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Street rods thunder into Louisville this weekend
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2013 marks the 44th annual National Street Rod Association Street Rod Nationals Plus, bringing thousands of street rods and other assorted means of horsepower up through the late 1980s to the fairgrounds at the Kentucky Exposition Center.  This year is also the 19th year the Nationals Plus has been held in Louisville and the 16th consecutive year of street rods converging upon the fairgrounds, an occurrence that will continue through 2020.

Prior to the yearly gathering, around 30 such machines thundered from Papa John’s Stadium to Fourth Street Live Wednesday. This was then followed by a press conference held near the Hard Rock Cafe at around noon with appearances from Louisville Metro Mayor Greg Fischer, Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger, Horseshoe Southern Indiana Vice President of Marketing Any Matheis, Kroger Customer Communications Manager David Nett, and National Street Rod Association Special Events Director Jerry Kennedy. The event concluded at 2 p.m. when the cars departed from the downtown tourist attraction.

For guests who arrive at the Expo Center during the four days the Nationals Plus will be in operation, there will be several displays, seminars and demos, a builder’s showcase featuring pieces from thirty of the nation’s top car crafters, activities for children, and a special area for women’s interests. Legendary car customizer Darryl Starbird will also be in attendance this year to promote his new book "Bubble Top King," and the National Rod & Custom Hall of Fame Museum, located in Afton, Okla. Prizes will be awarded Sunday in various categories, ranging from delivery trucks to the best of the best in street rods.

The Street Rod Nationals Plus begins at 8 a.m. on August 1, and will conclude at 3 p.m. August 4. The longest day will be Saturday, August 3, when gates will open at 7 a.m., and close at 7 p.m.; gates open at 8 a.m. on the remaining dates, closing at 5 p.m. on the 1st and 6 p.m. on the 2nd. Tickets to the event are $14 for adults 13 and over, $5 for children 6 through 12, and free for those up to 5 years of age. Discounted tickets are available at the Expo Center for guests who show their Kroger Plus Card, UPS employee badge, military ID, current NSRA membership, or any adult 60 years of age or older who show their ID or license.

Photos: Cameron Miquelon/Louisville.com.

Slideshow: 
A lineup of Fords past and present guarded the rear of the display near Muhammad Ali Boulevard.
This Chevy pickup will do more than haul bales of hay to the pasture.
Behind the Ford pickup was the last of V8 interceptors, American-style.
Mayor Fischer also tried on a few street rods for size, including this Ford F-1.
From L - R: Andy Matheis, David Nett, Doris Sims, Jerry Kennedy, Mayor Fischer, Mark Simendinger, and Jim Rowlett.
A photo-op with Mayor Fischer and Jerry Kennedy in front of a street rod.
Louisville Metro Mayor Greg Fischer presents NSRA Special Events Director Jerry Kennedy with a proclaimation in honor of this year's show.
Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau Vice President of Bureau Services Doris Sims led the press conference.
This machine displays its NSRA stickers proudly.
A young boy buffs the chrome on this classic fire truck.
Speaking of Pontiacs, this T1000 (left) is supposed to be here; cars must be 25 and over to participate, 1988 being this year's terminus.
Onlookers took in the sight of machines such as this Pontiac Grand Prix.
Going three-wide with thousands of dollars worth of street rods.
A future street rodder, perhaps?

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About Cameron Miquelon

Former fashion writer for Louisville.com, now contributing author for automotive industry blog The Truth About Cars. Born in Louisville, returned 29 years later, left for Seattle in 2013.

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