Thousands of old-fashioned cars rumble into Austin

Hot rod enthusiasts drive into Austin from all over the country to see and show cars from the 1920s to the 1960s at the Lonestar Round Up. What started in 2002 with about 100 cars at a small football field in Austin has grown into a two-day event with thousands of cars taking up the parking lots at the Travis County Expo Center.

The rumbling engines of old-fashioned cars attract thousands of people to the Texas Capital each year.

“It's the best sound. You hear that all over Austin right now… It's like the hot rod Super Bowl for us,” said Brian Auderer of Kontinentals who helped organize the Lonestar Round Up.

The round up shines a light on everything from Model T and Model A Fords to custom Chevys and Cadillacs. There are only a couple of requirements for those wanting to display hot rods at the show.

“All the cars are all American made, 1963 and older,” Auderer said.

The event has grown into one of the largest hot rod and custom car shows in the world.

“Hot rods and custom cars, they're all different. Everyone has their own vision of what it should be,” said Auderer.

Bobby Hilton who runs Hilton Hot Rods in Virginia showed us six of the customized Model As his team has worked on over the years.

“They're like a box of kittens. You’ve got different colors, different sizes and different personalities,” said Hilton.

If the round up is seen as a car museum, his Fords are one of the main attractions.

“For us it's kind of like art… They start out as Model As built in ‘28, ‘29, ‘30, ’31… It doesn't look like that now,” Hilton said.

The Hilton Hod Rod crew travels 1,500 miles in three days to be a part of the yearly auto show.

“Those guys came in one big posse, driving all the way from Virginia to Austin, so you can imagine going down the highway and getting passed by all these guys, it’s pretty cool,” said Auderer.

Hilton wouldn't have it any other way.

“They steer nice, they go fast, they stop good and they look cool,” said Hilton.

The two-day event has driven so many people to the expo center that organizers have come up with new ways to entertain the masses like live music and a giant swap meet.

“It's like, did you ever throw a party that got out of control? Like everything else in Austin, it grew like Austin grew,” Auderer said.
              
A wristband to the round up costs $15. The event ends Saturday night at 6pm.

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