Cruise to Barton Church

As the Cruise-In season winds down nearly every weekend you could find sometimes as many as a dozen different events to choose from throughout the Northwest. Some small, some not so small but all fun just the same. I’ve tried to get out to as many as I could over time and this year I’ve tried to make it to some of the repeat events that I just couldn’t visit in past years.

One such event is the Cruise to the Barton Church in Barton Oregon. Barton is a very small former stop on the Barlow Trail which dates back to the Oregon Trail times from the wagon train era. The church there hosts a small cruise in annually and it gets a pretty good turnout usually. I’m always glad when I go to a cruise-in and get to see cars that I’ve not seen before. This cruise didn’t disappoint in that regard.


30th Annual PNW Nations

I’ve been to a number of Goodguys events over the years but it’s hard to believe that this year’s event in Puyallup was the 30th Annual such event, WOW! And what an event it was. Wall to wall cars, more than I ever remember seeing at any of the previous events I been to. Now, I must say that I have never been lucky enough to attend any of their event outside of the Northwest but “our” event is no slouch, ever!

I heard several total participant numbers, one above 3000 and just below 3000, registrants and I don’t know the actual number but, the Fairgrounds were packed. There were cars in every corner on Saturday. And vendors galore. There was a little swap meet and quite a number of cars for sale, on the grounds and in the parking lot, some of them, very good deals in my estimation.

There were two that I thought were worth noting, a 56 Ford Victoria, older restoration that I though was in great shape for only $13,500 asking, a heck of a nice car for the money and this one was in the parking lot across the street from the “Blue Gate.” The other one I wish I could afford to buy was a 1933 Ford 2dr Sedan, older hot rod, showing some wear and use but a very decent looking car. It was in the swap meet area with an asking price of $21,500, I think. I asked everyone I knew there to loan me the money so I could buy that car! No takers unfortunately, I’m surprised, aren’t you?

The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association awarded 78 total winners in the same number of varying classes. Unfortunately, that’s too many to try and list here but suffice to say there were a ton of spectacular cars at this year’s Goodguys Rod & Custom show. If you’ve never been, put next years on your calendar for the end of July. The date hasn’t been announced yet but keep checking the Coming Events section of the paper for all the events down the road.

American Legion

I didn’t make it to this year’s 4th Annual American Legion, Carl Douglas Post 74 Cruise-In. Jim Beltramo, Post 74’s Historian, sent me a bunch of pictures and info so I could put this little story together to tell you about this great cruise.
The cruise was held at the Viewpoint Restaurant on Springwater Road out toward Estacada Oregon, on July 8th. “We had a great turnout this year.” With 138 Hot Rods, Street Rods, Antiques, trucks and Motorcycles, I say it was indeed a good turnout. The weather was terrific and they offered 23 different classes, plus Best of Show and Participants Choice. Barney and Terri Hobbs took home Best of Show honors with their 1937 Chevy 1-ton Truck (transport) with the 1937 Chevy Business coupe displayed on the bed of the truck. Participants Choice went to Stan Pongratz and his 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner.
If you live in or near the Portland, Oregon area and want a great cruise to participate in or to just attend as a spectator look for this one coming back for its 5th Annual next July 2018.

Changes at World of Speed

In April, I talked briefly about the World of Speed and their recent display change. Here is a reminder that they replaced the Indy car display with one of our (my) favorites… Muscle cars! These are cars I grew up with at least from a distance, I could never afford them when they first came out and I for sure can’t afford them now. However, I like to look at them and the WOS has captured a large number of them for their new-ish Muscle Car Display.

Go check them out before they go away. You rarely see cars like these on the streets and they are all beautiful in their own right.

World of Speed, 27490 SW 95th Ave.  
Wilsonville, OR., info@worldofspeed.org  
(503) 563-6444.

Silver Auction

April brought Silver Auctions to the greater Portland/Vancouver area. They had about 100 cars on consignment, not all of them “Collector” cars. In fact, they had a large number of maybe “future collector cars” that are in fact very current cars.
One particularly nice older restoration of a 1955 Chevy Convertible, a few “baby” Birds, a beautiful 66 Nova resto-mod, just to name a few.

Silver is based in Spokane but they have auctions all over the Northwest as well as Arizona. I was at their last auction in Phoenix in January. They had a ton of cars Phoenix got a rather unusual winter storm that simply dumped rain on their auction almost non-stop, but then I already reported on that one. Check out their website silverauctions.com for their schedule.


Beaches Summertime Cruise

The summer time cruises are back! There are a number of recurring events that happen all summer long. One such weekly cruise is the one at PIR, Beaches Summertime Cruise, celebrating their 22nd year.

This cruise goes on every Wednesday starting at 4pm and lasting till dusk. It’s really amazing, this cruise consistently brings in hundreds of participants particularly on opening night which was June 7th this year. The number I heard was 1800 cars. See, I told you it was amazing.

At the same time that the cruise is going on there are 1/8 mile drags going on too. You can go watch the drags and well as “cruise” the cars displayed for one low fee of $5.00 when you drive your pre-73 car. If you don’t bring a car but still want to get in it will cost you a little more but the proceeds, after expenses, are donated to charity.

So, plan a Wednesday afternoon/evening and come check out one of the biggest cruises in the Portland Oregon area. Beaches Restaurant is the organizer and they sell food and drink. There are picnic tables in the shade to use and live music from a number of local bands. It’s a party atmosphere but for the whole family with lots to see. You’ll have a good time, I think.


Medford Rod & Custom Show

Every Spring even as early as January there are car shows everywhere. For instance, the Portland Roadster Show which has been running continuously every year for 61 years, but wait that’s not all.

Rich Wilson of Better Car Shows LLC. In Central Point, Oregon (Medford) puts together a terrific show every spring. One of my traveling buddy’s Bill Nelson and I have made the trek a few times now and we are never disappointed. I don’t know where Rich finds them but every year he fills up four buildings and outdoor spillage with show cars, hot rods, super nice drivers, vendors, and other auto related stuff. I guess it’s true that the old car hobby is alive and thriving everywhere in America.

Have you ever displayed your car in a multi-day show? Me too. After the set up you didn’t have much to do except run the duster over your pride and joy once in a while. Then hang out with the other participants and swap car stories. All good fun but it can get tiresome ‘Standing’ around, especially when you get to be my age.

Rich has come up with an idea that’s just spectacular, that helps solve this problem. He brings in comfy overstuffed chairs. Occasional tables. Sofas etc. and sets them up in a private anti-room near the main display area for the participants to use to take a much needed rest during the show. What a great idea. He also recruits helpers who cook off site and bring in meals around noon and later and he supplies beverages, coffee, soft drinks etc. for the participants. Only VIPs have access to this space with their “participant” lanyard. Everyone seems to love it. I commented to Rich that I’d never heard of doing this but that I thought it was such a good idea. His reaction was a humble shrug and a comment that he wanted to show his appreciation to the car owners for coming out.

Next spring look for their AD in Roddin’ & Racin’ for the Medford Rod and Custom show. It’s worth it even if you have to drive 350 miles. I recommend Holiday Inn Express. They had the best beds I’ve ever experienced in a Hotel/Motel.


 

Points & Plugs

This year has certainly been an interesting one for me.  Interesting doesn’t mean all good or all bad… just different.  I’m the oldest of all my cousins born in the younger generation of our family.  My Mom has several sisters and brothers spanning several generations.  My first cousin Linda (our Mom are sisters) was born in March 1950, I was born in August 1949, so I was just almost seven months older.

Her brother Jerry, whom we refer to each other as, “… my brother from another mother,” haven’t always been “buds” but we have grown closer in the last 15 years. He and his lovely wife Donna live in Phoenix, AZ. He and his wife publish “Roddin’ & Racin’” in Arizona and have for the last 26 plus years. They are single handedly responsible for the paper you are reading right now. Jerry bugged me for years to start a paper here in Oregon.

I’ll bet that most people have a cell phone… and as a result of cell phones being in common use these days with “free,” no charge long distance calling it’s a lot easier to stay in daily contact with our friends and relatives even went they aren’t living near us. Technologies are amazing, aren’t they?

Recently Jerry called me (we talk all the time) but didn’t sound like his usual upbeat self. The moment I answered and he responded, I instinctively responded, “What’s wrong?” His response was a shock. His sister Linda, my cousin, had been a passenger with her son-in-law in his car that was hit, head on, by a drunk driver. He had minor injuries, she had much more serious injuries, including broken bones and they were transported to a local hospital where treatments were administered but Linda’s internal injuries were so serious that she passed away within a few hours.  Totally shocking and sad. RIP Linda, you’re home with God.

My low back has been giving me a lot of trouble… for years actually but now with the dreaded Arthritis setting in, it’s really been bothering me. An MRI reviewed by the best local area Orthopedic Surgeon revealed all kinds of bad going on. Obviously, I knew it, ‘cause I could hardly walk some days and the pain was increasing. Doctor Keenen is sought after for his expertise in back surgery so getting on the surgery schedule can be a challenge. As such I called his office to try and schedule my surgery and lucked out that he had a cancellation the following Monday. Linda’s Memorial was the week before surgery and after I got back on Friday I had planned to actually spend the weekend, Saturday and Sunday working on the 66 Biscayne. I had a lot I wanted to do before surgery because I knew I’d be out for a while and wouldn’t be able to work on any projects. Saturday morning, after a restless nights’ sleep I found that I couldn’t walk. My legs were so painful that I could barely get out of bed. I tried some stretching exercises which also caused pain and it only helped a little. I was down and couldn’t do anything, either day. I went upstairs to my office to work on the R&R NW but couldn’t walk down the stairs after doing a little work. This really isn’t going the way I envisioned it.

The beauty of “spinal decompression” surgery is that after the surgery, all that constant pain is gone! Of course, there is surgical pain, and in my case bone spur, calcification removal, (arthritis) so I wasn’t pain free but better for sure. They let me out after one night in the place of no sleep. Thanks goodness. They say they want to keep you overnight just to make sure us old people (my description) come out of the anesthetic fully and that everything is working. What that means I found out is that if you can’t tinkle… the word wasn’t scary before but it is NOW, CATHETER, and I’ll not bore you with the details because it ain’t pretty, but if you don’t know what I’m talking about I can only hope you never find out. My rules are don’t lift over five pounds, no stretching, bending, or twisting. Best thing for me is walking, with a cane, but hey at least I’m walking.

I visited my General Practitioner a few days after getting released because I was having some issues. Of course, there they always ask you a bunch of questions that you never ever thought you’d be having a conversation about… with anyone… but hey getting old ain’t for sissys. I didn’t know that a BM would be cause for a celebration but it surely was. The Doc and I got a big laugh out of that. His comment was, “Did you ever think you would be celebrating a BM?” No. No I didn’t but there is a first time for everything, and there was drinking and dancing and everything. Sorry if that’s TMI. I guess I’m just a sharer.

1961 Biscayne Quater Panel Replacement

I wanted to tell you and show you a little about another project I’ve been working on for some time now. I do this to show you I’m not goofing off and ignoring the 55 Chevy, but in fact trying to make progress on this other project.

It’s foolish of me perhaps, trying to work on two projects at the same time but originally there really was method in my madness. A little reasoning: I wanted to learn more about body panel repair, sheet metal welding, panel replacement, etc. etc. before I embarked on that process on the 55.

I tend to cruise craigslist a lot so one of those times I ran across a 66 Biscayne for sale and I’ve always like those for some reason… I don’t know why. It was in need of most everything but the price was decent and it looked straight so with the help of my brother, Randy, we trucked to Tacoma to get it. I already had an engine/trans, it didn’t, so I thought we could do what was needed, fix it up quickly and make it roadworthy, learn some things and practice on it and then start on the 55.

As it turns out and we didn’t realize it until we had already drug it home that it was rusty due to the fact that the window channels collect and hold crud, water/moisture and more. Like I said the body was straight and the rust was hidden. We discovered the problems while taking it apart in preparation for body work and paint prep.

This discovery necessitated the purchase of a parts car. A greater amount of disassembly and the project snowballed into a monster of a project. Someone said recently I should have cut my loses but you know me, I didn’t. I pushed on and I’m still pushing. The car is coming along ok but taking way more time than I originally thought.

The big block has a new cam, lifters, timing chain and gears, upgraded oil pump, water pump, A/C pulleys, and so on. I acquired all the factory A/C components to allow for that upgrade. The TH400 was rebuilt and prepped by A-1 Transmission in Vancouver, Washington. The 10 bolt has been removed and a rebuilt 12 bolt with a Yukon Gear Dura-grip, 342 ratio, Dutchman axles, new bearings/seals were added and rear drum brakes were rebuilt. Power disc brakes were added in front.
At some point in the process I decided to mostly clone it into an L-72, sorta. It doesn’t have a 427 but a 454. As mentioned it has a TH400 not a 4 speed and I don’t know for sure but I don’t think that there was ever an L-72, built with factory air but this one has it.

It has new stock reproduction Biscayne seats and it will be painted back to the original Mist Blue color. Since the quarters were wavy I decided to replace them and it’s a good learning experience.

Hopefully one day in the not too distant future I’ll be able to take it out for a little cruise. I look forward to that.