With close to 50 traditional car clubs represented at the Vintage Torque Fest in 2011, the word on the street is that the 2012 Torque Fest will be THE place to be the first weekend in May. These car clubs are like advance scouts in the Army....They head out to see what is worth going after, and then report back to the troops and come up with a plan onhow to seize the oppurtunity that is in front of them. In this case - it is a hot rodders dream show.
Hundreds of real hot rods and kustoms, vintage racing, flat track motorcycle exhibitions, and the chance to take your own ride out on the track for a few laps. The purists love this show because of the entry guidelines that state new billet wheels and digital guages are for the special parking area only. The car count last year was at 545 with another 100 cars that were in the VIP parking area.With all the positive word of mouth and coverage in national/regional magazines, there is no doubt the car count will increase.
Mitch Huffington of Tin Militia states "The great thing about this kind of show is that these guys are committed. Weather is a non issue. They decide they are going to show up and that is what they do. The first year of Torque Fest there was 4 inches of rain & a tornado 15 miles away and they still had 400 cars show up!" This is true - 2011 weather forecastfor the show was 70% chance of thunderstorms which kept the spectators away....but the hardcore hot rodders were there in full force. License plates from Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Kansas, South Dakota were seen as well as many from Minnesota, Missouri, & Indiana. Of course the major pull of cars and bikes comes from the Chicago, Milwaukee, and Des Moines area. All are within a 3 hour drive. Many in the Chicago area may not realize that Maquoketa is only 45 miles from Galena, IL - a popular day trip destination for antique hunters.
Antiques will be on display with the different vendors that will be attending the show. The antiques on display and for sale at the Vintage Torque Fest are going to be automotive related. Sam Boelens of the Tin Butchers states, "We have our annual Scrap Drive over here in Belvidere every year and we do not allow in "new" parts or things that are not automotive related. This keeps the vendor numbers smaller - but people know that our show is going to be full of real vintage car parts. John Wells liked our format and asked us if we would run the same kind of set up at his show and we felt it was a natural fit for our car club. We want to support the cause and keep the Torque Fest pure and stay away from the flea market atmosphere that is so apparent at so many other swap meets these days...."
Sam mentions "the cause", and this sometimes gets lost in the excitement of the show. All gate proceeds go to a 501(c)3 non profit corporation. This has been set up by John & Kim Wells to help families with children that have congenital heart defects. This is a cause that is dear to them since their daughter has had open heart surgery and will have to have more open heart surgery in the future. Artists from around the globe help pay medical bills for the Wells family by donating their time to the art auction that is held every year at the Vintage Torque Fest. Last year an original Keith Weesner painting sold for $1500. Who knows what will be available for purchase this year, but all the art auction proceeds go directly to the Hannah Wells Medical Trust. This helps pay for all the incidental expenses related to the past medical bills and prepare for the upcoming ones as well. More info can be found at www.helpinghannahsheart.org. This is the same Foundation that will be starting the Iron Invasion in Woodstock IL on October 6, 2012. See www.ironinvasion.com for details.
There are a few additions this year that the public has asked for from the beginning. The main one being a classic pin up contest.2012 will see the first Miss Torque Thrust crowned in the main hall at Vintage Torque Fest. The name comes from the classic style wheel that was so prominent in the 60's. The vintage thread will continue with this new part of the show as well and only girls in vintage attire will be allowed to participate. This will a family friendly pin up contest and those that are expecting a biker rally type contest will be disappointed. More details on this contest are found on the website.
Many motorcycle enthusiasts are excited about the burn out pit that has been created. This will be the Torque Fest Forque Test! An area where people can smell the rubber and have it be a controlled environment so that no innocent bystanders are hurt. The entry guidelines for the bikes will be more strictly enforced this year. The motorcycles that are allowed to participate in Torque Fest are pre 1975 choppers, bobbers, and customs. Any stock bike that is 1965 or older is OK as well. Foreign bikes are not a problem at this show either. As long as the ride has the right kind of look - then it will be a part of the show. Further details are on the website.
Bus racing will return on Friday night at Torque Fest, as well as the flat track motorcycle exhibitions, and Midwest Jalopies racing on Friday night. Another addition for Friday night this year will be the Voodoo Kings Ring of Fire. Anyone that has ever seen the show they put on in Gas City Indiana will tell you the fire rolling out of their tail pipes is impressive.
There is also a second stage this year and there are going to be a minimum of 16 bands playing Vintage Torque Fest this year. There will be red neck metal, honky tonk country, rockabilly, and surf bands all in the mix this year. These are not cover bands from a couple of miles away. These are international acts that have toured the world and one rockabilly band is from Spain. More details on bands and schedules can be found on the website.
Vendors from around the country will come to Torque Fest to share their wares, and one of the newest additions that many people are buzzing about is Trophy Queen will be here selling hand bags that are custom made from vintage material. There will also be an addition of an artist alley in Building 1 to showcase the talent of the different artists from around the country as well. Overall the show brings all the elements of a great car show together in one place....and for an amazing price. $10 is the price for the entire weekend. No hidden fees - no charge for parking - no extra charge to bring in your car - no extra charge to take your car out on the track. $10 gets you access to all of the bands, art show, swap meet, and racing. It is an amazing deal for the consumer. In today's market place $10 barely gets you a movie that lasts 2 hours. At Torque Fest - $10 gets you everything- all weekend long.
Make May 4/5, 2012 the beginning of your hot rod season and come to the Vintage Torque Fest in Maquoketa Iowa. It is an event that will bring a smile to your face all weekend long.