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.

VETERANS PARADE and the MISSING IN AMERICA PROJECT

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The recent Veterans Parade was well attended with several custom cars and street rods from the Pharaohs Street Rods in the parade. The local Missing In America Project representative Bob Collison was on hand with his 1926 Ford Model T Coupe, handing out information on the MIAP program in the Hollywood district of Portland. The Pharaohs Street Rodders Car Club is one of the top fundraising groups in Oregon supporting the MIAP and the Lines for Life Veterans Programs.

The mission of the MIAP is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of veterans through the joint efforts of private, state and federal organizations. And to provide honor and respect to those who have served this country by securing a final resting place for these forgotten heroes.

For more information on the MIAP local programs please see their web page at www.miap.us.

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.