The OH MY GAWD Moment

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I have a vague recollection of when I first heard of the Beatnik Bandit.

I must have been around seven as Ed Roth created the car in 1961. It is very likely that Gregory (my next door neighbor) built a model of it. The graphics on the cardboard box look very familiar to me.
When Roth’s Rat Fink made the scene a couple years later, it created a sensation in my neighborhood. One inch rubber likenesses were highly sought after prizes in the corner market’s gum machine. Teenagers purchased air brushes and taught themselves to paint their own ghoulish characters on T-shirts. My siblings and I each had one.

I played with Matchbox cars as far back as I can remember. When Chevrolet introduced the Camaro in ’67 I thought it was so cool, I pretended my Opel Diplomat was the popular pony car! Then the first series of Mattel Hot Wheels were released (1968) and I pretty much lost my mind. The first car I bought was the Camaro but the Beatnik Bandit was included in that first series. Interestingly, I never owned the track and preferred racing them on a smooth carpet. Eventually all of my cars became racers (even my Snow-Trac got tires instead of treads!). I busted out the Bandit’s bubble top and replaced it with a full roll cage and miniature banana wing. I painted it black and numbered it “11x”. Today it would make a Redline collector swoon!
Years later, I introduced my daughter to “Kar Kulture” and shared my Roth books with her. We discovered that numerous Roth creations, including the Beatnik Bandit were on display in Reno so we planned a pilgrimage there. Seeing it in person was beyond nostalgic- It was weirdly spiritual. We spoke in low voices out of respect. Roth was an original with a unique perspective. Viewing his collected works in full scale was truly impressive.

In 1969 the Twin Mill was introduced by Hot Wheels. Unlike the Camaro or Bandit, the Twin Mill was a fantasy car designed in-house by Ira Gilford. It wasn’t one of my favorites but my buddy Mike Farina had one and so I was familiar. Over the years it remained popular with kids and continued to be a top seller. When Hot Wheels decided to celebrate their 30th anniversary in 1998, they endeavored to have the first full scale Twin Mill built. Boyd Coddington’s shop got the nod, and then went bankrupt to everyone’s dismay. Mattel rescued the project and had the build completed by someone else. The anniversary got pushed back and the reveal took place at the 2001 SEMA show. I didn’t have my Oh My Gawd Moment until I attended SEMA a couple years later. Rounding the corner and finding it sitting there, bigger than life, was surreal. It was repainted Antifreeze Green. The twin, chromed 502’s glistening under the lights. Around the blowers was a hint of residue…starting fluid? Oil? You didn’t know, but you knew it ran! That was important. Yet somehow, it retained the essence of a toy. Man, I just wanted to steal it.

Since 1/64th was my scale, not surprisingly, I also collected HO slot cars. My dad got me started on those in the early sixties and I remain a track owner to this day. Over the years I’d owned numerous Tyco and Aurora Cheetahs; it was a common slot car. I don’t think it occurred to me that there were real Cheetahs until I walked into a garage in Fresno (circa 1992) and saw one. It wasn’t complete; in fact, I remember it looking like a big slot car body. Still I recognized it immediately and it took me back to my childhood. I loved finding it but didn’t appreciate at the time, what a rare discovery it was.

The Cheetah was designed by Don Edmunds (of midget building fame) for a builder named Bill Thomas. Between the fall of 1963 and April of 1966, fewer than two dozen Cheetahs were produced. Because of the low production number, the Cheetah could not compete against Shelby Cobras as intended and had to race in the modified class. There, the transition to mid-engined designs was in full swing so the Cheetah was hopelessly outdated. I think it’s interesting to note that a street version of the car could be purchased for $10,000 in 1964 and Sonny and Cher bought one!

I experienced my most recent Oh My Gawd Moment when I spotted this ex-Alan Green racer at Laguna Seca in August. In spite of being tied down, it appeared ready to pounce. The owner had just turned down a bid of $250,000 at the Bonhams auction. According to one source, the value has diminished now that reproductions are available for half that amount. Still, the Cheetah was an Oh My Gawd sports car if there ever was one.

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My First Car

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From time to time I’ve heard about or read a story about someone’s first car or even cars. How they found it or how it found them and often these stories are fun and entertaining. An example might be my first “car.”

Back when I was growing up it wasn’t considered a necessity to put anti-freeze in one’s cars. I vaguely recall that antifreeze wasn’t in fact used unless threatening weather was coming. At least such was the case in my family.

At this point I can’t honestly remember which car was my “first” car, but at about 13 or so a family friend told me that if I wanted “that old Ford” that I could have it. It was a ’49 Ford 2dr. sedan. It was pretty straight with the front sheet metal off and the engine missing. All I had to do was come tow it home. I talked my Dad into helping with the amazing stroke of luck? But we didn’t have a trailer or a tow bar. I rented a tow bar from A&A Rental on Molalla Avenue in Oregon City and away we went to bring home this amazing treasure.

Of course, hind sight is always clearer but I have to say, “What was I thinking”? I think we got pieces of the engine and loaded them in the trunk, rigged up the tow bar and dragged this pile home. It never became anything more than lawn art, that is until the day 5 years later that it became the donor car for a rear leaf spring rebuild that I had to do on my 55 Chevy after the main leaf snapped. I know what you’re thinking. No, I wasn’t doing a 4-grand clutch sidestep launch in an illegal street race. I can’t say that hadn’t happened to that 55 before I bought it but, it didn’t happen this time. I think the main leaf just died of fatigue that faithful evening as I was leaving the gas station where I worked. I heard a “snap” and the car listed slightly after I crossed the rather large dip at the driveway entrance/exit onto 7th street. I motored up the hill until I pulled into the Union station that was still open, where Jim worked and I told him what I’d heard. He said pull it in on the rack and we’ll see. Yes, it was the same Jim whom I’m still friends with today and it’s interesting to note that he has always been that same nice he is today.

We discovered the broken main leaf that was still hanging together fortunately, but it was evident that it wasn’t fixable only replaceable. I told Jim I didn’t have a spare and he volunteered that he had a set that needed to rebuilt. He also said that if I added one leaf it would raise the car slightly and of course stiffen the suspension a little. I told him I didn’t know anything about rebuilding or replacing a set of leaf springs and he volunteered information about how to do it. I bought the rebuildable set from Jim and used the components scavenged from the 49 Ford and new center bolts to create the springs I needed.

At five years after acquiring the 49 it had managed to get in the way enough that my Dad sent it to old junk car purgatory. The woods on his property where part of it rest till this day. Naturally with younger brothers and their friends and then my kids and then my siblings kids their ain’t much left of that first car.

At the beginning of this tale I mentioned I couldn’t remember “Which” car was first. You might also recall that I told a story about antifreeze being optional back then. Because of people considering it optional my uncle’s wife’s 50 Chevy 2dr. sedan developed a significant freeze crack along the right lower side of its original 6-cylinder block. To my total surprise one day my aunt and uncle drove in our driveway in separate cars. My uncle had driven the 50 Chevy. When asked why they had each driven he said that he was going to “GIVE” me the Chevy. It still ran good but leaked and I could use it to drive around on the farm to learn how to drive. At the ripe old age of 13 I thought I already knew how to drive but I didn’t say that because I was really excited about having my own, running, driving car. I felt like I was the coolest kid anywhere within many miles of Redland Oregon. My Own Car! I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel to see what she could do. I don’t remember how all that worked out but I do remember sitting in it dreaming about driving around in my Chevy.

As I mentioned, I had little brothers and a sister. If I’m right about my age at the time that would make my siblings 5, 3 and 2 ish. My 3-year-old little brother has always been the helpful kind of guy and even then, he wanted to help his big brother. He decided that since my car burned gas and gas was expensive, he would help me out. With the Chevy parked near the pump house and with his understand of putting gas in cars, trucks and equipment he filled up the gas tank on the Chevy for me. Unfortunately, he used the garden hose… with water. The next time I went out to start my car, it started but then died never to start again. Still I didn’t know why so I kept trying to start it. Eventually through conversation with my brothers I learned what had happened.

One day a family stopped and asked if “that old Chevy in the field ran?” After the explanation, they wanted to know what we would take for the car. We settled on $15.00 whole dollars. The woman accompanied my Mom into the house to retrieve the title while I help the man hook it up to be towed by the car they were driving. They seemed so nice and friendly, you know really nice people. They thanked us profusely, climbed into their tow vehicle and the Chevy and happily waved goodbye as they drove out of the drive way.

Sometime later I asked my Mom for the $15.00 the lady gave her when she surrendered the title. She said she gave her the title but she didn’t get the money and asked “didn’t you get the money from the man when you were helping him hook it up to be towed?” What a sinking feeling! No car, no money, no name or address from them, no nothing.

That, Ladies and Gentlemen is the story of my “first” car (s). Maybe you’d like to share your “First Car” experience? Hopefully it was better than mine. We’d like to hear your story and share it with our readers. If you have a “First Car” story you’d like to share please type it up and send it to us @
R & R NW, 17273 So. Steiner Rd., Beavercreek, OR. 97004 or email the copy to us @ roddinracinnw@gmail.com. We’ll give you the byline and print your story in an upcoming issue. I don’t have any pictures but if you do and would like to include them please also include a self-address stamped envelope so we can send them back or email them to us as a jpeg attachment to an email. We look forward to hearing and sharing your stories. ED.

7th Annual Cruise to Historic Downtown Oregon City

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Trick ‘n Racy Car Club together with the Downtown Oregon City Association, has been putting this show/cruise on for 7 years with never a rain out. It’s generally nice in Oregon in September. Until 2016 that is. The weather was great for the seven days before September 17th and the five or so days after the 17th, but the day of it decided to rain and rain it did. It would let up a little once in a while but it never really quit, so the cruise got drenched.
This show/cruise has become very popular and has grown over the years in fact it had outgrown the space that was allotted so for 2016 they expanded the “footprint” so they wouldn’t have to turn anyone away, like had happened in recent years. Unfortunately “Mother Nature” had other plans. It wasn’t a total rain out thanks to some true diehards who showed up anyway and every one of them stuck it out to the bitter end. The organizers would like to thank all who helped and all who participated.

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MetalWorks built 65 Lincoln Continental

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Lincoln Continentals have always been popular cars due to their long sexy lines, luxurious ride and amenities, and don’t forget about those amazing looking suicide doors.

At MetalWorks we had the privilege of building a heavily customized 65 Continental for a customer, and the owner of this Lincoln took note of the build on our website. After watching the process unfold online  and on social media,  this owner knew he had to get his 65 shipped our way for some upgrades.

When this Lincoln arrived it was a nice survivor car, but Continentals are big cars with big, heavy, gasoline hungry engines—and this one was looking for improved performance. The owner not only wanted more ponies under the hood to push the 5000lb Lincoln down the road, but reliability, and a little increase in miles per gallon wouldn’t be so bad either. After research and some phone meetings it was decided the right treatment for the 65 was a brand new GM Performance LSA engine—the same as you would find in a Cadillac CTS-V. The LSA platform is a supercharged 6.2 L putting out 556 horsepower and comes mated to a 4L85E transmission.

Now the LSA didn’t just drop between the rails of the Lincoln, but the necessary mods were not as radical as one might think. The modifications however were more in-depth than we can discuss in this quick article — but you can check out the full build in great detail on our website. Besides the LSA engine conversion and all the components required (EFI fuel tank, modified drive shaft, radiator swap,  etc) the  Lincoln also received a Currie rear end, lowered suspension components, custom interior upgrades, and even a set of wide white walls.

In the end we never touched the 65’s external appearance beside the new lowered stance and shoes, so the Lincoln retains a mostly stock appearance. Stock appearing that is until the owner decides he needs to mash the throttle—the results of which could lead to a very short life for those shiny new white walls. He had a 64 Lincoln back in high school in the late 1970s that he daily drove into the ground. He states that once the expense of keeping the Lincoln on the road became too great, he had to let it go. His current plans are to turn loose of his Mercedes and drive his newly transformed 65 daily. Sounds like a “reliable”  trip down memory lane.

See the 65 Lincoln’s full build at: http://metalworksclassics.com/portfolio-page/1965-lincoln-lsa-conversion/

 

All in the Family

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Racing has a specific smell, my first NASCAR race at Chicagoland Speedway the weekend of September 18th was no different. The hot metal, burning race fuel, and mass of sticky people make a magical mixture that could never be replaced by any court or field sport.

Like the smell, the atmosphere at a professional motorsports event is distinctly laced with an electric excitement like no other. It is no wonder that race fans are fanatically energetic.

I mean, who wouldn’t stand up in their chair when a field of 40-some cars come rolling past like thunder?

Leading up to the event, I could not help but notice the differences in NASCAR culture compared to other sporting events. The emphasis around the facility was clearly geared toward families. This race was christened the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 400’, a tactic that was clearly to attract a younger audience’s attention and provide a unique atmosphere at the race track. All weekend long the characters of the show were taking pictures and posing amongst the fans. Some of the Xfinity and Sprint Cup cars sported special livery in honor of the Heroes in a Half Shell so that you could not only root for your favorite driver- but also for your favorite character. Is this traditional motorsports marketing? Not in the slightest, but like it or not it is becoming more challenging to attract a younger audience and hold their attention- this was an excellent way to do so.

Besides the families in the stands, there was a distinct theme of drivers that were sporting the ‘family man’ image. Walking into the driver’s meeting, during driver introductions and even on the pre-grid, drivers with families were never without their child and/or wife by their side. This phenomenon may be applicable to other disciplines, but in tandem with the Nickelodeon cartoon theme, this presence was noticeably prevalent.

This familial emphasis found its way into the garages as well. The crews working on the cars naturally seem to form their own band of brotherhood. Before the race, there were prayers, huddles, back slaps and good wishes. Comradery can take many forms. Some teams even have a BBQ set up right outside their hauler with a crewman cooking up a hot meal for their guys. One took me through the day’s menu of grilled pineapple and teriyaki chicken.

It was a beautiful, clear afternoon in Joliet, IL when the Sprint Cup cars came down for the green on the 1.5mi bull ring. The race itself was relatively yellow free. Due to rain earlier in the week, the grid was set by accumulated season points. Last year’s Chicagoland champion and defending Sprint Cup Champion, Kyle Busch in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota started from the pole. He was quickly under siege by the second place starter, Brad Keselowski in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford. It would come down to tire strategy and a late yellow brought on by No. 98 of Michael McDowell that would reshuffle the field. Second generation fan favorite, Chase Elliott in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet would have to come in for fresh rubber. Frontrunner Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota would beat Elliott off of pit lane. Coming down to the green, Truex used the advantage of fresh tires to take home the win. Joey Logano in the Team Penske No. 22 would finish second and Elliott would roll home third.

In the thick cloud of burnt rubber and the aroma bacon encrusted nachos, Truex rejoiced in his win with his wife and crew by his side. Moving forward in the Chase rounds, it will be interesting to see who advances.

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Hot August Nights

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There are many really big annual and kinda famous Cruise-Ins/Car shows throughout this great country.

The back the 50’s Cruise in Minnesota is one. The Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise in, in Detroit is another. Of course the NSRA and The Good-guys put together great weekend cruises all across the country. They are all fun and usually BIG.

Out here in the West we have our own really BIG cruise-in/car show, Yup, Hot August Nights in Reno/Sparks. This cruise is 30 years old and still going strong. 2016 was no disappointment.

The main drag, Virginia Street, and several cross streets are blocked off during the day and participants display their cars on those blocked off streets each day. Toward evening the streets are cleared and crowd control barricades are brought it and placed along the curbs of Virginia and those cars that were displayed all day and many many more cars form up on North Virginia Street and cruise, double file, south on Virginia to the delight of 1000’s of on lookers from the sidewalks.

This downtown cruise and daily car show is sponsored by the downtown Casinos like, Harrah’s, The Silver Legacy, Circus Circus, The Eldorado and other businesses. There’s live music, great food and of course CARS.

For three days Summit Racing sponsors what I call a, mini trade show, at the Reno Event Center Downtown, billed as Big Boy Toys. A long list of vendors brings their products and knowledgeable representatives with expertise in their chosen fields/products to help you with your next build. Summit Racing sets up a remote order desk right at the show so you can order your needs right there and then pick it up later at their store/warehouse a few miles down the road in Sparks. Or it can be set up for shipment to your home address, so you don’t have to worry about having the room to carry your purchases home in your car. Very convenient!  I’ve used this method myself many times.

In addition to the downtown venue many of the other Casino/Resorts all over the area sponsor and hold their own car show/cruise-ins right at their locations, with valuable prizes, live music, food etc. In fact the whole town/area gets into the spirit with something going on all the time, every day, the whole week. There are mini cruises at most of the outlying Casinos throughout the days and evenings. And like in downtown Reno, Sparks blocks off their main drag and cruises double file throughout the evenings.

With nearly 6000 registered participants there were Hot Rods, Street Rods, Street Machines, box stock restorations, race cars, you name it. Everywhere.
There is a swap meet too, at the Reno/Sparks Livestock Expo. I like swap meets whether I’m in need of more rusty parts or not. The same organizers have been running the HAN Swap Meet for several years now and it just get bigger and better every year. Plus, they have a car for sale corral inside out of the weather in the Expo Arena. There were some good buys available this year. You could have bought your next project or finished project there and participated in the fun all week and then driven it home.

This year Motorsport Auction Group held a collector car auction at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center. This was their first time at this event and what a great job they did putting on a pretty big time auction. Lots of nicely restored, hot rodded, etc. cars and trucks changed hands. Dave Kindig with Kindig-it-Design was on hand at the auction with several of the cars his shop in Utah had recently completed. Some you probably saw on TV on his show “Bitchin’ Rides.” He and “Kev Dog” Kevin Schiele were on hand to field everyone’s questions. They are a couple really nice guys and they build absolutely fabulous cars and trucks. Check out the TV show on Velocity TV.

Marsha and I decided last year we were going and made our reservations way early. Always a good plan since we like to use our time share which is right in downtown Reno. It’s a condo like set up with 2 bedrooms, more room than we need so we asked another couple, who had NEVER been to HAN, if they wanted to go and they jumped at the chance. I’m not sure after spending a week there us, they were still as excited but we did have fun. Fortunately, they are car nuts too and they seem to like Margaritas as well, so all is well.

There is an opportunity to win prizes and money if your car is judged and receives an award. The Main Host Hotel is the Grand Sierra. If you plan to attend next year’s Hot August Nights, August 8th – 13th. Registration is open now and you can register online at www.hotaugustnights.net. Register early and save. The website has a host of valuable info so check it out. What’s not to like about a week of Cool Cars and Rock ‘n Roll music?


Feature Ride of the Month: 1955 Dodge Lancer

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This month’s Featured Ride is a 61 year old piece of sculptured pure-bred artistic creation of automobile wonder. Terry Morris Custom Auto down in Wilsonville, Oregon worked four long years designing, developing and fine-tuning this piece of art. We at R&R NW Publication are pleased to make Mr. Dick Pedro’s 1955 Dodge Royal 2DR Custom Hardtop from Gresham, Oregon our featured ride of the Month for November 2016.
This delicious ’55 Dodge Royal 2 Dr Hardtop from the Chrysler family of fine automobiles was a unique look, back in the mid-fifties. She sports a 354 ci Hemi producing 500 plus HP with a 700 R4 four speed auto tranny on the floor for fun and a 9” Ford Rear-End. A Fatman chassis holds it all together and Wilwood Disc brakes on all four corners does a cool job slowing her down. She’s been tricked out with all the updated tricks like AC , power steering, power brakes and a super sound system. The interior has been treated to a set of Jaguar modified leather seats upfront and arm rested comfort in the back. The classic w/white tires highlight the Orange metallic wheels w/ beauty rings and a set of Spider Clusters on all four corners really bring this ride alive. The exterior of this beauty features Silver metallic lower body, Pristine black top with orange and black scalloping hi-lighting the sides and hood area with world class artist Mitch Kim adding the straight and clean line pin-stripping, bringing this piece of creative art all together like a perfectly framed master piece. Dick Pedro has owned and built several tricked out cars, trucks and street rods since his days back at Molalla High School where in Auto Shop he built a sweet little ’55 Ford two door HT that got him around the valley in the mid-sixties. He now makes his home out in the Gresham area of Portland and can usually be found at the Endless Summer Cruze-In every Wednesday out in Gresham, sponsored by the Pharaohs Street Rodders raising funds and supporting our veterans programs. Mr. Pedro has owned this fantastic Dodge Royal for over ten years and she has won her share of trophies all over the West.

EV Cars & the RPM Bill

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 First we need to acknowledge the passing of two motorsports industry giants.
John Dianna from Hot Rod Magazine fame and Brock Yates from Car & Driver and inventor of the Cannon Ball Run. These guys put it out there and it is up to us to keep it out there. That means we need to keep it up with the Support of the upcoming RPM Bill, our battle against the EPA who would change all of what these men stood for. Be sure to get back to SEMA.com and fire one last shot even if you have already been there once.

Now lets talk about EV Cars, that would be cars powered by batteries—the kinds of cars the EPA would love to have every driver in America driving. Any responsible GearHead would be against that idea. And we are not alone. There are many other major industries fighting EPA tooth and nail over this sort of thing. But be aware, there are also many other industries jumping into this EV craze in a big way – to the tune of over 200 startups entering this market – and heavily subsidized by our government. And get this – China is making a big move in this area. Imagine a future generation of Millennial offspring all compliantly motoring around the Nation in little electric cars … from China! A generation that barely knows anything about what muscle cars once were.
This brings us to Autonomous Cars—those which will haul you around without the necessity of you doing any navigating. Hands off that wheel! I should remind you that for publication purposes, these futuristic scenarios are the opinion of this writer. Well, there are many others in agreement. Be advised that they are already appearing in cities. Looks like taxis will be the first. No more Uber drivers. Imagine a future when you will be criminally prosecuted for touching that wheel. Imagine a future where you will be prosecuted if you are caught simply owning a car that requires you to drive it. Imagine a future where internal combustion musclecars are long, long gone—outlawed! Imagine this all coming faster than you can imagine!
Speaking of fast, we should probably mention Roborace. This is a racing series of autonomously controlled electric racecars running the top roadracing circuits all around the UK and elsewhere. These cars will be strictly run by an algorithm, no human contact or guidance. That starts this year. Sounds like revenge of the nerds to me.
Oh and did we mention the 48 volt hybrids that are coming? Well ’nuff said for now. What say you, GearHeads?

Next we will be getting into a real sticky wicket concerning the subject of cyber security and these autonomous cars. By next issue the SEMA Show will be concluding and General Hayden will have given his speech. Retired four-star General Michael Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA), will speak at the AAPEX 2016 General Session taking place on Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 8 a.m. to 8:50 a.m., (PST), at the Venetian in Las Vegas. We will see what he has to say on  this subject.

All for the Love of Street Rods, Fancy Trucks & Classic Cars

I love creating these all for the love stories that include the father and the son or sons teaming up and building their classic custom cars and trucks together. Wow! In today’s world it’s becoming a challenge to find a guy like Mr. Mel Lally and his son Gregg who have teamed up and built several award winning cars and trucks together in the past 35 plus years. Mel and Gregg’s mother Kay were married for 51 beautiful years. They lost Kay about six years ago to illness but their strong family bond and their creative togetherness keeps her memory alive.

 

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1970 Opel Sport Coupe

Sporting a 4 banger for power with dual weber carbs, Stock five speed on the floor trans and stock rearend. She sports a gorgeous Opel red cherry body with black comp stripe, picture framing the tricked out vented hood area. The interior features those high as the sky red with black trim bucket seats making for a nice ride. She’s running Radial GT’s on reverse Racing wheels creating a sweet long and low stance. Another build from Gregg and always a little input from dad.

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1970 Chevy Nova

For power, a 350 Nitrous engine stroked to 388 ci producing over 600 HP. She features a T-350 Tranny and beefed up rear-end. The interior was stock Chevy in Black and the Cherry Red paint makes this ride come alive on those BF Goodrich Racing tires over the mag-wheels complete with knock-offs. Gregg restored this car 99% with a little help from dad.

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1937 Ford ½ Ton PU

She sports a Ford built Flathead for power featuring Offenhauser heads and intake manifold, holding dual 97’s in place for carburation, a C-4 auto tranny and 8” Ford rear/end gets her down the highway in style. The interior is fresh saddle tan leather and was stitched by Jim’s in Oak Grove. To enhance the stance she sports 550/15’s up front and 850/15’s out back with chrome rally wheels and baby moons on all four. The color on this piece of art, that took Mel and Gregg about six years to build from a truck load of parts, is labeled Dan Lo Blue. The color is from a Toyota? She appears to have some green cabbage color in there somewhere. She’s one fine cherry little Ford with a lot of class and the finished color is fantastic. She’s won her share of trophies in style.

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1961 TR 3A Roadster

Featuring a classic four banger for power, stock rear end and tranny. This was a five year project requiring a body off restoration. She sports a gorgeous black leather interior and a delicious Triumph classic pale yellow exterior finish, showing off those Dayton chrome wire wheels on all four corners. This build was good enough to receive the People’s Choice 1st place trophy at the All British Field Meet here in Portland at PIR. She’s a winner when-ever and where-ever she’s shown. A classic foreign beauty.

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1939 Pontiac Deluxe Coupe

A 350 ci Chevy for power, a turbo 400 auto tranny on the tree for fun, and a 9” Ford rear-end. Mel and Gregg didn’t do all the build on this better than new Pontiac but they did fine-tune the wiring harness and a few other changes on this baby and have plans to add Air Conditioning ASAP. They put several thousand miles on her taking it to shows in Montana and down to Hot August Nights in Reno back in 2014 where she was very well received and is winning trophy’s where-ever she shows. The burgundy exterior with purple hi-lights and the graphics on the side by master stripper “Tippet” make this little orphan come alive. The interior is a delicious white leather with dark piping creating a classic period theme. The w/whites on the tires and the dark pink wheels with baby moons and beauty rings finish this gorgeous ride off in style. I hope Mel and Gregg put her in the Portland Roadster Show come March 2017.

 

Mel Lally attended Franklin High School back in the early to mid-fifties and had the pleasure of having some pretty good company there. Friends like Keith Preskey and Al Drake attended at that time and both are well known to the Multnomah Hot Rod Council—both lifelong active members with the prestigious Portland Roadster Show. After high school Mel spent some time with Uncle Sam in the US Army, regular duty and the reserves. Mel was employed at Coe Mfg in the Portland area for over 45 years producing saw mill equipment. Gregg attended Gladstone High where he was active in the Auto shop programs.

In a short follow-up to the intro of this All for the Love Story, a beautiful thing happened a while back for Mel. He met a wonderful lady, who is also widowed, named Sandi that just happens to love old classic cars and hot rod trucks. They are both blessed with their new friendship and Sandi joined the family at a recent ceremony and is now Mrs. Mel Lally. We at R&R NW Publications would like to Congratulate the newly-weds and wish you and your combined families all the happiness you have earned. We would also like to thank both Mel and Gregg for sharing your fantastic All for the love of Street Rods, Fancy Trucks and Classic Car stories with us and our thousands of readers throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Where the CARS are always the STARS

rockaroundtheblock

Produced by Northwest Motorsports Association and presenting sponsor Weston BUICK KIA GMC, Rockin’ Round the Block is a fundraiser for the Mt Hood Community College Automotive Technology Scholarship Program. The event has raised over $153,000 for student scholarships in the past 17 years. The day was packed with fun for the entire family including free kid’s activities, vendor booths and a nostalgic street cruise. This years show was celebrated with over 350 custom cars, street rods, trucks and bikes registering to be eligible to have their rides judged for an opportunity to win one of over 125 Rockin’Round the Block custom made trophies. Opening ceremony started the show with the singing of the star spangled banner at 10 AM and live music with Ron Reudi and the Hurricanes entertained the crowd from noon to 5pm on 3rd & Main Street in downtown Gresham.

As an added attraction Bev and Vern Farris event co-chairs sold raffle tickets for three battery powered children’s vehicles. The funds raised at this event was dedicated to help provide services to veterans and their families. Bob Carlson donated a yellow Prowler and Jan Weston donated two KIA’s to the fund raising program that were given away at this year’s cruise-in. A total of 25 Block Sponsors and supporters from local churches to businesses and community out reach foundations from all over Gresham helped support the 2016 activities. An estimated 12,000 spectators enjoyed the car show plus many frequented the Gresham Farmers Market that is always a big hit. In addition a big salute goes out to all the volunteers from the Northwest Motor sports association and the local Gresham Police and Fire Departments for their activities in making the 2016 show one of the best ever.

bobcollison

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