Driving down Interstate 35 South through the town of Waco, Texas, I couldn't help but reflect back on the 30 years of fun I had, and all the cool cars I photographed while attending the Waco Street Machine Mini Nationals events held Memorial Day weekend at Ft. Fisher Park. But that was over now, and a new adventure lay ahead for me. Last year, Waco Street Machine Mini Nationals promoters Steve and Dina Longmeyer, (C&C Productions, Abilene, Texas,) announced that due to ongoing problems with the City of Waco's Parks Department, the Southwest's oldest and most respected, independently-staged street machine event, was pulling up stakes, and moving south to a new venue, Fredricksburg, Texas located southwest of Austin in the beautiful rolling hill country.
Of course, Fredricksburg is renowned for its historic "old town" where you can shop till you drop and for its wide variety of restaurants and hotels. It's also home to the Lone Star Street Rod Association event, which is held the week prior to the Lone Star Street Machine Nationals at Lady Bird Johnson Park, (located off Highway 16,) one of the most picturesque, most spacious, and most up-to-date parks in the Lone Star State. I mean, this place is a photographers paradise with its rolling hills, rivers, golf courses, campsites, and wide open spaces. Even amateur photographers can't miss here. The place is that beautiful.
However, aside from the City of Fredricksburg's awesome hospitality, excellent scenery and cooperative nature, I strongly suspect the real reason why C&C Productions selected this venue is because it's got plenty of growing room (you could fit at least five Ft. Fisher Parks in this pace) and, since the Waco Mini Nats was originally a family participation event (with as many as 650 cars attending in its heyday), the promoters are anticipating a resurgence in interest.
Logistically, the first Texas Street Machine Nationals proved a rousing success with over 250 street machines, street rods, and custom trucks attending. As expected, Chevrolet products scored high in the show awards categories nailing down 15 spots in the major award categories (out of a possible 23) along with capturing honors in a total of 23 other classes.
Traditionally the Waco Mini Nats events always served as a stage to debut brand new street machines, and this year the tradition continued at Fredricksburg. For example, Katy, Texas Tommy Angelle debuted his awesome, 596-inch Pro Touring, '66 Chevelle SS that captured Outstanding Engine-Car honors, and it really deserved it! Also rolling off the trailer for the first time was Chuck, Judy and Steve Sprung's '69 Camaro RS/SS street machine which promises to be a big show winner in the future.
Jeff Jordan's Viper Red 956 Chevrolet pickup towed all the way from Phoenix, Arizona, to capture both a spot on the Top Ten Truck list as well as the Long Distance award at the first Texas Street Machine Nats. First timer Jason Herrera also surprised everyone with his just completed LS1-powered '78 Chevelle Malibu SS nailing a spot on the Street Achievement Car list. And one of our favorites was Mike and Linda Watkins red-on-red '61 SS 409 Impala which had one of the healthiest sounding '09s we've heard in awhile. And the list goes on. But rather than keep talking about them, it would be more fun to show you the high caliber BowTie iron that attended the first Texas Street Machine Nationals. Enjoy!