Dan and Kay Staggs of Monette are among the elite group of car enthusiasts to make all 11 of the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) shows in one season. The couple made the 2102 shows in style driving their 1941 Super Deluxe Chevrolet 32,000 miles.
It was a trip of a lifetime for the Staggs taking them through 28 states. They have been involved in NSRA for 13 years and Kay started wanting to make all of the shows 12 years ago. The time was right this year so they decided to stop talking about it and do it.
The shows started in Oklahoma City and continued to Bakersfield, Calif.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Springfield, Mo.; York, Penn.; Pueblo, Colo.; Louisville, Ky.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Burlington, Vt.; Sacramento, Calif.; and ended in Tampa, Fla.
She is happy they made the circuit this year because this was the last year for the Iron Man in Sacramento. The Iron Man run, as it is called, is a trip from Sacramento to Tampa in three days making the last show of the season.
Kay is one of four women state representatives in the 81 divisions of the NSRA. Becoming a NSRA state representative is another story.
Kay was helping with a car show in Manila when a state representative was visiting. He told her he needed an adviser from this area to help promote different car shows. She decided to try it for a year. He called her in less than a year and said he was stepping down and she was going to be appointed as state representative. Through her work with the NSRA she has made some very good friends.
Less than five people make all 11 shows in one year. The Staggs and one other couple from Ontario, Canada, made it this year.
The highest prices on gasoline they found were in California. They gave $5.09 a gallon entering the state and $5.14 leaving.
"We saw beautiful country," Dan said. "I really enjoyed the Alexandra Bay area in New York."
They were traveling in Pennsylvania when they stopped at a vineyard purchasing a basket full of fresh picked grapes.
"I ate on those grapes for two weeks," Mrs. Staggs said.
They visited castles, tourist spots, and made friends along the way.
They did not have any major problems. Their 1941 Chevrolet is in excellent condition. They did have a vapor lock in Colorado when the temperatures hit 107 degrees.
"We just had to stop and let the engine cool down," Dan said.
When they were in Vermont, they left the show and were headed back to the motel.
"We were in six lanes of traffic and I heard a noise," Kay said. "We did not know what we had run over but it was staying with us. When we got back to the motel, Dan found a 4 foot rebar wedged under the inner fender. There was some construction going on and I guess it got in the highway. We are fortunate that it did not do more damage.
Dan removed it and threw it in the trash can. A man who knew us got the bar out of trash can and had a plaque made out of it. When we got to the show in Florida we were told the Vermont Highway Department wanted the rebar back or for us to pay for it. We were presented with the plaque and it had a piece of the rebar attached. It certainly is a good keepsake from our trip."
Kay learned to embroider on the trip. She made blocks for a quilt and, naturally, the pattern she choice was old cars. Also along the way, they visited their daughter and her family in Alabama, and Dan's sister and her family in California.
They have been involved with vintage automobiles for over 20 years. Among the automobiles they have had includes a 1938 Plymouth, 1948 Ford Coup, 1941 Chevrolet Panel, 1930 A Ford Roadster, and a 1923 T-Bucket. They also have a 1966 Mustang convertible that belongs to their grandson.
They have two grown children, and two grandchildren, Blake, 14, and Madison, 10.
Dan and Kay are among charter members of the Buffalo Island Car Club that started in 1990.
"We put a little notice in the newspaper about our first meeting at our home," Dan said. "We guessed maybe 20 or 25 would show up. We had over 100 show up that first night and we have had an active club ever since."
Both agree they are glad they made all of the NSRA shows this year and have pictures and stories to share. They made a few new friends along the way. They are both thankful for the experience.