If copies of Hot Rod Magazine covered your nightstand or garage work bench at any point in your life, you know that Sunday is a BIG DEAL on campus. Parkland will host Stop #2 of the 2015 Hot Rod Power Tour June 7, and local spectators are invited to see what it’s all about at absolutely no charge.
The world’s largest hot rod enthusiast event, the Hot Rod Power Tour embodies everything represented in the pages of Hot Rod Magazine. In layman’s terms, every single parking space on campus will be taken up by automobiles modified for performance and/or appearance from across the United States and beyond.
Parkland College is ready to host the event, which also stopped in Champaign in 2012, that time at the State Farm Center. At the time of the 2012 event, construction was wrapping up on what is now the Parkhill Applied Technology Center.
With such a noteworthy event on campus, no one is more excited than Parkland’s automotive program director, Jon Ross. I asked Jon a few questions about Parkland’s participation in the Power Tour.
Q: You advocated for Parkland to host this event. Why?
A: Hosting the event just made sense. Our automotive program has a great reputation, not only because of our skilled faculty and staff, but also because of local businesses that support our programs and hire our graduates. We also offer the state’s only Motorsport Training program, including a 1980 Chevrolet Malibu, 1990 Honda Civic, and 1994 Ford Mustang Cobra clone our students use to prepare for drag and autocross.
Q: Hands-on experience for students carries through your programming as well as this event. How will students be involved in this Hot Rod Power Tour stop?
A: This will be a memorable event for our students. We have put together a collection of really nice vehicles that have been built by our students. We have vehicles our current students are building, some instructor-built vehicles, and vehicles built by a range of alumni from Parkland. I think most people will be surprised by the type of vehicles, as well as the quality and detail our students choose when building a car.
Q: You are really looking forward to tour participants and local spectators coming out and seeing the Parkhill Applied Technology Center.
A: If I had a dollar for every time someone said, “Wow” when they walked into our lab, I would be rolling in money. It’s one of the largest, most well-equipped automotive training centers in Illinois. Students have access to the latest chassis and engine dynamometers, Snap-on tools, and faculty with expert experience in automotive technology, collision repair and refinishing, welding, machine tool operation, and diesel equipment technology. Faculty, staff, students and alumni will be on hand Sunday to answer questions about Parkland programming. Our building will be a great place for local enthusiasts to connect.
Q: Why is Parkland’s role with this year’s event so special for you on a personal level?
A: I have been a part of the Hot Rod Power tour almost every year since it started in 1995. I also grew up with Hot Rod Magazine. I dreamed about the cars that I saw being built. Truthfully, it was probably the only print material I read in high school. So, to be a host for the Hot Rod Power Tour is very satisfying. I will also be sharing the event this year with my son. He graduated from high school this spring and for his graduation present, he asked for funding to go on the complete tour. So, after we are done at Parkland Sunday, he and I and a few other friends are headed south for the rest of the tour.
- Gates open at noon.
- Spectator admission is free.
- Spectator parking is available at the Country Fair Shopping Center near Taffie’s Restaurant.
- FREE SHUTTLES will transport participants from the spectator parking lot to the Parkland campus and back between noon and 6pm.
- Individuals interested in joining the tour must register with the Hot Rod Power Tour at our Parkland on Mattis location, 1315 N. Mattis Avenue.