Next years route will start in Arlington. Two possible routes are being planned and there will be a poll on HotRod.com... The final destinations being considered are Reno, NV or Minneapolis, MN. Again, we had terrific time and met many new friends. It just all about heart and passion... Spending and enjoying this with my son Beau, made it special... One great trip with memories for a lifetime... We won't have to look back and say we "coulda woulda or shoulda" we just did it...

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  Mercedes Museum and visitor Center. The plant is off to the right. Just off I-20/59 in Tuscaloosa, AL. Tours available to 1:15. Worthwhile visit. 
 
 
  Dreamland Ribs - Best Ribs in Alabama - located in Tuscaloosa.. 
 
 
  Me & Beau at the Jack Daniels distilery in Lynchburg, TN. We toured the plant with Jim Pollister (PA) on our way up to Nashville for the beginning of the Power Tour. 
 
 
  2003 Hot Rod Power Tour Registration table. 
 
 
  Nashville Opryland Hotel waiting on the Kentucky Headhunters band our opening night entertainment...  
 
 
  Beau & me in front of Graceland on Saturday morning arrival in Memphis. 
 
 
  Us coming out of Graceland... 
 
 
  Prowler & SSR - front view at the Memphis stop. The SSR was driven the entire route... 
 
 
  Prowler & SSR - rear view 
 
 
  Birthplace of Kermit the Frog - Leland, MS. 
 
 
  Hot Rod Blenders... 
 
 
  Robert (Bert) Dowdrick from CO - Long Hauler... His Kat has remote start and several other features along with alarm system by Clifford... 
 
 
  Yellow Kat at staging lane at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, LA. on our way to Lake Charles. This was a Free lunch stop and we had drag racing & road racing on the half mile road course. Jambalaya and white beans were outstanding... 
 
 
  Yellow Kat staged... 
 
 
  Yellow Kat takes hole shot and takes Hot Rod Lincoln... 
 
 
  Three Kat racers. Bert had best time of 15.19, I had 15.5 & Jim had 16.0. We actually ran with our PT luggage racks loaded with our luggage... Jim's first time on drag strip. First time for Bert in Prowler (he been on strip many times in other cars)... 
 
 
  Stopped at the Tabasco Factory in Avery Island, LA. (near New Iberia). Nice diversion off the planned route... 
 
 
  Stopped in Natchitoches, LA for famous meat pies and than got a picture along the Cane River. This is the town Steel Magnolia's was filmed in... Another nice detour off planned route... 
 
 
  Red River Raceway just north of Shreveport, LA in Gilliam. This was our cruise night stop and we had free drag racing... Rains came and cut short our stay... 
 
 
  PT Hemi Truck 
 
 
  Red River Raceway - some of the folks in the stands... 
 
 
  PT Hemi truck throws flames out the headers... 
 
 
  The PT Hemi Truck did a wheelie the entire 1/4 mile down the strip... 
 
 
  The driver & owner of PT Hemi. He said he really had hard time keeping the truck in the right lane with the strong cross winds. There are four brakes on each of the back wheels (that is what he uses for steering). 
 
 
  This old truck made it all the way to Arlington. The owner actually slept in the trailer. 
 
 
  Ray Klackle from Louisiana and was a Long Hauler... 
 
 
  The Bellamy Brothers at our last stop in Arlington. They were sponsored by Flowmaster. Nice show... 
 
 
  Black Tie Street Rod. He had matching trailer - looked very nice... 
 
 
  Friday morning get together for Long Haulers - Estimated to be right at 1,000. In 2000, we only made last two legs and there were 275 Long Haulers that year. (4X Long Haulers in three years)... 
 
 
  Hot Rod with Turbine engine from Helicopter... 
 
 
  The noise sounded just like jet engine and he was blowing flames out the dual stacks constantly... 
 
 
  Nice looking yellow Street Rod 
 
 
  Long Haulers getting ready for group picture with 67 Chevelle give away car... 
 
 
  Another shot of group picture... 
 
 
  Beau & me with our Long Hauler plaque... 
 
 
  Jim Pollister with his Long Hauler plaque. 
 
 
  Billy Kilgore & his son Bryan along with some friends from GA. We met Billy & his PT on the 2000 tour and he has made the last four... 
 
 
  Some of the tour cars... 
 
 
  Couple of chargers (father & son) that tagged along with us (on & off) for a couple of days... 
 
 
  more tour cars... 
 
 
  Scott Cedor and his Nova - from New Orleans 
 
 
  Fireman's Truck - Favorite of Beau's 
 
 
  Bret Byus and his Hemi. Bret relocated from New Orleans to St. Louis in Jan. this year. He started in Nashville and made the run up to New Orleans before heading back to St. Louis. Saw many of his old friends at the stop in New Orleans... 
 
 
  Susie & Bobbie Lambert, Mark & Maria Credo, Vic & Faith Giardano Corvette Friends of ours from New Orleans. They came up to Memphis to join the tour through New Orleans. We hung out & cruised together for two days... 
 
 
  Susie & Bobbie Lambert and their mid year Vette. On this morning leg from Jackson to New Orleans they were in the 50th Vette birthday cruise and were being filmed by the Hot Rod TV film crew while driving... 
 
 
  Jonathan & Jim Boudreaux. Corvette friends who came out to the Wal Mart in New Orleans and traveled as far No Problem Raceway on Tuesday morning... 
 
 
  Four Kats in the Wal Mart parking lot Tuesday morning. Nick, Scott & Josh Latino came out to see us in their Yellow Prowler. Scott & Josh cruised with us out to No Problem Raceway and had lunch with us at the track... 
 
 
  Inside the Tabasco factory on Tuesday afternoon. 
 
 
  Beau, Bert & Jim inside the factory and now off to The Old Tabasco Store. Time for a little gift shopping... 
 
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