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.

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.

World of Speed Grand Opening

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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.

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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.

Salem Roadster Show

Dan & Karen Fitch's 1936 Pontiac, slant back sedan, '61 389 Tri-Power engine, "Slim Jim" auto trans, 51K original miles.

Dan & Karen Fitch’s 1936 Pontiac, slant back sedan, ’61 389 Tri-Power engine, “Slim Jim” auto trans, 51K original miles.

I’d been telling people I’d never been to the Salem Roadster Show. Then my wife overheard me and reminded me that we had. “Remember when we got to meet Paul Le Mat from American Graffiti?” she asked. “They had a replica of his yellow hot rod and the black Chevy that Harrison Ford drove.” She was right again, of course. Wives are great for remembering stuff like that. Man, how many years ago was that? Did Le Mat actually work more than one show?

Well, this year the cars were the stars but the venue was unchanged. What used to be called the Jackman Long building is now the Americraft Center. Like before it was jam packed with an eclectic mix of vehicles. Old and new (thanks to sponsors Weston Kia and Withnell Dodge), from trailer queens to race cars. At one end of the spectrum had to be Don and Teresa Lulay’s Vanderbeck built ’41 Willy’s- truly a show stopper. At the other end, track fresh racers. A NAPA Late Model rental car provided by the GASS series, a mind blowing, front engined Corvair gasser and a ’28 Ford track roadster…cool stuff.

Around the perimeter of the building were a couple dozen vendors representing everything from a local bank to a transmission shop. So if you had a question, there was likely someone on hand who could answer it.

Admission prices were reasonable for the quality of show presented (It is an invitational by the way) and it was refreshing not to be charged for parking! And how about this to get the younger enthusiasts to come out? FREE ADMISSION up to age 17! Good thinking.
Okay, it had been a while since I’d been to Salem. I can tell you it won’t be long before I return.

Photos by Cora Veltman

Petersen Auction Group’s Salem Auction

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The Salem auction was not on the scale of the collector car auctions held in Phoenix but it was a great auction just the same. Curt and Susan put together a nice 70 car list of cars and trucks old and newer where a 1912 Buick Touring car was the top seller. Steve Harsch and I attended to cover the auction and ended up buying a Corvette and a Mercedes. That was entirely unintended but the cars represented were good looking cars and the prices were respectable.

The auction brought a 42% sell through which is also respectable. The venue was terrific and packed with many bidders on hand. This was probably owing to the 5000 hits they got on their web site in January alone. petersencollectorcars.com Check it out as you plan for your participation in their next “Local” collector car auction coming up in on July 11th at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Roseburg, part of the “Graffiti Weekend Event.” These local auctions are just great because they are easy to get too, fun and some great cars cross the block. See you next time.

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.