52nd Annual Portland Swap Meet

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Elsewhere in this publication I mention having an affinity for old rusty car parts.

Odd I know but true. Well April turns out to be a great month for some poor slob like me to get my rusty parts fix on. For the 52th year, that’s a long time isn’t it? The Portland Swap Meet has been taking place out at the EXPO Center.

The venue used to be called the Pacific International Livestock Exposition. I remember going to a rodeo there back in the early 60’s. The oldest building on Marine Drive has been there since about 1925. I recall a lot of the old buildings being wood beamed construction with dirt floors and livestock pens also made of wood. They were used for all kinds of livestock as the stock yards were next door and the Multnomah County Fair used to be held there.

The earliest year I remember going to the swap meet was in about ’76 or ’77 I think. I remember it to be immense back then and spread out all over the grounds, filling all the old buildings, parking lots, side of the streets, it was crazy.  I’m not quite sure about this but I think back then it HAD to grow and the over flow went down the street to Portland International Raceway. Now of course and for some time, PIR has put on a “rival” swap meet at PIR starting one day sooner and ending one day sooner than the original Portland Swap Meet. I also recall some contentiousness between the two meets but that thankfully has dissipated and we get to enjoy two giant swap meets during the same week in April.

The weather was flawless this year, not the usual, and in fact not that often is it so nice. I find it amazing that cars and parts keep coming out of the woodwork so to speak year after year. PIR has evolved into kind of a family fun weekend for many who bring their campers, families and friends in addition to their cars, parts and other collectibles for sale or trade.

The PIR swap meet has grown steadily every year and it now covers the entire track, both sides all the way around as well as the pits/paddock area. Just think. That’s nearly two miles times 2, (both sides of the track) plus the paddock area of old car treasures. Business was brisk the days I was there too, with cars and parts changing hands from morning to night.

I’ve jokingly said that if you can’t find what you are looking for at these two swap meets then you don’t really need it. I’ve also heard said that the combined size of these meets make them the biggest swap meet in the west. They really are huge.

I heard languages being spoken that definitely weren’t from around here. Auzzies, Brits, Cannucks, Germans, French, and some others I couldn’t identify. Still, all friends of the old car hobby who obviously traveled from far away just for our little swap meets. I find it interesting how far reaching the old car hobby has grown. It shows me there are car nuts like us everywhere… WOW.

Of course it’s not hard to remember these continuing events but put them on your calendar for next year early anyway. And if you have ‘stuff’ that needs a new home, reserve your spot early to ensure that you get a spot. PIR was “Sold Out” this year!

Mecum Auctions

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Mecum Now Accepting Consignments for Inaugural Portland Collector Car Auction; 600 Muscle Cars, Classics, Hot Rods and More to be Auctioned June 17-18 at Portland Expo Center

Walworth, Wis. – Feb. 10, 2016—Vehicle consignment for Mecum Auctions’ inaugural Portland classic and collector car auction begins today, approximately four months in advance of the June 17-18 arrival of the estimated 600-vehicle lineup at the Portland Expo Center in Portland, Ore. American muscle cars, classics, Corvettes, Hot Rods, Resto Mods and more are all expected to cross the auction block from an estimated 20 surrounding states and Canada.

“We are happy to bring Mecum Auctions to Portland and to support the rich collector car heritage in the area,” comments Dana Mecum, the President and Founder of Mecum Auctions. “Events such as the Portland Roadster Show and the Portland Automotive Swap Meet that have longstanding traditions of more than 50 years are evidence of the passion, dedication, and grassroots history of collector car enthusiasts in the area.”
“The people of the Pacific Northwest are passionate about cars and the history associated with the industry as reflected in local attractions like Portland’s World of Speed Museum,” said Jeff Miller, president and CEO, Travel Portland. “We are thrilled to have the Mecum auction coming to Portland for the first time and look forward to introducing visiting sellers, buyers and general consumers from throughout the region to all that Portland has to offer.”

The Portland auction is open to sellers, buyers, and spectators. Persons interested in consigning a vehicle to be auctioned at the Mecum Portland auction should visit Mecum.com or call (262) 275-5050 for complete details about the consignment process and pricing. Mecum Auction’s website is updated daily with the latest consignments including detailed descriptions and photographs of the vehicles.

Bidder registration is $100 in advance and $200 at the auction and includes admission for two for both auction days. To view the list of consigned vehicles when available, or to register as a bidder for this and all Mecum auctions, visit www.mecum.com or call (262) 275-5050. General admission tickets available at the gate for $30 per person per day or $40 for a two-day pass; children 12 and younger receive complimentary admission.
Doors open each day at 8 a.m. with the auction beginning with Road Art at 8:30 a.m. and the cars at 10 a.m. NBC Sports Network will broadcast a select schedule of auction coverage, and a live stream of the entire auction will be presented at Mecum.com.

About Mecum Auctions
Nobody sells more than Mecum. Nobody. The Mecum Auction Company is the world leader of collector car, vintage and antique motorcycle, and Road Art sales, hosting auctions throughout the United States. The company has been specializing in the sale of collector cars for 29 years, now offering more than 20,000 lots per year and averaging more than one auction each month. Established by President Dana Mecum in 1988, Mecum Auctions remains a family-run company headquartered in Walworth, Wis. For further information, visit Mecum.com or call (262) 275-5050. Follow along with Mecum’s social media news and join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Schedule:
Portland Expo Center
2060 N. Marine Dr.
Portland, OR 97217
June 17-18, 2016
Admission: $30 per person, per day or $40 for two days; children 12 and younger
receive complimentary admission
Preview: Gates open daily at 8 a.m.
Auction: Vehicles start at 10 a.m. with Road Art beginning at 8:30 a.m.
TV Schedule: TBD

(All times Pacific)

Silver Auctions

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Silver Auctions came to Portland In April with a complement of 94 cars consigned to be sold at their auction.

This one day auction brought some very unique and nice cars to the EXPO Center. Mitch Silver said vehicles offered were sold or were high bid to a total dollar figure of $1,561,000. A respectable figure. They managed a 43% sell through when the dust was settled.

There were a lot of really cool cars. One beautiful Dodge Coronet bid to $70,000 but didn’t sell. Yes, it had a HEMI. I think I’ve seen rare cars like this sell for bigger bucks so no wonder the reserve wasn’t met. Speaking of rare cars. There was a 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, SS454/AT/AC car, well equipped and nice looking. It too didn’t meet the reserve with a high bid of $13,000. I don’t know what the reserves were but either of these two cars are good examples of what was available. Personally, I love to own either of them.

The next Silver Auction will be in Missoula, Montana on May 7th. Find out more @ www.silverauctions.com or call 1-800-255-4485 to learn more.


2016 Medford Roadster Show

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February and March appear to be “Car Show” months, at least here in the Northwest.

With the Salem Roadster Show in February and the 60th Annual Portland Roadster Show in March. The first one though was a little ways down the road in mid-February in Medford Oregon.

Rich Wilson of Central Point, Oregon is the promoter for the first time this year and it really turned out to be a great show. Even though this is Rich first Medford Roadster Show, I think he has done this before and folks he is good at it.

The show was spread out through three or four buildings at the Jackson County Expo Center with lots of vendors and separate displays of other than “show cars,” like Rat Rods and stock restorations.  There were hot rods and street machines in the main building, which has two levels, the main floor and a mezzanine like level, which gives you an overview look at the mail floor. Different and it worked.

They advertised a $1000.00 Cash Prize for Best of Show and gave a percentage of the profits to Charity.

Rich did something that I’ve never seen before and what a great idea. If you’ve ever entered your car in a show before you know you get pretty tired what with the set up and polishing and dusting and in general just hanging around once all that work is done. Well Rich created a little “Participants Lounge” if you will that was equipped with easy chairs, sofas, tables and chairs etc. and it was stocked with food and beverage and volunteer help where one could go take a break and get a bite to eat, and it was all included. Yep no charge.  The food was terrific too. Spaghetti for one meal. Coffee and donuts in the morning, enchiladas for another lunch. Like I said I’ve never seen that before but it was a great idea and much appreciated by all who participated.
Put the 2016 Medford Roadster Show on your list for next year, it’s a good show.

Early Bird Swap Meet

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We ascertained before that there are a lot of car people out there and despite the Northwest reputation for rain, (I know I’m shocked too) there is actually a lot going on even during the winter. Swap meets seem to be happening all over the area and yes it has been raining some but the spirits of the participants and the people who attended didn’t seem to be dampened much.

The Early Bird Swap Meet in Puyallup turned out to be quite a good swap meet, with lots of great deals on what could have been your next project and or parts for your current one.

Did it rain?  Yes but not a lot and a great deal of it was inside or at least undercover.  Put this one on your list for next year.


Corvette Cave-In Now Open

Corvette Cave in Pic

On February 12, 2014 the National Corvette Museum experienced a massive sinkhole collapse in the Skydome of the Museum, taking with it eight prized Corvettes—and it was all caught on security footage that has since been viewed more than 8.6 million times. The Corvettes have been recovered, two have been restored, and the hole has been filed.

Due to the popularity of the sinkhole story, the Museum worked with Creative Arts Unlimited to develop an immersive exhibit chronicling the story. On Friday February 12, 2016, the second anniversary of the sink-hole disaster,  the Museum opened the Skydome Sinkhole Exhibit at the National Corvette Museum in Boling Green Kentucky.

If you are looking for a vacation destination consider a stop at the National Corvette Museum where you can check out this new display and well as enjoy the history of Americas Sports Car. Don’t forget the Corvette factory is just across the freeway where you can take a tour and see new Corvettes being built. A real treat for most any gearhead.

Barn Find

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Some of you will remember the story about my “55 Barn Find” from a nearly a few years ago, some of you won’t. I’ll catch everyone up now.  I bought a 55 Chevrolet 2dr. Delray that I referred to as a “Barn Find.” It have been languishing in a “Barn” for some thirteen years under the ownership of the guy I bought it from. That dated back to 1999. Prior to that the car likely sat unused for a minimum of another 12 or 13 years. The last license date was 1987.

The car appeared to be in “OK” condition, even if unused for a lengthy slumber. I found only minor rust, really, considering the car’s age. A few dents, cracked windows, stuck latches, locks, flat tires etc. and it didn’t run, heck it barely rolled. The brakes were gone, battery dead and yet to me it was a beauty.

When trailered my treasure home from miles north of Seattle back to Oregon and I got the chance to look it over better I decided it looked like it would maybe run if I just woke it up.   decided to try and rebuilt the carb, the generator, replaced the distributor, repaired and replaced as necessary, the exhaust, the fuel lines, the fuel pump, the gas tank, the battery, the fan belt, the spark plugs, the oil and filter.

The engine turned over and eventually it even started, but it ran on about 3 of the 6 cylinders. The valves were stuck so I literally used a pri-bar to close the valves each time they stuck open and I kept doing that until eventually they began to open and close on their own. Once it got it to where it would run I addressed the brakes, repairing and replacing as needed to get the car to stop.
The maiden voyage was a sight to behold. Simply breathtaking! What an accomplishment. I was proud, until I actually got the car all the way up to 25 MPH. It was truly freightening. I think my comments included, “isn’t it cool?”

“Wow I’ve wanted another one of these for 40 plus years? “What a pile.”  “I don’t remember the one I used to have being so bad.” This thing was awful, worn out, even dangerous.  I had never intended to “restore” it back to stock, I just wanted to get it running and mobile so that I could drive it occasionally as I set about collecting the many parts I needed to create the car of my dreams. I had to laugh at myself, “car of my dreams?” it was a nightmare.

Fast forward some time now from then to 2016. The car sat around waiting while I bought parts, restored another frame for it, pulled the engine and transmission from a wrecked Chevy Suburban, built a narrowed 9in. posi-traction differential, relocated the rear springs to allow for wider wheels and tires, installed tubular A-arm, new springs etc. etc.

As it often happens one runs out of money before the run out of things to buy. That dilemma post-pones everything for a while and that brings me up to date.

After collecting parts and pieces as I could afford them, I’m now able to get back to work. I cleared away the moth balls, charged the low battery, hand choked it and fired it up a few weeks back. I pulled it out of the shop and drove it around the yard a little and then put it on the 2 post. It was at last the time to take the car apart enough to get it off its original frame. I disconnected the steering gear box from the frame, discovered I didn’t have a pitman arm puller or a socket big enough to remove the nut holding the pitman arm on the steering shaft, so I called a “real” mechanic, my friend Jim and he said yes he had both and yes I could borrow them. You know it’s amazing how easy the right tools make some jobs. I mean it, it took every bit of 2 minutes to get the nut off and then pull the pitman arm. Thanks Jim.  There are 14 bolts that actually bolt the body to the frame through the rubber mounting bushings, floors and body mount brackets. Surprisingly all of them came out without much fuss… except that one. Of course the one that was rusted/stuck badly had to be one that you couldn’t get to both ends of. After several different attempts to loosen it I decided I’d just drag out the plasma cutter and cut the nut off, easy huh?

I’m never surprised at my lack of patience. I can usually plod along on most jobs because I’m aware that it’s a process. Many steps have to be taken to get the work done. There just isn’t any fast way or a short cut one can use to significantly shorten the process, but I always have to try. I bet you do to. Back to the plasma cutter. The car is on the rack, up in the air (above me) so I can get to the bolt under the rear splash apron. It’s the bolt that’s right in a little “pocket” that you can get to but there, is a 90 degree closed corner behind the bolt. I figured it would be simple and my lack of patience convinced me I was right. I didn’t need to put on my welding jacket, I wasn’t “welding,” I was just going to cut the end off one little bolt. I didn’t think about the fact that there would be “sparks and molten metal, being splattered by the high pressure air from the plasma torch, into a corner where the only way out was right back at ME! The molten slag that went down my open coveralls only burned for a minute. Now three weeks later, I’ve healed almost completely, all except my pride.

The core support has 2 bolts that bolt it to the frame in front so those bolts had to come out. All the shift linkage, gas pedal linkage, brake lines at the master cylinder, wires from the firewall to the engine, emergency brake cable connections, battery cables, fuel line at the gas tank and the speedo cable were all disconnected. I set the car down on its tires again and using some 2X4’s under the rocker panels, I set the lift arms and slowly raise the body from the frame. On the 55 there is a small “L” bracket on each side of the frame at the bottom of front fender splash apron where the splash apron is bolted with a sheet metal screw. Though I took the bolts out, the apron flange and the frame bracket interfere with each other and require a little finesse to get them to clear each other as the body is lifted, and ‘VIOLA’ the body is off!

Remembering back to the patience I don’t have, I had to get the “new” frame rolled up under the body to attempt a test fit. Well that couldn’t work because I’ve installed an oversized frame mounted gas tank and the spare tire well won’t clear it and the steering column has to come out before I can attempt to put the body on the frame.

Well now we are kinda up to date on the “55 Barn Find.” I’ll put together another installment for a future issue. It is getting exciting for me. See you next time. ED.

1955 chevy

NWDRA Swap Meet

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Every January for quite a while now, the NWDRA has held a swap meet at the Clark County Event Center. This year the swap meet was bigger than in recent years but I like going to this meet because it’s smallish and I usually find good deals on good stuff.
Last year I ran across a Ford 8’ differential center section that looked to be brand new/rebuilt for a decent price. I didn’t need it but my friend Jim wanted one. He was in Turlock California at a swap meet there, so I called him and told him about what I found and he said he wanted it, so I bought it. He was pleased with the find when he saw it and it’s now in the Model A his is building.

I don’t know yet what the date for next year’s meet is but stay tuned to the “Coming Events” page in this paper as January approaches and plan to attend.

February 2016 Petersen Auction

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February 6th was the date for the first Petersen Collector Car Auction of 2016. It was held in Salem at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in the Jackman-Long Building. What a great showing of consigned cars and trucks as well as memorabilia.  There was also a great showing of bidders too.

The bidding started off with a flurry with the memorabilia crossing the block. A small amount of signs, clocks, gas station air stations and pumps.  All of these were in new/restored condition and a great addition to anyone’s TV room or “Man Cave.”  
There was a great turnout of potential bidders and they came to buy. The auction had a 60% sell through and the prices were respectable. The quality of the vehicles was very good and I think that both the sellers and the buyer went home happy.
I raised my hand to bid on a car just as the auctioneer hammered it sold and I missed it. I shouldn’t have hesitated, but that’s the way it goes.

If you’re looking to sell your special interest car or truck your Hot Rod or collector car, plan ahead and consign early for the next Petersen Collector Car Auction, July 9th at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Roseburg. I’ll see you there. Petersen Collector Car-541-689-6824.

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6th Annual Cruise to Downtown Oregon City

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Toward the end of the 2015 car show/cruise-in season Trick ‘n Racy Car Club held their 6th Annual Cruise to Historic Downtown Oregon City.

The weather couldn’t have been better with warm sun and a light breeze, it was just a beautiful day.  The turn-out was terrific as well, with nearly 400 cars for the second year in a row.

The Club teams up with the Downtown Oregon City Association to put this show together annually and it just seems to be getting bigger and better every year.

Just in case you didn’t know… the “Historic” part of the title relates to the fact that Oregon City was the first Capital of the Oregon Territory back in the 1800s, before Oregon became a State in 1859. Which also makes Oregon City an old town. The buildings and streets have changed over the years but are still layed out the same as they were 150 years ago. It’s a quaint little downtown area and it works out great for an open air car show.
Incedently, for two years in a row the show has filled up entirely and some potential entrants had to be turned away.  The show in 2016 will be held Saturday, September 17th. The organizers have decided to expand the car display area. All the details haven’t been worked out but they are working on plans to have enough room for as many as 800 cars and more vendor booths. Mark this one on your must go to list.