2021 Hotrod-A-Rama – The Resurrection
Like a ghostly ghoul rising out of the grave, the Hotrod-A-Rama show was resurrected in chrome, fire, and burnt rubber! I know that sounds pretty dramatic, but it’s pretty much what happened.
The Hotrod-A-Rama traditional hot rod show ran from 2002 until 2010 and was one of the most talked about shows in the Pacific Northwest. After a decade of slumber it was brought back to life in the small town of Pendleton, Oregon. The location was well thought out as Pendleton sits centrally to all major metros in the PNW. The city was certainly not chosen simply by its location, the town is amazing, and the perfect backdrop for a traditional hot rod event. Everywhere you turned during the 4 day event, there was another timeless photo opp matching era correct builds to an era correct setting.
There are many people to thank for the rebirth of the show, but the big three are Dale Seaholm and Hugh Tucker Jr. as the main organizers, and Rodney Bullington who is the proprietor of the historic Oregon Grain Growers Distillery. The Distillery was an Oldsmobile and Cadillac dealership back in the day, and was beautifully restored as a distillery and restaurant serving up killer eats and top shelf drinks. Without the hard work of these 3 individuals and plenty of others, the show would not have been such a massive success in its very first season of being revived.
Things got rolling on Thursday with a “Meet & Greet” which combined car culture and socializing, then everyone loaded up as there was a “Run to the Drive-In” cruise hosted by the Aces & Eights car club to the Milton-Freewater drive-in movie theatre. The amazing old theatre holds around 300 cars and lucky participants view the classic movie “The Giant Gila Monster.”
Friday morning launched with the swap meet where hot rodders offered up their treasures to eager show goers hunting for the perfect piece to finish a current build, or start a new one. As the swap was ending, the actual Hotrod-A-Rama show was officially starting in 4 specified parking lots in gorgeous downtown Pendleton. The lots quickly filled with an incredible display of era correct hot rods and customs. Every single car at the show belonged, and that is not something you can commonly find at shows striving for a traditional theme. We were burning up the digital film with so many great cars blending in so beautifully with their settings. Friday came to an official end with a BBQ feast, and an ice cream social that was held at the distillery. The ice cream was an extra special treat considering the extremely warm temperatures. The distillery was the hub for cars hanging out deep into the night. It seemed everyone wanted to take a photo of their ride in front of the beautiful building with its glowing backlit sign…we know we got plenty of images there.
Saturday once again began with the swap meet, then the action returned to downtown. There was a park setting with nice shade trees along one of the parking lots where 5 bands kept show goers entertained all day. The day was very relaxing and one you didn’t want to end. As the sun began to drop some cars made their way into the streets of downtown. We really fell in love with this setting as it provided shade and a cooler climate, then, once the sun faded and the neon lights came one…it was a photographer’s dreamland!!
The weekend came to a casual end as groups of hot rods gathered at the various restaurants serving up hot breakfasts and hotter coffee. It was a great send off to everyone for a weekend that we wanted to keep going. One thing is for sure, we will be back next year, and we hope to see you all there!
2021 Hotrod-A-Rama Photo Extra!
Photos by Chadly Johnson