If you’ve been around the hobby for a while, you know what it was like when rod runs had energy. The type of energy that would motivate you to load up in a hot rod and head across country just so you could say you were there. That’s the kind of energy that radiates at the Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals. In its eighth rendition, the event drew more than 2,500 Tri-Five Chevys into Bowling Green, Kentucky, from every corner of the United States and some from abroad. The event takes place at the historic Beech Bend Raceway Park, a venue that offers lots of shade, a quarter-mile dragstrip, and plenty of room to continue growing.
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The event is open to all ’55, ’56, and ’57 Chevrolet vehicles. Obviously, that includes all variations of the famous Bel Air, 210, and 150, but it also includes pickup trucks and Corvettes. While some folks might assume that the Tri-Five Nationals is repetitive in nature because of the narrow three-year focus, the variety of the cars in attendance is incredible. Gassers, restomods, pro touring cars, restored stockers, and so much more are on the grounds each day.
Thursday includes a full day of activities, including a celebration of American Tri-Five Association All Stars and Hall of Fame members. Then, a special bracket race is held on Thursday night under the lights. Friday kicks off with another full day of action, with a special judging area where cars are eligible for specialty awards and the coveted Top 25 award. Saturday’s action is intense with final drag racing eliminations, the Top 5 awards presentation, and the crowning of the Tri-Five of the Year. This year, it was Mike Taylor of Monroe, Georgia, taking top honors with his beautiful ’55 Chevy Cameo truck. The truck features an all-aluminum ZL1 427ci big-block Chevy engine and a showstopping Candy Apple paintjob.
The final order of business at the Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals is the drawing for the giveaway car. This year it was a ’56 Bel Air convertible, utilizing a brand-new Woody’s Hot Rodz body and chassis, and a host of sponsored components to create a great-looking custom Tri-Five that’s ready to hit the road. William Rodgers took the beautiful convertible home to Yonges Island, South Carolina. Diehard Tri-Five enthusiasts already have plans to attend the 2024 event, and you should, too! For now, enjoy some of our highlights from the 2023 Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals. MR
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Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of Three Days of Classic Chevy Action at the 2023 Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals.