More than 3,000 hot rods and high-performance vehicles will converge Thursday on the Isle Casino Hotel in Bettendorf as part of the 20th annual Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour.
The event, free to spectators, features not only vehicles of every make and model, vintage, class and modification, but it also offers a carnival-like midway brimming with more than 50 performance manufacturers and after-market specialists. Among them is Chevrolet Performance, whose lineup at the show will include the 2014 Corvette Stingray and Camaro ZL1.
Adding to the fun are entertainment, games, giveaways and motorsports celebrities signing autographs. Attendees will be able to do everything from testing their car's torque and horsepower on the Lucas Dino Challenge to educating themselves on car care at the Fram Filtration sprinter van and 24-foot trailer with video screens and interactive displays.
The seven-day, seven-city Power Tour last stopped in the Quad-Cities during 2004 when 2,000 vehicles descended upon the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds.
Jeff Dahlin, the publisher of Hot Rod magazine, said the Quad-City area has a strong following of automotive enthusiasts and the magazine has long wanted to bring the tour back here.
“It's a real good hot rod area, and we have lots of friends there,” he said. “The route this year worked out perfectly for a return visit.”
Another reason for the return, he said, was that the magazine wanted to include cities that had been on previous stops as a way of celebrating the tour's 20th anniversary.
The Quad-Cities is the sixth stop on this year's 1,500-mile tour, which began Saturday in Charlotte, N.C., on and ends Friday at the Wisconsin Dells. The hours for the show are noon to 7 p.m. at the Isle Casino Hotel, 1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf.
Cars on the tour are expected to arrive at the Isle's parking lots along the Mississippi River at 2 p.m., but area residents who want to display their vehicles can begin to register as early as noon. For more information, visit hotrod.com.
Among the Quad-Citians planning to show their vehicles are Michael Dittmer and Mark Sikorski, both of Davenport. Dittmer will drive his viper blue 1989 Chevrolet Camaro. Sikorski plans to show his citrus green 1972 Chevrolet Nova.
Both agree that the Power Tour brings motor enthusiasts together, provides them with full access to the performance car world and allows them get up close and personal with cars that actually are being driven instead of hauled in a vehicle transport.
“You see the best of the best,” said Dittmer, 28, who attended the 2004 Power Tour in Davenport. His Camaro was a birthday gift from his father when he turned 16.
Sikorski's Nova salutes the Chevrolets modified by American race car driver Don Yenko, who offered after-market high-performance packages for Chevrolets in the 1960s and early 1970s. Sikorski's Nova is not a true Yenko Chevrolet, but it sports the car's distinctive “sYc” (Yenko Super Car) graphics as a tribute to the legendary car builder. Yet, it has a four-speed manual transmission and a big-block 427-cubic-inch engine worthy of a serious driver.
Sikorsky, 50, is happy to share his Nova with other car buffs at an event that he says has everything for them.
“It is a rolling car show,” he said.