If you happened to find yourself passing through town on the second Saturday of August and suddenly ended up hip deep In what appeared to be a hornet’s nest of hot rods, you might have felt some concern for your health and welfare—that is, if you were not a GearHead. After all, Hollywood had once made horror films about hot rods taking over a town!
Car guys and gals from all around know that this is the Gresham, OR. Rockin’ Around The Block Annual Cruise spectacular! This is the day that the Northwest Motorsports Association takes over downtown Gresham and proceeds to line Main Street with all manner of muscle and hardcore hot rods.
And not to worry Martha. This horde runs a clean operation… Well, there was that one year… You see, there was this thing called the “Brick It.” And well – there was this T-Bird that caught fire! It seems the engine blew up and spread fire to all of the plastic on the car which proceeded to burn and burn and could not be put out. Ultimately the fire department had to be called in. But then that is another story.
The fact is, the NWMA has been producing this event for seventeen years running with the blessing of the entire downtown district. This event is a fundraiser for the Mount Hood Community College automotive technology program. During that time it has raised over $150,000 for scholarships.
Long time Street magic car club member, Scott sayre has been working this event since its inception. We asked him what stood out in this year’s show? Not surprisingly his answer was – a car. Specifically it was a ‘66 Nova out of Schroeder Speed and Custom speed shop In Troutdale, OR. This car has been pulling down multiple trophies and wins since it was recently introduced to the car world. It did it at the Portland Roadster Show and at this event as well.
There really was much more going on at this spectacular event than we can mention in these pages. This is a huge draw for the Gresham Chamber of Commerce. Sponsor, Jon Weston introduced a really bitchin’ old ‘54 Fire Engine that would have come in handy years ago (see above).
The show is heavily supported by a number or recurring sponsors. Not only are all the streets and lots throughout the core downtown area filled with Detroit iron but the Farmers Market fills up adjacent streets. All together it adds up to throngs of people jamming the streets and sidewalks throughout the day.
Speaking of throngs – we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Gresham Bed Races. What are those… uh, watch the vid. Actually, this has been part of the tradition. On Friday evening, the locals line the sidewalks on Main Street to witness those crazy bed contraptions that local businesses and organizations have built. Teams push them down the impromptu dragstrip set up on the closed down street. This year’s competition was mostly dominated by Tae Kwon Do fighters. Show promoter, Vern Ferris was happy to include a raffle this year for wounded veterans. Two lucky winners went home with some really bitchin’, little miniature electric KIA cars donated by Show sponsor Westin Buick Kia GMC. Then there were the hundred or so trophies given out to the deserving winners.
Ron Ruedi and the Hurricanes rocked out throughout the afternoon on their Main Street stage right up until the Main Street Cruise closed out the event that evening.
It was a great day for a car cruise And this one did not disappoint. The weather was nice and mild and the whole town was filled with hundreds of hot rods all throughout the day. Were you there? Let us know what you think.
The year is 1936 in a small community in Southern California where a young couple are welcoming a brand new baby boy into the Marval family. They named this little guy Johnny. Now a few miles away and one year later in Pomona, California a new baby girl is being welcomed into her family and they name her JoAnn. The interesting facts of the times are Johnny and JoAnn met, fell in love and married in 1959 and together they have created some Marvalous Custom Cars and Street Rods of World Class dimension. We at R&R NW Publication are excited to bring you five of Mr. & Mrs. Marval’s sweetheart rides.
JoAnn Marval has had an interesting ride along the way with her talented husband John. Out of high school and away to Santa Ana College where John did his thing in the music department at the same time built a few street rods and custom cars. His love of cars almost outlived the love of music until Mr. Marval met a young couple by the name Sonny & Cher, who just happen to need a back-up bass player. So from about 1962 to the early seventies John found himself working for not only Sonny & Cher but for the likes of Ike & Tina Turner, as well as the Righteous Brothers. Wow, this is some pretty good company Mr. Marval was creating music with. John and JoAnn relocated from Southern Cal. to Southern Oregon in the mid-seventies so one might say that most of these custom car creative wonders were built by Oregonians. John and JoAnn have been active members of the Rogue Valley Street Rods for the past ten years.
1967 Chev SS/RS Camaro Convertible with a 350 for power and a 350 turbo trans, 12 bolt rear end. BF Goodrich on all four corners with rally ’67 wheels and hubs. This black-on-black beauty is flawless inside and out. A real crowd pleaser wherever she goes.
1958 Chev Impala hard top with a 348 ci for power and a 3 speed stick transmission. Another Black Beauty with a white top and pretty much everything else is stock, what you see is what you get. A mighty classic ride for a daily driver.
1952 Chev two door hard-top with a GMC inline 6 running a stock trans and rear-end. She has a delicious powder blue body with a white top and a gorgeous tuck and roll white and blue interior put together down in T.J. Mexico.
1919 Ford Model “T” Center Door. This is a world class build and it took over ten years to complete this unbelievable artistic work of automobile wonder. Every inch of this car was completely refinished. She sports a 302 Ford for power with a C-4 auto trans and fully tricked out and polished Jaguar rear end. Front end suspension is by Kugel. Fabrication and Dakota Digital by Ron Smith. The color on this million dollar creation is “toad green” with graphics by Tommy Carr and pin striping by Tippett. Interior is a creamy white color in rich leather by Jerry’s Upholstery. BF Goodrich tires on all four with polished wheels by Vintques. This is truly one of the world’s most beautiful street rods and custom car creations. She has won over eighty First Place and Best of Show awards all over the West Coast since her debut in 2006 at the Rogue Valley Street Rod Southern Oregon Rod & Custom Show in Central Point Oregon.
1928 Ford Model A Roadster. A persistent six year build time to complete this one special little ride. A tricked out ’56 Buick Nail Head for power with a 4 speed Saginaw trans and an early Ford Billet Quick Change by Winters Rear-end. The front end is by Kugel and the track nose custom work from John Petty. Total frame, front and rear fabrication by Ron Smith. A delicious black leather interior and top by Gary Merriman. The color on this award winner is Pearl Tangerine, painted by Bill Tyler and she really comes alive when the show lights hit it. She sports BF Goodrich tires with the 10” Halibrand wheels on the rear and the 10 spoke polished up front add to the excitement on this unbelievable roadster. She has won her share of Best of Show and First Place Awards in the past three years.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. John Marval about ten years ago down in Grants Pass at a week–long festival and car show and he is a true first class gentleman in the world of street rodders and custom car enthusiasts. I can see how and why Sonny and Cher and the Righteous Bros. back in their day took a liking to our John Marval. From the time he spent in the US Army as a singer and musician and then off to Korea as a radio operator, John will be the first to admit his life finally got going with a real future after he met his one and only JoAnn. Together they have two fantastic sons that have grown to adulthood and they too love and enjoy the automobile artistic wonders that Dad and Mom have created over the years. They both are very proud of their beautiful parents and are always very helpful, now that Mom and Dad are getting into those twilight years in age.
We at R&R NW Publication would like to thank both of you for sharing your wonderful artistic automobile creations with our thousands of readers all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond. “All for the Love of Street Rods and Custom Classic Cars.”
Oh Yes! One more thing Mr. Marvalous, Happy 79th Birthday back on August 10th and a special Happy 78th to you Mrs. Marvalous, on your upcoming birthday.
June’s Rose City Round Up held at Jubitz Truck Stop is the kind of event that you half expect to see John Milner at. You know, the guy that drove the yellow ’32 in American Graffiti? It’s easy to tell that most of the attendees live the hot rod lifestyle as opposed to “dressing up” for the occasion. This isn’t the poodle skirt set, it’s more the Bettie Page crowd—Great for people watching. But of course, the real stars of this gathering are the cars themselves. It’s an eclectic mix of showroom classics, rat rods, gassers, low riders and kustoms. Friday night’s special attractions were the flame throwers and a “Cacklefest” featuring about a half dozen of the gassers- cool beans. Saturday’s main event was the awards presentation in which all of the attending car clubs passed out handmade trophies to their favorite vehicles on display. Kurt West’s ’32 Ford was the big winner of the weekend, capturing multiple prizes but “J.P.’s” ’51 Chevy garnered Best in Show. Joyce Johnson (aka The Hot Rod Lady) recognized other women that share her passion, “The ones with grease under their fingernails and work on their own stuff.” Her son “Bub” who chaired this year’s meet was raised around hot rods and is now teaching his son about hot rod culture. “It is so much more than a car show,” explained Bub. “It is family.” On top of all else, it’s for a good cause. Each year the Round Up donates their proceeds to a local charity. This year they selected The Ronald McDonald house. So mark your calendar for next year’s event. And if you happen to run into John Milner there, tell him that Bob Falfa’s looking for him!
The eighth annual Father’s Day Car Show in Albany, Oregon was held Sunday, June 21st in North Albany Shopping Center.
The show was held to benefit the ABC House, a facility that helps children who are going through emotional and physical stressors, as well as foster children. It is all about the children.
Brian Weinhold has organized the show for the eight years it has been held. The first year we only had about 40 cars, growing to an average of 150 cars now. Brian himself is a car guy, driving a 1969 Firebird.
A great assortment of vehicles are shown at the car show. Everything from semi trucks, full customs to all-original cars as well as a VW camper van.
A special thank you to Brian’s wife, Chrisy, and friend Brian Hill for all their help with the show. Also a special thanks goes out to all the sponsors, especially McDonald Industry.
Brian says, “this show is for the kids.” He hopes it will continue for a long time to come.
Lyn St. James is a late bloomer in terms of being a professional race car driver. At the age of twenty seven she strapped into her converted street car (a Ford Pinto) for the first time at an obscure road course in south Florida. All was going well until the leader approached to lap her. “It was like someone had jumped out of a dark closet and yelled: Boo!” she recalls in her book. She jumped and lost control, spinning her racer off course and into a swamp. Fortunately she had the presence of mind to bail out… because almost immediately, the Pinto began to take on water. By the time her race had ended, the Pinto had completely disappeared from view.
A rather inauspicious debut. Who would have guessed that in eighteen years, this same woman would make her debut at Indianapolis? When the leaders approached on that day she held her line because by then, she was a seasoned professional. She soldiered on to an eleventh place finish and garnered Rookie of the Year honors. She is the only woman in history to do so.
Most people know Lyn St. James as the second woman to qualify for the Indy 500 but in her life she has accomplished so much more. All tolled she qualified and raced in seven Indy 500’s, finally hanging up her helmet at age fifty four. What most people don’t realize is that she was a winner in world class endurance racing. Teamed with other professionals, St. James won races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road America. Additionally she holds thirty one national and international closed course speed records. What she is most proud of however, is the work she has done to promote other women in motorsports.
Today she is acting as Grand Marshall of the historic car races at Portland International Raceway. She still races on occasion and was supposed to have a ride in the Trans Am class, unfortunately that deal fell apart. This is better for us because now we have her undivided attention. I am here today with my daughter and our friend Ariel Biggs. Both of these twenty year olds are pursuing careers in motorsports; my daughter on the marketing/management side of things, Biggs as a driver and eventual team owner. They are giddy about the prospect of sitting down with a racing legend. Best of all, St. James seems equally enthusiastic about talking with them.
The girls discussed routes to success in what is still a male dominated industry. How to change the existing demographics? St. James suggested that it all begins with parents exposing their daughters to motorsports at a young age; just as readily as they would their sons.
They talked about finding and securing sponsorships. St. James reminded them that it’s not about you and why you need financial backing. It’s about what you’re going to do to promote a sponsor’s product or service.
They talked about the mechanical aspects of the sport. St. James admitted that she isn’t a mechanic but learned enough about race cars to be able to communicate with her crew. You need to speak the same language. The fact that Biggs does her own setups and likes working on the race car, puts her ahead of the curve.
They discussed the importance of staying fit and St. James even demonstrated part of her stretching regiment.
Finally, St. James reminded the girls not to become discouraged. They need to be diligent in pursuit of their goals. If they fall off the horse, they need to climb right back on. Even if their horse ends up in the bottom of a swamp, they can’t give up.
Flashing back to her debut, St. James and her husband had to wait until all of the races had concluded before they could retrieve their Pinto from the swamp. They hauled it home and stayed up all night cleaning and drying. St. James was especially motivated to get her Pinto back on the road. She needed to drive it to work on Monday.
Building a better “Mouse Trap” has always been a dream of fabricators, inventors, etc. The old spring loaded mouse trap does its job and serves its purpose alright but the question has always been, “What if I could build a better one?” I think the saying goes “Build a better mouse trap and the world would beat a path to my door…” or something along those lines.
I know that none of you have ever put an exhaust system together on your pride and joy only to have it leak, sag, fall off etc. The old trusty ‘mouse trap,’ ‘er exhaust clamp we’ve all used serves its purpose but it isn’t ideal. The alternative is to weld the exhaust system up to prevent leaks which creates other problems like, what if you need to take it off the car? You end up cutting it apart to remove it and then what? Build a new one, weld it back together?
Have you ever had your brand new headers leak at the collector after only a few days? How about the bolts vibrating loose? How about scraping the collector flange on a speed bump or driveway, fumbled with the bolts, washers, and nuts to get a tri-bolt collector bolted together? No matter which way you turn that collector flange there is always going to be one corner either hanging down or it will be up on top making it difficult to tighten up those three bolts evenly to prevent leaks.
There is also the “ball and socket” type system out there but as the exhaust expands and contracts, it loosens, slips, and leaks like the old guillotine style clamp and they are expensive.
A little research by me revealed some interesting information about the Marman Flange clamping system. We’ve all heard of the Marx Brothers, but what I didn’t know what that Herbert “Zeppo” Marx had a company that made these clamps in the 1930’s. They were used in many different industries where leak proof clamped connections were needed. Currently, the space and aeronautical industries use them extensively, even for fuel line connections.
Steve at Get Bent Mandrel Bending had been dealing with all of the above for some time trying to solve these problems. He has invested a considerable amount of money in research and equipment and it looks as though all that work has paid off. With his New to GBE, rotary end former and special dies he had built for the machine, GBE can now make 3” Marman Flanges, in stainless steel or mild steel, to be used with “V Band” clamps to create a simple secure exhaust clamping system that helps prevent the age old leak problems mentioned above, and it looks cleaner is and more compact too. More new dies will be built in the near future to allow other diameter pipes.
You can buy these flanges w/clamps pre-made, for $64.00 per pair or you can have GBE build and install your new systems at their shop. Call 503-607-0443 with questions or to schedule an appointment.
What additional words could be used to describe a gentleman that has been featured in (last count) fourteen different custom car and street rod publications going back to 1970. That’s when he put Portland, Oregon on the map and won his first AMBR award for his delicious full fender 1923 Ford “T” Roadster Bucket. This completely street legal rod also features a set of usable running boards and a handmade hood creating a unique master piece of automobile wonder and design for “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” 1971.
The gentleman’s name is none other than Mr. Lonnie L. Gilbertson, Portland’s own Mr. Master Car Designer and Builder. Lonnie came into this World way back in 1945 about the time the second World War was winding down and that makes him a cool seventy years young this year. He attended St Peters Parochial School and then on to Benson Tech High, where he took a few Machine shop courses but didn’t sign up for auto shop classes. He was already bitten by the car bug as his father owned and operated Gilbertson Machine shop and Lonnie learned all about automobiles from his favorite teacher his Dad. Lonnie will be the first to admit his life really came alive back in 1966 when he met a young lady at Scotty’s Drive-In. Her name was Candy and she was the sweetest thing Lonnie ever met. She just happened to be an employ at Scotty’s the same time our old buddy Vern Farris (Mr. Chevy Guy) was the manager there. Now both Lonnie and Vern were both super car guys back then and not all the hot rods and Custom Cars ended up at the infamous Tick-Tock Drive–In, quite a few ended up at Scotty’s for their 15 cent french fries and 21 cent cheeseburgers. Now it took Lonnie a few years and quite a few orders of French fries but he finally convinced Candy that he already new how to build a World class award winning car and the only thing missing in his life was her. So they were married over 41 years ago and together raised a super son Brian and they are now blessed with three grandchildren and one great grandchild.
We at R&R NW Publications are honored to bring you several of Lonnie and Candy’s fantastic automobile artistic works of creative wonderment.
1923 Ford Model “T” Track Roadster running a later model Flathead for Power, Four on the floor tranny, 8” ford rear-end “Lonnie’s Speed Shop #5” Yellow in color only. This track “T” ran fast and fearless and won a lot more than she lost on the oval and sprint car tracks. This car was a special feature at the 2001 Portland Roaster Show where Lonnie and crew completely reassembled the car from ground –up at the three day show and drove it off from the show floor at the end. Lonnie was the builder and driver of this vintage ride for a good many years.
1923 Ford Model “T” Roadster Bucket featuring a 327 Chevy updated with Moon Intake Manifold and four Weber 48 IDA carbs, Gilbertson fabricated set of headers that terminate just in front of the rear wheels. Handmade rectangular tube frame with PSI dropped tube front axle on transverse leaf springs and homemade hubs and discs gripped H&H calipers. A ’66 Jaguar XK-E rear set-up. To keep those Englewood-shod custom wheels under the stock-looking fenders, they had to lengthen the stub axle5/8”. Lonnie credits his brother Gary, with putting in many, many hours on this, the 22nd car to carry the title of “The World’s Most Beautiful Roadster” in 1971.
1932 Ford “Tudor.” This award winning two-tone gray beauty with gorgeous multi-colored graphics and a super sun-roof is one cool ride. She runs a 350 for power and a 350 turbo tranny with a 9” Ford rear end. Super wire wheels with mini baby moons on all four corners. A delicious all leather rolled and pleated interior, super custom digital gauges and vintage air for total comfort. She won first place trouphy’s all over the west coast from the PRS to Boise, Seattle, Spokane, Sacramento and the LA Roadster Show. This one also got Candy and Lonnie inducted into the Portland Roadster Show Hall of Fame in 1990.
1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe 427 Chevy small block built to maximize performance and reliability, starting with the highly developed induction system fined tuned through the wizardry of the late Rick Steele. 711 HP and 607 lb-ft of torque tractable power delivery. C5 Corvette suspension requiring Gilbertson to create a special platform capable of handling the torsional loads generated. A centralized, stand-alone rear cradle or pod to support the rear suspension including anti-rollbars and a six-speed transaxle. Transverse QA1 coilover shock absorbers.
This baby is built for speed while she sports a traditional look and providing all the latest high tech engineering performance. She’s both fast and agile on the highway or at a car show. She wears a flawless pearlized deep metallic blue paint and is modernized with a fantastic high tech interior, starting with a custom dash, Vintage Air Breezes, high-powered tunes and supreme comfort and every moment behind the Momo steering wheel is a memorable event. The sweet aroma of the all-leather two-tone blue and grey-silver upholstery makes this ride come alive on the large Billet Specialty rims on all four corners. This is one fine award winning world class custom built 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe that won her way into the Portland Roadster Show Hall of Fame for 2007.
1923 Ford Model “T” same as the 1971 Red “T” Roadster bucket covered above with brand new updated landscape mural paint job, beautiful new multi-colored leather interior and add on independent chrome suspension and Zenith wire wheels all the way around. What you get is a brand new build that once again is good enough to win the AMBR award for 1975. The new paint just shouts Oregon all the way. The “T” was so popular, winning the coveted AMBR Award twice. It now has a permanent place in the Peterson Hot Rod Museum in downtown L.A. Before heading south she won The Portland Roadster Show and was inducted into the Hall of Fame for 1999.
1932 Ford Model “B” Roadster sporting a 475 HP Chevy for power, 400 turbo tranny and an 8” Ford rear-end. Featuring a Buttercup Yellow exterior and a delicious black leather interior. She wears 850×15 on the rear and 550 x 15 up front with super red artillery wheels and baby moons on all four corners. This is Candy’s pride and joy ride and she’s a winner.
1975 VW Bug — She sports a 2332 cc mill with super heads and carbs. Producing 220 HP with a 091 6-rib bus tranny. Updated it with a new nosecone and lowered the shift shaft to make it more Bug friendly. They installed stiffer Sway-A-Way torsion bars to handle the drag race starts. A NHRA special custom rollbar was installed and the House of Kolor suggested a traditional black color with super flames on this ‘75 VW turned Volksrod. With a nickname like “The Fire Bug” the color scheme should fit perfectly. Dan Leisy was selected to handle the upholstery with one request— something in red and black leather. The painting of the Fire Bug was a group effort with Mitch Kim, Portland’s own world class pinstriper, Dick Pruitt teaming up to lay down the flame job and Duane Olofson and Rob Benko worked on the body and layed down the House of Kolor finish coats. This is one super fantastic creative work of art with the chopped cherry straight black body on this fender-less VW Bug. The chrome 18 & 20-inch Budnik wheels on all four corners really make this a one of a kind flamed out “Fire Bug” Rod come alive. She has won her share of trophies and is a real crowd pleaser wherever she goes.
Mr. Gilbertson has a work in progress that is called the “HIT and MISS” and the current plans on the books are to run this 1 ½ HP tractor engine powered pond-tune styled racing pod down at the Bonneville Salt Flats. He’s going for a special best of class time and speed record. Jamie Fox is scheduled to handle the helm of this experimental creation. Lonnie has another two or three finished and another work in progress that we are scheduling stories on for a follow up in a near future issue. We at R&R NW Publications would like to thank Lonnie and Candy for sharing their fantastic story with us and our thousands of readers. “All for the Love of Street Rods and Custom Classic Cars.”
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 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.
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.”