Ahhh, springtime. That wonderful time of year when skies become brighter, skirts become shorter, and peoples’ winter projects come rolling out of their garaged hibernation. Normally, a trip to Las Vegas on Easter weekend would be the jump-off point for celebrating another year of all three of these things, as it has been for the past decade for me. But as great as past experiences have been, I couldn’t help but tire of being stuck in the same hotel, seeing the same people, the same “projects” that have yet to ditch their primer day after day, year after year. To paraphrase the late, great Lux Interior, I was lookin’ for some new kind of kick.
But for the past few months, a number of like-minded individuals continually mentioned a show further out than a four-hour drive through Death Valley. They raved on and on about a friendlier, more laid back setting. One where the desert sun didn’t keep you indoors unless it was truly necessary to venture out to the steaming pile of black asphalt, and where the famous Texas hospitality flowed through town like barbecue sauce out of a squeeze bottle.
The place? Austin, Texas. The event? The 12th Annual Lone Star Round Up. For those who have been yearning for something completely different out of their annual Spring pilgrimage, this shindig is for you.
Since its inception, the 'LoneStar Round Up' has been about the splendor and the glory that is the automobile. It’s not a clusterf*** of attitudes, penny slots and inebriated vanity with an obligatory parking lot of hack jobs thrown in for saving face.
No, this is kustom kar kulture at its finest, and it shows the second you walk in through the gates of the Travis County Expo Center, minutes east of downtown Austin. It’s genuine hot rods, taildraggin’ sleds, skinny-tired gassers and glorious chop tops as far as your eyes can gaze. It keeps to the tradition of great car shows like the 'Pomona Grand Nationals' and 'Mooneye’s Christmas Party', where the car is the star. What sets Lone Star apart from these shows, however, is the energy and atmosphere that it draws from the city of Austin.
To the credit of the Kontinentals Car Club, who organize this event to perfection, there are a number of amazing vendors, bands, and local grub to keep you occupied for hours on end. Where else can you enjoy some amazing local bratwursts while watching the insanely good Junior Brown perform to a lucky crowd of fans? Chances are, you won’t be seeing that in Pomona any time soon. Or where can you find a nice, shady tree surrounded by swaths of comfortable grass, where you can take a nap and begin to sleep off the six-pack of Lone Star tall cans you’ve thoroughly enjoyed? Good luck trying that in Vegas. The last time I tried, I was asked to vacate the
Now even the most fervent of grease monkeys will want to find something else to occupy their time, and they couldn’t have picked a better place than Austin to do so. Known for decades as a bastion of all things musical and counter-culture, Austinites do their best to show the tens of thousands of visitors from abroad a great time. From the endless parties local car clubs and speed shops throw on the outskirts of downtown, to the cruising and shopping on Congress Avenue in the SoCo neighborhood, to the borderline hedonism lovingly referred to as 6th Street, the wonderful residents of the City of the Violet Crown don’t just center their annual hot rod celebration in one venue – they let it take over and spread like a shop rag fire. Needless to say, my friends and I had very little problems with partaking in the celebrations – our bloodshot eyes and recovering livers can attest to that.
There comes a time in one’s life when tastes and preferences evolve. When the comfort of repetition and familiarity no longer seem, well… comfortable. While I’ll always look at my past experiences in
by D.B Bean