We made our first trip to Vintage Torque Fest in Dubuque, Iowa, on May 1-2 and it won’t be our last. Promoter John Wells puts on this “traditional hot rod” event to raise money to help families that have kids with congenital heart disease. He must do a pretty good job raising bucks because the crowd was so big that food stands were running out of burgers for a while.
Traditional hot rod shows feature cars and things the way they were before roughly 1962. At these events you can listen to rock n’ roll, get your hair done ‘50s style or pick up artworks that take you back to the past.
There were two things we particularly liked about Vintage Torque Fest. The first was the jalopy stock coupes running on the dirt track at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds. In about ’62 or ’63, our favorite Saturday night entertainment was the jalopy stock car races at Weissglass Stadium in Staten Island, N.Y., where we grew up. The racecars at Torque Fest took us back.
The other thing we liked was the girls at the show. There were cuties in the campground, dollies at the car show and Betty’s in the Pin-up Girl Contest. The term comes from the 1940s cartoon character Betty Boop of course.
And the pinup girls at these kinds of shows try to dress the way they think ladies dressed in the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s. Some of them push it a little, but some get pretty darn close. Richie from Wisconsin Hot Rod Radio said the Pin-up Girl Contest was one of his favorite parts of the show. We tend to agree with him on that!