9. What does Hot Rod Power Tour cost? – Answer: It’s worth it!

Quartermile:
It’s definitely worth the cost!
But the Hot Rod Power Tour isn’t actually about the cost, it’s about the the cars, the comradery and the burnouts!
A lot of people are probably interested in what it would cost them, hence why I thought I’d write this up.
There is no price you can put on being a “Long Hauler”. You will get recognition and instant friendship with any other Long Haulers you meet up with at any car show.
Check out my daily logs of HRPT 2014 and all the cool people I met and all the awesome cars I saw!
https://mywheellife.com/2014/06/15/8-my-wheel-life-hot-rod-power-tour-part-1/
https://mywheellife.com/2014/06/19/10-my-wheel-life-hot-rod-power-tour-part-2-of-3/
https://mywheellife.com/2014/06/28/11-hot-rod-power-tour-2014-part-33/

Robbie and I, HRPT long haulers

Robbie and I, HRPT long haulers

The Full Monty
$1988.73. That is what I figure the raw cost was for me to be on HRPT this year. That takes into account all the food, snacks, gas, hotels, broken parts, registration, magazine renewals, t-shirts, etc. Some of this will be reduced when I split the hotels with my buddy, Robbie (watch for a bill in the mail). I’d definitely recommend doing power tour with at least one friend. This lets you talk to someone while driving, maybe I’m just a sentimental person like that. You also will have someone to split gas and hotels with, and you’ll have a navigator, which is very very helpful!

Cool HRPT parking lot!

Cool HRPT parking lot!

I spent $630.57 on parts and service by a shop on my car. So if you take that out my cost would have been $1358.26, which is not bad at all. That being said, power tour is a very demanding trip on cars and you should be ready to spend money on broken parts. Don’t be surprised! I was quoted $1400 to replace the struts and a-arms on my mustang, luckily the GM performance mechanics were able to replace the a-arms for a total of $0. This will be one place I take to say “Thank You” to those guys. They saved so many cars this year (and every year) for no charge. They are really great guys, super friendly, and obviously they kept me going and allowed me to finish the HRPT in one piece!

Mustang getting alignment

Mustang getting alignment

To break down the costs by what they were spent on:

Registration:
My registration was $93.50 because I registered the first day at zMax in Charlotte. Because I used a credit card it cost me an extra $3.50. If you registered early it was $80 instead of $90.
Really the registration is a deal. Your long hauler ticket gets you tons of free stuff from the aftermarket companies that have booths at HRPT. Magnets, the all important HRPT stickers!, posters, car polish, and tons of other goodies, and at the end if you complete the whole thing there is always a long hauler “prize”. This year was an awesome 20th anniversary tin sign, so while this seems like a lot of money up front, it’s really all paid back to you. This registration is per car, and you get 2 “punch cards” per registration.

Long hauler punch card, you get all kinds of free stuff with this!

Long hauler punch card, you get all kinds of free stuff with this!

HRPT 20th anniversary Long Hauler tin sign

HRPT 20th anniversary Long Hauler tin sign

All important HRPT year sticker. (also MyWheelLife.com sticker, available for your own car, email me)

All important HRPT year sticker. (also MyWheelLife.com sticker, available for your own car, email me)

Hotels:
7 Hotels cost me $570.28
To be fair Robbie, did pay for one night’s hotel which was not included.

Gas:
All the gas to drive from Iowa, to North Carolina, back to Wisconsin and back to Iowa cost me a total of $410.36. That’s not bad! to be fair here, I was driving a 2007 Mustang that got 25 mpg average.
The HRPT prescribed route was 1602.1 miles this year. Just to drive that with my mustang would have cost $225 (assuming $3.50/gallon gas).
If you are calculation costs for the tour you simply have to take the number of miles for you from your home to the start, the total mileage of HRPT (usually about 1500) and then the miles from the end back home, divide that by the mpg of your car, and then multiply by and average gas/gallon price (I’m using $3.50 for now)
So if you drove a total of 3000 miles with a car that got 10 mpg it would have cost you $1000. Still not that terrible.

Cool Camaro at Gas station

Cool Camaro at Gas station

Food
I spent $175.63 on food (at restaurants) this year. This was usually a fast lunch and a pretty good diner. Robbie paid for some of my diner’s and I paid for some of his so I believe this is a pretty good average.

To be fair my co-pilot (Robbie) bought us a lot of snacks/breakfast/donuts. We didn’t eat breakfast too many times.
I spent about $40 on snacks/drinks.

There are a ton of variable costs for power tour. There are a ton of great deals for shirts. Comp cams and Petty’s Garage were both selling $5 t-shirts.
I also renewed my Hot Rod and Car Craft magazine (for 3 years each) for a total of $52, and got a free t-shirt! Since that was something I would have done anyway, that was basically a freebie!
The HRPT shirts are a bit expensive, $20+ for a t-shirt (that’s expensive to me when Comp Cams is selling $5 shirts) but some of the HRPT t-shirts are very cool and I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from buying one.
I also spend $30 on supplies to make my Comp Cams drawing costume. The drawing was Friday at the last stop, Wisconsin Dells, WI and the winner got $10,000 in Comp Cams (and other companies they own) shopping spree. This year I got $100 to buy stuff from Comp Cams for my troubles, as a consolation prize. The Comp Cams guys are great and it was fun walking around talking to people so that was worth it to me.

HRPT golden ticket Spartan!

HRPT golden ticket Spartan!

Overall, the HRPT is really a pretty cheap vacation. Really if you wanted, your only costs could be gas, hotels and food, and you’d get to see a ton of cool cars. Probably the cheapest way to see the whole HRPT would be to drive a station wagon with 4 guys, stuff all 4 of you in one hotel room, split gas and then just a bit of food would be it. That would honestly be awesome! Let me know if anyone has done that!
But like I said at the beginning, HRPT isn’t about the cost. It’s about the cars, the comradery, the friendships and the memories, and you can’t put a price on any of that.
“It’s worth it!” – Axel Hoogland
So will you be making HRPT in the near future?
What’s your favorite car road trip besides HRPT?

Hope you all enjoyed this post. If you did please follow me via email so you don’t miss any future posts. Also like my Facebook page, share this post with your friends, etc.
Keep the wheels on the road!

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9 thoughts on “9. What does Hot Rod Power Tour cost? – Answer: It’s worth it!

  1. Awesome post!!! The fact is you can’t control the price of gas but you can do the tour on the cheep if you stay at budget hotels and eat fast food from the dollar menu and don’t spend too much on shirts and other stuff. And if that’s the difference of being able to afford to go or not then go on the cheep because it is definitely worth it! On the other hand if you have the money to spend go hog wild and live it up!!!

  2. Hey Rob, Good point. You can’t control the cost of gas, but everything else you can to a point. I heard a guy and a buddy camped the whole way! Even cheaper than Hotels. I try to stay at Motel 6. They are usually pretty cheap and they were all actually pretty nice, the one’s I stayed at this year. You could buy a lot of car parts for $1k-$2k but the friends you make on power tour, and all the creative cars and talented people make it a priceless experience! You’re loosing out not going!

  3. Pingback: 11. Hot Rod Power Tour 2014 – Part 3/3 | MyWheelLife.com

  4. Great article Rob. This was my fourth Powertour, first long haul. I drove a 1966 Rambler Wagon. Was a great trip. We packed all our own food and a small grille and tail gated all the way. Was a blast. Cool cars great people cool scenery. Will do it again, finishing another wagon for the next one.

  5. Pingback: A Million Dollars | MyWheelLife.com

  6. Thanks for this ! Interesting reading ….Im disabled, and am desperate to do the HRPT before my legs die….$$ is the only thing holding me back , so all info is helpful .

  7. We did two HRPT with a tent most fair grounds and race tracks have a camping area and showers for $25 or less. and KOA or cheap motel for places that don’t. Also most Colleges have visitor rooms that allow 1 night stays.

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