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Preparing for the East Coast Indoor Nationals

December 1, 2009

1953 Dodge Job-Rated Retro-Rod

This coming weekend is the East Coast Indoor Nationals, in which we were invited to participate.  The promoter/manager of the show attends events throughout the mid-Atlantic area selecting cars, trucks and motorcycles he would like to have displayed at the event.  He tries to round out the selections to cover a wide range of interests from classics, antiques, muscle, modified,customized,  hot rods and rat rods.

A few years ago our 1964 Corvette Convertible Stingray was selected.  We prepped our car, packed up our cleaning supplies and joined a friend with another Corvette for the weekend show.  Our display was simple, the cars and some small Christmas trees as stanchions with strands of garland as roping.

Many of the cars were displayed with lighting and mirrors giving visibility of the bottom of the vehicle.  There were displays with carpet or special flooring.  Some of the displays depicted a theme such as the beach, a nature scene and a drive in restaurant.

A few of the displays were truly above and beyond.  Cars were displayed on chrome wheel stands, allowing viewers a great view of the bottom of the car. There was a full snow scene with a pick-up truck filled with presents.  One motorcycle owner brought his own ‘boardwalk’ on which to display.  Many displays included specially designed chrome barriers to keep spectators away from the cars.  A few of the owners had completely custom surrounds in which they displayed their automotive works of art.

All the years we have done car shows, it seems natural to go to shows in the great outdoors.  Doing this show inside the Cow Palace at the Maryland State Fairgrounds is a bit different. We still have to consider the elements as we get to the show, I am praying for dry roads.  Unlike most car shows, once we set up on Friday, our truck will remain in the same spot until the end of the show on Sunday afternoon.

This year we are displaying our 1953 Dodge Job-Rated pick-up which we recently completed a resto-rod (restoration with alterations qualifying the truck as a ‘rod’).  The impetus for the conversion was to allow us to carry his Harley Davidson motorcycle in the bed, while closing the tailgate.  The bed was lengthened, the frame reinforced and modified, a new engine and transmission and many more upgrades were incorporated in the project.

For this year Hubby is planning a special display using a reproduction gas pump, gas station island light and classic style oil can stand.  We are designing posters to tell the history of the build/conversion. His father is building boxes to be incorporated into low barricades.  In all this is a family project as we prepare for the show.

The build of this truck has been a great mental diversion for Hubby as the stresses of work were taking their toll.  He would revel in the decisions and choices, spend time online and pouring through catalogs and magazines looking for parts and ideas, doing little detail touches and dreaming of the day the truck would be completed.  Now that the job is almost complete, he enjoys taking the truck to shows and telling the stories of the truck’s history and build.

The East Coast Indoor Nationals features a lot of beautiful classic and modified cars, trucks and motorcycles, all displayed in the climate controlled environs of the Cow Palace.  Three hundred of the finest pre-1973 All-American vehicles from the mid-Atlantic will be on display to benefit Toys for Tots.  This show is held annually on the first weekend of December (or the second weekend after Thanksgiving, depending on the calendar — the weekend after Thanksgiving is the Festival of Trees).

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