|Michigan Hot Rod Association|
and Special Thanks to other Clubs and Associations:
The Michigan Hot Rod
for their support of
the Rod Repair Shop
Summary of Purpose and Background of Michigan Hot Rod Association's Rod Repair Shop
The Michigan Hot Rod Association's (MHRA) founding in 1951 was based on the need of the youth in Southeast Michigan to have a safe and organized place to race their hot rods on a drag strip. MHRA founded the Detroit Autorama Hot Rod Show in 1953, and has held the Autorama for over 55 years. With the profit from the initial Autorama Hot Rod Shows, the MHRA constructed and opened their member owned drag strip in New Baltimore, Michigan in 1957, and operated it for many years.
As the private sector opened drag strips in the area and the members of MHRA became very active in the new Street Rod activity that was growing in the mid 60's, MHRA looked for an activity to support the growth of the Street Rodding Sport. In the late 60's and early 70's, MHRA held Rod Tours that were weekend trips that used Street Rods to tour to a distant city for a weekend of fun. A repair vehicle followed the touring group.
In 1972 the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) held their 3rd annual National event at the Michigan State Fair Grounds in Detroit. To accommodate the out of town participants, the MHRA set up a facility at the State Fair Grounds to clean up the cars after their trip to Detroit and to supply equipment and workers for an emergency repair shop at no cost to the participant. The idea to provide emergency repair services was vital to the participant who had traveled far and away from home to the event. In these early days, most of the cars were made by their owners in their home garages and it was not uncommon for parts to break on trips.
Since the nationwide Street Rod activity visited a different big city each summer for their National events, the MHRA decided to construct a Rod Repair Shop Trailer to be towed and operated by volunteers from the membership of the MHRA at these out of town events. In 1973, the first Rod Repair trailer went from Detroit to Tulsa, Oklahoma for NSRA's national event. The emergency repair services were still provided at no cost to the participants since MHRA used money from the Detroit Autorama Hot Rod Show to pay the expenses.
As the requests for the Rod Repair Shop Trailer increased, so did the content of tools and equipment that went to the events. The original 3000 pound trailer, from 1973, was replaced with a new 9000 pound trailer of custom design in 1989. The Rod Shop trailer can provide on event site support to fix any basic system of a car to make it safe and operational again. The Rod Shop Trailer has been taken all over the USA to automotive events for the past 45 years. Currently, the Rod Repair Shop Trailer and Crew go out of town five times each summer to NSRA events in Knoxville, Tennessee; York, Pennsylvania; Louisville, Kentucky; Kalamazoo, Michigan and to the Minnesota Street Rod Association's (MSRA) "Back to the Fifties" - in St.Paul, Minnesota (5000 miles of travel).
The seasonal operation expenses are offset by donations of sponsors,
street rodders, and the various Associations that we serve. Capital equipment (tools, trailer, and tow vehicle) is provided by the
Michigan Hot Rod Association.
Max W. Lunsford
MHRA Rod Repair Shop Committee