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.

All for the Love of Street Rods & Custom Classic Cars

Mike Bade came into this world in the little town of Milton-Freewater, Oregon back 1954. He stuck around Oregon until he was in the fifth grade when the family decided to pack-up and relocate to a small town just North of Spokane, Washington. Fast forward a few years and you find Mike in High-School in the little town of Ford, Washington, where his father is the Postmaster and the family runs a little neighborhood grocery store. Mike is bitten by the car bug in high school as his auto shop teacher, who was a classic car enthusiast, was building a 32 Ford 5 window coupe and Mike was impressed. He got so excited at eighteen years of age he went out and found himself a classic little hot rod coupe to build for himself. For a cool $100 Mike found this fantastic 1930 Plymouth Coupe from a little old couple in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Now keep in mind, for that kinda-money, the car needed a little work. OK, it needed a lot of work as it was delivered to Mike in several boxes including the chassis, the running gear, the body etc. ect. ect.!

Now it took him a couple of years but by the time Mike entered his junior year in college at Eastern Washington University  he had that Mo-par all back  together and he was ridden in style. As you can see on the first build of this Plymouth Coupe he choose a two-tone grey and black paint job and a set of fancy tires and wheels, from dads  Cadillac, sporting baby white walls.  Plus it appears Mike found himself a pretty little college co-ed by the name of Donna to share his all home built delicious 1930 hot rod Plymouth  coupe  with.  Well as the story goes forward, We at R&R NW Publications are excited to bring  you Mike and Donna Bade  and the story of their “Fantastic All Mo-Par Rides.”

1930 Plymouth Coupe Model 30U owned car 43 years and in that time two major body off builds and the latest in 2005 with a total upgraded chassis. For power a 2003 Dodge Dakota fuel injected V-6, Auto-Trans,  Mustang II front suspension,  rack & pinion steering, boxed frame, disk brakes  front and rear, all new electronic gauges, Vintage Air and American Racing –polished chrome wheels on all four corners make this Yellow beauty come alive. Topped off with a grey leather interior and Portland’s own world class award winning pin-stripper Mitch Kim laid down some artistic stripping on this ’30 that really makes it one of a kind. She’s a winner where ever she goes. Sold new for $575  FOB Plant.

1933 Plymouth Model Bess Coupe,  pretty much stock, what you see is what you got in ’33.  For power a  6cyl / 70hp / 60 to 80 mph. three on the floor Tranni with Desoto OD/ chrome horns  upfront / amber fog lights /  heater / wipers and a nice fabric interior. Wide whites and baby moons all the way around really set this super ride off with its Dark Colored Body and Black Fenders. In 1933 this was Corporate Americas Traveling Businessman’s Fancy yet affordable Car. She sold new for $475 to $550 FOB Plant. This car came from the private collection of Bill Call’s automobiles in Clackamas, Oregon.

1935 Plymouth Convertible /w Rumble Seat again pretty much stock. For power a 6cyl / 70hp / Three on the floor Tranni / Hydraulic Brakes/ Fog Lights /Chrome horns/ Heater/ Wipers / Turn signals and Etched glass side wind windows. Beautiful wide whites with painted artillery spoke wheels and baby name moons on all four corners. This was a show car with its rich dark chocolate brown body and black fenders. In 1935 this was a limited edition quality convertible and sold new for approx. $575 FOB Plant.

Mike and Donna were both educators and both taught here in Oregon for over thirty years. They are into their thirty-sixth year of marriage and raised two fantastic boys Scott and Corey into manhood. Both Donna and Mike are active in the local CPPC of which Mike accomplished a two year run as club president in 2011. They recently completed their 14th year in the Cascade Pacific Plymouth Club of Clackamas, Oregon. Another point of interest is if you like the beautiful pictures that are showing off Mike and Donna’s cars here on these pages you might like to give Mike Bade a call as he taught photography and graphics in school for over thirty years and he specializes in classic car photography. His handle is “BADE CAR ARTISTRY” phone 503-206-4652.

We at R&R NW Publication would like to thank Mike and Donna for sharing their fantastic “Mo-Par Artistic  Automobile Wonders” with us and our thousands of readers in the Pacific Northwest  “All for the Love of Street Rods and Custom Classic Cars.”

Feature Car of the Month

This delicious 1933 Ford Model 40 Tudor Sedan is just about as perfect an example of what a World Class True Street Rod is all about. Featuring a real “Henry Ford” All Steel Body and Fenders, an all Ford Powered 351 Winsor Summit Ford Racing Package backed up with a Summit Street Fighter C-4 Auto-Tran with  shifter and topped off with a 9” Ford  rear-end. The proud owners of this Fabulous Ford are Larry and Brian Weber a father and son team that never let a speck of dust or a blade of grass stay on their immaculate little Ford very long. In addition to the all Ford sparkle above she sports a 4” TCI dropped front-end, power front Disc brakes, Vintage Air and a quality Ultra-Leather Silver White custom  interior that is to die for. The exterior color is also all Ford from a 2007 Ford GT40 “Tungsten Grey Metallic” finished off with the special touches from Mitch Kim’s Pin Stripping Creative Artistry. This gorgeous Rod is wearing 15” Chromed polished Billet Wheels on the Front with Knock offs and 17” on the rear creating just the right stance on this World Class Beauty. The Weber Brian is one of those Adobe Data Center Managers and the Weber Larry is a member of the Teaching Team at George Fox University in the College of Education. The last I heard Larry still makes his home in Damascus, Oregon while Brian lives in Bethany, Oregon.
We at R&R NW Publication are proud and honored to make the Weber Boys 1933 Ford World Class Street Rod our Featured Car of the Month for July 2015.

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.

endless-summer

Bits & Pieces

George-Leago

Last month we had a beautiful green ’52 Chevrolet Panel on the cover and we also had a new subscriber, George Leago of Olympia Washington, whose first issue was that June issue with a picture of that Panel. Well, it just so happened that George also owns one of those panels and he mailed in a picture of his beautiful Red Chevrolet Panel saying how please he was with the paper and the article and that he wanted to share this picture of his panel with Dale, the owner of the green one.

Thanks George, we’re pleased to put your picture in this brand new column called “Bits and Pieces.” We plan to include little tidbits that come our way from wherever each month. It might include pictures of readers rides or “?” So if you have something interesting, a picture of your car, a friends’ car, a funny photo from back when you had hair or whatever, that you’d like to share, please send it to us. We can’t guarantee it will make it into any particular issue or any issue at all, and we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to send it back to you, but if we have the space, we’ll do our best to share your material with all of our readers. This could be fun but, keep it clean, after all, this is a family paper. Thanks, Ed.

This came to us as a “What’s It” last month but we really already know what it is. Here is Chuck Cook’s description:  It’s a “slightly modified” 1963 Sunbeam Rapier, 2 dr. Hardtop. Little known kin to the Alpine and Tiger.
A rapier was 16th 17th and 18th Century edgeless sword made for thrusting.

The car was rescued from the juniper woods near LaPine, Oregon by my teenage son, who preceded to develop the skills and exercise the ambition necessary to create the machine you see before you, using home built and hand-me-down parts over a 5 year time span.
It is licensed and driven on the streets a lot.  It’s powered by a Ford 429/C-6 saved from a 69 Mercury Grand Marquis that was heading to a nearby metal recycling crusher. Chuck Cook, Proud Dad.

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.

What’s It?

Steve-Veltmans-Dohickey

Here is another entry for the “What’s It” category. Steve Veltman, who contributes great stories every month took a couple pictures of an unusual car on a used car lot in Reno, Nevada.  Now these were taken some time in the latter part of the previous century, hence his buddy, Tom Roper’s, haircut and clothing style, so it may be quite difficult to identify this particular creation. The lot was closed that day, so no one to ask, ‘what is that thing’ and of course no name plate was visible. Maybe one of you recognize it, built it, own it now and can tell us what it is and what it’s made of. Email us @ roddinracinnw@gmail.com or send us a note to Roddin’ & Racin’ NorthWest, 17273 S. Steiner Rd. Beavercreek, OR. 97004.

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!!