Earlier this month, we headed to Colorado Springs. To be accurate, our goal was Fountain, a town just south of Colorado Springs. It is home to Pikes Peak International Raceway, a place that was said to have the “fastest 1-mile paved oval anywhere” when opened in 1997.
I haven’t always been into cars, and even today, I have only touched the surface of this vast world, but I do watch Top Gear, although mostly for the fancy cars and British accents.
We were there for Hot Rod Rock & Rumble, a car show on steroids. This isn’t just an event where one walks through rows of vehicles oohing and awing at the shiny wax jobs. While that happens, this is a fully immersive experience. All of my senses were awakened; sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. Exhaust hung in the air, the rumble of engines was constant and vintage cars whizzed by on the track.
This is the first festival I had been to during this pandemic. That’s odd because by this point in the summer, I have usually gone to quite a few. As an outdoor event with plenty of room to practice social distancing, it was allowed to proceed.
It’s important that these cars look good but it’s more important that they run well and there are many opportunities for car owners to prove it. This was one festival where it seemed like registrants outnumbered regular festival-goers like me.
In addition to vehicles, which had to be made in 1976 or earlier, a Camper Village, complete with retro campers, just begged to be photographed. There are rockabilly bands too, lots of them playing on stages around the racetrack grounds. Last but not least, are the pinups, women dressed up as ladies from another time, although many sporting tattoos that would not have appeared on women of the 1950s.
There is quite a vast array of food trucks at the event, including Musso Farms’ food truck out of Pueblo where I bought a chile wrap with Italian sausage (very Pueblo). If you haven’t made it to this chile farm, go! It’s worth it, especially for chile lovers.
As someone outside the rockabilly and car culture, I loved checking out the cars and races, even the burnout event was intriguing. However, I admit, I loved Camper Village and the Pinup Contest the most.
I think it’s super cool that the event is held in the middle of a huge race track. It’s also dog-friendly and that policy is disappearing at festivals around Colorado.
If you are a gearhead, be sure to check out the year-round happenings at Pikes Peak International Raceway. There is always something happening at this venue, for instance, at the end of September, fans of Supercars will get the chance to drive one.
Thank you to Pikes Peak International Raceway for hosting us at this event.