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Vintage Hot Rod Race Cars Compete on a Colorado Mountain Pass

HOT ROD logo HOT ROD 8/17/2015 Scotty Lachenauer

After an overnight downpour, Mike “Nick” Nicholas and his trusty crew were up early and greeted with chilly temps in Georgetown, Colorado, to prep for his latest rendition of the Hot Rod Hill Climb (HRHC). And at 8,500 feet above sea level, the weather can be unpredictable in the mountain town, but luckily the overnight deluge gave way to blue bird skies in the a.m. and welcomed an eager bunch of hot rodders, ready to take on the 1,000 foot rise of Leavenworth Mountain.

Hot Rod Hill Climb 2015 Race Day Hot Rod Hill Climb 21 © Provided by Hotrod Hot Rod Hill Climb 2015 Race Day Hot Rod Hill Climb 21

By 5:30 a.m. crews were out prepping the staging area for the run down Rose Street. Troy Hastings and his Roosters Rods team were out in force before sun-up, helping Nick and his HRHC crew organize and install the necessities needed to put on a show of this magnitude. Kudos have to be given to Nick and the Hill Climb team, as well to the tens of volunteers who help make the HRHC the event that it has become.


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The sound of unmuffled headers could be heard throughout Georgetown by the time 7 a.m. rolled around. Hot rods of all makes and sizes converged on the downtown, parking in every available street radiating off the town center. Spectators were bussed in from outside the town perimeter, as Georgetown was officially packed to its gills with eager rods ready to take on the rise.After a pancake breakfast, and opening ceremonies, the racers were ready to take on Guanella Pass Road and the steepness of Leavenworth Mountain. Cal Kennedy once again led the procession in his beautiful 1935 Chevy Roadster, while local hot rodder extraordinaire Dave Scroggs blasted up the mountain in the T-33 Wayne Special, a recreation of Kennedy’s old racer. It was a family affair at times, as the Elmer family out of Salt City Rod Shop brought several vehicles to the race. The McCanns were there too, bringing their signature vehicles from their Deluxe Speed Shop. E.J. Kowalski of Kowalski Customs made the trip out from Pennsylvania, sporting one of his own vintage race car recreations. He tore up Rose Street with the gusto of a man on a mission, and challenged the switchbacks and hairpins to the delight of the crowd.

Hot Rod Hillclimb Day One

Participants came in from all parts of this great nation. From California, to Florida, and Virginia, racers came in telling of their long distance hauls. Ken Schmidt and the boys from Rolling Bones trekked in from New York State by way of Bonneville; a pretty long haul to say the least.

With the success of the 2015 edition of the Hot Rod Hill Climb the stage is set for an even bigger event next year. Hopefully Nick and his crew will continue on this journey of bringing quality hot rod events to the Rocky Mountain region. After his success with the Dirt Drags earlier this year, and now the HRHC, we all hope that these high energy, participant driven events continue on into the future.


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