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Street Machine Nationals - Midwest Blower Fest

The Preeminent Celebration Of The Pro Street Ethic, The Street Machine Nationals Is The Place To Be If You Love Big Blowers, Big Tires, And Big Graphics

Photography by Matthew King

In addition to being the preeminent celebration of the Pro Street movement, the annual Street Machine Nationals also has the distinction of being the car show thrown out of the most cities in America. Well, maybe “asked not to return” is a better way to put it. How could a car show get into so much trouble? You’d have to have been at one of the early events to understand, but let’s put it this way: Throughout most of its 25-year history, uncontrolled burnout contests held anywhere, anytime, were the norm; shirts were optional for men and women; and the highlight of one of the first Nationals held in Indianapolis was a riot that resulted in a police car going up in flames. And guess what? Car Craft started it all.

That’s right. Launched during the high point of the Pro Street movement in 1977, the goings-on at the Street Machine Nationals mirrored the essence of the era’s over-the-top proclivities as reported on by this magazine. The disco era was in full swing and so were fat tires, chromed blowers soaring through holes in hoods, and gaudy pastel paint jobs emblazoned with garish graphics. But just as Pro Street has mellowed, so has the annual car event that became virtually synonymous with Car Craft and the street machine ethic. While we eventually parted ways with the show in the early ’90s, its organizers continued the tradition of over-the-top events even as it be-bopped to a series of locations across the Midwest, including DuQuoin and East St. Louis, Illinois, and Springfield, Missouri.

After a one-year cooling-off period in 2000, the Street Machine Nationals, wiser and more level-headed in its old age, was welcomed back to Indianapolis for its 25th Anniversary. This year’s event reflected the state of the Pro Street movement: older, tamer, and less out of control.

For more information on the location and dates for next year’s Street Machine Nationals, contact The Promotion Co./Special Events, 804 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, IN 46204-1196, 317/236-6522,

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