Street rods to power through Grand Haven on Thursday

Car enthusiasts can catch a glimpse of the Hot Rod Power Tour, sponsored by Hot Rod Magazine, as it rolls through Grand Haven on Thursday afternoon. More than 4,000 vehicles - and perhaps a few celebrities - are participating in the 17th annual trek, which departs Cocoa Beach, Fla., today and concludes in Detroit on Friday, according to Grand Haven resident Bill Tripp, president of the West Michigan Street Rod Association, which is helping with the event. The tour will also stop in Georgia, Alabama, Nashville, Tenn., and Indianapolis, Ind.
Marie Havenga
Jun 4, 2011

The cars are expected to motor north on U.S. 31 through Grand Haven between noon and 6 p.m. Thursday, Tripp said.

The tour will land in downtown Muskegon on Thursday afternoon. There, visitors can view street rods, custom trucks, sports compacts, hot rods and street machines on Western Avenue, between Second and Third streets.

Crockery Township’s Baker Engineering will host a pre-power tour cruise-in open house from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday at 17165 Power Drive, north of M-104. Baker will also be a "card stop" for the Cruising the Lakeshore Poker Run that motors out Wednesday night from Western Avenue, between Fourth and Fifth streets in Muskegon. Registration, from 5-6 p.m., costs $10.

Tripp, who lives in Robinson Township, said he expects the event to pump more than $1 million into the local economy.

“There are 1,700 hotel rooms blocked out in Grand Haven, Muskegon and Whitehall,” said Tripp, who owns a 1972 Buick Riviera. “We’re expecting between 10,000 and 12,000 people. We’re conservatively estimating $1 million in one day.”

Drivers and passengers set their own daily itineraries so they are free to stop in Grand Haven for lunch, to shop or to sightsee, according to Tripp.

“I know some of the local businesses are putting out welcome signs to encourage them to stop,” said Tripp, who said this is the first time the national tour has traveled through the Tri-Cities. “It’s a chance for West Michigan to showcase itself. They’re going to have a lot of executives from General Motors on this side of the state who have never been here before.”

Tripp said there are rumors that celebrities such as Jay Leno, Tim Allen and Kid Rock will be part of the power lineup.

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