It’s Saturday night at 9pm, and I’m dancing with my family at a wedding reception in San Luis Obispo, knowing in the back of my mind that a tiring four hour-drive home awaits me that night. It really wouldn’t be an issue on any other Saturday, but I also know I’m getting up at 4:30am the next morning to ride shotgun in my buddy’s Mike’s ’31 roadster for one of best Nor Cal hot rod happenings you can image, and I do *not* want to miss it, no matter how tired I am.
Redbeard (aka Dave) has been hosting this run for over 15 years, first conceived as a Sunday driving event to Saturday’s Hot Rod Revolution, back in its Penngrove Park days. Why this particular roadster run rules can be found in a few key ingredients: 1. Every car there is a truly traditional hot rod: No SBC, no fiberglass or disc brakes- 100% period correct pre-’37 roadsters only. 2. Every entrant is personally invited by Redbeard, so ego-maniacs, Fonzies, and drama queens are not in attendance; Just laidback folks who understand how to have fun. 3. The run is 150 miles in parts of Northern California around the Mendocino Forest and along the coast of Highway 1. The views are absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, just stunning, and the roads are perfect.
This year’s run started with 21 roadsters, but ended with a few less. We had two cars with partial brake failures (one front, one back), overheating flatheads, and a flat front tire from a failed tube that lead to a few hours of roadside repairs. As the wounded cars trundled back down the coast, Mike said it best: “We went out in the morning, roaring like a pack of P51 Mustangs on a mission. Now we’re limping back over the water, eyeing the horizon for our base to safely land.
Despite three hours of sleep, all that driving, all those repairs, Redbeard’s Run was an absolute blast from beginning to end.