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.

 

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

Endless Summer Cruz-In 2015

The Pharaohs Street Rodders Endless Summer Cruise-In’s for 2015 are filling up Main Street in Downtown Gresham at Billy Bob’s Hot Rod Café. This Veterans charity event is scheduled every Wednesday from 4:00 to 7:30 PM (weather permitting) June thru September. Everyone’s invited to come and enjoy showing off your special automobiles from Classic Stockers to Vintage Customs, Hot-Rods, Pick-Ups and even Little Tikes Pedal cars.

This is Pharaohs Street Rodders fifth anniversary for this fun event with 100% of the funds raised dedicated to the Missing in America Project and the Lines for Life as well as other local youth programs. The Pharaohs also have a history of helping children in need in the Portland area and you will find a special booth at the Cruise-In dedicated to the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Cancer Research in the form of a gorgeous 2015 Mustang Raffle Car. The Pharaohs take pride in awarding hundreds of trophy’s yearly to people that love and take care of their cars, both show cars and classic daily drivers alike. All while raising tens of thousands of dollars for charity. Come out and enjoy the hospitality and a free burger with your vehicle registration on Wednesday’s at Billy-Bob’s Hot Rod Café on Main Street in beautiful historic downtown Gresham, Oregon USA.

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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.