Hopefully if you are a Motorsports enthusiast you are well aware of the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016 , HR- 4715. This act introduced by US Representative Patrick McHenry (R- NC) is the flagship for our battle against the EPA’s attempt to keep us from modifying and racing modern cars.
In an age where monolithic mega-corporations are jumping into the car building business—including many unlikely ones like Google, we must be ever more vigilant. We now have massive corporations joining together in Partnerships to produce autonomous cars.
The most of us are aware of the man who loved his Tesla sports car and was cut in half when it drove itself underneath a big truck. In the future our government will be attempting to force these kinds of cars on all of us, effectively wresting from us the ability to even control our own cars as they drive down the street.
Consider this additional complication now showing up in our Millennials. We have a generation of humans that are gradually losing their grip strength because they do not do much more with their hands than hold a cellphone. It could be that in the future they will not even have enough strength to wrap their hands around the steering wheel. Can you imagine that?
The RPM Act is but one battle in the war against the EPA’s ever-increasing power grabs. If we win this one , you can be assured that the EPA will turn around and hit us from another direction. It is more important than ever that we all remain informed as we move on into our future.
Let me quote Eric Snyder from SEMA. “The unforeseen effects of the EPA’s position is a decline in track revenues which means less money to put back into improving amenities and safety. There will be reduced revenues for the surrounding communities including restaurants hotels and stations, gas stations and supermarkets.”
“… Companies that produce, sell and install Racing Parts and Equipment would be particularly hard hit by the EPA’s policy change which will result in Racing Products disappearing from the shelves of retailers and installers who are no longer willing to perform race vehicle modifications.”
To quote SEMA, “US Representative Richard Hudson (R- NC) is a racing fan and a passionate advocate for those who need the RPM Act to become law in order to provide certainty to their businesses.”
Representative Hudson says, “The EPA’s position on race modifications threatens the livelihood of folks all across the country… Even if I didn’t represent a whole lot of racing enthusiasts I would be outraged by the ridiculous government overreach.”
So GearHeads, if you have not yet gone over to SEMA.com and provided your information to send a letter to your Congress people, you should do so now. It’s on you. SEMA has made it easy for you. It will take all of a minute for you to fill in your information and they will do the hard part, sending letters off to your representatives for you. Okay?
It is somewhat challenging as the owner and builder of these three fantastic rides are just three of over 65 vehicles that he has registered in his name in the last 74 years. The challenge enters as he has in those 74 years also designed, developed properties and lots for over 50 quality family homes in Oregon and SW Washington. Between his masterpiece car creations and his award winning home construction, this guy must be dedicated to working twenty plus hours a day, seven days-a-week. It is our honor and pleasure to select Mr. Butch Chamness for September’s all for the love of classic custom cars and street rods he has built and all of the thousands of hours he has dedicated to those creations.
1956 Chevy 4 dr / 9 passenger Bel-Air Wagon.
For power she sports a ZZ4 V/8 w/375hp, 700 r-4 tranny and stock rear end. 8” Wilwood disc brakes, R&P power steering and power brakes. Dual Dyna Flow on the exhaust and classic dark tinted glass all the way around. To enhance the stance she runs 20” six spoke polished chrome wheels with TA tires on all four corners. The award winning interior is covered in delicious Ferrari leather and was stitched and created by Debi Zavada. The world class exterior is done in Atomic Orange and Apricot Pearl. Butch did about 95% of the total body off restoration on his trailered in basket case Chevy. Over 1800 hours were dedicated to reconstructing and fine tuning this limited edition nine passenger wagon to its current trophy winning completion. She sports the name “Bali-Hi” on her custom plate and she wins Best of Class, Best Paint, Best Interior, Best of Show Trophies all over the West Coast and beyond. This is truly an artistic work of recreated automotive wonder to behold.
1950 Ford 2 dr sedan
with a 454 ci Chev for power w/Turbo 400 auto tranny on the floor and 9” Ford rear-end. Custom Tilt & Telescoping wheel. Interior done in grey fabric w/wine colored hi-lighted piping creating a period look complete with tinted glass. She features Classic 14” Cragar super chromed wire wheels on all four corners.
The rich Wineberry color was finished by the owner and really makes this old classic come alive. Butch and his bride have owned this car for twenty-nine years and she’s truly a lasting member of the family as Mr. and Mrs. Chamness together completed 100% of the build on this classic, including the interior.
1936 Ford ½ ton P.U.
Ford power w/302ci w/ 3 speed on the floor tranny and an 8” Ford Mustang rear end. A 600 Edelbrock carb feeds the power plant which is all chromed and super polished for show. She features a set of stock headlights with baby scope turn signals added for safety alongside the hand-made, one off ’34 grill shell, making this ride stand alone on the show floor.
The top has been chopped a cool 4” and the rear-box shortened 9” creating a delicious street-rod truck in a new dimension. The box is finished in African Mahogany wood strips with custom rear box tailgate. She sports tinted glass and a set of Dyna-Flo mufflers giving attention to that 302 ci Ford. Special custom gauges highlight the dash. Go to girl, Debi Zavada’s created the custom wheat designed interior in Jaguar Leather and is stitched to perfection.
The exterior on this beauty is finished in Wheat-Gold on top half and Honduras Maroon on the lower body. World class pin striper Mitch Kim laid down the graphics. The perfect stance was created with 550/15” chromed out wheels selected for the front and 850x10w/15” for the rear.
This is one fine example of refining the lines on an exciting ’36 Ford Street Rod ½ ton Pick-Up. For the record Butch Chamness, who makes his home in the Portland area, has overseen the total building process, from beginning to end, of this award winning Street Rod on behalf of Mr. Rick Teeny. Butch continues to store, show and over- see the day to day handling of this project.
We at R & R NW Publication would like to thank Butch for allowing us to share his story on just three of the many classic custom cars and trucks that he has created over the years. They each are fantastic creations of automobile artistic wonder and we look forward to sharing future stories of his classic builds in progress.
Take a good look at this 67 Chevelle. Pretty nice huh?
One would assume this beauty would be leaving a restoration shop, not arriving at one—but this is exactly how the 67 appeared when it arrived at MetalWorks Classics in Eugene, Oregon for a radical transformation. You may be a bit confused, as was I when the sharp looking Chevelle arrived, but after a conversion with owner Jerry and the crew at Metalworks I got a good understanding of what lay ahead for the convertible, and why.
My first question was “what” would be getting changed on the Chevelle as it was obviously not in dire need of anything cosmetically, and its small block purred like a kitten when it drove into the shop. The answer was a laundry list of dream components including a brand new LS drive line. Now, the next question was “why tear into an already beautiful, and nice performing car?” For this answer we need to dig a bit into Jerry’s past and thought process.
Jerry has always had a passion for classic cars, and designing. In fact in high school he completely went through a 65 mustang along with his father, even designing and building his own custom console for it. The thought of another classic had always been on Jerry’s bucket list. After 25 years of dreaming about it, the timing was right, so Jerry began putting out feelers for the right car. In fact Jerry spent the next 2 years shopping for the perfect car, and actually purchased one at one point. Jerry thought another 65 mustang would be very cool and nostalgic, and located one at a classic car dealer, but the day the mustang was set to be shipped his way a salvaged title came into the equation, so Jerry decided to pass.
About this time Jerry had began to talk with Matt Powell at MetalWorks, and was also introduced to shop owner Jon Mannila. After a number of discussions Jerry was sold on the idea of a chevelle due to a number of reasons, but a full frame was the biggest factor. Jerry recalled test driving the 65 mustang, and even though it was very cool, and even smelled like his high school car the uni-body design was now less appealing, and the overall comfort and driveability of the chevelle felt like the right direction for his ultimate goal. Another 4 months were spent with everyone keeping an eye out for the right car until the beauty you see before you came into Jerry’s life.
Once the Chevelle was in Jerry’s garage Matt encouraged him to get out and drive it to find out what he really liked about it, and what he felt could be improved, or altered. Jerry spent the next 6 months enjoying the convertible, and received tons of compliments on it everywhere he went. Jerry contemplated how he could keep that feeling, but make the Chevelle even better regarding everything from not needing to run premium gas, to gauges that worked properly and accurately, to being reliable enough that his wife or kids could take it for long trips without a second thought of its dependability. In the end Jerry brought spreadsheets of information to MetalWorks and collaborated with Matt and Jon to arrive at a plan that would bring the chevelle to the next level. Jerry has always loved the design aspect of things, and enjoyed the fact he was able to work side by side with the crew at MetalWorks to arrive at a plan of action, and enjoyed contributing and learning from the build as it unfolded. Jerry stated “if MetalWorks was a drop your car off, and pick it up when it’s done without any involvement, I would not have chose them for the build.”
Once at MetalWorks the Chevelle went from a sweet street car to a cutting edge Pro-Touring dream. The process included installing a full front and rear HEIDTs suspensions, a 430hp LS3 engine upgraded to MSD Atomic LS fuel injection backed by a 4L65E automatic transmission, Wilwood 12.19” brakes, Budnik V2 wheels, Vintage Air, and Dakota Digital gauges. The Chevelle also received a new OEM styled interior, but stitched in leather. The carpet and convertible top were also replaced in complimenting tones. The dash was converted from wood grain to grey, and additional grey treatments were done to the grille and taillights surrounds instead of the factory black.
In the end Jerry’s Chevelle does not look radically different, but it is in nearly every way when compared to a stock Chevelle. The performance of the 67 however, is absolutely a RADICAL transformation and the results are a car anyone is Jerry’s family can drive anywhere without concern. The relationship between MetalWorks skilled crew and Jerry’s vision of the Chevelle worked out perfectly, and produced one slick Chevy. Keep your eyes peeled for the 67 if you find yourself cruising in the Willamette Valley, it will be the one that stands out in a subtle manner from the masses.
I never had the privilege of racing against the legends of the Northwest.
Guys like Art Pollard, Bob Gregg and Palmer Crowell were finished by the time I started racing…but I did get to compete against one of their contemporaries. I remember meeting Earl Veeder Jr. (and his son David) in the pits at Sunset Speedway around 2000. They’d stroll up mid-sentence, offer unsolicited advice, critique your set up, etc. Man, could they talk! I remember thinking, “Who the hell are these guys?” Earl says, “Well, I’ll be out in a couple weeks…” I’m thinking these guys are all talk but a couple weeks later they show up with this clean ‘ol Tognotti sprinter and away we went. Neither of us were front runners so we ended up racing each other a lot. There were a couple of incidents on the track and Earl stormed my pit afterward. If I were one to throw a punch, I’m sure he would have returned fire! Mostly we just exchanged threats. Then in 2003, Earl showed up with a new Wolverine chassis and became a contender. On July 10th (on “Back to the Fifties Night” appropriately enough) Earl captured the fast car Trophy Dash. At season’s end he won the track’s Hard Charger award.
When I raced with Earl he was just beginning phase two of his driving career, a career that began in the late fifties. Earl’s first laps were taken in a family owned midget but he soon became a veritable gun for hire. Guys would show up at the track with their midget, big car, hard top or roadster and there was Earl with his gear. He might strap into two or three different cars before choosing the fastest one to qualify. If he could win a heat race and muster a top five in the main, he and the car owner made money. The purses were decent in those days and the split was typically right down the middle. The best rides had assigned drivers of course, so many of the cars Earl raced were of questionable pedigree. It was a dangerous vocation to be sure, in an era that placed little emphasis on safety. Earl had a reputation for getting the most out of mediocre equipment and survived to tell about it.
In the early sixties Earl bought a midget of his own—a sweet little Eddie Kuzma creation. He painted it canary yellow and numbered it “25”. Earl couldn’t afford a state-of-the -art Offenhauser so instead he installed a Triumph TR-2 sports car engine. The chassis was a proven winner but the English power plant gave him nothing but grief.
Earl soldiered on until reaching a crossroads in 1968. Just as he was preparing to follow his dream back east, his young wife passed away. Twenty five year old Carole Veeder collapsed while spectating with her husband at the now defunct Salem Speedway. A valiant effort was made to revive her but it was all in vain. Now Earl was left with an astronomical medical bill and two children to raise on his own. He was forced to abort his racing plans and get a regular job.
For the following decade Earl raced sporadically for other people until another change came to pass. By the late seventies, car owners were expecting their drivers to help with expenses. At that point Earl threw up his hands. “I couldn’t see paying for something I used to get paid to do,” he told Bill (Scoop) Poehler in an interview. With few exceptions, Earl didn’t race again until he could field his own entry. It took him over twenty years.
After a dispute with the promoter, Earl parked his sprint car and returned to his first love- midget racing. He was driving a sharp little Chevy II powered car for owner Bob Farwell. On February 3rd 2007, under yellow flag conditions, Earl made contact with the crash wall at the Salem Indoors. EMT’s worked on him for twenty minutes before taking him to Salem Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Earl had crashed approximately one mile from where his first wife Carole had collapsed forty years earlier. He was seventy years old.
I don’t like clichés but whoever coined the expression: “He died doing what he loved”, must have been referring to someone like Earl. Since his demise a memorial race has been held each year in his honor.
Here’s a story about a family who are really car people.
Bill Hess is a car guy, always has been and continues to be. Bill has worked many years in the parts business and his “hobby” is, wait for it, Cars. He currently works at NAPA, High Desert Automotive Supply in Bend, Oregon.
You’ve all heard the saying, “The apple doesn’t fall from the tree.” Well that’s true in the case in spades.
Bill’s Son, Brent also works at the same auto parts store and one of his hobbies is also cars. But wait, that’s not all. Remember that apple thing? Well Brent’s son, Tucker is a car guy and he works for NAPA in Bend as well. He told me that he is interested in auto mechanics.
Each of these guys, three generations worth, have a special interest car. In addition, another one of Bills sons is also a car guy. Joe owns a 1953 Chevy 210, club coupe. I once owned a ’53 150 club coupe. You don’t see many of those, and Joe lives not far from me and I’ve seen his car on the road several times. Plus, to show you how deep the 30W flows in this family, David, another of Bill’s sons, owns a 1941 Dodge ½ ton Pickup that Bill rebuilt the mid-fifties Mopar six for. David doesn’t work in the auto industry but that doesn’t mean he’s not a car guy. He works at Clark’s Lumber & True Value in Tualatin Oregon. And they have a car show there every year. You’ve probably heard about it. Unfortunately I didn’t get any advanced notice of the 2016 show in time to include it in our coming events for May.
Bill has a very original 1952 Chevy, 4dr sedan. It’s not a hot rod but it’s well preserved and with a little newer 235 engine it’s a cool old car. He tells me too that he is working a 1963 Rambler Ambassador wagon with a stock 327 and an automatic. You don’t see many of those either. I didn’t get any pictures of the Ambassador the day I visited the Hess Family Car Guys at their work but I’m sure I’ll see it at a car function in the future.
Son, Brent has a 1967 Chevy Nova 2dr Hardtop with a 350 4spd. His Daughter has a 1966 VW Bug. See I told you they had a car family.
Tucker, who is a student, has a 1991 Pontiac Firebird, with a 350-5spd, that his Dad and his Grandfather helped him put together.
It’s pretty cool that three generations of the same family work in the auto parts industry, together, and all have cars they’ve built to their liking. The Car hobby is going strong in the Hess family of Central Oregon.
Gearheads Must Continue to Fight for Our rights
Those of you who have been reading this EPA column now know about their attempted power grab and the resulting backlash from that effort. SEMA is the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association. They fight for our rights in ways that we simply can’t. They took hold of this and led the charge. We joined in and let our Representatives know. Then State’s Attorneys General stood up one by one and refused to abide by the EPA language as written. The EPA subsequently changed the wording on one sentence. That took care of the issue at hand for the time being.
You also know that SEMA filed the RPM Act which was meant to limit the powers of the EPA. They well know that once a Government agency obtains a certain amount of power – they will never cease in their attempts to grab more. We have since had an increasing number of Representatives stand up behind the RPM act. But we are not out of the woods yet. It still has a ways to go.
Before we go any further, we would like you to consider a scenario such as this: You want to improve the performance of your tow rig for hauling your racecar cross country. You have installed CARB approved parts on your engine to accomplish this. This requires that you re-program your CPU in the rig. Next thing you know you are in a jail. Perhaps it was your second offense and the powers that be had decided to make that into some kind of a gross misdemeanor. Of course this sounds totally absurd – but there is no telling what the future may hold. The RPM Act did not cover your truck because it is not used on a racetrack.
Granted, the EPA’s efforts might be well better spent going after gross corporate polluters as opposed to a relative handful of hot rodders. But who are we to say? Of course we do have some say. In addition SEMA has asked that we share this to our social media platforms. They have made this very easy for us over at their website. If you have not done so yet, we encourage you to get on over to SEMA.org at your earliest convenience or you can get there from #GearHeadsWorld. Sign on with SEMA and they will carry the rest. We win this battle and then get ready for the next.
Mark your calendars for Friday July 8th. That is National Collector Car Day … got it? That is OUR Holiday. If you would like to know more about this you can visit the Blog over at #GearHeadsWorld. So enough said here—what say you?
~ Chuck Fasst
H.R. 4715/S. 2659, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016
Just so you guys that are following this elongated story, here is a quick update.
A couple months ago I gave you a little update where I had taken the body off the frame and did the test fit on the new frame. I’m glad to report my scientific wild guess on engine placement worked out great. With the body set where it would be bolted down the firewall cleared the back corners of the heads by at least a half inch. Lucky guess I know.
The next phase was to dismantle it in prep for dipping and stripping. We found some rust that wasn’t apparent until we got it blown apart, (darn) but we half expected that. It’s going to require a little more work to replace the rusted panels but surprisingly this old car is very solid. Gary the metal man at Metal Works in Eugene looked at it and said he thinks the wrinkled quarter panel can be “pulled” rather that replaced. He likes the old metal just like I do.
It’s out of the dipping process this week. I hope to include a couple pics of what it looks like in bare metal, hopefully not Swiss cheese. Did I tell you about how much damage rodents can do in your headliner? Those rotten little ?!*#+@?*& so and so’s. Oops, sorry for the colorful language, but I’m betting you understand.
I’ve been working very hard on both the paper and my projects. I’ll try to do a more complete up-date maybe next month.
A Ford in a Ford makes for a sweetheart of a 1926 Tall “T” Street Rod, a winner in every corner.
There’s not one inch on this delicious Cherry Red “T” Coupe that hasn’t been refined to perfection. From the hand formed custom grill shell, to the smooth as silk rear quarter panel, rear deck-lid and below including the rear tail-lights and turn signals placed just above the dual tail pipes. She’s powered with a gorgeous Ford Flathead tweaked with just the right look and sporting everything in her to make it sound and perform like a million dollar ride. Including a hand built chassis, and that 8 gallon fuel cell, and the special squared off designed head-lights up-front. She’s a standalone beauty. Add on the one of a kind custom designed combination hood and air-breather, feeding the right mixture of Oxygen to that Carville fuel injector system and you have one lean and mean “T” Street Rod Coupe.
She’s finished off with a host of leather covering a bench seat and leather wrapped tilt-steering wheel. Add custom electro gauges on a one off hand formed interior dash, plus the soft gray leather is also accented in the rear-trunk area complete with 15 gallon main fuel supply. She’s fitted with custom polished alloy wheels on all four corners and Wilwood Disc brakes up front. Add on a super sounding AM/FM/CD and you have just built Brandon Hillyer’s (in todays $$ an $80 to $90 thousand dollar build) award winning 1926 Super Modified Tall “T” Coupe. She has won her share of Trophies including best of class at the Portland Roadster Show, and a host of other awards all over the West Coast. We at R&R NW are proud to select Brandon’s tall “T” as our featured car of the month for June 2016. If you would like additional information on this ride call Brandon at 503-981-4747 ext. 1410.
The question to this “All for the Love Story” is what do you call a guy with five delicious Chevy Custom Corvettes in his garage at home?
Now, let the record show that this same creative artistic car enthusiast has had twenty five plus Corvette creations registered in his name over the years. The following five featured here are the Crème-De-La-Crème from his fantastic collection. A modified ‘56 coupe, two custom creations, built from ground up, a ’57 and a ‘60 award winning Roadster’s, both artistic works of art. One showy flamed out ‘71 Stingray and a 2000 coupe, his daily driver. The people in his Springfield Oregon neighborhood call him Mr. Dennis Huntley. “One cool car lovin’ kinda guy.”
1956 Red & White Corvette Convertible has for power, a 383 ci Stroker/425 HP/ Dual 4 Barrels, 350 Auto Tranny, Modified Stock-Rear, Wilwood Disc-Brakes on all four corners. 17” Super chromed out wheels make for a smooth ride on this cherry ’56.
1971 Black w/Purple Flames Stingray, also for power, a 383 Stroker/535 HP w/nitro 600 plus HP. Custom Black on Black Interior, Flames and Exterior finish by D.H.
1957 Candy–Lime Green Corvette Roadster w/572 ci for power w/871 Blower, Fuel Injection producing 1000 HP, w/custom 400 stick on the floor tranny w/9” Ford rear with Detroit Locker. This complete rolling chassis as shown was all built by Jimmy Meyers Street Rods. In addition she features Frenched Head-Lights and for a clean and neat look, they relocated the Parking-Lights down under. She sports Billet Chrome Wheels on all four corners with 18” up front and 20” out back for a sweet stance. The delicious white on white all leather interior was stitched by Jon Lynn from Eugene. The custom Gauges are accented with the candy green theme to the interior. This is an award winning creation where-ever she shows from Hot August Nights and all over the West Coast.
1960 Tangerine Dream Machine Corvette Roadster w/383ci Stroker for power, w/671 Blower producing 650 HP. M22 4/speed tranny and modified rear w/456 gears. Jimmy Meyers Street Rods created the front suspension on this fantastic ride. Again Jon Lynn produced the gorgeous Italian Leather interior including tricking out the trunk. Boyd Coddington special one off wheels were selected for this creation, with 17” up front and 18” on the rear for a perfect look. You can see and hear this creative work of automobile wonder coming as a gift to one’s eyes with the Orange Tangerine sporting those champagne swish graphics making this 1960 Corvette Roadster come alive. Again this super custom has won trophies all over the West Coast.
2000 Torch Red Corvette Coupe. She sports a LT1 for power w/six speed tranny. This daily driver features a delicious black interior and is pretty much a stock ride, for Mr. Huntley to get around the valley in. Dennis is an active member, in good standing, with the Cascade Corvette Club for the past ten years.
We at R&R NW Publication would like to thank Dennis for sharing his beautiful creative works of automobile wonder with our thousands of readers all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond. “All for the love of Custom Classic Chevrolet Corvettes“ for June 2016.