Hot rod tour draws large crowds to Gulfport - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hot rod tour draws large crowds to Gulfport

Hot rods roll into Gulfport (Photo Source: WLOX News) Hot rods roll into Gulfport (Photo Source: WLOX News)
(Photo Source: WLOX News) (Photo Source: WLOX News)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - What's being touted as the world's largest traveling car show rolled into South Mississippi Thursday. The "Hot Rod Power Tour" at Centennial Plaza in Gulfport featured nearly 6,000 vehicles of all makes and models. It was the first time the tour has stopped on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The parade of performance cars pulled into Centennial Plaza at noon. It was a slow process, but many drivers seemed to enjoy the leisurely trip along Highway 90.

"It's the first location we've ever done for the Power Tour on the beach, so it's just beautiful," said Hot Rod Publisher Jeff Dahlin.

Spectators lined-up along the route trying to catch a glimpse of every hot rod. The Neumeir brothers were among the car buffs.

"It's awesome!" said 14-year-old Tyler Neumeir. "I like the old blueish Ford Fairlane back there."

"Probably the big blue truck back there. It's pretty much a big monster truck," said 12-year-old Jacob Neumeir.

The custom trucks, street rods, muscle cars, even school buses, will cover more than 1,000 miles on the "Hot Rod Power Tour". Their "seven-cities in seven-days" journey started in Madison, Wisconsin.

"We come down out of Wisconsin. We've run through two to three rainstorms already and seeing all kinds of new country and meeting all kinds of new people," said Bob Perdue of Wisconsin. "Every day, you wake up and you meet new people from some other part of the country, so it's been a blast."

Many drivers traveled with modern conveniences. Paul Banfi and his wife brought a retro 2015 camper that was modeled after a 1961 Shasta.

"We got our own accommodations. Like if it's in the middle of nowhere with no motels, or the motels are all booked up, we got our own motel," said Banfi.

And a couple from Illinois built their own tear-drop camper. It came complete with a bedroom, kitchen, and shower stall.

"You pull it and the water comes out of the holes and you sit there and wash your hair, it works great," said Rick Brewer of Illinois.

They got a chance to show off their cool rides, while cruising across the country.

"It's about having fun, getting out there with your car and hitting the open road," said Dahlin. "Now that we've been here and we've seen proof that this is such a great car town, we want to come back and do more."

The show was free to the public and ended at 7:00 p.m. The vehicles will hit the road again Friday morning for their final stop in Baton Rouge, LA.

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