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Cruising the USA...in a Hot Rod!

"2009 Ya Gota Drive Em Cruise to Columbus"

story and photos by John and Julia Aschenberg

  • Dave and Kevin Ruhs leading the pack for the 2009 Iowa to Columbus Goodguys Cruise

    For most hot rodders a fun time is going to a car show event somewhere in the U.S. Well, for those who have never cruised with the Goodguys "Ya Gotta Drive Em Cruise to Columbus" group, you don't know what you're missing. To start with, a group of avid rodders meet up the Monday after the Des Moines, Iowa show to embark on their trip to Columbus, Ohio. The leg of the trip usually begins with a driver's meeting on Monday to go over introductions and the specifics of the trip. This year the cruise coordinator's, Dave Ruhs and son Kevin, decided to have a cookout Sunday evening and at that time have the driver's meeting. Once all the miscellaneious housekeeping items were out of the way it was time for the fun.

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  • (1) Sunday evening cookout and drivers meeting. (2) After the meeting the fun began with Dave Ruhs.

    This year's cruise took the rodders to several neat companies. On Monday we visited JR Motorsports, Albaugh Auto Collection, and Amana Colonies. JR Motorsports, out of Ankeny Iowa, is focused on serving the racer and high performance enthusiast. Their vision and dedication is to create "America's Finest One-Stop Performance Shop!" Not far from JR Motorsports is the pristine auto collection of Dennis Albaugh, who is also from Ankeny Iowa. Mr. Albaugh is one of America's wealthiest men who has the means to acquire the many toys he unselfishly shared with our cruising group. The moment you walk into his mueseum what a step back into nostalgic history. Anything imageable can be seen at his facility. Our last stop before heading for Quincy Illinois was lunch and wine tasting at the Amana Colonies in Amana Iowa. They have a meatshop, smokehouse, wine tasting, antiques, and unique gifts at their store. The colonies has a variety of things to see and enjoy.

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  • (3) J R Motorsports - Serving high performanace industry. (4) Dennis Albaugh's auto museum.

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  • (5) Amana Colonies - The home of good wine and unique gift items.

    The schedule on Tuesday began with visiting the shop of Old Dog Street Rods out of Maryland Heights, MO and ending the day at the NAPA Distribution Center in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Both had lunch and supper waiting for our arrival. Old Dog Street Rods has your complete line of street rod parts. Whether you're starting the project at the beginning or smack in the middle of finishing your ride. Old Dog's can supply you with frames, body, engines, and/or any misc parts that you need to help complete your project. NAPA Auto Parts is an industry leader in automotive aftermarket parts. They partner with manufacturers to inable the distribution of these products through their NAPA retail stores.

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  • (6) Old Dog Street Rod has your complete line of parts. (7) NAPA serves the automotive industry with after market products.

    On Wednesday morning all of us settled in our hot rods to cruise east to Jasper Indiana for a barbeque lunch and tour of the plant at Air Ride Technologies. They are an in-house manufacturing company of air suspension products. Air Ride does every aspect of creating the parts from design, quality, and delivery so that they have complete control. After we completed seeing the facilities at Air Ride we headed north towards Greenwood for a tour of the Ray Skillman's Classic & Muscle Car Center. Ray's showroom is filled with exhibits of classic cars, novelty signs, and automobile memorabila.

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  • (8) Air Ride Technologies - Manufacturer of Air Ride suspension. (9) Ray Skillman's Car Center.

    The last phase of the cruise on Thursday was finished up with a visit to Hagan's Street Rod Necessities out of New Bremen Ohio. The staff greeted us with a barbeque lunch and shop tour. Hagan's hot rod shop is dedicated to provide quality products to customers who are customizing their ride. Thursday ended with all of us cruising to the Columbus Ohio State Fairgrounds for registration and then onward to the kick-off party at the host hotel.

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  • (10) Hagan's Hot Rod Shop - Providing quality hot rod products. (11) Heading to the Columbus Ohio State Fairgrounds.

    Even though this was the end of the Cruise to Columbus, many of us hot rodders were just beginning our fun. As always, it was a fun time for all with a week filled meeting new and old friends and making plans for the next years "Ya Gotta Drive Em Cruise".

  • The cruising group of 2009. Looking forward to the 2010 "Ya Gotta Drive Em Cruise!"


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