Hot Rod Power Tour charges through Champaign



A 1951 Mercury at the Hot Rod Power tour on Sunday, June 7, at Parkland College. The seven-day, seven-city tour features unique automobiles and travels from Madision, Wisconsin, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

By Christopher Reinhart

The Hot Rod Power Tour made a stop in Champaign on Sunday as a part of its seven-day, seven-city tour. Over 3,500 participants displayed their vehicles at Parkland College’s campus for spectators to see.

The freeevent featured cars ranging from classic Chevy Camaros to an old, redesigned school bus.

Jeff Dahlin, publisher of Hot Rod magazine, said he was excited for Champaign to be added to the tour this year because of the large outdoor area that Parkland was able to provide.

There was also a stage with live entertainment, free giveaways, a portable dynometer (a tool to show how much horsepower a vehicle has) and food trucks on the site.

Spectators were able to check out the cars close-up, as most people lifted their hoods to show the car’s engine. Vehicles were spread out across a few of Parkland College’s parking lots.

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Car owners shared stories about the work they put into their vehicles over the years.

Dan Burrill, owner of a 1954 Ford F1 Pickup Truck, said what makes his truck special to him is the fact that he built it himself. When he got the truck, it had only the frame and cab intact – it didn’t even have doors on the cab. He had to search for the rest of the parts and put them together himself.

“Getting out on the road and being able to drive is what I enjoy”, Burrill said. “We started in Madison and we’ll go all the way to Louisiana and then we’ll drive back home.”

The Hot Rod Power Tour’s last stop in Champaign was in 2012 at the State Farm Center.

This year, the tour began Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin, and will end in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.