The Race & Performance Expo at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois is an auto trade show like SEMA, but one open to the public in, not just the pros. It incorporates a 25-vehicle car show in a hotel ballroom and a youth-oriented Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (www.hotroddersoftomorrow.com) competition that packs parents in.
This 7th annual event attracted collectors, as well as racing buffs. While it sounds like a place to see racing parts and services, the car show is really for restorers and muscle car fans. Dave Glass of D & M Corvette used this venue to debut his new Nova gasser, which was built in just a few months at his shop.
The Race & Performance Expo also offers great seminars put on upstairs by companies like Edelbrock, MSD, Holley and Auto Meter. Many racetracks were also exhibiting to promote their 2014 venues. Check out a few highlights below.
John “Gunner” Gunnell has been writing about cars since ‘72. As a kid in Staten Island, N.Y., he played with a tin Marx “Service Garage” loaded with toy vehicles, his favorite being a Hubley hot rod. In 2010, he opened Gunner’s Great Garage, in Manawa, Wis., a shop that helps enthusiasts restore cars. To no one’s surprise, he decorated 3G’s with tin gas stations and car toys.
Gunner started writing for two car club magazines. In 1978, publisher Chet Krause hired him at Old Cars Weekly, where he worked from 1978-2008. Hot rodding legend LeRoi “Tex” Smith was his boss for a while. Gunner had no formal journalism training, but working at a weekly quickly taught him the trade. Over three decades, he’s met famous collectors, penned thousands of articles and written over 85 books. He lives in Iola, Wis., with his nine old cars, three trucks and seven motorcycles.
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