For years I have wanted to go to Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender, and this is the year that I was finally able to go. After four hectic press days at the New York Auto Show I hit the Las Vegas ground running Friday morning – I dropped off my suitcase in my hotel room, slathered on the SPF 30, got my wristband, and headed out to the car show.
Held at the Orleans Casino April 21-24, 2011, VLV features rockabilly and surf bands, pool parties, vintage and 50’s-inspired fashion shows, pin-up workshops, vendors, burlesque performances and more all weekend. No detail is left untouched, and rockabilly music is on constant rotation in the casino common areas. During the day bands perform on two stages within the casino, outside at the pool, and on the car show stage; bands play all night in the ballrooms. The gathering has grown from 1,200 attendees the first year to 8,000 this past year for the music – and an additional 10,000 come to the car show on Saturday. Those who purchase four day wristbands have the advantage of seeing the car show on Thursday and Friday, but tickets are available for the Saturday car show only.
Before our marathon afternoon of kids baseball yesterday, The Dude, Corby Chapin and I headed to the local Hooters to check out their annual car show. Following a couple of pints and some wings, we set out to get shooting. We quickly discovered that despite the weather, the turnout was incredible. The level of quality was incredible and the range of styles was very surprising. From vintage drag cars to modern muscle, rat rods to low rider pick-ups, there was truly something for everyone. One of the highlights for me was finally getting to meet some of the guys from the Bottom Feeders car club and check out their wicked rods.
Regular readers of The Garage know that I have a love of sports cars and a long history with cars that turn left and right. The hot rod scene has never really been on my radar until I visited a local car show a couple of years ago and discovered Rat Rods. The new twist on old skool hot rodding really caught my interest. For me, it’s all about the killer style, coupled with a big engine with open pipes. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been quietly watching the rodding scene from a distance and the style is becoming addictive to me.