If you have to ask ‘why’, you’ll never appreciate this diverse and eclectic Rods and Customs show
In only its second year, the Pack-O-Ratz car club and the all-female HellCats social club have made Fully Blown car show in Okauchee, Wisconsin the type of car show that leaves even the most ardent car enthusiast scratching their head.
Sure, there are wildly-painted street rods with superchargers sticking through their hoods — you’d expect that from the name of the show. But dig a little deeper and you find a wacky wealth of creative engineering on display in all forms of mobility.
“The way we promote this event attracts every type of car and enthusiast,” Pack-O-Ratz President Steve Hill said.
No matter how stock the outward appearance, there is little here that hasn’t been punched-out, stroked, swapped, turbocharged, blown, chopped, lifted, slammed, bagged or tubbed.
Chevy LS motor swaps are common in the hot rod world — but in a 1992 Volvo 960 Wagon? On the other end of the subtlety spectrum was a bright green 1951 Chevy four-door named “Twisted,” which had its small-block motor in the front seat and was driven from the back seat.
You could have mistaken Lee Timmers’ 1970 Ford Fairlane for any other sunbaked old driver if not for the shiny 429 Cobra Jet motor under the hood. A noticeable lack of shock towers hinted at something more, and further investigation yielded a Tremec 6-speed transmission, rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel Wildwood disc brakes and a multi-link rear end.
The lifted Ford F-100 truck over there? It now has a Cummins diesel motor in it. That 1957 Ford Ranchero hides a 4.6 V8 from a late-model Crown Victoria. That silver 1970 Chevy Chevelle sports a built 555cid engine. You get the idea.
This made it all the more unexpected when some really rare original stuff showed up, like the survivor 1954 Corvette with the inline 6-cylinder “Blue Flame” engine. Or the 1958 Silver Pigeon scooter, originally built in Japan by Mitsubishi and sold by Montgomery Ward.
A period-built custom called “The Dacudalac” married a 1966 Barracuda to a Dodge Dart front clip and rear wings from a 1960 Cadillac, among nearly a half-dozen other donor makes. The results were a lot more palatable than it sounds.
Like many hot rod shows, this one had a pin-up girl competition with at least one competitor not content to ride shotgun in her boyfriend’s car. Abby brought out her own 1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS, a car she longed to own since she was in high school. After seven years of ownership amid many restoration pitfalls, she was finally enjoying her first summer of driving the old Chevy.
Pack-O-Ratz’s Hill also credits the high-quality, custom-made trophies for their entrant turnout. All winners were decided by the audience, and confusion was avoided through a color-coded ballot of the nine award classes. Simple things like having extra pens and ballots available increased voter participation.
At press time, the Pack-O-Ratz were still totaling registrations, but they knew that their sophomore Fully Blown show had easily doubled in size from it’s first year of 300 cars. With great organization, good food, friendly volunteers and wonderful diversity, Fully Blown is on track to become one of the most interesting car shows in the Midwest.1 comment