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.

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!

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.


Saluting the 2016 Salem Roadster Show

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Show promoters Bob Symons and Greg Roach are to be congratulated for yet another super fantastic collection of Classic and Custom Cars, Trucks and Bikes at the tenth annual Salem Roadster Show.

The celebration took place on February 20th and 21st at the Americraft Center on the grounds of the Oregon State Fair in beautiful Salem, Oregon.  In nineteen hours the two day show entertained well over 5,000 car enthusiast to 115 winning custom show cars, classic original cars, trucks and bikes.  The one thing each of these gorgeous automobiles, trucks and bikes had in common was, each had previously been big winners at other car shows and cruz-ins all over the West Coast from B.C. Canada to San Diego, California.  Bob and Greg’s invitations only go out to the best of the best in the trophy winning category.  This show was no exception.  Every entry shined with class, and was high-lighted by over 125 special custom made Salem Roadster Show Jackets awarded one to each entry for their winning appearance in the show.

In the past ten years this show has attracted almost 60,000 custom car and truck enthusiast to witness over 1200 classic custom cars, trucks and bikes.  A note of interest over 1200 custom tailor made Salem Roadster Show jackets have also been awarded to all of the entry’s and in Bob and Greg’s eyes you’re all winners.  Wear your winning jackets with pride.

In addition these past ten years the Salem Roadster Show has supported a host of local and regional charities.  Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Cancer Program through KDCCP, The Al Kader Shriners Hospital, Brent Strohmeyer Scholarship Foundation and the Roberts Charter High School Foundation with tens of thousands of dollars, from the proceeds of the shows, dedicated to these charities.
A few selected custom car stars at the 10th Salem Roadster Show 2016.

The Tradition Continues

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All of these flamed-out, scalloped and super tricked out rides have one big thing in common—they’re all getting heated up with excitement to attend the upcoming 2016 Portland Roadster Show. The tradition does truly continue with the 60th anniversary of the Portland Roadster Show scheduled for March 18-20 at the Portland Expo Center.

The Multnomah Hod Rod Council presents the Portland roadster Show, one of the oldest continuous running premiere hot rod, custom car, truck and bike shows in the United States.

The other thing these all of these gorgeous tricked out automobile creations have in common—they have all been on display as featured stars at one of our Portland Roadster Shows in the past 60 years.


Art is in the Eye of the Beholder

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Probably truer words have never been spoken when it comes to the eye of the GearHeads of the world.

Those who build the hot rods of today are considered artisans in their own right – and for good reason. Thanks to reality shows on modern day TV, the general public has been given a bird’s eye view of the creations and the many characters that build them. Indeed, the viewing public comes to the awareness that some of these craftsmen prove to be quite a piece of work themselves – to gaze upon!

All one has to do is look back through the Deusenbergs of the days of yore to realize that art has been a part of the automobile from the beginning.  Why even as Henry Ford manufactured a million black, Model T Fords there could have been an artistic glint behind those bespectacled eyes … well, maybe not.  But fast forward to the present day and there is no question that there is art to behold in any man’s eye when it comes to current car creations. It’s just that … er, one man’s taste might vary a bit from the next man’s in some situations.
Behold The Valkyrian Steel.

As the average man gazes upon this 29 foot monstrosity, he might make the connection on how this might very well appeal to your average GearHead. Because one might naturally assume that, what with all them gears and such churning around inside the heads of these hot rodders, this would be totally acceptable. Then again … that might depend upon what one might consider “natural.”

One might be a bit taken aback to note most of the GearHeads unsteadily wandering off with a vacant look in their eyes. Trust me on this one – as one of the wanderers, I can attest to this.  However, if one is to delve deeper into the conundrum that is the Valkyrian Steel, one learns that this is indeed a commissioned work of art that was built for a specific purpose.

If one can just open one’s mind to a vision of a mighty warrior machine lumbering through a smoky, fiery wasteland on a mission to rescue a giant burning man from the Apocalypse.  One can then truly understand how this man made machine would fit right into the annual Burning Man trek into the desert. ‘nuff said.

But can we at least give the real eye candy a little love. There is no question the hordes of fantastic new builds to be seen at this year’s SEMA Show was the true car porn that all the GearHeads drool over.  We have been seeing them in many of the articles and shows that are coming out on this colossal show.

Alas we would be remiss if we did not wrap this up with that other art form that is the pearl of many a GearHead’s eye.  That would be the many and myriad parts and pieces that make up the whole. Whether they be hand formed, cad/cam, CNC, billet, plated, anodized, painted, water blasted or 3d printed.  The latest and greatest of man’s creations that are the parts that make the whole hot rod, are at this fabulous show – all lit up.  A satisfying array meant to placate all of those motorhead addicts—those reversely synergistic types who fully believe that it is, indeed the sum of the parts that is greater than the whole.  Go to #GearHeadsWorld for more on the Valkyrian Steel and many other SEMA cars.
So, what say you GearHeads, which is the purest art form?  Is it the whole car you see before you or is it the sum of all the man made pieces that make the whole?

Or might it be something more visceral like wrapping one hand around a wheel and the other on a gearshift?

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Petersen Auction Group Salem Auction

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In October the Northwest’s own Petersen Auction Group held their Salem Auction at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. This one was the third and final auction for 2015.

The auction offered nearly 80 vehicles, some antiques, some modern muscle, some hot rods, in general some interesting and fun cars and trucks.  The first things to “cross the block” are usually automotive memorabilia. There is often restored service station gas pumps, air & water stations, signs and other collectibles. I like these nostalgia pieces, though I really don’t have any room for them.  The restored items are always beautifully done and are items we would all be proud to own.

The real fun began around 10 a.m. with a 1972 GMC Pickup crossing the block. The third car was a very well preserved 1971 Mercedes 250, 4dr. sedan. It appeared to be all stock and well cared for. I couldn’t believe it was a 44 year old car. A friend of mine bought it. Since he had two cars there I helped him get his daily driver home after the auction, he drove the Mercedes. His report was that he loved the car, everything worked, it ran great and he was fortunate to have gotten it.

February 2016 begins a new year of Petersen Auctions. Again at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, all inside, warm and dry on Saturday February 6th. See their ad in this issue for contact info for consignments or visit their website, www.petersencollectorcars.com. You just might find your next fun vehicle at the auction.

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The Tradition Continues

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Yes, the fantastic Portland Roadster Show continues and in the past fifty-nine years an estimated 500,000 Hot Rod, Custom, Truck, and Bike enthusiasts have witnessed and enjoyed viewing over ten thousand entries exhibited at five different venue locations throughout the city of Portland, Oregon. The very first Portland Roadster show in 1956 with an estimated 5,500 in attendance was held at the old Portland Armory. Then it was on to the Multnomah County Fair Grounds; the Memorial Coliseum, the beautiful Oregon Convention Center and our present location the Portland Exposition Center, providing easier same level entry for exhibitors and plenty of parking for attendees.

The Multnomah Hot Rod Council / Portland Roadster Show is proud to be registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit for charity. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, the show has raised tens of thousands of dollars in the past fifty-nine years. A host of local charities have benefited, as well as supporting our local High-School and Community College Automotive Shop programs, including the popular High School Challenge Competition. In recent years the PRS, with the MHRC created the Wagons for Kids program for the Children’s Cancer Association, and the Pedal Car Auction program where more than twenty local high school and community college automotive programs customize pedal cars that are auctioned at the show with proceeds going to support the programs that participated.

In addition the Wagons and the Pedal Cars become true works of art as the fantastic local pinstripers competing in the Brush Bash, personalize them with the child’s name to make it their very own.

The Multnomah Hot Rod Council was founded in 1954 by caring and active community leaders, elected officials and Dee Wescott, one of Portland’s premier car builders of all time. The council is made up of car clubs in northwest Oregon and southwest Washington. Functions include: helping coordinate the automotive show scene in the Portland metropolitan area, and operation of the Portland Roadster Show, one of the oldest and best roadster shows in the nation.  The PRS is the only all volunteer show of its kind and size in the US.

In sixty years and with over 500,000 attendees, the Portland Roadster Show is also responsible for attracting millions of visitor’s dollars to the local economy with a world class show of automobile creative artistry. To the show’s Hot Rod, Car, Bike and Truck owners the PRS is a forum of esteemed peers and public access.

24th Annual Hot Rod Reunion

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The 24th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion Presented by Automobile Club of Southern California at Auto Club Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield California is in the history books for another year.  Getting your nostalgia fix for old time drag racing is sure to be satisfied at this event.

In addition to the drag racing there is a car show/cruise-in in the “Grove” right behind the grandstands that covers about a ¼ mile with historic drag machines and new hot rods alike. Beyond that adjacent to the track there is a swap meet where you can find amazing hot rod stuff. I’ve never seen so many “Blowers” for sale, in my life, some very vintage and some not so old. There’s a vendor row between the pits and the Grove, where you can find tons of stuff. I bought a hot rod t-shirt for my newest grandson. Naturally, it was too big, but he’ll grow into it.

This event is quite a spectator event. The stands at Famoso run almost from the starting line to the finish line and they were nearly full most of the time. There were a few mishaps. A couple wrecks, some broken parts and a lot of old time front engine dragsters. Saturday night at dusk, these old race cars put on quite a show. Most of them are push start cars and the owners did just that, pushed them one at a time down the return road in front of the packed stands and lit up about 75 of ‘em. They then drove them around the Jersey barrier behind the water box and out onto the track. They idled them down the track and starting near the finish line, they parked them diagonally one by one where they sat and “Cackled” until they ran out of fuel. The line ran almost all the way back up the track to the “tree.”

By this time it was completely dark and the flames were popping out of the zoomies as they cackled until their fuel was gone. If you’ve never seen or heard a “Cackle Fest,” It’s pretty cool.

While wandering through the swap meet we stumbled onto a vendor booth operated by none other than Mr. Gene Winfield. He very graciously offered to pose for a picture and he even held up his copy of Roddin’ & Racin’ Northwest. Man, I’d love to know all the hot rod history he has experienced. A little farther down the aisle a golf cart pulled up to my buddy Jim who was wearing a vintage Ed Iskederian t-shirt and the passenger was none other than the man himself, Mr. Ed Iskenderian. He asked Jim if his shirt was an original (old) shirt, which it wasn’t, but a new reproduction of an old one.  He also asked if we used any of his cams, which we do and have and he offered his hand to this nobody and introduced himself. I was impressed with his gracious friendliness. He has been working at this hot rod stuff for a while too.

Back at the beginning of this article I mentioned there was drag racing going on, tons of it. Nitro burning rails, Funny cars, Altereds, lots of the old stuff you might remember seeing back in the sixties, gassers etc. and newer stuff as well. In the front of the pit area nearest the staging lanes there we vintage race cars, push cars/trucks, old gassers galore. It was a pretty cool weekend and it was the 24th annual, which suggests the likelihood of a 25th annual. It’s worth the trip if you like hot rods and race cars, but take your sunblock and hat because it was pretty sunny and you will definitely get burnt if you’re not protected.  Look for next years’ event again in mid to late October.

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GoodGuys Rod & Custom Show

The GoodGuys Rod & Custom Association show schedule kicked off in mid-March 2015 at WestWorld in Scottsdale Arizona, the first of 22 shows held all over the country, culminating with a final show for the year, back at WestWorld the weekend before Thanksgiving, November 20-22 2015. Many of these events have titles that include in their description things like the “14th Annual” and the “28th Annual,” with some as old as 33rd and new as the 1st.

Many of these shows attract literally thousands of Rods, Customs and others, not to mention many thousands more spectators who come out just to see the spectacularly built machines that are in attendance.

This year I made it, to cover at least, the 28th Annual WESCO Autobody Supply, Pacific Northwest Nationals at the fairgrounds in Puyallup Washington and the 14th Annual Great Northwest Nationals held at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center in, where else, Spokane.

In both shows I have to give a hat tip to our brethren from north of the border, Canada. Those guys build some absolutely fantastic cars and trucks.  In mentioning that fact in conversations with some of them and other friends, I heard several reasons for the high quality builds, one in particular that came up many times was, “Long Lonely Winters.”  That might be true but truly, they build very high quality, innovative cars and trucks, for sure. Check out some of the pictures detailing a few.

Chadly Johnson was fortunate to be able to make it to some of the GoodGuy events in California this year. Like I said, there were 22 events from corner to corner all across the US. He shared his pictures with R&R NW and some of those are represented here too. No matter where you live in this great country of ours, if you’re a car guy or gal you can travel a little or a lot visiting new destinations and taking in a premier event like the ones the GoodGuys’ put together

Look for the GoodGuys 2016 Schedule in a future issue of Roddin’ & Racin’ NorthWest. These cars are fun to build and to drive.  Enjoy!

1971 Mustang "scratch built body, in bare metal." - Lyle Vass - Strathmore, Alberta.

1971 Mustang “scratch built body, in bare metal.” – Lyle Vass – Strathmore, Alberta.