If you’re a custom car buff you certainly can’t miss the 36th annual Wheels of Time Rod & Custom Jamboree rolling into Macungie Memorial Park Aug. 22-24.
This huge gathering of custom cars, trucks, dragsters and specialty cars are a car lovers delight. It’s one of the largest all-volunteer car events in the nation. Once there, the sound of big supercharged V8s being goosed will bring goose bumps and music to the ears. The unmistakable whine of superchargers, a/k/a blowers, indicate there are hundreds of horses waiting to be unleashed from within big and small block engines and from a variety of cars and rods, each with exotic and eye-catching paint schemes.
This year’s show brings the usual compliment of over 1,500 street rods and custom cars, 1984 and older. “Each vehicle, says Ken Martin, WOT media director, is an individual creation representing American innovation and creativity and is a unique expression of performance and style by its owners.”
Every year 20 participants are awarded the coveted “Wheels of Time Award” for their unique creations. And entrants can have their cars inspected free of charge by the National Street Rod Association Vehicle Safety Inspection crew.
This year’s show brings new and interesting events. One highlight is the appearance of Rick Dore and his recent custom car project, “Black Pearl,” which was built for Metallica band member James Hetfield.
Dore, originally from New York and now residing in California, has been in the custom car business since the early 90s. His car building work has earned him worldwide honors, awards and recognition and has got him in several automotive halls of fame. His Black Pearl won every category in its class at the 2014 Grand National Roadster Show.
Other highlights include a display of a Vietnam era helicopter, WWE pro wrestling show on Saturday afternoon, Valve Cover racing, the Teeter Totter where entrants attempt to balance their car on this balance platform, a huge flea market and crafts with over 250, car corral with dozens of cars for sale, Bingo, Women’s World, kids entertainment, a wing and Tastycake eating contest, cake walk, gift basket raffle and of course daily entertainment such as The Fabulous Grease Band, Allentown Hobo Marching Band and Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods.
And if you need a part or aftermarket product for your car, there are a myriad of vendors offering a plethora of items.
Every year local residents and visitors enjoy the annual Friday Night Cruise where 200 cars form a parade through Macungie and Emmaus. This year, however, brings a routing change that is essentially reversed from past years. The parade will form at Allen Organ as it always does, then head south on Route 100, turning left at Buckeye Road, then left on Route 29 (Chestnut St.), going through Emmaus and turning left onto Harrison Street, past Emmaus High School, then turning right onto Cedar Crest Boulevard, proceeding left onto Lower Macungie Road, then left onto Willow Lane and back to Route 100 and left back to the park.
The show opens each day at 7 a.m. with an $8 (kids under 16 are free) admission charge. If you bring a non-perishable food item you’ll get $2 off the admission price. These items bring thousands of pounds of food that are donated to a local food bank.
Over the past 20 years, an average of $60,000 is given to local charities from the shows’ proceeds and to date over $1,300,000 has been given to local community organizations plus over 300 scholarships have been awarded plus hundreds of pints of blood were given to the Miller-Keystone Blood Center. This is supplemented by proceeds and donations given by sponsors Buckeye Pipeline, Blast from the Past Street Rods in Pottstown, Poorboys World Polishing and Detail Products of West Nyack, NY, Kutztown Auto in Kutztown, Wenzco in Macungie, WFMZ 69 and Macungie Memorial Park.
Of course the show wouldn’t be possible without the WOT members, spouses and families that volunteer to work the show.
For more information on the show, directions, site map and show schedule, check www.wheelsoftime.org - or their Facebook page.
The show began its annual run it 1977 when a small group of street rodders (Hot Rodders) felt there was a need for an organization to promote Street Rodding in the Lehigh Valley. They started small, meeting in garages of members and gaining members as time went on. Currently, there are over 100 men and women in the organization that share the same ideals and interests in cars.