2017 Salem Roadster Show

She’s all history now! They were rockin’ at the State Fair Grounds back on February 18th & 19th at the Americraft Center, Saluting the Salem Roadster Show for 2017. One hundred entry’s, plus a few extra past winners, of Custom Cars, Classic Stockers in Trucks and Cars plus a handful of Super Show Bikes were displayed. Several thousand classic car enthusiasts were treated to some of the Best of the Best show cars from all over the West Coast. From Canada to Central California and all over the Pacific Northwest, the only vehicles invited by co-show producers Bob Symons and Greg Roach are the top trophy winning cars from pervious show car events. Greg and Bob’s special winning cars this year in memory to the late Doug Gatchet’s 1956 Nomad and his 1964 El Camino was Greg’s choice and for Bob, he selected Lee Dixon’s 1968 GTO. They were all three delicious super show class rides. Like past Salem Roaster shows, every car, bike and truck are winners and the proud owners of these fantastic show dream machines are rewarded with a beautiful Salem Roadster Show Winning Jacket.

We at R&R NW Publication would like to thank Bob and Greg for another fantastic show, we would also like to thank both of you and your scores of happy volunteers that help and assist the running of your classy very professional Salem Roadster Show. We would also like to recognize and thank Bob and Greg for the Thousands of Dollars your Salem Roadster Show has raised and donated to a host of local, regional, and national charitys. Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Cancer Program through KDCCP, The National Red Cross and the Roberts Charter High School Foundation plus several more out-reach charity programs have benefited over the past eleven years. In our eyes this is what makes your Salem Roadster Show one of the best shows ever.

All in the Family

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Racing has a specific smell, my first NASCAR race at Chicagoland Speedway the weekend of September 18th was no different. The hot metal, burning race fuel, and mass of sticky people make a magical mixture that could never be replaced by any court or field sport.

Like the smell, the atmosphere at a professional motorsports event is distinctly laced with an electric excitement like no other. It is no wonder that race fans are fanatically energetic.

I mean, who wouldn’t stand up in their chair when a field of 40-some cars come rolling past like thunder?

Leading up to the event, I could not help but notice the differences in NASCAR culture compared to other sporting events. The emphasis around the facility was clearly geared toward families. This race was christened the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 400’, a tactic that was clearly to attract a younger audience’s attention and provide a unique atmosphere at the race track. All weekend long the characters of the show were taking pictures and posing amongst the fans. Some of the Xfinity and Sprint Cup cars sported special livery in honor of the Heroes in a Half Shell so that you could not only root for your favorite driver- but also for your favorite character. Is this traditional motorsports marketing? Not in the slightest, but like it or not it is becoming more challenging to attract a younger audience and hold their attention- this was an excellent way to do so.

Besides the families in the stands, there was a distinct theme of drivers that were sporting the ‘family man’ image. Walking into the driver’s meeting, during driver introductions and even on the pre-grid, drivers with families were never without their child and/or wife by their side. This phenomenon may be applicable to other disciplines, but in tandem with the Nickelodeon cartoon theme, this presence was noticeably prevalent.

This familial emphasis found its way into the garages as well. The crews working on the cars naturally seem to form their own band of brotherhood. Before the race, there were prayers, huddles, back slaps and good wishes. Comradery can take many forms. Some teams even have a BBQ set up right outside their hauler with a crewman cooking up a hot meal for their guys. One took me through the day’s menu of grilled pineapple and teriyaki chicken.

It was a beautiful, clear afternoon in Joliet, IL when the Sprint Cup cars came down for the green on the 1.5mi bull ring. The race itself was relatively yellow free. Due to rain earlier in the week, the grid was set by accumulated season points. Last year’s Chicagoland champion and defending Sprint Cup Champion, Kyle Busch in his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota started from the pole. He was quickly under siege by the second place starter, Brad Keselowski in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford. It would come down to tire strategy and a late yellow brought on by No. 98 of Michael McDowell that would reshuffle the field. Second generation fan favorite, Chase Elliott in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet would have to come in for fresh rubber. Frontrunner Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota would beat Elliott off of pit lane. Coming down to the green, Truex used the advantage of fresh tires to take home the win. Joey Logano in the Team Penske No. 22 would finish second and Elliott would roll home third.

In the thick cloud of burnt rubber and the aroma bacon encrusted nachos, Truex rejoiced in his win with his wife and crew by his side. Moving forward in the Chase rounds, it will be interesting to see who advances.

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Hot August Nights

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There are many really big annual and kinda famous Cruise-Ins/Car shows throughout this great country.

The back the 50’s Cruise in Minnesota is one. The Woodward Avenue Dream Cruise in, in Detroit is another. Of course the NSRA and The Good-guys put together great weekend cruises all across the country. They are all fun and usually BIG.

Out here in the West we have our own really BIG cruise-in/car show, Yup, Hot August Nights in Reno/Sparks. This cruise is 30 years old and still going strong. 2016 was no disappointment.

The main drag, Virginia Street, and several cross streets are blocked off during the day and participants display their cars on those blocked off streets each day. Toward evening the streets are cleared and crowd control barricades are brought it and placed along the curbs of Virginia and those cars that were displayed all day and many many more cars form up on North Virginia Street and cruise, double file, south on Virginia to the delight of 1000’s of on lookers from the sidewalks.

This downtown cruise and daily car show is sponsored by the downtown Casinos like, Harrah’s, The Silver Legacy, Circus Circus, The Eldorado and other businesses. There’s live music, great food and of course CARS.

For three days Summit Racing sponsors what I call a, mini trade show, at the Reno Event Center Downtown, billed as Big Boy Toys. A long list of vendors brings their products and knowledgeable representatives with expertise in their chosen fields/products to help you with your next build. Summit Racing sets up a remote order desk right at the show so you can order your needs right there and then pick it up later at their store/warehouse a few miles down the road in Sparks. Or it can be set up for shipment to your home address, so you don’t have to worry about having the room to carry your purchases home in your car. Very convenient!  I’ve used this method myself many times.

In addition to the downtown venue many of the other Casino/Resorts all over the area sponsor and hold their own car show/cruise-ins right at their locations, with valuable prizes, live music, food etc. In fact the whole town/area gets into the spirit with something going on all the time, every day, the whole week. There are mini cruises at most of the outlying Casinos throughout the days and evenings. And like in downtown Reno, Sparks blocks off their main drag and cruises double file throughout the evenings.

With nearly 6000 registered participants there were Hot Rods, Street Rods, Street Machines, box stock restorations, race cars, you name it. Everywhere.
There is a swap meet too, at the Reno/Sparks Livestock Expo. I like swap meets whether I’m in need of more rusty parts or not. The same organizers have been running the HAN Swap Meet for several years now and it just get bigger and better every year. Plus, they have a car for sale corral inside out of the weather in the Expo Arena. There were some good buys available this year. You could have bought your next project or finished project there and participated in the fun all week and then driven it home.

This year Motorsport Auction Group held a collector car auction at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center. This was their first time at this event and what a great job they did putting on a pretty big time auction. Lots of nicely restored, hot rodded, etc. cars and trucks changed hands. Dave Kindig with Kindig-it-Design was on hand at the auction with several of the cars his shop in Utah had recently completed. Some you probably saw on TV on his show “Bitchin’ Rides.” He and “Kev Dog” Kevin Schiele were on hand to field everyone’s questions. They are a couple really nice guys and they build absolutely fabulous cars and trucks. Check out the TV show on Velocity TV.

Marsha and I decided last year we were going and made our reservations way early. Always a good plan since we like to use our time share which is right in downtown Reno. It’s a condo like set up with 2 bedrooms, more room than we need so we asked another couple, who had NEVER been to HAN, if they wanted to go and they jumped at the chance. I’m not sure after spending a week there us, they were still as excited but we did have fun. Fortunately, they are car nuts too and they seem to like Margaritas as well, so all is well.

There is an opportunity to win prizes and money if your car is judged and receives an award. The Main Host Hotel is the Grand Sierra. If you plan to attend next year’s Hot August Nights, August 8th – 13th. Registration is open now and you can register online at www.hotaugustnights.net. Register early and save. The website has a host of valuable info so check it out. What’s not to like about a week of Cool Cars and Rock ‘n Roll music?


Where the CARS are always the STARS

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Produced by Northwest Motorsports Association and presenting sponsor Weston BUICK KIA GMC, Rockin’ Round the Block is a fundraiser for the Mt Hood Community College Automotive Technology Scholarship Program. The event has raised over $153,000 for student scholarships in the past 17 years. The day was packed with fun for the entire family including free kid’s activities, vendor booths and a nostalgic street cruise. This years show was celebrated with over 350 custom cars, street rods, trucks and bikes registering to be eligible to have their rides judged for an opportunity to win one of over 125 Rockin’Round the Block custom made trophies. Opening ceremony started the show with the singing of the star spangled banner at 10 AM and live music with Ron Reudi and the Hurricanes entertained the crowd from noon to 5pm on 3rd & Main Street in downtown Gresham.

As an added attraction Bev and Vern Farris event co-chairs sold raffle tickets for three battery powered children’s vehicles. The funds raised at this event was dedicated to help provide services to veterans and their families. Bob Carlson donated a yellow Prowler and Jan Weston donated two KIA’s to the fund raising program that were given away at this year’s cruise-in. A total of 25 Block Sponsors and supporters from local churches to businesses and community out reach foundations from all over Gresham helped support the 2016 activities. An estimated 12,000 spectators enjoyed the car show plus many frequented the Gresham Farmers Market that is always a big hit. In addition a big salute goes out to all the volunteers from the Northwest Motor sports association and the local Gresham Police and Fire Departments for their activities in making the 2016 show one of the best ever.

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The 29th WESCO Pacific Northwest Nationals is “in the can” as they say.

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I’ve been going to these Goodguys Rod & Custom Association for a lot of years now and I think this year’s show was maybe bigger, more cars, than any I’ve been to in recent years. The number and quality of cars present was pretty impressive. The Swap meet grew this year too. A few more parts, more cars for sale and more people.

I’m always impressed with the quality of cars that come from Canada. Our brothers from up north really turn out some fantastic builds and I’m glad they come to the US to share their work with us.

This year I attended the drag races on Friday night at the Pacific Raceway, formerly SIR, Seattle International Raceway. It seemed like a “run what ya brung” kinda race. There were some amazingly fast cars there, some with a turbo or two, and blowers and then there were some that had trouble getting out of their own way. But it was fun just the same. A couple pro-mod cars were just frighteningly fast but certainly fun to watch.

A few of my friends brought their cars and picked a great spot in the shade to park since it was quite warm this year. I like going to these big shows like this because of all the vendors in attendance. When the big companies come and bring their big trailers full of product it’s great. You get to speak directly to someone with a lot of knowledge and you can get an up close look at the parts. More vendors ought to put these shows on the AD budget. It may or may not produce an instant boost in sales but I’ll bet it produces sales going forward for some time. I’m living proof of that. I checked out the Flowmaster display and learned all I could about what I wanted for my truck. I didn’t buy them at the show but I did buy them some months later when I was ready, all because of the info I got at a manufacturers booth at a car show.

Put the Goodguys 30th Annual Pacific Northwest Nationals on your July 2017 calendar and look for the exact dates in Roddin’ & Racin’ NorthWest in the spring next year. More coverage next month.

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8th Annual Rust O Rama

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There are many flavors of car enthusiasts. Some devote their loyalty to Model A pristine vintage, some like the new souped-up imports and then there are hot rodders. Some hot rodders pledge allegiance to traditions while others create their own frankenstein dream kustoms. Events like Rust O Rama put on by the Cherry City Bombers car club feature their own niche of hot rodder that should not be overlooked.

The cars and the people at the 8th annual Rust O Rama are a mix of eras and style. Some are clean and polished with a little detailing that sets them apart, others go for the extreme rusty and rough look. Each car and their driver has no shortage of personality showing, and it is interesting to walk the rows of vehicles and observe just how different people’s tastes can be.

The car club makes it a point to have ongoing entertainment throughout the day. Music, a mobile tattoo parlor, vendors of clothing and jewelry, pinstripers, a hairstylist, and the ever-entertaining pinup contest. Each year, the Bombers pick a charity to feature. This year the foundation of choice is called Magic Wheelchair who make Hollywood- grade costumes for children bound to wheelchairs. The pinup contest- like the car show itself- helps gain awareness for the cause. This year I personally dressed up and participated as one of eleven pinups. Dawning my hair sprayed curls and extreme eyeliner was well worth the $173 that we girls collectively raised for Magic Wheelchair.

As the finale to the day, two members of the car club got married right on the rockabilly stage, all while celebrating and welcoming anyone that wanted to be present. I could not ask for a more unique grouping of cars and people to be around for an afternoon. So when this event rolls around next year, come on down to Salem to support charity, get a tattoo, or simply people watch. It is never short of entertaining.

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60th Annual Portland Roadster Show – The Tradition Continued!

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All for the Love of Classic Cars, Street Rods, Bikes and Trucks.The 2016 PRS was the Biggest and Best Ever! The Cars were truly the Stars of this fantastic show.

The 60th Portland Roadster Show is now in the history books and for the record it should go down as one of the biggest and best ever custom, hot-rod, classic car, bike and truck shows of all time. Not only in the Rose City of Portland, but one of the most memorable car shows in the whole nation. From the opening gate on Friday, March 18th the Expo Center rocked with a record number of car and truck enthusiasts going thru the turn stiles. Plus, there was a record number of vendors and supporters helping make this show a great financial success. Our Portland Roadster Show had 129 classes in cars, trucks and bikes, the most of any ISCA show nationwide. The show also gave out more cash prize winning dollars than any other show in the country. Cash awards included, the Grand Sweepstakes Rose Cup Award, $10,000, the World Cup of Hot Rodding, $5,000, the King of Customs, $3000, and the Bill Peterson award of $500 all totaling $18,500. Additionally, Best of Class, Second Place and Third Place trophies in those 129 classes were awarded.

The PRS was honored with the presence of world class car building celebrities, Dave Kindig, John D’Agostino, Gene Winfield and Chip Foose, who were on hand signing autographs and meeting and greeting the thousands in attendance. Another point of interest; Portland’s own Johnny Limbo & the Lugnuts performed a full, on stage show, Saturday evening and helped raise thousands of dollars in gifts for the Angel’s on Wheels Toy Drive for Randall Children’s Hospital. In addition there were a record number of 501c3 for charity fund raising activities at this year’s show, including the KDCCP brand new 2016 Mustang raffle car was on display and raised thousands of dollars for the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Cancer research program up at OHSU. The Veterans were well represented with the MIAP booth and the Pharaohs Street Rodder’s Lines for Life Veterans Programs as well as the Veterans, Help a Wounded Warrior was also raising funds with a special custom car giveaway. Plus the Kyron Horman Foundation and the Angels on Wheels Toy Drive were also present.

The Multnomah Hot Rod Council/Portland Roadster Shows Wagons for Kids helps the Children’s Cancer Association. The PRS gave away a record number of wagons at the show this year. The new wagons were mostly donated from the 19 car clubs that make up the MHRC. In addition, the Pedal Car Auction raised a record number of dollars for the participating 20 highs school and local community college automotive programs. The MHRC/PRS High School Challenge was well represented again this year with 23 High School and Skill Centers from the Portland and Vancouver area participating. They all did a great job and all are to be congratulated of their winning efforts. A special thank you goes out to Napa Sunset Auto Parts for their generous gifts.

We at Roddin’ & Racin’ NorthWest would like to thank all of the members of the MHRC for your dedicated individual volunteer efforts and the outstanding job you each performed representing you own car clubs and the MHRC at the 60th Portland Roadster Show. The hundreds of thousand/million plus dollars this show brought to the Portland Vancouver area is unmeasurable in immediate numbers, but the amount of good will and your friendly participation with the visitors at this show will be remembered for a long time. The Cities of Portland and Vancouver thanks each and every one of you for a job well done. We would also like to recognize and give a KP thumbs up to two special individuals, PRS Co-Chairs, Duane Caseday and David Jothen for their fantastic leadership efforts in putting the finishing touches on this world class 60th PRS. Also, a salute to all of the MHRC board of directors for a job well done.