Driven Dirty Tour Models Futures in Hot Rodding

SEMA Member News—September/October 2014

Driven Dirty Tour Models Futures in Hot Rodding

This year, the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) joins the Posies Driven Dirty Tour with the goal of connecting a new
generation to opportunities in the industry. The route will run October 25–November 2 from Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The tour is a natural fit with HRIA’s Futures in Hot Rodding initiative, which is an effort to encourage the industry’s next generation by identifying, communicating and promoting hot-rod-specific educational resources and career opportunities.

“The HRIA team saw that Posies Driven Dirty Tour was a grassroots effort of industry leaders enjoying their hobby and having a little fun getting to the SEMA Show,” explained HRIA Chair-Elect John McLeod. “We see the value in teaming up with Posies and working together with SEMA’s Young Executives Network to get the word out to youth about Futures in Hot Rodding and not only show them our hobby, but also give them information on how they, too, can become part of our industry.”

As participants travel the tour route, each day will include scheduled stops to hot-rod shops and other automotive points of interest. Along with promoting the council and the tour, members of HRIA will also visit the University of Northwestern Ohio to spend some quality time with the next generation of automotive professionals.

“The hot-rodding industry goes much deeper than guys building cars,” McLeod said. “The companies have janitors, assembly crews, shipping crews, accountants, purchase agents, etcetera. And what’s better than working in a growing, fun industry that’s also your hobby? Yes, of course we need mechanics, paint fabricators and machine operators, too, but HRIA saw the need to invest in the future, and we are trying to build a bridge for youth to learn about our industry and possible employment opportunities.”

Ken Fenical, president of Posies Rods and Customs, reminisced about the event’s origins.

“It started in 2004 at the SEMA Show with five car builders in Dynamat’s booth,” he said. “We had a conversation about wanting our customers to know that we drive our products and builds. We’ve been doing the tour for the past nine years now.”

The cars that participants drive on the tour are displayed as feature vehicles at the SEMA Show—some dirty, as the name of the tour suggests, and some cleaned up. It’s a point of pride for the builders, manufacturers and retailers who make the trek to show off their work and show that their efforts literally go places. It’s also a chance to demonstrate their products—the same ones SEMA Show attendees will see on display in Las Vegas.

Members can view tour information at

Select Committee Welcomes Two

During the select-committee elections this spring, HRIA members voted to fill six empty seats. Returning as incumbents are Brian Downard of Lokar Inc., Bob Millard of Championship Auto Shows Inc., Joe Petlick of Motor State Distributing and Todd Ryden of InGear Media. Dave McKelvey of American Autowire is welcomed for his first term, and Ed Capen of Goodguys Enterprises Inc. rejoins the committee, having served terms previously. Council leadership congratulates these election winners and thanks the entire group for their continued service to the hot-rodding industry.

Ramping Up for Education Day 2015


Videos of last year’s Education Day presentations are available online. Registration is now open for the 2015 event
Videos of last year’s Education Day presentations are available online. Registration is now open for the 2015 event.  

Education Day will return to the Detroit Autorama for a second year on March 6, 2015. Following a successful first year in Detroit, HRIA is excited to continue growing the audience. The event ran the day before the show opened last year, but feedback from attendees suggested a Friday event would be better.

“From comments we received, it will be easier for our members to attend when they can close their shops for just one day and then go straight to the show,” explained Chair Rick Love.

The goal of the event remains the same as it always has been—to help council members develop their knowledge base. The sessions are more than just product demonstrations; the presenting manufacturers also cover what aspects to look at when building a car and what esoteric terms mean. In the smaller environment, attendees have a casual place to ask questions specific to their own needs.

For those unable to attend the 2014 event or who attended but missed a presentation of interest, videos are available online at Learn more about the 2015 presenters and session topics by visiting Attendee registration is now open.