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Vintage Torque Fest 2011
Vintage Torque Fest
Maquoketa Iowa
April 29-30 2011
Hot Rod, Music, & Art Festival

Many people were surprised at the turn out that came to Farley Speedway last year for the
Vintage Torque Fest.  It rained almost 3 inches the day before the show, and
this is never a good thing for a car show.  But that did not stop the faithful hot rodders from
showing up from Texas, Michigan, Nebraska, Kansas, and as far away
as North Carolina!  This was a nationally advertised show and did not rely on the usual local car
clubs.  Instead Los Punk Rods Car Club from Kansas City, Oliver Group from Des Moines,
and The Cheaters Car Club
from Milwaukee held most of the responsibilites of helping run the show.  By casting a wide net
the show got almost 500 cars and 4000 spectators.  This created
a bit of a parking snafu at the Speedway.  The Vintage Torque Fest promoter John Wells states,
"We simply ran out of room.  We did not expect the turnout
to be quite so heavy and as a result we have had to move the event to Jackson County
Fairgrounds in Maquoketa, IA."

In addition to moving to a much bigger facility to accomodate all the spectators, there is room
to put all the hot rods and custom cars on the grounds.  The main
thing that makes Vintage Torque Fest different from any other show out there is the fact that
participants are allowed to go out on the dirt track and make laps
with their own cars.  This unique aspect of the show is only available at two other shows in the
world - one outside London, England and the other is by Gettysburg, PA.
"It is hard to drive these old cars more than 200-300 miles to a show," says Bruce Oliver.  "We
would love to go to Pennsylvania, but we just can't get the time
off of work, and I am not sure the guys I roll with could make it.  I mean we ARE talking about
cars that are 40-80 years old."  The common joe may not realize
that the cars that come to Torque Fest are driven.  Very few are trailered to the event.  This is
another part of what makes these drivers unique.  The mindset
of coming to a car show that is 4 miles away from your house, getting out the lawn chairs and
sitting behind your car staring at the bumper for 7 hours is NOT what
this particular group has in mind.  This type of festival attracts those that are obsessed with
the past, or at least certain aspects of the past. And these people
are full of energy and interested in having a good time.  The attitudes that you may find at
some car shows are not present at this type of show.  One of the reasons
is that there are no trophies given at Vintage Torque Fest.  The show promoter, John Wells,
feels that if you are needing validation for your car by getting some
trophy - then this show is here to open up your eyes.  Some car clubs create home made
awards to give out, but driving your car is the real reward at Torque Fest.

Digging up the past is not hard to do at the Vintage Torque Fest.  There is a swap meet that
only allows vintage car and motorcycle parts or other related automobilia. This
is the kind of stuff that fans of American Pickers love to see. The swap meet will be managed by
the Tin Butchers.  This car club based in central Illinois have
one of the best swap meets in the middle of America, called the Scrap Drive.

The bands that are playing all day long are steeped in the traditions of the past - surf music
that was popular in the 60s, honky tonk country that would have been on the radio
in the early 70's, and of course hard core rockabilly is a staple of these type of events.  A model
contest, art show, vendors, and high end show rods and kustom cars are
inside the 16,000 square foot building that is on the fairgrounds.  Some of the indoor special
exhibits will be Jack Walker and his Kustom Kemps of America
winner - The Phoenix.  This car won the prestigious 777 award for America's Best Kustom of
2010.  Seeing this car in person is a real treat.  Salt Flats Racing from
Colorado will be bringing something special from their stable as well.  This is a group that
restores historic hot rods that have been seen at Bonneville many years past.  

Also included in the indoor area will be the art show. Artists from around the world contributed
to the art show last year and even more are slated to participate
in the expanded art show in 2011.  This year special guest artist will be Keith Weesner.  
Weesner has been featured in magazines all over the world and has a loyal
following that wait anxiously for his next gallery showings.  Max Grundy will also be coming to
Iowa from California to support the show.  Max did the 2010 art
for the shirts, and people seemed to like his unique art very much.

Motorcycles are very welcome at this event as well.  Half Fast Motorcycle Club from Chicago
helps sponsor the two wheel area of the show.  The Vintage Torque Fest allows in the pre-'75
choppers and bobber motorcycles.  Nortons, BSA, Indian, Triumphs are all welcome
at this event and this year there may be some special board track bikes from the 1920's
actually hitting the dirt track on Saturday.

In addition to the jam packed action that happened in 2010, there have been major additions
for 2011.  For starters the Vintage Torque Fest has reserved the
Route 61 Drive-In for Saturday and will be showing Two Lane Blacktop for anyone that has a
wristband from the Vintage Torque Fest.  The first 300 cars that pre register
are guaranteed a spot in the drive-in to catch the classic car movie.  The show is officially
expanding to two days this year.  Last year there were about 100
cars that showed up for the pre-party, so instead of limiting the amount of people that come on
Friday - they have instead expanded the event to two days.  Friday night
will see bands and Midwest Jalopies will be hitting the dirt for an exhibition for everyone to see
them out on the dirt track.  

Overall the Vintage Torque Fest promises to pack a lot of excitement for a small price.  It is only
$5 per day for spectators, $10 for motorcycles,
and $20 for vehicles.  This $20 gets the driver access to the show all weekend, dirt track on
Saturday, and the movie presentation at the
Route 61 Drive-In.  Max Grundy, special guest artist flying in from Los Angeles, states "I do
shows all over the world and I can tell ya, that there are only
a few shows that I attend that are as good as Vintage Torque Fest.  This show is a success
because the coordinators want to give people the maximum bang for their
buck.  So many of these national shows expect to get a $15 admission fee plus parking.  By the
time a family comes in they have already spent $60, and that leaves
little money in their pockets to spend on art, parts, shirts, or whatever else may be at the
show.  I think that a family of four that comes in here and spends $20 for
all day of entertainment will definitely be happy.  You can't go see a movie for that price - and
the movie only lasts 2 hours!  C'mon out and check it out - even
those that are not into cars have a good time because it is such a different experience."

The Vintage Torque Fest is something that will appeal to all auto enthusiasts, as well as people
that may be into art or music.  A fun filled day, that happens
rain or shine, is in store April 29-30, 2011.