Well, I've been considering it for a couple of years. The more I read and heard about the Hunnert Car Pile Up, hosted by the Chrome Czars in Morris, IL., the more I thought it sounded like something I would like to attend. This year I finally decided that I would make the 4 1/2 hour trip from Muncie, Indiana to Morris, Illinois. Since the Nifty Fifty's POWERFUL 216 straight 6 isn't interstate material, I decided we could just drive our 2002 Impala to the show. Unfortunately, there is no stretch of highway or interstate that is a "straight shot" from Muncie to Morris. Instead, we drove down I-69 to Indianapolis, caught the Indy by-pass, 465, and then caught I-65 North. We left on Friday afternoon in cold and rainy weather. We actually got caught in two stand still traffic jams on the way up. (see picture above.)
Because I had made the decision to make the trek a little late, all of the hotels in Morris were full. (This should have given me some indication of the size of this show.) However, I was able to reserve a room in a Hampton Inn just East of Morris in the town of Joliet. We arrived at about 9:00 Illinois time and found our hotel accomodations to be outstanding. The hotel seemed fairly new with nice big, clean rooms, a comfortable king size bed, and flat screen TV. The hotel also had a nice size indoor pool and hot tub, which my wife and I enjoyed after a deary drive. The following morning, we enjoyed a free breakfast, then hit the pool and hot tub again before heading out for the Pile Up. I'm not sure how the Chrome Czars came up with the name for their event, but let me tell you....I found the "pile up" to be on the I-80 exit ramp. The event is located on the Grundy Fairgrounds, just a few miles from I-80. We sat in a traffic jam on the exit ramp for over an hour. At least there were several KOOL cars waiting with us....as you can see from the picture I took of my view through my side mirror.
When we finally got to the event, parked the Impala, and walked into the fairgrounds....I knew I had "arrived"! Some have called the Pile Up, now in its 9th year, the "mecca" for those who are into the traditional hot rod scene. The event has continued to grow over the past 8 years and boasted over 1500 cars last year. As my wife and I walked around the fairgrounds, I heard many "veterans" of the event commenting that this year's event was the biggest they could remember.
Well, I was CERTAINLY glad I had invested in a new camera a few weeks prior. This event WAS big...and VERY kool! I couldn't wait to start wandering around checking out all of the sweet pre-1963 traditionally built cars and trucks. The problem was...where to begin!
I thought it was very interesting that one of the first cars to catch my eye was what could have been the "long lost twin brother" of the Nifty Fifty. I saw the car moving out of the corner of my eye and was able to take a quick shot of the rear of the car, thinking that I could get a better view of it later in the day. However, this was the only time I saw the car. It certainly made me wish I had figured out a way to get my '50 to the show.