There are car shows that highlight shiny paint, big wheels and booming speakers. Then there’s Austin’s annual Lonestar Round Up, rocking chopped and channeled old school cars and reserving a special place for that epic garage build. This year’s event is taking place April 17-18, 2015, so start revving that engine.
Started by Friends Who Love Cars
Hosted by the Kontinentals Car Club, Lonestar Round Up takes place every April. Think of it as a SXSW/Rodeo palate cleanser.
This blue collar car show celebrates old school hot rod building and the shade tree mechanics who’ve been the steadfast sentinels of the hot rod scene since the first torch hit the first fender of that Model T Ford.
The Kontinentals are a car club based out of The Continental Club on S Congress Avenue. The club is famous for promoting rock-a-billy and honky tonk acts like Jr. Brown, Reverend Horton Heat and Dale Watson. The owner, a fan of classic cars, formed the car club with like minded folks in 2000. In 2002, they had their first car show on a Saturday at House Park Stadium.
Travis County Expo Center Is Home
The show has steadily grown since its inception. It’s grown so large that the expansive grounds of Travis County Expo Center now host the event every year. Located a couple of miles out of Austin off of Hwy 290 E on Decker Lane, the Expo Center is home to events like the annual Republic of Texas Motorcycle Rally, Texas Heatwave and Travis County Fair and Rodeo.
Lonestar Round Up has some a few rules if you’re considering entering a car. The most important rule is that the vehicle cannot be newer than 1963. Motorcycles are allowed in the show as well, but they have to follow the same guidelines. No import cars.
The event organizers want to focus on traditionally styled vehicles, defined on their website as a style of car built in or reminiscent of hot rods and customs built in the 1940’s, 50’s or 60’s. Lonestar reserves the right to refuse entry to any vehicle they feel does not fit the direction of cars they want to feature at the show.
Cars and Music and Bears, Oh My!
Okay, so you won’t see any bears, but cars and motorcycles aren’t the only thing showcased at the Lonestar Round Up. It’s Austin after all, so music is always an element.
This year’s lineup features an entertaining cross-section of the hot rod culture’s music tastes. I mentioned Dale Watson earlier in reference to the Continental Club, and he’s performing this year on Friday the 17th at 2:30 PM. What’s even more exciting is the headliner on Saturday. At 4:45 PM, Wanda Jackson takes the stage. Known as the Queen of Rockabilly and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, this legend has been a part of the scene since the beginning and is still recording albums.
Travis County Expo Center may be ground zero for the 2015 Lonestar Round Up, but the festivities aren’t limited to one location. Each night around early evening, part of the party will shift to Austin Speed Shop for more music. Iconic fast food joint Top Notch Burgers will be showing hot rod movies after dark on their outdoor screen. On Sunday, though the show is over at the Expo Center, you can catch the Sunday Slow Ride to The Oasis.
There are a ton of activities planned for this year’s Lonestar Round Up. Ticket and schedule information is available on the event’s website.
If you’re passionate about Austin’s hot rod culture and want to relive Lonestar Round Up year round, you may want to check out a new photography book by George Brainard called All Tore Up: Texas Hot Rod Portraits. It’s available from UT Press and features images of the hot rod and drag racing scene in the Austin and Temple areas.
@ElDavidThomas wants to know:
What type of hot rod would you drive?