NOT GOOD FOR GEARHEADS
Here is a topic that’s often discussed by many people in the car hobby. The one about transplanting a later model engine, transmission, differential, suspension, steering or brakes in an old car. This discussion sometimes goes like, “I’m going to put an LS based engine and an overdrive transmission, in my blah blah blah.” Speaking from experience, one then starts seeking out info from others on how to do this transplant. Seeking out books, publications and articles in a myriad of magazines is also a source for accomplishing this goal. I’ve looked and read and talked to many people about how my goal could be met, as have many of my friends.
One thing that seems constant is how, when talked about, it’s always an ‘easy’ ‘simple’ one or two step process. Well, some of that is right, the process part. I’m here to tell you the easy part or the simple part usually ain’t. And the “all you gotta do is…” is never ALL YOU GOTTA DO. Neither is the, “you only need one of…!” It just isn’t true.
It’s unfortunate that is no “Best” way to make one of the “updates” easy. I read maybe three or four “How too…” books on what parts to buy, what parts work together and what don’t. Why this way or that is “Best.” And still I’m frustrated at every turn. Here is an example. One book said that “this” pan was the best fit and would work with my engine transplant into my 55 Chev. Well it fits alright but the sump is too low, a couple inches below the front frame cross member. Of course I wanted the car to be lower than stock so I bought dropped spindles, new springs etc. to use with my new tubular “A’ arms, new and improved power steering gear box blah blah blah. It all seemed to fit together and it looked great when I assembled the frame but then when I set the engine in on the new motor mount brackets and tried to install my new headers, the one on the right side of the car fit and cleared everything well but the driver’s side header wouldn’t clear the steering gear box. More research revealed the dreaded answer, “Oh, those headers won’t work with that application, you need to use…”
I’ve discussed this situation almost at every turn with many of friends. We have all experienced a similar thing. Bob installed and uninstalled his engine and trans maybe 30 or 40 times, (I’m exaggerating, it was only 29) but you get the idea.
My friend Jeff and I were narrowing and building Ford 9” differentials at the same time and the same was true in that process. Ford 9 inch diffs are offset to one side and have to be centered in a Chevy to keep the driveshaft in the proper relationship with the engine/transmission. This is in addition to making sure you have the correct pinion angle. My son was putting a 400 small block in his pickup that had had a small block in it already. He experienced difficulty with fitment issue too. He was exasperated (and tired) when he said, “I just want it to go back together with ease, I’m tired of fighting every step. I don’t understand why it won’t work…” I tried to calm him frustration by explaining that when we get these bright ideas to “fix” our cars and trucks we are actually re-engineering a machine. Unfortunately we don’t have the knowledge that trained engineers have or the resources, so our process is simply trial and error, or my case, error and error.
It’s almost funny when I think about how many parts I’ve bought only to find out “that won’t work with this” or “that only fits if you also use one of those.” I’m sure that many of you can relate to this situation. You know though, it’s really all part of the fun. I like the challenge of figuring out how to do things I’ve never done before. I get a sense of accomplishment when I succeed. I think that’s one of the reasons we mess with this car hobby.
Every January for quite a while now, the NWDRA has held a swap meet at the Clark County Event Center. This year the swap meet was bigger than in recent years but I like going to this meet because it’s smallish and I usually find good deals on good stuff.
Last year I ran across a Ford 8’ differential center section that looked to be brand new/rebuilt for a decent price. I didn’t need it but my friend Jim wanted one. He was in Turlock California at a swap meet there, so I called him and told him about what I found and he said he wanted it, so I bought it. He was pleased with the find when he saw it and it’s now in the Model A his is building.
I don’t know yet what the date for next year’s meet is but stay tuned to the “Coming Events” page in this paper as January approaches and plan to attend.
A Model “T” Ride for all Seasons
1927 Model “T” 2 dr sedan. She sports a 289 cubic inch modified V8 for power, with a top loader 4 speed stick tranny on the floor for fun. A tricked out ’67 Corvette C2 rear-end with a carbon fiber mono spring. Delicious brown leather bucket seats up front and a 25 gallon petrol tank hidden under that plush rear seat. Custom electro gauges were added to the dash and she features a Mustang II front-end with disc brakes on all four corners. 18″ tires and custom wheels in the back and 16” up front make for a down the road stance.
I’m told by the owner Mr. Steven K. Bee that the color on this “T” is from a Model “A” and carries a handle of Bronson Yellow on the body and Seal Brown on the fenders. She wears that all-steel roof with class and a Model “A” visor over the front windshield finishes off this ride with a unique look. A brassy and classy Model ”T” ride for all seasons, rain or shine, Steve brings her out.
Attending Benson Tech High school back in the early sixties Mr. Bee didn’t take the opportunity to participate in any auto shop programs, but he did excel in the Graphic Arts department. He’s a true Oregonian, born here in Portland some 70 years ago. Steve went on to use his graphic arts background spending most of his adult work history with the Home Builders Association and with Bridgetown Printing Company. He and his wife Joyce make their home out in the Sandy area, where Steve not only built a fantastic ’27 Model “T” boy toy, but he and his lovely wife also built a beautiful 3,000 square foot retirement home.
In one of his out buildings is a work in progress. His very first car he stole for $60 back in high school, and it’s almost ready for a paint job, after the body off rebuild. Watch for a future story in R&R NW on Steve’s 1931 Model “A” Ford 2 dr. sedan.
Steve is an active member in good standing, with the “Kool Guys Hot Rod Breakfast” meeting every friday morning around 8 a.m. in Carver at the Hangar Restaurant. In addition Steve has been instrumental in helping start the new wednesday “Hump-Day Hot Rods Breakfast” at the Eagle Creek Saloon in Eagle Creek, Oregon. You can see him and his ’27 “T” at both, come rain or come shine. We at R&R NW Publication are excited to make this Model “T” our featured car of the Month for March 2016.
The 2015 “Angels on Wheels Toy Run”
Once again the Multnomah Hot Rod Council / Portland Roadster Show and the 19 local street rod and custom car clubs that make up the roster of the MHRC, all participated in the 5th annual Angels on Wheels Christmas Toy Run, all for the kids at Legacy Emanuel/Randall Children’s Hospital on December 12th. A week earlier on December 5th several custom car and bike clubs from the Portland and Vancouver area did their 2015 Kids Toy Run at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and at the Shriners Hospital up on the hill at OHSU.
In addition to the 19 MHRC car clubs that participated in the Angels on Wheels Toy Run, the well-known Mustang Wranglers car club from the Portland area was on hand with hundreds of gifts and are always big supporters. There were three other fantastic car clubs that drove all the way to Portland from the Oregon and Washington coasts to help out. A special thank you and recognition to the Beach Barons Car Club from Longbeach, the Mid-Night Cruzers from the Aberdeen area, and to the Lower Columbia Classics Car Club from Astoria for their generous gifts of toys and their gifts of time and expense to travel all that way for kids at Randell Children’s Hospital.
Just how many toys? Randall Children’s Hospital Director Sally Kirchoff and MHRC chairperson Bryan Fakler estimated, at last count, over 10,000 gifts of toys in every shape, size and color were all brought in time to distribute to hundreds of children at the hospital on Christmas, plus thousands of additional toys for distribution throughout the year. An estimated retail cost of all these toys is over $80,000.
Thanks to all the participating retailers for their generous free gift offerings plus all the stores that participated with their biggest discounts ever.
The people that make up these 19 car clubs are the same special individuals that put on the world class Portland Roadster Show. This year’s show promises to be the biggest and best ever, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the PRS. It is scheduled for March 18-20 at the Portland Expo Center. Yes, the tradition continues with over 300 of the hottest street rods, custom cars, trucks, bikes, and much, much more. Mark your calendar for one of those special attractions that’s coming to the PRS, including a full concert on stage Saturday night by Johnnie Limbo and the Lug Nuts. The MHRC is inviting everyone that’s coming to the concert to join our year-round Angels on Wheels Toy Drive and donate a new toy gift for the kids at Randell Children’s Hospital.
Additional scheduled guests for you to meet and greet are world class car builder and TV personality Chip Foose, Dave Kindig, John D’Agostino and Gene Winfield. You’re all invited to the 60th Portland Roadster Show, where there’s always plenty of parking at the Portland Expo Center.
The staff here at R&R NW Publication would like to thank the MHRC and The Portland Roadster Show and all of the car and bike clubs and hundreds of charitable minded individuals that took part in all of the wonderful toy drives throughout Oregon and Washington over these past many years. Your all to be complimented and congratulated for not only making a lot of little kids mighty happy at Christmas time and through-out the year, but you have given a thumbs up to your individual car and bike clubs image for a positive and charitable job well done. Hope to see all of you at the show.
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.
The one common denominator that the owners of these three gorgeous classic custom cars have is: they both belong to the Multnomah Hot Rod Council and they both have a love for street rods and classic custom cars, trucks and bikes.
The 1965 CORVETTE STING RAY is an all original matching numbers car. For power, it has a 327 CI L79 350 HP / Muncie close ratio 4 speed tranny / 353 Posi-traction rear w/heavy duty sway bars front & rear / power steering / power antenna / factory hardtop / telescoping steering column / leather seats / teak wood steering wheel. The proud owner, Mike Itel from Scappoose, Oregon would like to recognize Paul & Mickey at Gray’s Automotive for their balancing and blueprinting, Steve Heuer Customs, for the fantastic red finish, plus several other additions to the rebuild, the chrome work by Cruisin’ Classics and the interior by Jerry’s Auto Upholstery.
THE 1971 CORVETTE, “Autumn Leaves,” will be appearing at the 60th anniversary of the Portland Roadster Show. You will have an opportunity to come and see this fantastic work of creative artistic automobile transformation in person at the show and check out all the specs on this ’71 work of art, from proud owner and Corvette lover Mr. Mike Itel. This car will “leave” you spellbound.
Mike is a true Oregonian country boy, born and raised on a farm down around Woodburn. He attended Portland Community College and then on to Portland State University studying Civil Engineering. Mike worked for the Port of Portland for 40 years and is now enjoying a well-earned retirement. He joined the MHRC in 1973 as a member of the Columbia Corvette Club. For the past five years Mike has held the office of president of the Multnomah Hot Rod Council. He is also an active member of the Northwest Corvette Association, The Road Knights and the Pharaohs Street Rodders car clubs. Mike and his wife Anne have made their home in the Scappoose area for the past twenty years and their daughter is a student at OSU.
THE 1955 CHEVY OLD SCHOOL RESTO-MOD 150 Center Post / She’s Running a ZZ3 350 ci 375 hp for power, turbo 400 tranny, Nova rear-end w/Camaro clip. It’s been de-chromed and features a shaved nose and rear-deck with a Nomad rear bumper. 18” front and 20” rear tires with Coys rims, make this flawless all black-beauty second to none in its class. David Jothen is the proud owner and builder of this delicious ’55 Chevy that is a rolling dedication to his father Jack, from whom he drew his inspiration. David is the immediate past president of the Pharaohs Street Rodders and has been a member of the MHRC since 1979, as a member of the Trans Am Club of Oregon, the Inimini Truckers Club, the NW Lowriders and now the Pharaohs. David has been the official photographer for the Portland Roadster Show for the past four years. He has also been the co-producer of the show for the past two years. David and his wife Diane and their two loyal pets Loki & Winnie live in the Damascus area. David attended Mt Hood CC and the U of O, receiving degrees in Media/Communications. He is also a licensed commercial and residential realtor and recently earned his insurance broker license, specializing in classic and collector cars.
Yes the tradition continues at the 60th anniversary of the Portland Roadster Show, held at the Portland Expo Center come March 18th, 19th & 20th. Another thing these three unique and gorgeous classic cars have in common: they are all scheduled to be in the show where the cars are always the stars at The Portland Roadster Show.
We at R&R NW Publication are honored and pleased to recognize the scores of volunteer individuals that are active members of the MHRC and are dedicated to making the Portland Roadster Show one of the premier street rod and classic custom car, truck and bike shows in the whole country.
February 6th was the date for the first Petersen Collector Car Auction of 2016. It was held in Salem at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in the Jackman-Long Building. What a great showing of consigned cars and trucks as well as memorabilia. There was also a great showing of bidders too.
The bidding started off with a flurry with the memorabilia crossing the block. A small amount of signs, clocks, gas station air stations and pumps. All of these were in new/restored condition and a great addition to anyone’s TV room or “Man Cave.”
There was a great turnout of potential bidders and they came to buy. The auction had a 60% sell through and the prices were respectable. The quality of the vehicles was very good and I think that both the sellers and the buyer went home happy.
I raised my hand to bid on a car just as the auctioneer hammered it sold and I missed it. I shouldn’t have hesitated, but that’s the way it goes.
If you’re looking to sell your special interest car or truck your Hot Rod or collector car, plan ahead and consign early for the next Petersen Collector Car Auction, July 9th at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Roseburg. I’ll see you there. Petersen Collector Car-541-689-6824.
Fifteen years before the first Indy car race at Portland International Raceway, Seattle hosted an event called The Dan Gurney 200.
This came about through the efforts of a man named William Doner, then newly hired General Manager of S.I.R. Doner became acquainted with Gurney years earlier while acting as Sports Editor for a newspaper published in Gurney’s hometown (Costa Mesa, CA). Doner was a huge fan and the pair became friends. Once given the opportunity to run a racetrack, Doner jumped at the chance to bring the USAC Championship Cars to the Pacific Northwest.
The year was 1969 and the profile of professional auto racing looked very different than it does today. Nationally, Indy car racing was more popular than NASCAR and USAC itself was much more diverse. The Indy car series consisted of twenty four events. There were races on ovals and road courses. There were races on dirt tracks in which upright, front engined cars competed. Even the Pikes Peak hill climb was included in the schedule and awarded points toward the championship. Doner had taken a chance booking his race in late October but in all fairness, he probably didn’t have a choice. The season began on March 30th in Arizona and concluded at Riverside (So. CA) on December 7th.
In all, twenty two cars arrived to do battle on the 2¼ mile road course. A.J. Foyt and Gordon Johncock had taken a pass but most of the big names were there. Of particular interest to spectators, many of the entries had a Northwest connection. Jerry Grant, who had cut his teeth racing sporty cars at S.I.R., was there on behalf of Webster Racing. Oregonian Art Pollard was there piloting a stock block Plymouth powered Gerhardt for Andy Granatelli. “Barefoot” Bob Gregg had procured a Portland built Vollstedt and dropped in a Chevrolet. Max Dudley hailing from nearby Auburn, WA wasn’t quick enough to make the show at Indy but was assured a starting berth here. Bardahl Manufacturing of Seattle had supported Indy car racing for twenty years. They finally had a race in their own backyard and 1968 Indy winner Bobby Unser was their chauffeur. If there was a dark horse in the field however, it had to be Rolla Vollstedt’s current entry with underrated John Cannon at the controls. Cannon was the current track record holder and in fact, had proven his prowess at foul weather racing the year prior at Laguna Seca. In a veritable downpour, amidst a field of international stars, Cannon had rocketed from mid-pack to a convincing win.
#6 A.J. Foyt salutes race winner Mario Andretti after his 1969 Indy victory. The pair qualified first and second fastest and battled for the win until Foyt pit to replace his turbocharger. (Jay Koch Collection)
The weatherman cooperated on Saturday during qualifications. First defending Indy champion and point leader, Mario Andretti shattered Cannon’s track record. Andretti, also racing for Granatelli, was driving the same Brawner Hawk he’d used to win four other races so far that season. Next Albuquerque’s Al Unser bested Andretti’s mark in a Lola Ford entered by Parnelli Jones. Finally in storybook fashion, the race’s namesake Gurney cut the quickest lap at 1:14.1 and garnered the pole position. Much to his credit, Gurney drove a car of his own design and manufacture- an Eagle/Westlake Ford. Bobby Unser qualified fifth in the Bardahl entry, Cannon was seventh, Grant was tenth, Pollard was fourteenth, Dudley was sixteenth and Gregg would tag the field after experiencing engine problems.
Sunday’s race was held in two 100 mile heats. Heat one started in the dry but it didn’t hold for long. Andretti blasted away from Gurney and led flag to flag over Al Unser. Gurney finished third one lap down ahead of a surprising Sam Posey in a third Granatelli entry. Interestingly Posey’s mount was a 4WD Lotus formerly powered by a turbine engine (now Plymouth). Cannon was fifth, Dudley tenth, Gregg rebounded for eleventh, Grant nine laps off the pace in thirteenth. Both Bobby Unser and Pollard crashed out. One writer report that everyone got off course at least once! I believe that everyone starting with Gurney, probably did.
For the second heat Andretti elected to stay on slick tires while Al Unser started on treads. After the flag dropped and the rain returned, Unser passed Andretti and won by a sixty six second margin. Unser was awarded with the overall win (for some unknown reason) and due to another stellar drive in round two, Posey was credited with third (he would comment years later that his performance in the Gurney 200 was perhaps the best drive of his career). Gurney himself wound up with fourth place money, after hasty repairs Bobby Unser was fifth.
At the press conference that followed the race, runner up Andretti was asked about their decision not to start the second heat on rain tires. “After you win a race you get over confident,” he shrugged. “You are afraid to make any changes.” In the big scheme of things, it didn’t really matter. Mathematically Andretti already had the ’69 Championship won- even with two events remaining.
After the races Doner announced that he was he was going to try to reschedule “The Gurney” for mid-summer in 1970…but it didn’t happen. Unfortunately sometimes all you get is one shot.
The phrase “Swap Meet,” gets the brain thinking. What do I need/want? What new project can I find? Anything else I need for my current project?
The Albany Indoor Swap Meet has been going on since 1978. At first it was held at the Linn County Fairground, just west of I-5, where Costco is located now. Nineteen years later, the swap meet relocated to the “new” Linn County Expo Center and has been going strong ever since. For those who haven’t been there before, it is one of the largest swap meets in the State of Oregon. Four large buildings plus many outdoor stalls. At the Albany Swap Meet you can find just about anything from turnkey cars, rusty sheet metal, engines, carbs, to wheels and tires. Anything you need to get started on a project or finish the one you have.
When I first started my hot rod project, I went to several swap meets to gather up parts and pieces for my car. This included the Albany Indoor Swap Meet. I usually found something that I needed and continue to find things I can use. Even on the rare occasion I don’t find anything, it is great just to look around shoot the bull with friends.
Martin Harding is one the original members of the Enduring A’s Chapter MAFCA. He and the group have been organizing and running the swap meet since day one. Along with the Enduring A’s, the Linn County Sheriff’s Posse, Linn County Sheriffs Reserve and the Linn County search and Rescue donate their time to make sure the swap meet goes smoothly. This is a fundraiser that is put on by the Enduring A’s and is the only one they do annually. The money is designated to help the Linn County Sheriff’s Reserve, the Posse and Search and Rescue, as well as scholarships to LBCC Auto Program and various other charities.
If you plan on attending the 2016 Albany Indoor Swap Meet, plan on coming early. The meet is usually the 3rd Saturday in November, with the gates opening at 8am and the parking is FREE. For any questions or information call 541-928-1218 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org
Toward the end of the 2015 car show/cruise-in season Trick ‘n Racy Car Club held their 6th Annual Cruise to Historic Downtown Oregon City.
The weather couldn’t have been better with warm sun and a light breeze, it was just a beautiful day. The turn-out was terrific as well, with nearly 400 cars for the second year in a row.
The Club teams up with the Downtown Oregon City Association to put this show together annually and it just seems to be getting bigger and better every year.
Just in case you didn’t know… the “Historic” part of the title relates to the fact that Oregon City was the first Capital of the Oregon Territory back in the 1800s, before Oregon became a State in 1859. Which also makes Oregon City an old town. The buildings and streets have changed over the years but are still layed out the same as they were 150 years ago. It’s a quaint little downtown area and it works out great for an open air car show.
Incedently, for two years in a row the show has filled up entirely and some potential entrants had to be turned away. The show in 2016 will be held Saturday, September 17th. The organizers have decided to expand the car display area. All the details haven’t been worked out but they are working on plans to have enough room for as many as 800 cars and more vendor booths. Mark this one on your must go to list.