LITCHFIELD, IL

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roddingandracing

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Although I post images on my website of all the car shows we go to, sometimes I send extended coverage to HOT ROD HOT LINE. To visit their website, click on their logo above or to go directly to our images, go to hotrodhotline.com/leal-brothers.

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This coming Halloween day (October 31), Monster Truck Wars will be holding their HALLOWEEN HAVOC Monster Truck event at the Lonestar Expo Arena in Conroe, Texas just north of Houston. Two shows were scheduled but the matinee show (2 pm - 4 pm) is already sold out. Tickets are still available for the evening show (7:30 pm - 9:30 pm).

LEGENDS Nostalgic Drags and Rod Run

Lonestar Motorsports Park / Sealy, Texas / 2012

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I shared the image on the far left on a Pro Street Facebook Group page with the comment "My son didn't understand my excitement when I made a very sharp turn into a motel parking lot to get this shot". We were on our way to the 2018 Street Machine  Nationals in Illinois 

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and I easily recognized the car since it's been covered in many magazines including covers and was immortalized when Revell produced a 1/24 scale plastic model of the Thunderbird (above, right). The Pro Street T-Bird was built by Matt and Debbie Hay in 1988 and was actually sold in 1991. Twenty-two years later (2013) the car was once again up for sale and the Hays decided to buy it back. It was my first time seeing it in person.

I've loved cars as long as I can remember. My son? Not so much! I remember whenever he showed some type of interest, I would jump on the opportunity. He started noticing NASCAR race vehicles but since he was still pretty young, he would call them by what he knew. KODAK was "take a picture", HAVOLINE and VALVOLINE were "motor oil", TIDE was of course "wash clothes" and Jeff Gordon's BABY RUTH (right) was a gimme! And like a proud dad, I'd run  out and get him diecast cars of the 

vehicles so he could play with them but unfortunately, the interest never panned out. One final note.....since he was still pretty young, he didn't have names for BUDWEISER or HOOTER'S!

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While spring cleaning during the Pandemic, I came across this 1/18 scale '57 Chevy Street Machine that had several working features. The headlights and taillights come on, the horn honks when you push down on the steering wheel and the best feature of all, the engine roars to life! Push a button and the engine starts up, idles with a healthy  growl  and  even  vibrates!  Still trying to steer my 

son's interests toward cars, I showed him the engine feature and his response took a lot of the wind out of my sails....not all, but a pretty good chunk. He said that it sounded like a "toilet flushing". Let me repeat that with a visual aide (right)! He said it sounded like a "TOILET FLUSHING"!

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My brother and I kid my son about his not sharing our enthusiasm for cars but in reality, he goes with us to all the local car shows (pre-Pandemic) and even tags along on our yearly "ROAD TRIP". As a matter of fact, my first "ROAD TRIP" in 2013 it was just my son and me following the first five stops of the Hot Rod Power Tour. Since then, we covered five Power Tours including two "Long Hauls" (all seven stops), two NHRA Hot Rod Reunions (KY), a Street Machine Nationals (IL) and the "Cruisin'  Ocean  City" 

event in Maryland (2019). He stays busy at the shows by visiting the vendors and in Ocean City, they have restaurants, shops, amusement parks and a Board Walk so he kept pretty busy there. We had planned a return visit in 2020 but as you know, everything was canceled.  

DIECAST

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The ERTL Joy Ride CARtoon diecast series (above) only released four pieces back in 2004. The three above I've had for many years and now I have the fourth (left, below). The three above are of course the Torino from the Starsky and Hutch TV show, the Charger from the Fast and the Furious and the General Lee Charger from the Dukes of Hazard TV show. The reason I had interest in buying the Firebird from the Smokey and the Bandit movie was because I ran across a just released caricature figure of Burt Reynolds (left) and I figured they would display well together as a set. What do you think? 

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I bought this diecast Edelbrock hot rod panel truck in hopes of getting it autographed by Vic Edelbrock during our "ROAD TRIP" covering the Hot Rod Power Tour. Edelbrock is one of the Tour's sponsors and always had a display together with the rest of the vendors. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2018 before we were able to get his autograph.   

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I've been getting lots of automotive gift ideas recently (Facebook) and one that I like are posters like the one on the left (different sizes). Although they have different sayings on them, they do repeat but with different artwork. With the posted "EVERYTHING WILL KILL YOU SO CHOOSE SOMETHING FUN" (left), I've seen dragsters (several), hot rods, muscle cars and even nostalgic Indy and Le Mans racing scenes. The one on the left just popped up (first time) and the timing was right in line with my posting of my similar diecast cars above.    

Last weekend, the NHRA held their Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Dallas (Ennis). Texas Pro Stock racer Chris McGaha wrapped his Pro Stocker (right) in tribute to the Dallas based Reher & Morrison Racing Team. They were 4-time NHRA Pro Stock Champions before driver Lee Shepherd's death during     a     test     session     in 

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Oklahoma in 1985. Last month (September), Texas Top Fuel racer Steve Torrence wrapped his dragster (below) in tribute to legendary drag racer Don Garlits during the Gator Nationals in Florida, Garlits' home state. I've posted artist renditions of the vehicles and pictures that I personally took of both vehicles many, many years ago. 

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This past weekend, the NHRA held their Summer Nationals down here in Houston (Baytown) and Tommy Johnson Jr prevailed with his MD ANDERSON CANCER CENTER sponsored Funny Car (left). The MD ANDERSON CANCER CENTER is located here in Houston and my wife, son and sister-in-law all work at MD Anderson so I decided to give them props. 

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My glass has always been "half-full". I try to see the upside of everything and in 2020, its been an uphill battle. October does have its peaks though. First off, October is National Pizza Month and its a 31-day month! This past Sunday (Oct 25) was National Greasy Foods Day. I would prefer to switch the observances to have a greater choice the entire month. And then there's Halloween. Due to the Pandemic, less kids are expected out in the streets and less kids at the door means more candy left over! Can't wait to see what's on tap in November and December.....other than the obvious!

This was the article's exact headline....."HOUSTON NAMED AMONG TOP 20 RATTIEST CITIES IN THE NATION, ACCORDING TO NEW STUDY". My first question was how does someone perform a "study" to determine rat populations in major cities? Further reading stated that the numbers were released by Orkin so that made a little more sense. Anyway Houston was ranked #17 while the top 5 were Chicago (six straight years), Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC and San Francisco.  

* DON'T LET AGE CHANGE YOU; CHANGE THE WAY YOU AGE. *

INSIDE EVERY OLDER PERSON IS A YOUNGER PERSON WONDERING WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED!