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Hot Rod magazine to bring custom car show to Charleston in June

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- About 3,500 hot rods, street rods, custom trucks, muscle cars and other custom cars are expected to fill downtown Charleston on June 9, as part of Hot Rod Magazine's 2014 Power Tour.

The stop is part of a week-long event in which thousands of car enthusiasts visit seven different cities on seven different days. Charleston will be the third city on the tour.

"We have wanted to bring the Hot Rod Tour to Charleston for some time," Jeff Dahlin, Hot Rod magazine's publisher, said at a media event Wednesday morning. "This is the year to do it."

Dahlin said 2014 marks the 20th year the tour has taken place, and about 5,000 cars usually register throughout the course of the event. A sizable chunk of those registrants visit all seven cities, while others just participate for part of the tour.

"This is going to be a beautiful stop for the Hot Rod Tour," he said.

As it pertains to Charleston, the tour will be held from noon to 7 p.m. on June 9. Because tour participants will be coming from Knoxville, Tenn., that morning, the bulk of the cars won't arrive until around 2 p.m. However, local car enthusiasts are welcome to register their cars beginning at noon.

Cars from across the United States and Canada participate, along with cars shipped to the U.S. from other countries, including Australia and South Africa, Dahlin said.

During the event, a main stage for entertainment will be set up, along with a midway featuring about 50 "performance manufacturers and aftermarket specialists" for advice and giveaways. General Motors, whose Chevrolet brand is a lead sponsor of the tour, will show off several concept cars as well.

Alisa Bailey, the president of the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the event should generate $850,000 in economic impact for the area.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, a car enthusiast himself, commented on Hot Rod magazine's reputation to auto aficionados, and said the event is "a big deal" for the city as a whole.

"This is going to be a huge, memorable event to introduce Charleston to a lot of people," he said.

So far, several car clubs in the Kanawha Valley have volunteered to help with the event, including the Nitro Car Club, Kanawha Valley Corvette Club and members of the annual Rod Run & Doo Wop, said Jeff Jarvis, the president of the West Virginia Motorcoach Festival.

"Most of us have never experienced a tour like this," he said.

The tour begins June 7 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., before traveling to Knoxville on June 8 and Charleston on June 9. After Charleston, the tour continues on to Norwalk, Ohio, on June 10; Crown Point, Ind., on June 11; Bettendorf, Iowa, on June 12; and finally Wisconsin Dells, Wisc., on June 13.

Details of exactly where all 3,500 cars are going to be parked downtown and location of parts of the event are being developed, Jones said.

The registration price for the entire tour is $83.50 for registration before May 29, and $90 on-site. Car owners can also participate on a single day for $30, payable on-site the day of the event.

Spectators can attend at no cost.

For more information and to register, visit Hot Rod magazine's website at www.hotrod.com or the magazine's social media account, or call 1-877-413-6515.


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