Q&A: Keller Wallace, Volunteer Street Rod Association’s coordinator for Street Rod Nationals South Plus

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What are your duties for this weekend’s event?

Basically, I’m just the go-between from the National Street Rod Association and the VSRA—we’re the home club for the event this weekend.

And we’re expecting a lot of people?

Quite a few, somewhere around 3,000 cars.

How many people come with each car?

I’d say an average of two people per car, and then thousands more spectators.

What’s your car?

I’ve got a ’34 Ford 5-window coupe. It’s red.

Is that your favorite color?

Not necessarily. I’ve got other cars that aren’t red—a couple more ’34 Fords, some Mustangs, ’65, ’66, and ’69.

How’d you get into hot rods?

I have no idea. Ever since I was a kid, I loved cars.

What was your first hot rod?

A ’37 International pickup truck.

Do you cruise around here?

Quite a bit—primarily on Clinton Highway at the old K-Mart store. There are anywhere from 100-300 plus cars there every Saturday.

How many in this area are interested?

I couldn’t even take a guess. Our club’s got roughly 50 members, and that’s only a fraction.

And your Ford’s a hot rod?

No, it’s a street rod—street driven. Most of the cars have air, power steering, power brakes; they have the technology of newer cars but still look like the old cars.

How old does a car have to be to participate?

For this event, from ’81 or before. For our group, ’73 or before. But there are no engine restrictions—the car could even be one with a stock engine.

The annual Street Rod Nationals South Plus is May 6-8 at Chilhowee Park & Expo Center. For more information: nsra-usa.com

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