MetalWorks Built 1955 Chevy

MetalWorks-built-1955-Chevy

Tri-five Chevys are a corner stone in the world of classic cars, and most enthusiasts have found themselves drooling over one at some point. Now, we could argue until we are blue in the face about which of the three has the best lines…but when it came to Shaun Schroeder’s first classic car…he knew he wanted a 55.

With a very successful year under his belt for his business “Wireless Alchemy”, Shaun set out to find the ideal shop to build his future 55. Shaun did a good amount of internet research and honed in on MetalWorks Classic Auto Restoration in Eugene, Oregon due to their impressive worked displayed on their website, and especially due to their success with Tri-five builds. Shaun contacted MetalWorks and spoke with owner Jon Manilla, and really liked what Jon had in mind for the direction of the 55’s build, so a plan was put into motion.

The first step was to actually locate a 55 Chevy, and luckily Jon knew of one that had already been acid metal dipped by MetalWorks a couple of years prior, and was available for purchase. Shaun admits he is not a huge classic car guy, but he does recognize and appreciate quality craftsmanship… so for that reason he gave Jon and the team at MetalWorks the green light to build him the best 55 possible… and the end result blew Shaun away.

The Chevy’s paint work is a gorgeous combo of laser straight orange and white, colors that Shaun said helped win his wife over on the build as they are both huge Giants fans. Underneath the 55’s amazing exterior is a precisely chosen platform of components that create a driving experience that keeps Shaun grinning and filled with excitement every time he gets behind the wheel. One of the 55’s key components is the Art Morrison chassis… and a special one at that as the 55 sits on the 1000th Art Morrison Tri-five chassis built. Nestled into the Chevy’s frame rails is a GM Performance supercharged LS9 engine connected to a TREMEC 6 speed transmission.

The guys at MetalWorks are extremely knowledgeable in LS platforms, and the Chevy’s LS9 delivers a performance that is smooth as silk…well, silky smooth that is until Shaun decides to drop the hammer, then all hell breaks loose.  When things do get out of hand Wilwood brakes help stop the double nickel on a dime, and luxury amenities like leather interior, 8” touch screen navigation, and electronic dual climate control keep Shaun and his wife extremely comfortable while cruising any distance.

In the end Shaun wanted the best, and MetalWorks delivered on that goal.  Shaun is not a car show type of guy, but he loves putting miles on the 55, so watch for this wicked 55 on the streets of Winters, CA… Shaun will be the guy with the smile on his face.

I Dreamed of Genie

I dreamed of owning the Genie, to be specific. No, I’m not talking about Barbara Eden. I’m talking about a small block powered sports racer, built in 1964 by San Franciscan Joe Huffaker.

There was a time in my life (the late 70’s) when I loved sporty cars so much, I’d drive to Sears Point just to watch club racing. It was during those outings that I became enamored with the nimble little racecar, then owned by a gutsy, talented driver named Terry Herman. Only a handful of unlimited, Can Am-style cars would typically show up for these meets so Herman would have to start scratch in a mixed field of big bore Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs and such. It was always entertaining watching him slice and dice his way to the front. And when someone did turn up with a swoopy, late model McLaren or Lola, Herman could usually whup on them too. He had that circuit dialed and rode that Genie like a spirited thoroughbred. What a cool little racecar.

I didn’t know it at the time but it turned out that I’d seen the Genie race before. When I attended my first race at Laguna Seca in 1966, the car was there. My program lists Huffaker as the entrant and the driver as “Unannounced.” I don’t remember it but I’ve seen a photo from that weekend showing Bob Bondurant at the wheel. This was kind of a big deal as Bondurant was racing Formula One at the time. Unfortunately, they are listed as a nonstarter that weekend so evidently there were issues of some kind or another. Bondurant went on to found one of the first competition driving schools two years later and for that, he is probably best known.

The Genie was then sold to accomplished privateer Merle Brennan of Reno who raced it in the Can Am series exclusively at Laguna through 1970. In gawd awful heat he finished 9th in ’67 (a full twelve laps behind the leader) and was paid $1,100   for the day’s work. In 1968’s driving rain he paddled to 11th, he stayed home in ’69 but returned in ’70 to place 13th earning $900. These may not sound like great numbers but you have to consider the competition. Brennan was competing against the best drivers in the world. Factory teams, corporate sponsors, guys with the best of everything. By 1970 he was driving one of the few small blocks on the grid.

Brennan sold the Genie to Herman when he procured a wrecked formula car he planned to rebuild as a sports racer. For some reason unknown, Herman painted the car pea green and went racing. I described his exploits earlier… finally he repainted the car red for what was likely his last ride. Tossing it around with typical abandon, he lost the right rear wheel. Fortunately damage was minimal but that was the last time I saw the car…

Fast forward about fifteen years. The Can Am thirty year reunion is coming up and I’ve got all my old photos out. Wouldn’t it be cool to dig up that old Genie and take it to the reunion? I’d be willing to sell my elderly sprint car and all my roundy-round stuff to raise the money. How much could they want for the old carcass? I’m thinking six grand, maybe? Possibly ten? I had no idea. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

Turns out Herman sold the car to a guy named Tom Hanes who continued to race the Genie into the 1980’s. Hanes was injured in the car while driving it on the street. Complications stemming from those injuries ultimately killed him and his widow sold the Genie to Mike Brown in 1985.

By 1995 vintage road racing is in full bloom. I contacted the Historic Can Am Association and inquired about the car. As luck would have it, not only were they familiar with it, but it was for sale! I called Mike Brown and confirmed that it is the Genie of my dreams. He of course, knows the car’s full history and by now has completely restored it to its original glory. This is bad news to me because I was hoping for a basket case- Maybe I could afford a basket case. The price has now gone up considerably. Nonetheless, I ask him to send me a package…

The photos of the car are stunning. By all indications, it is a first class restoration. Asking price? $70,000.
When I saw the price I literally laughed out loud and not because it was funny. I think it was more like shock. I mean, it’s a cool little racecar but… that’s about it. It has a modest racing history. People have heard of Bondurant perhaps but Brennan? Herman? It’s a rare Genie after all, not a rare Ferrari.

So that was that until about a month ago. Fast forward another twenty years. I open a copy of my new vintage racing magazine and there’s a classified ad for the Genie. It looks exactly as it did in 1966 and again in 1996. It couldn’t be in any better condition… New asking price? $175,000. This time I’m not laughing.

Will the Real Winning Model T Ford Please Come Forward?

bobs-Model-T

The year is 1974 and I had recently decided to change directions in the employment payroll line and move across the state to another employment window of opportunity. From retail store manager, too advertising account marketing manager. From employment with auto and expenses included, to your now covering your own expenses to get across town. My little Chevy Wagon was pretty much dedicated to family use back then so all I had for getting around town was the Tall “T” Coupe. Not a lot of extra space for hauling more than one other person on board but I would make it work for now.

This new employment opportunity was just that, a new start up, get off the ground company with not a lot of extra bucks for fancy autos and expenses. One of my areas to cover as account marketing manager’s responsibility was to help local social and community outreach groups do a little fund raising for local charities. As it turned out my first assignment was to cover the Portland Rose Festival and a host of activity’s including a local parade of custom cars and street rods. My activity’s included the judging of parade floats and special entries. I had my son enter my daily driver and drive it in the parade as a fund raising donation participant. He had the “T” all shined up and looking good as he always gave 150% to everything he got involved in back then. Now I was placed at the beginning of the Parade conducting on air interviews for KVDO TV-3 with the people on the floats and in the beautiful street rods and custom cars. They were from local schools and churches and several street rod clubs were on hand. When my son approached I gave him a quick high-five but didn’t bother with an interview. I want you all to know right up front here I had nothing to do with the judging of the cars in the parade. I did participate in the judging of the Community Floats and there were several winners. As the day progressed and the parade wound down to the end, the awards were finally handed out at a small ceremony over in the Fred Meyer parking lot. Just about every community group received recognition and a nice big trophy. Next was the cars, trucks and motorcycle participants. There were several classes with the winners selected from the stock class or customs and street rods. They had a parade of the vehicles drive by and the judges awarded the trophies to the participants as they past. Well, I guess that must have been where the mix up happened as my son in the shiny blue tall “T” coupe approached, one judge said ‘’here’s the best of show car that blue Ford Coupe”, as he pointed to it on the clip board. Well I almost fell off the stage as I think that is my daily driver the old ‘26 “T” coupe their pointing at and believe me it’s not the best of parade show car.?!?!  My son pulled over to the reviewing stand as they waved him up to receive his nice big trophy. WOW!  Best of Parade Street Rod Show Car!  He was so proud, you see that was the first time he had driven the model “T” all by himself as he wasn’t quite sixteen yet, but he was almost six feet tall and he looked at least seventeen. He was a careful driver and he followed in his POP’s footsteps, never had a moving violation ticket in that model “T” in over fifty years. WOW he won best street rod show car at the parade in 1974.

PS: Why do all super Trophy winning events in life half to have a PS:

Well as the story progressed into the next day I received a phone call from the Parade Director and he proceeded to inform me that an error had been made on the part of one of the judges and the real winner of the 1974 Best of Parade Show Car was a blue Ford coupe but it wasn’t a Model “T” it  was a 1930 Model “A” Metallic Shiny Blue Ford Coupe that had taken a first place trophy out at the Forest Grove World Class Concourse Show the year before and he actually  won this year’s “Best of Parade Show Car Award.”
I contacted the owner of the Model “A” and had made plans with him to get the big Best of Parade Trophy delivered to the appropriate winner with my congratulations. Then another phone call came in and the people in charge of the event had decided to have two best of parade show car awards that year and my son was to keep his. To this day I never told my son Mike he hadn’t won that big trophy back when he was a mere fifteen years old. Those fantastic years when your kids were growing up back in the seventy’s they were some of the best ever.

Bob-C-trophy

Dale’s Metalworks Built 1952 Chevy Panel

1952-Chevy-Panel-Metalworks
The desire for many people to own a classic car is derived from memories of their youth.  Often this memory is a high school car, a first car, or a special connection to a vehicle owned by a family member.  The owner of this gorgeous 1952 panel truck is Dale, and he has many wonderful memories of riding in his father’s 1952 GMC pickup truck with a factory canvas canopy.  In addition to the memories of his father’s 52 Dale recalls his fondest memory of a wild ride in his cousins father’s 1950 Chevy pickup down a rough & muddy road as he and his cousin tried to hang on without seat belts!!

Over the years Dale has dreamed of owning a classic because of their unique design compared to the styling of trucks today.  As fate would have it Dale located his future pride and joy in Grants Pass, Oregon…though the panel was a former long term resident of sunny Arizona.  Once the panel was located Dale set out to find a restoration shop to entrust his dream car to, and settled on MetalWorks Classics out of Eugene, Oregon.  The goal was to keep the panel stock appearing, but make it as effortless to drive as a modern vehicle…and equally as reliable.  It was decided the panel would receive an LS conversion, something MetalWorks is very versed in.  The panel’s LS driveline came in the form a 2000 Camaro LS1 engine and 4L60E transmission combo which the team at MetalWorks nestled into the original frame rails.  Other drivability upgrades for the panel included a Heidts front suspension, and a Ford 9” rear end tied to a 4 link out back.  The end result is a bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing as the overall stock appearing 52 will set you back hard in the factory seats when Dale mashes the throttle!!

In the end Dale has a great looking and performing truck that his family can enjoy for many years to come.  Dale is also pleased that he can pass along the fond memories of his youth onto his children and grandchildren when he takes them for a cruise in his dream car…but this time with seat belts!!


28th Annual Sunshine Cruz

Sunshine-cruz
$20 per entry at the gate

• Open to cars, trucks & motorcycles
• Park on the grass
• Dash plaques for the first 200 entries
• Trophies & special awards
• Club participation cash award
• Raffle prizes
• Burgers available by the Lions Club
• Music by the KISN Good Guys

For more information:

www.tricknracycars.org

Karen: (503) 657-5942
cell: (503) 803-2022

Stolen 1957 Chevy

stolen 1957 chevy
Stolen from Sandy OR between 10PM March 25 – 7AM March 26

Black 1957 Chevrolet BA 2 Door Hardtop; all original, black exterior, silver/black interior, spinner wheel covers.

If you have any information contact Cliff 503-789-5167 or Steve 503-313-3451 or Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office 503-655-8211

59th Annual Portland Roadster Show

It's a Wrap - PDX Wraps

It’s a Wrap – PDX Wraps

Well the 59th is now in the history books, but it was a great show. Isn’t it amazing that this show is one of the longest continuously running shows around? And in little ole Portland Oregon.  When I worked in the corporate world I heard people say that Portland was kind of “like a suburb” of Seattle.  Well I guess you could make a comparison like that but I disagree for the most part.
Portland established it’s Hot Rod identity more than 60 years ago with many famous cars being built there and then shown in the Portland Roadster Show starting in 1956 and continuing until today. As I create this paper every month, for almost 2 years now, I learn more and more about the hot rod/race car roots that are well rooted and have grown and flourished in Portland all these years.
I don’t want to take anything away from Seattle though and that’s partly my point.  While both cities are here in the northwest, they each certainly have their own identity and uniqueness and after all, they are 160 miles apart.  The distance between only accounts for a small amount of their differences but different from each other, they are.
The Portland Roadster Show has been a must see show for me for all the years I’ve lived in the Northwest. Next year will be the 60th Annual Portland Roadster Show, and I, for one, am really looking forward to it. Because it will be a milestone year I’m certain the promoters will do everything in their power to make that show really something to remember.  What great fun for participants and spectators alike to be a part of it.  As a participant, just imagine entering your pride and joy and taking home a coveted award from a show with such history. It makes me want to build a car to enter it myself. All you car guys and gals out there, start now and prepare for next March and the 60th Portland Roadster Show.

 

FREYA

Freya-Smith

If you’ve been to one of the local bullrings in the last twenty years, you’ve probably seen Freya Smith. She’s no shrinking violet and openly admits to committing every summer since 1995 to either River City (St. Helens) or Sunset (Banks) Speedway.
It was none other than Gary (Meep! Meep!) Meyers that indoctrinated her: “I started out crewing for Gary,” she explains “and knew right away that I wasn’t going to be content on the sidelines. I’m not one to sit and muss with my hair!” She wanted to know how everything worked and Meyers was willing to teach her. “I remember him explaining “stagger” to me, rolling around a Solo cup!”  Because of her hands on approach to the sport, it wasn’t long before she was being offered rides in the woman’s division. Freya believes she won her first race in ’96 driving somebody’s jalopy or low budget street stock. Clearly, it was no milestone in her book.
When Mike McCann took over Sunset Speedway, she left St. Helens and went to work for him. Freya occupied various posts at the clay oval but is probably best remembered for her work as Pit Steward. Ushering racers on and off the track in the heat of battle isn’t for the faint of heart. Freya was always easy to spot with her headset slammed down over her curly blonde locks, strutting about in Day-Glo pink sweat pants! She was content at this level of involvement for several years, but the desire to drive never left her.

Racing with Earl Claypool Jr. at Sunset Speedway

Racing with Earl Claypool Jr. at Sunset Speedway

Then when the right car at the right price became available, Freya couldn’t resist. It was a 1978 Camaro built for up and comer Colin Winebarger. In reality, the street stock had seen very little action as young Winebarger leap-frogged directly up to late models. Little needed to be done to prepare the Camaro for Freya other than relocating the seat. Green had become her trademark color and so her father Mike Batalgia blended something special and sponsor Mike Sweere gave it a good slathering. When Freya hit the track on opening day she had a racer that reflected her extroverted personality. It was neon lime with plum crazy purple scallops on the nose! On the flanks was #37- a tip of the hat to her mentor Meyers who runs #36 to this day.
The competition didn’t know what hit them. Between Freya’s experience and the fact that the Camaro was already sorted, no one could run with her. She won all but one event, effortlessly claiming the 2013 woman’s title. In retrospect, Freya downplays her accomplishment. “It was all in preparation to run with the (men) street stock class in 2014,” she says.
The following season started off well enough but an experience on Fan Appreciation Night changed everything. Freya invited a young terminally ill girl to sit in her car for a photograph. The next weekend prior to the races, the girl’s family came down to thank Freya again and inform her that the girl had passed away. They gave Freya the gift of a “Love Rock” which the emotional driver promptly tucked into the seat of her Camaro. That night she drove with new inspiration, starting in the back and charging forward. She won her first street stock feature and dedicated the win to her young fan. It was a special Fourth of July race weekend with another feature planned for the following night. For that event, Freya started on the pole and simply checked out. “I kept watching for the nose of another car,” she exclaimed afterward, “and I never saw one.” According to her crew, no one was even close. Freya finished out the season third in overall points.
Towards the end of last year Freya hauled her car to Willamette Speedway (Lebanon) and Grays Harbor (Elma, WA) to experience racing on a faster venue. At Elma she was looking at a top five finish until throwing a belt. Still she came away encouraged and wants to travel more.
Soon she and fiancé Mike Sweere will lay schedules from Banks, Willamette and Cottage Grove side by side and plot out their own schedule for 2015. Sweere runs an IMCA-type modified so they will go to tracks that feature street stocks and modifieds on the same card. Spending the summer at one racetrack or another…That’s what Freya has done for twenty years…Why would you change now?

Celebrating with a young fan after winning night two of the 4th of July doubleheader

Celebrating with a young fan after winning night two of the 4th of July doubleheader

Rodorama 2015

1941-SD-Coupe

The Showplex at the Washington State Fair Event Center in Puyallup was home to an amazing display of hot rods, cool rides, tricked out imports and more on March 28th & 29th at the Northwest Rodarama.
Much to the delight of the spectators, there’s something for everyone at Northwest Rodarama! It’s great to see a family come through the show where not only a grandson, father and grandfather find vehicles of interest to them, but mom and grandma too! During my 4 hour trip down memory lane, I took note of the many pictures being taken in front of the vintage motorized bicycle display, which was one of my favorites at the show.
A couple local celebrities, Lance Lambert of The Vintage Vehicle Show and David Dickinson, Editor of The Old Car Nut Book Series, were on hand throughout the weekend to sign autographs and books. There never seems to be a loss for words when guys get together to talk about old cars. Both bring a personal touch to the show and their presence was enjoyed by many.
If you’re building or restoring your own custom hot rod, there’s endless ideas that’s bound to get your creative juices going, with the vehicles on display, the automotive vendors, and the pin striping bash. If you weren’t able to attend this year’s show, be sure to check it out next year!