No Frills Iron Bottom

See Bench-Racing’s NFIBMT Insider Tips Below

2008 NFIBMT Photos HERE   Ted’s HERE Paul’s HERE

Please E-mail us a link to your posted NFIBMT photos and we will post that link here.

2007 Photos from Bench-Racing HERE Bob’s pics HERE, Some in car video HERE

The 10th No Frills Iron Bottom Motoring Tour Was A Great Success
The best weather ever for a NFIBMT. Virtually no traffic on the routes. Wild flowers put on a great show. A record 127 vehicles participating. Over the top catered breakfast at Mission San Antonio. Over 100,000 dead bugs and miles of smiles


Who killed the No Frills?

It started in 1999 and ended in 2008.  It started with 17 cars and ended with 117. There were no sponsors and no goodie bags. Not one penny was spent on advertising.  It became one of California's premier vintage events. It was the "No Frills Iron Bottom Motoring Tour."

Conceived as a spoof of the "California Mille," The "No Frills" became one of "Mille" founder Martin Swig's favorite events.   "Mille" participants wondered why there was nothing like the "Mille in Southern California. The flippant answer was "there are no good roads in Southern California."  The "No Frills" proved them wrong. 

The "Mille" features a pre event gala street luncheon and car show on Nob Hill.  The "No Frills" countered with a no host dinner in Pasadena and a car show in the parking lot. The "Mille" includes coffee breaks at "Starbucks" and catered lunches. The "No Frills" stopped at "In N Out" or picked up sandwiches at "Subway." The "Mille" price is up to $5,500, while the "No Frills" became the only vintage tour to pay entrants.

The "Mille" celebrated its' 18th year in 2008. The "No Frills" ended this year. What happened?  Our flaunting of convention was our downfall. Some drivers took our "no rules" stance to mean that common sense was suspended.  If someone decides to create a similar event in the future we wish them well and hope participants will know the difference between a tour on public roads and a club sponsored track day.

Ed Pasini
Jack Brown

We would like to thank Ed Pasini for his time and dedication to this event. It has given many motorists representing the entire range of automotive enthusiasts miles of pure vintage driving experience. Thanks also to Jack Brown, his co-disorganizer.

Unfortunately participants in this years event, specifically one that was showing everyone the “Max Speed” reading on his GPS of +140mph (HERE) and another that did not take responsibility for property damage, exhibited enough poor behavior to push the organizers over the edge. Dangerous or irresponsible behavior is something they could not accept. This was certainly not in conformance with the “Spirit of the Event” and you cannot blame the organizer’s for canceling the event.

Bench-Racing.com NFIBMT Participant Insider Information

Bench-Racing has been an Iron Bottom participant every year except for two. We thought we would share some “insider info” so you have a better experience on this classic open road tour. These are only tips, hints and guidelines.

  • Don’t roll a car out of the garage on Thursday AM and expect it to bring you back home on Saturday without some preparation. Schedule at least one 100 mile loop a week or two before this event to find any mechanical issues that need attention. Otherwise plan to spend time on the side of the road fixing your car.
  • Know the fuel capacity of your vehicle and approximate range (total miles) you can get from one tank. You will need this information to avoid running out of gas when fuel stops are scarce.
  • Book your rooms in advance and find a good co-pilot.
  • A good co-pilot is: A person you can tolerate for 12 hours a day, can read a map, someone you can trust behind the wheel, has reasonable judgment, does not get car sick, does not snore.
  • If the host hotel is sold out (Best Western Black Oak in Paso Robles) there is a Motel 6 about 300 yards down the block, about half the cost of the Best Western.
  • Bring a detailed map book like DeLorme or the AAA folding maps (North of Los Angeles, South of Gilroy, Pacific Coast to Central Valley). Buy or borrow a portable navigation system and find a good way to secure it to the dash or windshield. With prices now under $200 there is no longer any excuse. They are not so much for getting to the destination but for knowing where you are. Also good for amending the given route when trying to make up time after a delay/breakdown or if the sun is going down fast and you have had enough fun for one day. Also great for finding food, gas, and the local NAPA store. Speaking of NAPA, there is a NAPA in Paso Robles about a ¼ mile from the hotel.
  • Your car must: have five good tires that hold air, have a jack and lug wrench, have working headlights and windshield wipers, have a working defroster or dry towel within reach, have a good battery that is securely fastened to the vehicle, and good safe reliable brakes. As for engine and transmission, we shouldn’t have to mention these.
  • You will be better prepared if you have in your car: a fire extinguisher, extra motor oil, extra water for the radiator, duct tape and baling wire ( or a couple of clothes hangers), a spare ignition key, a basic tool kit, paper towels and shop rags, owners manual, Auto Club card, cell phone and charger (but know much of the route does not have cell phone coverage), a first aid kit, a blanket, a wood block or two, a tow strap, and jumper cables.
  • Never pass up a bathroom stop and always keep your fuel tank topped off.
  • There is a fast group (crazy fast), a touring group (medium aggressive speed), and a slow group (remember, you do in fact have all day to get there). Find your comfort zone and stay within the drivers and the vehicles capability. Give faster vehicles room to safely pass and pass only when safe. If there are four cars riding your bumper, pull over.
  • Leave you ego and attitude in the garage. This event has endured for 10 years by following this guideline. Violators will be mercilessly ostracized online after the event. Does “Persona non grata” mean anything to you?
  • Get to the Rose Bowl on time. Route maps will run out and if you are late too bad, no one waits around for stragglers.

This is a great fun trip organized by selfless enthusiasts. Their gift to you is three days of incredible roads and legendary California scenery, all at no cost. Be courteous and friendly to the other participants. They may save your butt with a splash of fuel or jumper cables somewhere along the route. Remember that the route, the pace, and the classic car vibe is what this trip is all about. It will not disappoint. Do not let your job get in the way of your participation.

Enough said, see you there,