Climbing The Hill of Hot Rod Heaven

I found gold in this hill. Not exactly the gold that Central City, Colorado was known for back in 1859, but nuggets of hot rods just as beautiful as any piece of gold. With this annual event, it truly still is living up to it’s past nick name of “The Richest Square Mile”. Puns aside, amongst a steep hill is a vintage looking mining town with hot rods roaring along the streets and a crowd of young and old attending the annual Hot Rod Hill Climb. Along the same hill are fall changing aspen trees and a slight chill in the wind from the coming winter and high altitude.

Down below is a small town with a modern casino, small businesses, vintage advertisements posted on buildings, and a parc expose’ of hot rods with strings of lights above. As with any hill climb or race, it begins with a Parc expose’ (a display of the hotrods), going through tech inspection, registering and applying Hill Climb numbers and decals, but at this event a platform is set up at the start line to help hot rods get up the hill easier. The event crew wear what looks like white safari hats and white mechanic jumpsuits.

Race time! As the hill climb begins, the spectators sit and stand in a area filled with benches, but you can climb the hill if you don’t mind the work out. Obviously it’s a very relaxed atmosphere as I’m sure any hill climbs and races were back in the day when hotrods prowled the streets. The event ran safe, organized, and on time. Just pure perfection. Thankfully, the earlier rain storm disappeared just in time for the event to begin. Multiple different hot rods, different manufacturers, models, years, genders, young and old with the majority of them wearing leather, helmets, and goggles raced up the steep hill. It was not unusual to see smiling faces on the passengers and drivers as they passed by.

When I said it was hot rod heaven, it truly was. It had something for everyone. A variety and amazing display of hotrods, young and old sharing stories and relating to each other, quaint little shops, Nick’s famous “Odd Rod” two engine rod, and a gorgeous background of mountains, fall changing aspen trees, and a small vintage looking mining town.

Mike “Nick” Nicholas of Nick’s Hot Rod Garage is the founder of this event and the Hot Rod Dirt Drags also in Colorado (Monte Vista, Colorado). Not only is he a astounding figure for the local hot rod owners and enthusiasts, but he also works on a hot rod replica two engine rod known as the Kenz and Leslie V8 Service “Odd Rod” pickup truck with his long time partner Duane Helms.

The original Odd Rod from long ago was featured in Hot Rod magazine in July, 1949. This replica was so exact, it even included the original seat and hubcaps. Every detail was not over looked, from the exterior design to the Edelbrock heads and lastly to the for the most part, original 1931 Model A cab. It is truly awe inspiring and a crowd magnet to see in person. You have to see it. It’s like the holy grail of hot rods.

If you want to find gold like I did, go to the annual Hot Rod Hill Climbs in Central City, Colorado. It’s definitely worth the horse and carriage ride, I mean, car ride with the family. For more pictures, check out our Facebook gallery: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1542667722485319.1073741845.177564605662311&type=1&l=514ae306a0

O’Reilly’s Auto Parts Colorado Drift round 4

Drifting heaven is how I would describe this event and track. Despite having countless tracks in Colorado long ago, nowadays alternatives are the solution. Go cart tracks, parking lots, and airports are not uncommon places to race at, at least not in Colorado.

Round 4 brought the local drifters in Colorado and a drifter from South Dakota to IMI Motorsports Complex, a go cart track, but we’re not talking about drifting go carts, we’re talking about drifting cars. It was a two day event and a night portion on the first day. The sun, with no clouds around was sure to keep us all cooking like in a oven. Thankfully, the local car vinyl wrap shop, Impacted was able to provide shade to the spectators and staff. However, being a photographer on course, it was much different. This is why I tell people that passion and obsession will get you through.

It was a more a drift party, than a competition. The staff and organizers realized it was a competition of course and it went very smoothly, professional, and organized, but drifters have a very “hang loose” attitude (not unsafe of course) and the event was relaxed, fun, and just felt like home, like heaven, like a drifter’s and their fans’ home or heaven.

Levi Wait is the organizer of this event and of course he drifts when he can. Like me, he has passion and obsession which is why events run perfectly, why he and the local drifters’ organization Drift Colorado has been successful, why drifting in Colorado continues to stay and grow, and probably why him and I get along together at events and such.

Night put a cover on the sky, but not on these drifters and their almost cult like fans. It’s no wonder their fans continue to stand and stay out all night because drifting is addicting, amazing, and it’s a eternal show that never ends. The headlights, LEDs, underglow, auxiliary lighting, any way to add some light to their drift cars was now on. There were things not previously illuminated during the day such as sparks and gauges.

I would say this was one of the most fun events I have been to, especially since I could get right in front of the action (don’t worry, I didn’t get ran over! haha!). If you’re in Colorado or even in another state, attend a local drift event. These drifters are just as good as the professionals if not better, no real big crowds, no high price admission, and not limited to one event (there’s multiple events, all tons of fun.). To check out the full album of our pictures, go to our Facebook page album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10159356300470323.1073741975.697345322&type=1&l=df79bb2d44

 

Wanted: Features!

Want to get featured? Know someone that should? Cars (daily drivers, trucks, circle track, hill climb, drag race, autocross, rally cross, rally, bikes, stance, we want them all!), racers (just beginning, professional, any will do!), shops, tracks, events, more. We want to feature them all! If you are interested or have a tip to someone that might want to get featured, contact us at features@racecolorado.net and we will reply back as soon as possible.

Hiring: Passion!

We are hiring people that are passionate about racing, cars, and more in Colorado. Unfortunately, we cannot pay you at this time, but like any start up, eventually we might be able to through advertisement and such. That’s why we want passion. Passion gives you the strength to get through a whole day event after you have only had two hours of sleep and worked the night before (trust me, I’ve done that a lot!) , the strength to realize it’s not about the money (even though, it’s always nice!) , it’s about the thrill of racing, the drool from the immaculate machine in front of you, the unbelievable stories from racers, the in heaven events. If you’re still here, you passed the first phase of the interview.

We are looking for photographers (DSLR, cheap camera, polaroid, cellphone camera, doesn’t matter  – we accept creativity as you can see) at any level (we can train you, let you rent equipment, and learning never ends), videographers, droneographers, journalists, staff (such as personal assistant, photographer assistant, videographer assistant, droneographer assistant, journalist assistant, secretary, “the muscle”, social media, website designers, image designers, “the connections” person to awesome cars, shops, racers, tracks, events and such, and racing enthusiasts and car enthusiasts. See anything that interests you? Contact us at join@racecolorado.net and we will get back to you as soon as possible.