By Jerry Dixey

While we think of the Triple Crown of Rodding as a new beginning, there will be a great ending happening, too. What began as a “what if” discussion between then Street Rodder editor Tom Vogele and writer Jerry Dixey at the 1995 SEMA Show turned into one of the longest-running and most popular magazine projects in the hot rod hobby. The concept was simple: build a street rod using quality products and common-sense safety features and then drive the wheels off it. What started as a one-and-done program ultimately continued for almost 30 years.

Street Rodder commissioned the top builders in the industry to construct a state-of-the-art hot rod that reflected the current trend in the hobby. Known as the Road Tour, the program started in the spring of 1996. Road Tour Director Jerry Dixey chauffeured these machines around the nation, attending street rod events and documenting the adventures on the pages of Street Rodder and NSRA’s StreetScene. From 1996 until 2005 Jerry attended every NSRA event in the United States. That added up to over 300,000 miles, driven to 110 consecutive events spanning 10 years.

In 2006, the folks at Street Rodder decided to add a new twist to the program: the readers were invited to join Jerry on the road in their own hot rods. Eight weeklong Road Tours were planned each summer. Participants traveled from one event to another and made stops along the way at car museums, private collections, and tourist attractions. As many as 50 to 75 vehicles joined in the fun, and friendships were forged that would last a lifetime.

Some things have changed in recent years. Jerry Dixey and his wife, Mary Ann Karas, formed Classic Road Tours to keep things rolling. Starting in 2021, the number of Road Tours was reduced to three each summer. In 2024, after 29 years on the road each summer, Jerry and Mary Ann decided it might be time to wind up the program and enjoy some adventures of their own. It is being done in style as “The Last Road-eo” invited hot rodders to join Jerry on three Grand Finale Tours. The three tours for 2024 include the 50th Back to the 50s Tour in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Speedway Tour from Lincoln, Nebraska, to the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky, and the end of an era concludes at the Triple Crown of Rodding Tour at the Nashville Super Speedway in September.

It has been a heck of a ride, as Jerry has covered over 500,000 miles in a hot rod over the years. If you ask him, he will say that the miles were fun but the smiles were even better, as he showed everyone the joy of the hot rod hobby.

You can follow Jerry’s adventures at Jerry Dixey’s Road Tourians Facebook group. That will also be where you will find out what Jerry is planning for the future. Guaranteed, it will be fun. MR

The post The Last Of The Road Tours Ends At The Triple Crown of Rodding appeared first on In The Garage Media.