Hot August Nights 2015

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The 29th Annual Hot August Nights is in now in the history books. It’s hard to believe that it has been going on for 29 years. I didn’t make it to the first one or all of them every year but I’ve made many through the years. Things have changed in that time. This year had over 5500 registered participants.

A few years ago Barrett/Jackson came on board holding their auction at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center. I’ve made it to everyone of those. My Wife, Marsha and I love to go to this function. It’s usually quite a show. I liken it to a terrific car show even if you’re not there to buy a car.  The Auction atmosphere is always exciting and fun.

One of my favorite parts of Hot August Nights is the swap meet. I don’t have the official tally but, it seemed bigger to me this year than last year. The Car Corral inside the arena was full of cars for sale. These are runner/drivers, not parts cars and non-running projects. Those are outside and there were a lot more of those apparent in 2015 than last year. It’s cool that there are still so many “barn finds,” if you will, out there. I bought some 327 heads for my friend Jeff in Idaho to go on his numbers matching 1962 327 we’ve been scrounging for. Jerry, my cousin, bought a factory service manual for his Plymouth Barracuda that he is working on. Coincidentally, he just picked up his freshly machined, balanced and cleaned 360 that he’ll put together this weekend to put back in his car. From the sounds of it that’s going to be a pretty cool ride when it’s done.

Hot August Nights is really a totally unique event. The entire area, Reno/Sparks and even surrounding area smaller towns, get into the nearly week long celebration of old cars, hot rods, race cars, with individual car shows, cruises, displays and so on.

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In downtown Reno, Virginia Street is closed/blocked off and each day hundreds of cars were displayed in the quest for the Barrett/Jackson Cup. Barrett Jackson sponsored this show with prizes and big cash awards as well as what has become a very prestigious “CUP” that was award to the overall winner. The cars were judged by a panel of knowledgeable celebrity judges, who evaluated the many entries and paired them down to the top 25 semi-finalist. In looking at the cars this year, I don’t know if I could pick 25 not to mention just one. Some of these cars were built by the best of the best shops in America. Picking one seems like a monumental undertaking to me. Needless to say most all the cars in this competition were simply spectacular. At this writing, the “CUP” will likely  be retired since Barrett/Jackson has decided to not renew their contract for 2016.

Each day in addition to downtown Reno’s display there are shows at the Grand Sierra, the Atlantis, the Peppermill, and the Nugget in Sparks. Each night there is a “Cruise” down Virginia Street from 7-10 and one in Sparks at the same time. It’s pretty cool to set up your folding chair and just watch the parade of great cars cruise by. I grew up in the 60’s and cruising was “Thee” thing to do on Friday and Saturday night. The cruise scene depicted in the movie “American Graffiti” was true to what I remember and it’s kinda duplicated each night for that ‘Hot August’ week.

I’ve probably already told you in another previous story about the “Big Boys Toys” mini trade show that was presented by the Silver Legacy Resort and the Eldorado Hotel Casino at the Reno Events Center in Downtown Reno. This is a must see for the car nuts I know. The manufacturers send their representatives with product displays, who can answer questions and help you figure out what you might need for your car or build. Summit Racing is set up right at the show with a huge order desk and special discounts to help you buy your needs and have them shipped to your home. I bought a Flaming River tilt steering column, a Wilwood adjustable proportioning valve and a Custom AutoSound, radio and speaker system for my 55 Barn Find. Yes, I’m still working on that project and more articles are in the works, I promise.

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In addition to the many onsite shows just about all of the businesses in the area join together to sponsor tons of fun car related things to do. But wait, that’s not all!  If you have been to Reno or Tahoe or Las Vegas, you might have seen a show or two and of course there are shows at most all of the Resorts/Casinos/Hotels. There are also bands performing on outdoor stages at most of the larger daily events.

Hot August Nights is a weeklong “Cruise” down ‘Nostalgia Lane’ for any car guy, car girl, or Rock ‘n Roll lover and its good clean fun for the whole family. If you love old cars like I do, I’m sure you’ll find plenty to enjoy next summer. Put Hot August Nights on your calendar for next year. The dates for 2016 are August 2nd – 7th. The web address is www.hotaugustnights.net. Participant registration for 2016 is available online right now. Hope to see you there.


Barrett-Jackson at Hot August Nights

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It’s with heavy heart that I write this article about the third and final year of the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction at HAN Reno/Sparks. This year’s list of consignments did indeed seem somewhat limited but that didn’t seem to lessen the efforts put forth by Barrett-Jackson, Velocity TV and the sponsors. They still put on a great show and sold a bunch of quality cars, with a 100% sell thru. There were some great opportunities to buy your choice of those quality cars at pretty respectable prices.

As mentioned in another HAN article this was the third and final year of Barrett-Jackson’s three year contract and they elected to not renew the contract. I don’t know if that means that the “Barrett-Jackson Cup” is also retired, but I’d guess it does. The presence and influence of this Auction company certainly brought in a lot of quality competitors to compete for the generous prizes and the prestige of winning that award.

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This year’s big Barrett-Jackson Cup winner was a fantastic 1962 Chevrolet Bel-Air 2dr Hardtop, with a GM LS9 packing 630+ HP, backed up by a T-56 Bowler 6-speed Trans. This car is owned by Randy and Lisa Wilcox from Minneapolis, MN.  In addition to the “Cup” they took home some real loot. $30,000 in cash, a brand new GM crate engine and transmission combo valued at $15,000, sponsored by GM Performance, $6,000 worth of Craftsman tools, and the list goes on. Total value for cash and prizes was more than $51,000 to the Grand Prize winner.

The car builder, Andy Leach/Cal Automotive Creations, Bennington Nebraska, won the Barrett-Jackson “Builders Award.”  The cars’ beauty was enhanced by Charlie Hutton paint and by many subtle body modifications like, tucked bumpers, a small wing added to the deck lid and fenders, machined taillights, side trim and window moldings and it all rolls via an Art Morrison Chassis on one off Billet Specialty wheels.

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The hard job of judging the competition was done by a 3 celebrity panel including, Bobby Alloway, Pete Chapouris and Bob Millard where they selected the top 25 finalist and from those entries narrowed it down to the top five. Those top five were up on the block on Saturday night after the auction and revealed to the live audience as well as the Velocity
TV audience.

Barrett-Jackson put on a terrific show in Reno/Sparks and will be missed.  By the time you read this the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Collector Car Auction will be history as well. Coming up January 23-31 in Scottsdale, AZ is your next opportunity to attend “The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auction.”

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Mecum Seattle 2015

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Back on June 5th & 6th, Mecum Auctions held their Northwest auction at Century Link Field Event Center in Seattle. Wow! It was very exciting and fun to be there and see all the action in person. With more than 600 cars and “Automobilia,” up for sale over two days, there was likely something for most car enthusiasts.

The top 10 included cars like a; 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger RT/SE, 4 speed that sold for $185,000. A 1999 Lamborghini Diablo Roadster sold at $170,000. A 1968 Ford Shelby GT-500KR Fastback, with 12,160 miles and a 2002 BMW Z-8 Convertible sold for $165,000 each. A 1969 Chevrolet COPO Camaro 427/425HP, 4 speed, sold for $155,000, while another 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger RT without the SE brought $150,000. The 7th thru 10th top sellers in order were a; 1967 Shelby GT 500 Fastback, $142,500. A 1956 Mercedes 190SL Roadster, $140,000. A 1992 Porsche 964 Turbo S2 for $130,000 and a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop with a 572 went for $120,000. They had about a 46% sell through for the entire 2 day event so a lot of great cars went to new homes over this weekend.

It’s really cool that Mecum came to the Northwest to hold one of their televised auctions. It gives those of us that live here a great opportunity to go to a nationally known auction and experience it in person. The place was packed I might add and again, wow, there were some amazingly beautiful cars. Obviously, high end collector cars as well as less expensive cars that I might be able to afford. With more than 600 lots consigned it was a respectable showing in my opinion.

There were cars in most price ranges such as a 1985 Buick Regal that sold for only $1,250, as well has a number of classics that sold for under $10,000. A 1953 Packard Cavalier 4dr. sedan that was by my estimation, a great looking driver sold for $5,500. If you wanted to get into the hobby that might have been a great place to start. Or a one family owned 1966 Chrysler 300 2dr. Hardtop that went for $3500. Seemed like a bargain to me.

Even if you aren’t in the market for a car, collector or otherwise the Mecum Auction in Seattle was a terrific car show. Many of these cars you might never see on the street or at car shows.  Put it on your list for next year and who knows you might find that perfect deal you just can’t pass up. www.mecum.com

Advertiser Update: GBE Mandrel Bending

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Building a better “Mouse Trap” has always been a dream of fabricators, inventors, etc. The old spring loaded mouse trap does its job and serves its purpose alright but the question has always been, “What if I could build a better one?” I think the saying goes “Build a better mouse trap and the world would beat a path to my door…” or something along those lines.

I know that none of you have ever put an exhaust system together on your pride and joy only to have it leak, sag, fall off etc. The old trusty ‘mouse trap,’ ‘er exhaust clamp we’ve all used serves its purpose but it isn’t ideal. The alternative is to weld the exhaust system up to prevent leaks which creates other problems like, what if you need to take it off the car? You end up cutting it apart to remove it and then what?  Build a new one, weld it back together?

Have you ever had your brand new headers leak at the collector after only a few days? How about the bolts vibrating loose? How about scraping the collector flange on a speed bump or driveway, fumbled with the bolts, washers, and nuts to get a tri-bolt collector bolted together? No matter which way you turn that collector flange there is always going to be one corner either hanging down or it will be up on top making it difficult to tighten up those three bolts evenly to prevent leaks.

There is also the “ball and socket” type system out there but as the exhaust expands and contracts, it loosens, slips, and leaks like the old guillotine style clamp and they are expensive.

A little research by me revealed some interesting information about the Marman Flange clamping system. We’ve all heard of the Marx Brothers, but what I didn’t know what that Herbert “Zeppo” Marx had a company that made these clamps in the 1930’s. They were used in many different industries where leak proof clamped connections were needed. Currently, the space and aeronautical industries use them extensively, even for fuel line connections.

Steve at Get Bent Mandrel Bending had been dealing with all of the above for some time trying to solve these problems. He has invested a considerable amount of money in research and equipment and it looks as though all that work has paid off. With his New to GBE, rotary end former and special dies he had built for the machine, GBE can now make 3” Marman Flanges, in stainless steel or mild steel, to be used with “V Band” clamps to create a simple secure exhaust clamping system that helps prevent the age old leak problems mentioned above, and it looks cleaner is and more compact too. More new dies will be built in the near future to allow other diameter pipes.

You can buy these flanges w/clamps pre-made, for $64.00 per pair or you can have GBE build and install your new systems at their shop. Call 503-607-0443 with questions or to schedule an appointment.

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Bits & Pieces

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Last month we had a beautiful green ’52 Chevrolet Panel on the cover and we also had a new subscriber, George Leago of Olympia Washington, whose first issue was that June issue with a picture of that Panel. Well, it just so happened that George also owns one of those panels and he mailed in a picture of his beautiful Red Chevrolet Panel saying how please he was with the paper and the article and that he wanted to share this picture of his panel with Dale, the owner of the green one.

Thanks George, we’re pleased to put your picture in this brand new column called “Bits and Pieces.” We plan to include little tidbits that come our way from wherever each month. It might include pictures of readers rides or “?” So if you have something interesting, a picture of your car, a friends’ car, a funny photo from back when you had hair or whatever, that you’d like to share, please send it to us. We can’t guarantee it will make it into any particular issue or any issue at all, and we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to send it back to you, but if we have the space, we’ll do our best to share your material with all of our readers. This could be fun but, keep it clean, after all, this is a family paper. Thanks, Ed.

This came to us as a “What’s It” last month but we really already know what it is. Here is Chuck Cook’s description:  It’s a “slightly modified” 1963 Sunbeam Rapier, 2 dr. Hardtop. Little known kin to the Alpine and Tiger.
A rapier was 16th 17th and 18th Century edgeless sword made for thrusting.

The car was rescued from the juniper woods near LaPine, Oregon by my teenage son, who preceded to develop the skills and exercise the ambition necessary to create the machine you see before you, using home built and hand-me-down parts over a 5 year time span.
It is licensed and driven on the streets a lot.  It’s powered by a Ford 429/C-6 saved from a 69 Mercury Grand Marquis that was heading to a nearby metal recycling crusher. Chuck Cook, Proud Dad.

Indy 500 at Joy Theater

For two years in a row now we have sponsored the live showing of the Indianapolis 500, on the big screen at the Joy Theater on Pacific Ave. in Tigard. Way back before LIVE sports casting of just about any car race, big races use to be shown at large venues using closed circuit TV broadcasts.  Unless you could go to the race at Indy you didn’t get to see it as it happened.  Showing the race on the big screen was your way to “almost” be there.

Some of the local car guys and gals and racing enthusiasts thought it would be fun to duplicate, sorta, that closed circuit broadcast.  The owners of the Joy Theater jumped on board at the urging of Steve Veltman and his daughter Cora who worked there part time during the summer and graciously said, “sure let’s do it.” They opened their theater on that Sunday in May just for us.  You can go watch the race broadcast on the big screen for FREE. Sure you can watch it home too but it’s somehow more exciting and fun on that big screen with a room full of other race fans.  And the refreshment stand is open for you to buy those much needed goodies. Hopefully, we can do it again next year. Please come be a part of this free, fun 4 hour function next May.

This year Cora was actually at the race track covering the event, taking pictures and getting info to write an article for publication in another, race oriented publication. I try to take pictures in the theater of the race, off the screen and surprisingly some come out pretty good but this year Cora very kindly gave me some of her pictures from the race and they are presented here. Enjoy!

Oh, the winner of the race? Juan Pablo Montoya. He returned to Indy car racing from several mediocre to poor years in NASCAR. All racing at the top levels is tough to say the least. Though perhaps not the most popular win of the 500, he clearly had the equipment, the talent and the courage to put his car in Winners Circle at the end.

Old Timers Picnic

For about 35 years now the NW Racing Group has held a Reunion and Picnic during the good weather months, recently at Blue Lake Park. Commonly and fondly referred to as “The Old Timers Picnic.” It’s planned for August 2, 2015 this summer and you’re invited to:  Bring your Race Car, Custom Car or Project. It’s open to all racing enthusiasts. Their flier says; bring your scrapbooks, photo albums or collectables to share. See The George Veenstra Photo collection, seven 4X8 displays of Vintage Photos.  View the Racing Groups 21 Photo albums covering All Forms of Oval Racing. Meet and talk to former drivers, owners and mechanics. It’s a trip down memory lane for some and an education for others.
Here are some pictures from last years’ picnic. Enjoy. Ed.

What’s It?

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Here is another entry for the “What’s It” category. Steve Veltman, who contributes great stories every month took a couple pictures of an unusual car on a used car lot in Reno, Nevada.  Now these were taken some time in the latter part of the previous century, hence his buddy, Tom Roper’s, haircut and clothing style, so it may be quite difficult to identify this particular creation. The lot was closed that day, so no one to ask, ‘what is that thing’ and of course no name plate was visible. Maybe one of you recognize it, built it, own it now and can tell us what it is and what it’s made of. Email us @ roddinracinnw@gmail.com or send us a note to Roddin’ & Racin’ NorthWest, 17273 S. Steiner Rd. Beavercreek, OR. 97004.

28th Annual Sunshine Cruz

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$20 per entry at the gate

• Open to cars, trucks & motorcycles
• Park on the grass
• Dash plaques for the first 200 entries
• Trophies & special awards
• Club participation cash award
• Raffle prizes
• Burgers available by the Lions Club
• Music by the KISN Good Guys

For more information:

www.tricknracycars.org

Karen: (503) 657-5942
cell: (503) 803-2022