The Street Wheelers have just geared it up a notch.
Now, after entertaining car enthusiasts for over 30 years, the group of auto lovers is really ready to put the pedal down as the 34th Street Machine Weekend fires up July 13-15, featuring the new Ultimate Street Car Challenge.
“This year a couple of people from the community, one of them being an ex-Street Wheeler, came up and suggested something they had seen and suggested that we move a few rules around or add another class and that class is the ultimate challenge,”said Street Wheelers president Raymond Huppee, adding that the first 50 registrants will be accepted with no exceptions. “Tentatively, what we’re going to have is cars that would normally not run on the 100-foot dash and cars that wouldn’t normally run in the autocross. You’ll see cars that typically go straight try and turn. They’re going to take the times from the 100-foot and the times from the autocross and add those together.”
Those wanting to partake in the Ultimate Street Car Challenge must enter and participate in the Friday Night Cruise Control, the 100-foot dash on Saturday as well as the autocross and the show and shine on Sunday, said Huppee.
“The winner of that (will be) announced there.”
Huppee expects the newest addition to the Street Machine Weekend event to be a popular one.
“It’s going to bring a lot of people to watch,”he said. “We have had a huge response for people who want to watch. They’re getting pretty excited for the event this year, but just the addition of this event has had very good feedback.”
It’ll also be easy on the pocketbook.
“That event is free to watch on Sunday for the Ultimate Challenge,” said Huppee. “It’s free to watch the Friday Night Cruise Control. You’ll see some of these cars with the Ultimate Challenge stickers and they’re specific to that event.”
Those taking part in the Ultimate Street Car Challenge must use the same tires for both the 100-foot dash and the autocross, said Huppee.
“So whether they’re slicks or street tires, that’s what they’ll run with. Each has their pros and cons. You’d rather have stickies to go straight, but (they’re) not necessarily decent to turn with. So it’s going to be interesting.”
Last year there were more than 700 cars for the Friday Night Cruise Control, said Huppee.
“So this year we’re hoping for 750. We’re going to increase it a little bit because of the Ultimate Challenge. That’s the expectation, a minimum of 750 this year.”
Vehicles in the Friday Night Cruise Control must be show and shine-ready, said Huppee.
“The amount of cars we have on the street, we have to limit it and that’s how we limited it in the past, vehicles of interest. We have some people every year who have a brand new car off the lot. If it’s rare or you’ve had some high performance done to it, then we’ll look at it. That’s why we do the registration on Friday. It has to be there to receive the sticker.”
While the Street Wheelers have entertained auto enthusiasts for more than 30 years, local initiatives and vendors have also gotten on board with the event, including Lethbridge Blood Services.
“They’re going to come and do some blood type testing and the members are challenged to donate as much as they can to be partnered with them,” said Huppee. “There are a lot of groups that normally haven’t come out. There are some non-profit groups that want to be there to promote their organizations. It’s just a lot more community-oriented people coming out. It’s going to be pretty big with families this year.”
But the main reason for 34 years of revving it up is simple, said Huppee.
Lethbridge is a car town.
“When I moved here from Edmonton six or seven years ago it seemed like every second home had a project, which is very different from Edmonton or any other places I’ve moved from, just a big car town,” said Huppee.
Registration for the Friday Night Cruise Control goes from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 13 at the Exhibition Park South lot.
Registration for the 100 foot dash and the show and shine also takes place July 13 at the Exhibition Park South lot, running from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The Friday Night Cruise Control starts at 7 p.m. July 13 on 3 Avenue South and runs until 10 p.m.
Registration for the 100-foot dash is July 14 at 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Exhibition Park South Lot with a drivers meeting to follow at 10:45 a.m., also at the Exhibition Park South Lot.
The 100-foot dash starts at 11 a.m. at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club Grandstand.
The show and shine registration takes place July 15 from 9 a.m. to noon at Galt Gardens with the show and shine running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., also at Galt Gardens.
Registration for the autocross takes place at the Exhibition Park North lot at 7 a.m. with the event starting at 8 a.m., also at the Exhibition Park North lot.
For more information on the Street Wheelers event and further rules and regulations and route of the Friday Night Cruise control, visit www.streetwheelers.com.