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Metro Newsroom

Street Rods Return to Louisville

Wednesday August 4, 2010

The streets of Louisville are once again hosting hundreds of brightly colored street rods and vintage automobiles as the city welcomes back the National Street Rod Association’s (NSRA) Annual Street Rod Nationals Plus, August 5 – 8, at the Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC). 

This year’s gathering will mark the 41st anniversary of this popular summer ritual. Louisville has hosted the group for sixteen years, with this year being the thirteenth consecutive year the city has put out the welcome mat. The group is contracted to meet in Louisville through 2020.

For the first time in the events history, the NSRA will include vehicles from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

"We love having the National Street Rods in Louisville," Mayor Jerry Abramson said. "For four days, you can't go anywhere without seeing these really cool, vintage cars."

Recognized as one of the world’s largest automotive participation events, the Street Rod Nationals Plus will attract over 30,000 participants, and between 10,000 and 15,000 vintage cars for display. 

No other event in the world attracts the number and quality of specialty cars. Automobiles of nearly every make, model and style will be featured. 

Over $300 million worth of vintage automobiles will be on display, including the first Camaro owned by Louisville’s own “Papa” John Schnatter. The beloved 1971 Z28 Camaro came home to Louisville after a nationwide search to return the car to Schnatter who sold the car more than 25 years ago to help his dad’s tavern stay afloat and ultimately launch Papa John’s Pizza – now the world’s third-largest pizza company with headquarters in Louisville.

 The annual show generates more than $13 million in economic impact to the local community.

Along with all the cars on display, the four-day event includes a trade show, arts and crafts fair, a vintage auto parts swap meet, and entertainment on Friday and Saturday. This year’s event will once again include a special area called “Builder’s Showcase.” See cars built by the top professional rod shops in the country. Meet Chip Foose, world famous car builder and TV personality, and Darryl Starbird, award-winning custom car builder. Starbird’s famous “Lil Coffin” car will be on hand as well.   “Grave Digger” Monster Truck, one of the most recognizable paint schemes in racing today, will also be on display all weekend.

All NSRA activities are open to the public. Tickets are $14 for adults (13 and older), $5 for children (6 – 12). Children five and under are free when accompanied by an adult. A special discounted $12.00 admission is available for military personnel with proper military identification, UPS employees with ID, NSRA members with a current membership card or anyone 60 years of age or older. Discounted tickets are available at KEC only. One discounted admission per person. Advance tickets of $12 are available now at Louisville Kroger stores with a Kroger Plus Card.

Hours are: Thurs., Aug. 5, 8am – 5pm, Fri., Aug. 6, 8am – 6pm, Sat., Aug. 7, 7am – 7pm, and Sun., Aug. 8, 8am – 3pm. 

 For more information, contact: Jim Rowlett, NSRA marketing director, (817) 581-9915 or visit