Photo by Trip, Trek, & Travel The World via

“You’re a car girl!” the bombshell standing next to the candy apple red Mustang at the Car Show exclaimed. The evidence was overwhelming. Of all the things I could be doing on my birthday, why else would I be dragging my son to the Convention Center to look at hot rods and dream cars?

Since then, I’ve embraced my car girl passions, and if I could be doing anything I wanted to this spring it would be strolling the grounds of the Austin Lonestar Roundup. It’s a gigantic outdoor car show and live music festival. Over 1,500 vintage hot rods and custom cars make the annual pilgrimage from all over the world. Since it’s such a popular event, visitors should book Austin hotel rooms far in advance.

About 13 years ago the Lonestar Round Up was a humble one-day car affair held in an old football stadium. Now it’s a long weekend of hot rods, custom cars, music, art, history, and creativity inspired by the vintage American car culture. The lineup of events always pleases the eager crowds.

Lonestar Roundup BBQ, trip wellness, austin

Photo © Lonestar Round Up

Jalopy Journal Is Going Strong

Of course, car culture isn’t all grease monkeys and their molls. This year the Jalopy Journal is publishing its third edition, All Tore Up: Texas Hot Rod Portraits. There’ll be a book signing, great brews, and live music.


Photo by Elaine J. Masters

Official Garage Crawl

Want to see these spiffy wheels in action? You don’t need a vintage ride to tag along on the Official Garage Crawl. Show up early at the appointed place and get in line. Things wrap up by noon with a visit to the Dell Children’s Hospital before parking at the Expo.

The Car Show Kicks Off at the Expo Center

From 11 a.m. till late, the car show will be in full swing. There’s a swap meet and vendor area plus an art show indoors. From Surf Polka to Texas Honky Tonk to RnB, the music will roll through the day from 11 a.m. till 4 p.m. Later you can find more music and even hot rod movies downtown.

Cruise on Through

On Sunday feel the religion of hot rod love on a slow cruise. A scenic hill country drive winds up at the Oasis Texas Brewing Company. Don’t put it into park yet, though. Mercury Charlie’s is hosting an open house. Shuffle your feet with live music from Kristy Johnson and the legendary Junior Brown.

Junior Brown Rocket man

Photo by Rocket Man via

Can’t make it to the Roundup? Connect with the organizers from the Kontinentals Car Club for Austin-style hot rod culture year round.

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Car-girl Elaine and friends. Photo: Tripwellness

Sadly this hot rod honey won’t make it to the Lonestar Round Up this year, but my heart will be there. In my mind’s eye, my little, scratched Toyota Corolla knows what it wants to be when it grows up. Maybe next year I’ll be riding off to Austin in a vintage, candy-apple red Mustang.

Written as part of the Hipmunk City Love Project.