Street rod enthusiasts gather at the EXPO for an annual competition
ESSEX JCT., Vt. (WCAX) – Hundreds of street rods, customs and muscle cars are on display at the Champlain Valley Expo this weekend as part of the 28th annual Northeast Street Rod National Championships.
“My mother had one. I remember sitting in those cars,” said Bonny Randall of Freedom, New Hampshire.
Many showing their cars, like Jeff Helmsman, have come a long way. “The car is semi-famous. It sat on Miami Beach for 20 years in front of the Avalon Hotel. The death of the owner — he owned this car. He had two other cars that the hotel owned,” Helmsman said. He and his wife brought their ’55 Buick convertible from Florida. It took five years to restore and it evokes many memories for some. “In fact, yesterday a couple saw it and they said they used to go on dates in a 1955 Buick convertible. Then I said, ‘Well, you can ride in the back seat!”
Jack Cooper and his wife, who traveled from Massachusetts, were unable to make the trip last year due to COVID. He says his favorite part of owning a 1934 Chevy is driving it. “A lot of the cars here at this competition are what I would call show cars. They were built to look good and to get trophies and that sort of thing. I’m okay with that if that’s your thing. My thing is to drive it,” Cooper said.
The National Street Rod Association puts on about 10 shows a year across the country. Many people we spoke to say it’s nice to connect with other enthusiasts. “Car people – we’re a whole different breed, different people. Like I said, you have your purists. Then you have people who really know how to build a car, how it should have been built from the factory,” said Bill Roderiques of Rhode Island.
The show lasts until Sunday.
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