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Street Rod Scavenger Hunt: How we did it

A Ford street rod with a Chevy engine -- one of the items on the Street Rod Scavenger Hunt list.
This one was found by contest winner Lance Peters. PHOTO BY LANCE PETERS

The street rods rumble into York County each June — several thousand impeccably kept and brightly painted classic cars from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and more.

The scene is stunning, and the machines themselves are amazing, right down to the tiniest details. But with about 4,000 cars on the grounds at the York Expo Center, it’s easy for the eyes to glaze over.

We wanted to help our readers take a closer look — challenge them to keep a sharp eye, to find some hidden gems. We also wanted to make thousands of visiting car enthusiasts aware of our
Wheels of York County page on Facebook, where we share photos of readers’ cool cars, as well as information about local automotive events.

Enter: The Street Rod Scavenger Hunt.

Another item on the list -- a custom stickshift knob. This one earned a bonus point for having an animal theme. PHOTO BY LANCE PETERS

We let readers know about the contest in several ways: We launched the contest online at ydr.com on Friday, the first full day of the street rod convention; we used social media to help get the word out. Then, on Saturday, we used the front page of the newspaper to get readers excited about the contest.

We challenged our readers to find up to 10 items on the search list. For each item, there was also an opportunity for a bonus point if they found a more rare version of the item. For example, we asked readers to find a vanity license plate on a street rod from a state that borders Pennsylvania. The bonus would be if that state was Delaware.

When contestants found one of the items, they snapped a photo of it. Afterward, contestants uploaded all the photos in their entry using a form on our website at ydr.com. The collection of all entries can be found at www.ydr.com/streetrod.

Once the street rods rolled out of town at the end of the weekend, we set about scoring the entries and declaring the winner. Any entry with at least five of the 10 items found was eligible for prizes. We were impressed to see that everyone who entered seemed to be working toward a perfect score.

In the end, Lance Peters of Red Lion was the winner. He scored 18 of a possible 20 points. Lance found all 10 items, and scored eight bonus points.

Judging was not as simple as one might think. Holding contestants to the letter of the law on the list of items was difficult, but was the most fair way to judge. For example, we asked contestants to find a racing number on the door of a street rod. Some entries included racing numbers on the rear quarter panel — not on the door.

A whitewall tire on a chrome wheel -- not hubcap, mind you. PHOTO BY LANCE PETERS

In some cases, contestants wanted us to judge more strictly than even we intended to. For example, a bonus point was available to those who found a whitewall tire on a chrome wheel. One contestant pointed out that a chrome hubcap should not count.

The lesson learned for us: When creating the hunt list, be specific. When judging, stick to the wording you used.

In the end, we think the hunt was successful. The Wheels of York County page on Facebook nearly doubled its “likes” over the weekend, and we heard from a few readers who hope we do the scavenger hunt again next year.

Among those who entered the contest were Zachary Paul, 9, and Emma Grace Paul, 5. David Humphrey, who submitted entries for the children, offered this feedback:

“The kids had a much fuller experience at the Street Rod Show with the entertainment of the scavenger hunt. It was a very family oriented event with many of the Street Rod owners and vendors being very friendly toward the kids . . . recognizing that this hobby will die with this generation unless future generations adopt it as well. Thank you.”

Street rod owners love the details, like this miniature
version of a real sized classic. PHOTO BY LANCE PETERS