When 15 guys get together, it usually involves sports, beer and a lot of loud talking. Then again, 15 guys can gather and create something memorable. So was the case in 2010, when the American Street Rod Association was born.
Rod Mills, the brainchild for the ASRA back in 1972, and his cohorts, Gary Glascoe and Doug Iwerks, united with the Iowa Street Rod Association and were able to assemble 300 like-minded individuals who loved Street Rods and wanted to preserve them. Things worked well for a while, but the organization didn’t have the resources to stand alone, so the ASRA was discontinued.
Then, in 2009, the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) instituted “The 30-Year Rule“, an attempt to expand to new members, excluded cars that were made before 1948. What was the guy with a cool ’29 Model A or ’32 Chevy to do? Here’s where 15 determined guys come in with a plan.
Some of the Street Rodders saw it unfair for their cars to be shut out. They gave the same love and attention to these early post-war beauties as every other rodder out there. Well, these guys rolled up their sleeves, unpacked documents from the days of the club’s original inception, campaigned at various events, passed out placards and T-shirts and got the ball rolling. They have been met with opposition from other organizations and seen the seedy side of autodom, yet they kept their resolve. Although the work is not yet finished, the ASRA is in full stride and growing rapidly. They obviously married well too, their wives all help out and have been proselytizing alongside their husbands since the beginning.
This year, the American Street Rod Association has four major events scheduled for Street Rod owners throughout the country. Do you adore the silhouette of a ’40 Ford Coupe? Do you still hum Glenn Miller and Bing Crosby tunes? Do you now or have you ever owned, a T-Bucket or Rat Rod? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then this is the place for you. I encourage those of you who love custom and classic cars to bring your family and attend one of the ASRA’s events. It’s a time when a group of car guys and gals can get together and enjoy the days when cars were cars and choppin’ and droppin’ was the first order of customization.
2nd Annual Street Rod Drags at I-57 Drag Way in Benton Illinois
There will be a Nostalgia Night and Friday Night Tune-Up. The event also features “Drag What You Brung” on Saturday with the winner receiving a custom trophy.
July 19th & 20th
Hot Rods in the Heartland in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
In conjunction with the local club, this event is open to Hot Rods and Street Rods. If you like to drive your ride, there will be a tour each day with stops to eat and see local attractions as well as be the local attraction.
Vintage Weekend 4 in Decatur, Illinois
Progress city is a huge indoor/ outdoor fairground on which events will be held. There will be door prizes and demonstrations. The event will feature cruises on Friday and Saturday night.
Just when it looked like the classic Street Rod was only going to be enjoyed by a few old guys in a Costco parking lot, people like Ron Kelogg, Larry Steele, Fred Mertz (honestly, no pun intended) and 12 others have served as keepers of the Street Rod faith and have worked tirelessly to ensure they have a prominent place in the annals of the car hobby.
Special thanks to our friend, Jack Metz, who gave insight on the history or the ASRA and inspired further to pursue this story. To read and learn more about the American Street Rod Association, visit their website at www.AmericanStreetRodAssociation.com.