Lloyd McIntyre, the only one of the show's founders who decided to stay on the board, said the vast majority of those volunteers, "at least 96 percent," voted to keep the show as is, with newer cars alongside older ones, and to work around the city's demands.
But three of the founders, Wolford, Rusty Flowers and Randy Easter, feared it was the beginning of a slippery slope.
"He is a very strong mayor," Wolford said. "It was our feeling that if we did that, next year he would come back and say we're going to charge you to rent the boulevard or something, and on and on."
Flowers corroborated Wolford's general portrayal of the events but didn't want to talk about the details. Easter confirmed that he had resigned from the board but couldn't be reached for further comment.
Since the resignations, the show's organizers have come to an agreement with the city: the car show will stay as it always has been, and the city will provide $12,500 in funding.
"I'm willing to learn," Jones said Wednesday. "I like to follow my passions, but these other people have different interests. I can be flexible."
Those on all sides insist the situation is not political and they're still close personal friends.
"I'm sorry it's come to this; I'm not trying to destroy the show," Wolford said. "But it's on shaky ground."
The new board members disagree, saying they think they're on track to reach their goal of 1,000 participating cars in this October's show.
Jones plans to display his own cars at this year's show, something he's never done before, and to spend more time greeting visitors on Kanawha Boulevard that weekend.
"We're all in it for one single thing, the same goal," said Jack Jarvis, the new president of the Rod Run's board of directors. "It's all to bring good things to the city of Charleston and to the area."
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.