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?

Steve-Veltmans-Dohickey

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

Sunshine-cruz
$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

Stolen 1957 Chevy

stolen 1957 chevy
Stolen from Sandy OR between 10PM March 25 – 7AM March 26

Black 1957 Chevrolet BA 2 Door Hardtop; all original, black exterior, silver/black interior, spinner wheel covers.

If you have any information contact Cliff 503-789-5167 or Steve 503-313-3451 or Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office 503-655-8211

World of Speed Grand Opening

World of Speed

The World of Speed Museum opened April 24th with a ribbon cutting ceremony assisted by “Nanook” a blown “Altered” that raced all over in years gone by. Yep the museum is open to the public and it’s pretty cool.

The displays and cars are diversified with regard to the racing categories. There’s land speed cars, drag race cars, circle track cars all the way from what the hobbyist would race to NASCAR. And there is motorcycle racing history from days of old and a track whose name I remember from my youth, ‘Sidewinders.’ That track was over in Clackamas Oregon. I remember one time some friends and I were out riding and we stopped at the track. It was “closed,” but we got in anyway. We didn’t ride around the track at all but we did walk the track. I have to tell you that the racers that did ride there were extremely brave. This track was on the side of a hill and from the gate to the first turn it funneled down into too small an area for more than a few bikes to get through. I can’t even imagine screaming down that hill with 30 other bikes and riders at speed and trying to get slowed enough to make that first turn and yet still stay ahead of the guys behind, assuming there were guys behind me. In fact, I know I would be last, probably back at the gate shaking in terror, making the excuse that the bike died and wouldn’t restart.  LOL.

world of speed2

David and Sally Bany are responsible for the creation of The World of Speed Museum right here in Wilsonville Oregon.  The museum has interactive displays, historical artifacts, many restored cars and the deal is they all must run.  Some are owned by the Banys, some by the museum and others are owned and on loan by collectors.

The museum is open from 10am to 5pm every day except Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you’re a car buff and even if you’re not, take a few hours to tour the place and learn a lot about the motorsports history of the Northwest and beyond. It’s exciting and informative.

59th Annual Portland Roadster Show

It's a Wrap - PDX Wraps

It’s a Wrap – PDX Wraps

Well the 59th is now in the history books, but it was a great show. Isn’t it amazing that this show is one of the longest continuously running shows around? And in little ole Portland Oregon.  When I worked in the corporate world I heard people say that Portland was kind of “like a suburb” of Seattle.  Well I guess you could make a comparison like that but I disagree for the most part.
Portland established it’s Hot Rod identity more than 60 years ago with many famous cars being built there and then shown in the Portland Roadster Show starting in 1956 and continuing until today. As I create this paper every month, for almost 2 years now, I learn more and more about the hot rod/race car roots that are well rooted and have grown and flourished in Portland all these years.
I don’t want to take anything away from Seattle though and that’s partly my point.  While both cities are here in the northwest, they each certainly have their own identity and uniqueness and after all, they are 160 miles apart.  The distance between only accounts for a small amount of their differences but different from each other, they are.
The Portland Roadster Show has been a must see show for me for all the years I’ve lived in the Northwest. Next year will be the 60th Annual Portland Roadster Show, and I, for one, am really looking forward to it. Because it will be a milestone year I’m certain the promoters will do everything in their power to make that show really something to remember.  What great fun for participants and spectators alike to be a part of it.  As a participant, just imagine entering your pride and joy and taking home a coveted award from a show with such history. It makes me want to build a car to enter it myself. All you car guys and gals out there, start now and prepare for next March and the 60th Portland Roadster Show.

 

FREYA

Freya-Smith

If you’ve been to one of the local bullrings in the last twenty years, you’ve probably seen Freya Smith. She’s no shrinking violet and openly admits to committing every summer since 1995 to either River City (St. Helens) or Sunset (Banks) Speedway.
It was none other than Gary (Meep! Meep!) Meyers that indoctrinated her: “I started out crewing for Gary,” she explains “and knew right away that I wasn’t going to be content on the sidelines. I’m not one to sit and muss with my hair!” She wanted to know how everything worked and Meyers was willing to teach her. “I remember him explaining “stagger” to me, rolling around a Solo cup!”  Because of her hands on approach to the sport, it wasn’t long before she was being offered rides in the woman’s division. Freya believes she won her first race in ’96 driving somebody’s jalopy or low budget street stock. Clearly, it was no milestone in her book.
When Mike McCann took over Sunset Speedway, she left St. Helens and went to work for him. Freya occupied various posts at the clay oval but is probably best remembered for her work as Pit Steward. Ushering racers on and off the track in the heat of battle isn’t for the faint of heart. Freya was always easy to spot with her headset slammed down over her curly blonde locks, strutting about in Day-Glo pink sweat pants! She was content at this level of involvement for several years, but the desire to drive never left her.

Racing with Earl Claypool Jr. at Sunset Speedway

Racing with Earl Claypool Jr. at Sunset Speedway

Then when the right car at the right price became available, Freya couldn’t resist. It was a 1978 Camaro built for up and comer Colin Winebarger. In reality, the street stock had seen very little action as young Winebarger leap-frogged directly up to late models. Little needed to be done to prepare the Camaro for Freya other than relocating the seat. Green had become her trademark color and so her father Mike Batalgia blended something special and sponsor Mike Sweere gave it a good slathering. When Freya hit the track on opening day she had a racer that reflected her extroverted personality. It was neon lime with plum crazy purple scallops on the nose! On the flanks was #37- a tip of the hat to her mentor Meyers who runs #36 to this day.
The competition didn’t know what hit them. Between Freya’s experience and the fact that the Camaro was already sorted, no one could run with her. She won all but one event, effortlessly claiming the 2013 woman’s title. In retrospect, Freya downplays her accomplishment. “It was all in preparation to run with the (men) street stock class in 2014,” she says.
The following season started off well enough but an experience on Fan Appreciation Night changed everything. Freya invited a young terminally ill girl to sit in her car for a photograph. The next weekend prior to the races, the girl’s family came down to thank Freya again and inform her that the girl had passed away. They gave Freya the gift of a “Love Rock” which the emotional driver promptly tucked into the seat of her Camaro. That night she drove with new inspiration, starting in the back and charging forward. She won her first street stock feature and dedicated the win to her young fan. It was a special Fourth of July race weekend with another feature planned for the following night. For that event, Freya started on the pole and simply checked out. “I kept watching for the nose of another car,” she exclaimed afterward, “and I never saw one.” According to her crew, no one was even close. Freya finished out the season third in overall points.
Towards the end of last year Freya hauled her car to Willamette Speedway (Lebanon) and Grays Harbor (Elma, WA) to experience racing on a faster venue. At Elma she was looking at a top five finish until throwing a belt. Still she came away encouraged and wants to travel more.
Soon she and fiancé Mike Sweere will lay schedules from Banks, Willamette and Cottage Grove side by side and plot out their own schedule for 2015. Sweere runs an IMCA-type modified so they will go to tracks that feature street stocks and modifieds on the same card. Spending the summer at one racetrack or another…That’s what Freya has done for twenty years…Why would you change now?

Celebrating with a young fan after winning night two of the 4th of July doubleheader

Celebrating with a young fan after winning night two of the 4th of July doubleheader

Rodorama 2015

1941-SD-Coupe

The Showplex at the Washington State Fair Event Center in Puyallup was home to an amazing display of hot rods, cool rides, tricked out imports and more on March 28th & 29th at the Northwest Rodarama.
Much to the delight of the spectators, there’s something for everyone at Northwest Rodarama! It’s great to see a family come through the show where not only a grandson, father and grandfather find vehicles of interest to them, but mom and grandma too! During my 4 hour trip down memory lane, I took note of the many pictures being taken in front of the vintage motorized bicycle display, which was one of my favorites at the show.
A couple local celebrities, Lance Lambert of The Vintage Vehicle Show and David Dickinson, Editor of The Old Car Nut Book Series, were on hand throughout the weekend to sign autographs and books. There never seems to be a loss for words when guys get together to talk about old cars. Both bring a personal touch to the show and their presence was enjoyed by many.
If you’re building or restoring your own custom hot rod, there’s endless ideas that’s bound to get your creative juices going, with the vehicles on display, the automotive vendors, and the pin striping bash. If you weren’t able to attend this year’s show, be sure to check it out next year!