What’s It?

Well, how exciting.  The number of calls, emails, letters and more that we received with regard to the “What’s It,” pictures we published, showed that you readers had some interest in this little “mini feature.”

The December car didn’t get much in terms of any info regarding it, aside from a few comments in passing like, “I think I’ve seen that car, but I can’t remember where.”  Or, “That car looks familiar.”  Some discussion about it looking like an individually styled “custom” came from many readers but nothing definitive as to what it is, who might have built it, does it still exist or where it might be now.

The little gray “What’s It” in January, however; did indeed spark a lot of interest and “guesses” as to what it might be, including several who believe it is a Crosley Farm-O-Road, a Crofton Bug, a King Midget and one fellow from El Salvador who said it looked like  a car built there, not for export, called a “Cherito.”  Several individuals said that it was a “Proto-type” utility type vehicle built for a very important and specific use, at the Freightliner factory in Portland back in the 70’s.  The body is aluminum, the chassis appears to be a Crosley, but there are no name plates, serial plates etc. to be found on the car that would identify its origin or brand.  The lack of any manufacturer IDs and the multiple claims of recognition gives me reason to believe that last identity might be correct.

The Crosley Farm-O-Road was built in the early 50’s.  The Crofton Bug was an updated version of the Farm-O-Road re-branded and built by Crofton Marine Engineering from 1959 through 1963. The Crosley engine was built by several manufacturers until sometime in the early 70’s, about the time some say this Proto-type was built by some of the crew at Freightliner.  The similarities between the Crosley, the Crofton and this car are obvious but different in that the hood top is flush with the fender tops on the What’s It, but they aren’t on either the Crosley or the Crofton.  The top itself doesn’t match anything I’ve found made by either manufacturers, but it does look like a Freightliner top.  I’m going to talk with the current owner to see what else he might know about it and I’m going to go a little farther on this “What’s It” by contacting the Crosley Automobile Club to get their input in an effort to definitively identify this unique car.  I encourage any of you who might know something about it to contact me too.

That “very important and specific use” mentioned above? The Friday beer run of course. I’ve been told (unconfirmed and unverified) the little car was used for picking up cases of beer at the local convenience store on Fridays. This is just hearsay of course.

Needing a Car Show/Cruise-in Fix

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Here were are in the middle of January 2015, it seems like decades since the last Cruise-in/Car Show. I know it hasn’t been but I’m just sayin’. So I thought we should put a little picture story together from some happenings from last season. I know it’s not the same but it’s maybe the best I can do at this point. It’s been a while but I know you all remember the shiny orb that greets your skyward glance during the day, even if we haven’t seen much of it for what seems like a really long time. But remember the warmth you’ve felt from it? The sunburn you’ve gotten if you spent too much time out in it, which I strongly recommend not doing! I say strongly because I have and now I’m learning all about why it’s said that you should wear sunblock, don’t get too much sun, wear a hat and so on, but that’s another story. Suffice to say, mind your mother, she actually does know a lot.
Here are some pics from Cutsforth’s Cruise in Canby, Cruisin’ the Gut in Vancouver and the Cruise to Damascus, All from last season. Enjoy.

5th Annual DOWNTOWN HISTORIC OREGON CITY CRUISE-IN

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September 13th 2014, turned out to be perfect weather wise for the Downtown Cruise-in.  The good weather no doubt contributed to the better than ever turn out, more car than any year previously.  The quality of cars was really good too.  
Several clubs showed up in mass this year and represented the Ford Mustang very well.  A whole side street of Mustangs from 1964 ½ to nearly new were spit shined and gleaming in the sun.  There was a parking lot nearly full of Nomads.

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There were Rat Rods, Street Rods, Customs, Street Machines, Cruisers, Old and new Race cars, Camaros, Corvettes, Rusty Relics, Completely Restored cars, cars under construction, Hot Rods and Late Model examples that will one day likely be collector cars themselves.

The Cruise came off almost without a hitch.  The Club, Trick ‘n Racy Cars, and the Downtown merchant association, Main Street Oregon City, had everything under control from start to finish.  The trophies/awards, were donated by local businesses and individuals, with some of them being handmade, which made them quite unique.  

The 6th Annual Cruise next year is scheduled for September 12th 2015.  Again it will be a one day cruise starting at 10:00am and ending at 4:00pm.  Put it on your calendar and come visit Historic Downtown Oregon City.

WHAT’S IT?

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Last month we published a couple pictures of a car that as today December 19th is still unidentified.  Yes, we are still waiting for someone who knows about that car to email us, or call us and share their knowledge. However, we must not stand in the way of progress and with that in mind we have another picture of a “What’s It.”  I’ve seen something like this one before but I’m not sure what it is, who made it etc. etc.  The body is aluminum, the engine is a four cylinder Crosley we think.  The workmanship very good and it appears it’s complete.

It’s an odd looking car and it’s quite small.  Any ideas?  If you know something about this car and would like to share your knowledge please send us an email at roddinracinnw@gmail.com. Or you can give me Ed Gilbert a call at 503-522-5050.  I would like to publish the answers to “What’s it” in a coming issue of R & R NW.

If you have or know of a candidate for this type of column please respond with that info as well.  Thank you.  Ed.

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NORTHWEST HOUSE OF HARDTOPS

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Mark Young has been selling cars, specifically, special interest cars for more than 30 years here in Portland.  A couple years back I was driving by his store at 11834 SE Stark when I saw some cars coming out of a transport.  One was a beautiful 61 Bubble Top 409 Chevrolet and I just had to stop for a closer look.  Turns out Mark was getting back from Barrett Jackson.  My recollection of the details on that day’s events are fuzzy, but the point is Mark sells cars and buys cars at Barrett Jackson.  

Barrett Jackson’s Auction Company has turned Phoenix, more specifically Scottsdale, into a January destination for the car nuts of the world.  I don’t know which Auction Company started it for sure but Barrett Jackson is arguably the best known and the biggest.  Not to be left out though, now there are many collector car auctions happening in Phoenix in January.  Russo & Steele, Bonhams, Gooding & Co., Silver Auctions, RM Auctions and of course, Barrett Jackson.

Mark will be at this years’ Barrett Jackson Auction with 15 cars for sale as follows:

     WEDNESDAY – starts at Lot #300                                         
        # 375                1964 Gasser Nova
        # 468                1968 Camaro Convertible
        # 469                1969 Corvette Convertible
 
     THURSDAY – starts at Lot #600                                            
        # 755                1955 Ford Crown Victoria
        # 778                1968 427 Camaro
        # 848                1970 Chevelle Convertible
 
     FRIDAY – starts at Lot #900                                                  
        #1020               1956 Corvette
        #1023               1961 Austin Healey
        #1070               1970 LS6 Chevelle
 
     SATURDAY – starts at Lot #1200                                           
        #1288               1968 Hemi GTX
        #5015               1970 Hemi Challenger *
        #5024               1970 Hemi Cuda *
        #5062               1969 GTO Judge Convertible *
        #5063               1969 Yenko Camaro *
        #5051.1             1963 Bunkie Corvette *

     * These 5 cars “5000 series numbers” are Salon cars

They sell some high end cars at Barrett Jacksons Auctions and Marks cars fit right in.  If you aren’t going to Arizona in January you can watch all the action on Velocity TV.  Check it out.

BILLET PROOF HOT ROD ERUPTION DRAGS

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If you’ve never been to a Billet Proof event you have missed out on of “The Worlds Least Important Car Shows.” No kidding, that’s what they are billed as. And the Hot Rod Eruption Drags at Riverdale Raceway in Toutle Washington can best be described as what I’ve heard said many times. “It’s a Hoot!”

The drag strip is an outlaw strip, devoid of Jersey Barriers, walls, catch-fences or other gear to protect spectators from the speeding cars. Tech inspections are basic and safety requires a helmet in an open car. All the racing is heads-up on the 1/8th mile and though there is a return road, its dirt, so the cars that have raced wait at the end of the track and after a sufficient crowd forms, they all line up and parade lap back up the track to the starting line while the racers in the staging lanes wait. It’s gotta be what it was like in the beginning of drag racing.

It’s a run-what-ya-brung kind of format and I think there were some grudge matches going on out there, and if not this year, there will likely be some next year. At least one where I heard a fellow saying, “I got beat by a Volkswagen!” He was driving a Ford with a V-8. That has grudge match written all over it, don’t you think. This year was my first and the place was packed. Everything about the day is primitive at best but it was also a lot of fun. Real racecars were in attendance along with some very old school creations that frankly looked a little scary. But everything went well and I saw a lot of smiling faces. That should tell you that there was a lot of fun happening too.

The Billet Proof Hot Rod Eruption Drags appears to be an annual event so it you start now you could just about have your “Race Car” ready for next Augusts Drags at Toutle’s Riverdale Raceway.

R&G Machining Update

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I visited R & G Machining the other day to get an update on their machine shops capabilities.  It’s amazing, they can do almost any kind of machine work for engines that you might need, or they have a large stock of rebuilt parts and engines on hand.     

R & G Machining is a full service machine shop.  They can turn crankshafts, regrind camshafts, bore engines, align bore, hone, balance, do head work to include resurfacing, valve grinding, install new seats and guides, flow bench test heads, weld blocks and heads and they work on both Gas and Diesel engines, all in house.

R & G Machining also has exchange cranks, rods, cams, heads, short blocks and long blocks in stock for same day service.  And they have a full parts supply as well.  Visit their web site at www.grumpysperformancecenter.com or visit them at 27716 S. Hwy 213, Mulino, OR. or give them at call at 503-829-6038.

 

NATIONAL CORVETTE MUSEUM

Most, if not all of you, know about what happened during the wee hours of the morning on February 12th this year. The security cam video went viral on the internet showing eight (8) Corvettes fall, one after another, into an ever enlarging HOLE that developed in the floor under where these cars were parked on display in the museum’s “Sky Dome.” No one was there, fortunately, since it was early in the morning before the Museum opened, so no one was hurt. That can’t be said for the cars however.

The list consisted of the following cars:

1962 Corvette
1984 PPG Pace Car
1992 1 Millionth Corvette produced
1993 ZR-1 Spyder
1993 40th Anniversary Ruby Red Coupe
2001 “Mallet Hammer” Z-06
2009 1.5 Millionth Corvette Produced
2009 ZR-1 Prototype “Blue Devil”

Looking into the gaping hole you can see some of the cars and while damaged, those don’t look too bad. The others are buried under the ones you see and tons of concrete and dirt. Those cars got the worst of the damage. It’s surprising to me that they were found and recovered at all.
Early on, GM said they would help with restoration of the cars. The Museum said they would restore them but then many on lookers said “No,” leave them as they are and display them as found. I submitted my two cents worth in this regard, suggesting that a ‘to scale’ graphic be created and applied to the floor once the hole was filled and the floor repaired, so that future visitors could experience the scope of the damage but, without the danger and the dust. Others had expressed this idea and the Museum entertained and discussed all the ideas that were submitted. This one was considered too expensive both initially and to maintain. I was told that they are discussing, at a minimum, putting the outline of the hole in actual size on the newly repaired floor but a decision hasn’t been finalized. I think that’s a great idea.
The construction crew arrived back at the Museum this week to begin re-filling the hole. The plan is to fill it entirely with rock and then re-enforce the fill by drilling and filling with columns of concrete to support the floor.
Many of the cars that were recovered were displayed in the months since the sinkhole happened. The curiosity factor created a significant boost in attendance since the sinkhole in February. Since some of the cars were literally destroyed and in consideration of the idea that displaying them as recovered would be a historical display, the Museum’s current plans are just that. Create a permanent display of badly damaged cars showing what happened to them.
The “Blue Devil” ZR-1 prototype was sent to GM in Michigan for restoration. Two weeks later it was as good as new. It was transported to SEMA for display and it arrived back at the Museum on November 14th, looking as spectacular as ever. The White 1 Millionth Corvette and the Black 1962 Corvette will be restored as well. The remaining five cars will be in the future “Sinkhole” display.
My wife and I are members and we visited the Museum in 2003 during the 50th Anniversary celebration. Celebrating the first Corvette’s birthdate, June 30th 1953. Since I’m a lifelong Corvette nut, it was cool to go there and see the displays and we look forward to going back again soon, but I think we should wait until the Skydome floor is finished and the damaged Corvettes are displayed again. I’d like to see that since we couldn’t go this year.
The Corvette Assembly Plant is across the freeway from the Museum too. They offer tours of the assembly plant which are fascinating to any car nut. When you plan your trip to the Museum and the Assembly Plant, I recommend that you contact the plant for tour info BEFORE you book your trip. They have certain black out times and dates where you will not be able to tour the plant. Don’t plan and book your trip without checking for their schedules.

Jack’s Specialty Parts advertiser update

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Jacks “collection” of what I generally call “hard parts” is extensive.  The coverage is from the 30’s thru the 70’s with a little into the 80’s if there were ‘carryover’ applications.  Jack tells me that his inventory is primarily Ford and Chevy mechanical parts, no sheet metal, glass or rubber parts.  
Having had a career in the aftermarket auto parts business, Jack has crossed his inventory over into one numbering system for ease of identification.  This large collection of elderly but, new parts is all properly organized and arranged on parts room shelving in his warehouse space at 909 N.E. Cleveland Ave. in Gresham, OR. 503-667-1725.  If you’re looking for parts for your latest project, Jack might be able to help, give him a call.