All for the Love of Classic Cars, Street Rods, Bikes and Trucks.The 2016 PRS was the Biggest and Best Ever! The Cars were truly the Stars of this fantastic show.
The 60th Portland Roadster Show is now in the history books and for the record it should go down as one of the biggest and best ever custom, hot-rod, classic car, bike and truck shows of all time. Not only in the Rose City of Portland, but one of the most memorable car shows in the whole nation. From the opening gate on Friday, March 18th the Expo Center rocked with a record number of car and truck enthusiasts going thru the turn stiles. Plus, there was a record number of vendors and supporters helping make this show a great financial success. Our Portland Roadster Show had 129 classes in cars, trucks and bikes, the most of any ISCA show nationwide. The show also gave out more cash prize winning dollars than any other show in the country. Cash awards included, the Grand Sweepstakes Rose Cup Award, $10,000, the World Cup of Hot Rodding, $5,000, the King of Customs, $3000, and the Bill Peterson award of $500 all totaling $18,500. Additionally, Best of Class, Second Place and Third Place trophies in those 129 classes were awarded.
The PRS was honored with the presence of world class car building celebrities, Dave Kindig, John D’Agostino, Gene Winfield and Chip Foose, who were on hand signing autographs and meeting and greeting the thousands in attendance. Another point of interest; Portland’s own Johnny Limbo & the Lugnuts performed a full, on stage show, Saturday evening and helped raise thousands of dollars in gifts for the Angel’s on Wheels Toy Drive for Randall Children’s Hospital. In addition there were a record number of 501c3 for charity fund raising activities at this year’s show, including the KDCCP brand new 2016 Mustang raffle car was on display and raised thousands of dollars for the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Cancer research program up at OHSU. The Veterans were well represented with the MIAP booth and the Pharaohs Street Rodder’s Lines for Life Veterans Programs as well as the Veterans, Help a Wounded Warrior was also raising funds with a special custom car giveaway. Plus the Kyron Horman Foundation and the Angels on Wheels Toy Drive were also present.
The Multnomah Hot Rod Council/Portland Roadster Shows Wagons for Kids helps the Children’s Cancer Association. The PRS gave away a record number of wagons at the show this year. The new wagons were mostly donated from the 19 car clubs that make up the MHRC. In addition, the Pedal Car Auction raised a record number of dollars for the participating 20 highs school and local community college automotive programs. The MHRC/PRS High School Challenge was well represented again this year with 23 High School and Skill Centers from the Portland and Vancouver area participating. They all did a great job and all are to be congratulated of their winning efforts. A special thank you goes out to Napa Sunset Auto Parts for their generous gifts.
We at Roddin’ & Racin’ NorthWest would like to thank all of the members of the MHRC for your dedicated individual volunteer efforts and the outstanding job you each performed representing you own car clubs and the MHRC at the 60th Portland Roadster Show. The hundreds of thousand/million plus dollars this show brought to the Portland Vancouver area is unmeasurable in immediate numbers, but the amount of good will and your friendly participation with the visitors at this show will be remembered for a long time. The Cities of Portland and Vancouver thanks each and every one of you for a job well done. We would also like to recognize and give a KP thumbs up to two special individuals, PRS Co-Chairs, Duane Caseday and David Jothen for their fantastic leadership efforts in putting the finishing touches on this world class 60th PRS. Also, a salute to all of the MHRC board of directors for a job well done.
Jerry Grant was just a “Regular Joe” in many respects.
He had always been a burly man and he felt a little self-conscious about that. Worse was the premature baldness! What’s up with that? He spent his whole life wearing bad hairpieces. In the pits, he’d roll up his balaclava and wear it like a beanie to conceal his dome. But behind the wheel of a race car, Grant was nothing but self-assured. It was confidence that stemmed from years of experience.
Born in Seattle, he started racing as a teen. When he grew bored with drag racing he began entering his hot rod Fords in local road races. Though his cars weren’t particularly well suited for that, he showed enough talent to attract the attention of a car owner named Dick Hahn. Hahn purchased a 3-litre Ferrari for Grant to pilot in 1960, this proved to be a marriage made in heaven. Over the next few seasons the duo won thirty eight races including the 1961 and ’62 Rose Cups. Though Hahn eventually upgraded to a newer model, rear engined sports racers with American power became the preferred weapon so Grant naturally gravitated toward those. With sponsorship from Ole Bardahl, Grant was able to field a competitive car. Typically he would qualify well, run up front but fail to finish.
Encouraged by his peers, Grant ventured to Indianapolis for the first time in 1964. He climbed into the Watson roadster of Fred Gerhardt but failed to make the show. Another non-qualifier that year was rookie Pedro Rodriguez who had crashed Kjell H. Qvale’s third entry. These were Joe Huffaker built, Lotus inspired cars with Offenhauser engines that proved very competitive for years to come. For 1965, Grant brought his Bardahl sponsorship to this entry and easily made the program, qualifying right smack dab in the middle of the thirty three car field. Sadly on Memorial Day, Grant completed only thirty laps before his engine soured.
Somewhere in this time frame, it may have been at Indy or at a west coast sports car meet, Grant struck up a friendship with Dan Gurney. Gurney recognized Grant’s ability and did much to bolster the big guy’s career. At the ’66 500, Gurney was introducing his Champ Car version of the successful “Eagle” Gran Prix car. A quartet of the Ford powered racers was entered and Grant was assigned one of them. Bringing along Bardahl as well as Pacesetter Homes for sponsors, Grant easily put his Eagle in the show with tenth best qualifying time. 1966 was the year of the eleven car debacle at the drop of the green flag but only Gurney’s Eagle was eliminated. Joe Leonard, Grant and Lloyd Ruby soldiered on and were awarded ninth, tenth and eleventh respectively.
!966 was also the inaugural year of the storied Can-Am series. Grant’s Lola T70 was state of the art and without a doubt, one of the sharpest looking cars in the paddock… but not particularly fast. When the season ended in November, Grant had two sevenths to his credit. His association with Gurney afforded Grant the opportunity to race sports cars all over the country and in Europe. Eventually he moved to southern California to be closer to Gurney’s Costa Mesa headquarters.
Gurney’s focus remained on building cars for Indianapolis and in 1967, no less than seven Eagles made the program. New Zealander Denny Hulme fared best, bringing Smokey Yunick’s entry home in the fourth spot. Grant fell out after 162 laps with engine trouble. Then in 1968, Gurney accomplished his goal with Bobby Unser winning the 500 in an Eagle. Gurney himself finished second and Hulme again was fourth in a team car. It was a great day for Gurney’s Eagles but not so much for Grant. He had qualified his privately entered Bardahl Special mid-pack but fell out with only fifty laps completed.
Grant’s reputation for being fast but hard on equipment likely prevented him from procuring a first class ride for Indy in 1969. “Grant, you’re gonna have to learn how to finish (races),” Roger Penske advised. Grant had known Penske since the early days and he took those words to heart. Rolla Vollstedt gave him a shot in his back up car but for first time since his rookie debut, Grant failed to make the show.
Determined to turn things around, Grant entered his own Offy powered Eagle in 1970 and slipped into the lineup in the 29th slot. On race day he drove conservatively, pacing himself and when the checkered flag fell, he was scored sixth. Sadly, no one seemed to notice and Grant again found himself chasing a competitive ride for 1971. He turned his own car over to Sam Posey to try but failed to get the Norris Industries #92 up to speed.
Then in 1972 Grant’s old buddy Dan Gurney introduced a new generation of Eagles to the Brickyard. Bobby Unser was assigned the primary car but there was a beautiful blue violet (yet unsponsored) sister car for Grant to try on. This Eagle proved to be one of Gurney’s finest efforts, an absolute rocket ship right out of the box. Unser broke the track record putting his car on the pole; Grant played it more conservative qualifying 15th. On race day Unser was off like a shot, leading the first thirty laps before he succumbed to ignition problems. Popular second generation driver Gary Bettenhausen looked poised to win his first 500 for Penske until he too was sidelined with eighteen laps to go.” So who’s leading this thing?!” people wondered.
Grant (fully aware that he’s got his best chance ever) couldn’t resist reverting back to his old hard charging ways. He’s leading the race but he’s used up his tires and most of his fuel. By now everyone is talking about “The Mystery Eagle”, the car that remained unsponsored that no one gave a serious shot at winning. He has to pit with a dozen laps remaining and the lead is handed to Mark Donohue in another Penske car. Grant returns to the race but not enough laps remain to catch the leader; they’ll have to settle for second. Later it is discovered that Grant was refueled from Unser’s tank (illegal) and they are disqualified. They are awarded 12th place, the last lap scored, the last lap completed before the pit stop. The difference in prize money is about $72,000!
Grant drove for Gurney again the following year and for others through 1976. He finished in the top ten in 1974 but never again came close to winning. In the end, what Grant was proudest of was being the first man to drive an Indy car in excess of 200 mph on a closed course. He accomplished this at the now defunct Ontario Speedway.
On his first timed lap with unlimited turbo boost, breaking the tires loose in every gear. Just a Regular Joe… an overweight, bald guy who loved to stand on the gas.
Elsewhere in this publication I mention having an affinity for old rusty car parts.
Odd I know but true. Well April turns out to be a great month for some poor slob like me to get my rusty parts fix on. For the 52th year, that’s a long time isn’t it? The Portland Swap Meet has been taking place out at the EXPO Center.
The venue used to be called the Pacific International Livestock Exposition. I remember going to a rodeo there back in the early 60’s. The oldest building on Marine Drive has been there since about 1925. I recall a lot of the old buildings being wood beamed construction with dirt floors and livestock pens also made of wood. They were used for all kinds of livestock as the stock yards were next door and the Multnomah County Fair used to be held there.
The earliest year I remember going to the swap meet was in about ’76 or ’77 I think. I remember it to be immense back then and spread out all over the grounds, filling all the old buildings, parking lots, side of the streets, it was crazy. I’m not quite sure about this but I think back then it HAD to grow and the over flow went down the street to Portland International Raceway. Now of course and for some time, PIR has put on a “rival” swap meet at PIR starting one day sooner and ending one day sooner than the original Portland Swap Meet. I also recall some contentiousness between the two meets but that thankfully has dissipated and we get to enjoy two giant swap meets during the same week in April.
The weather was flawless this year, not the usual, and in fact not that often is it so nice. I find it amazing that cars and parts keep coming out of the woodwork so to speak year after year. PIR has evolved into kind of a family fun weekend for many who bring their campers, families and friends in addition to their cars, parts and other collectibles for sale or trade.
The PIR swap meet has grown steadily every year and it now covers the entire track, both sides all the way around as well as the pits/paddock area. Just think. That’s nearly two miles times 2, (both sides of the track) plus the paddock area of old car treasures. Business was brisk the days I was there too, with cars and parts changing hands from morning to night.
I’ve jokingly said that if you can’t find what you are looking for at these two swap meets then you don’t really need it. I’ve also heard said that the combined size of these meets make them the biggest swap meet in the west. They really are huge.
I heard languages being spoken that definitely weren’t from around here. Auzzies, Brits, Cannucks, Germans, French, and some others I couldn’t identify. Still, all friends of the old car hobby who obviously traveled from far away just for our little swap meets. I find it interesting how far reaching the old car hobby has grown. It shows me there are car nuts like us everywhere… WOW.
Of course it’s not hard to remember these continuing events but put them on your calendar for next year early anyway. And if you have ‘stuff’ that needs a new home, reserve your spot early to ensure that you get a spot. PIR was “Sold Out” this year!
Mecum Now Accepting Consignments for Inaugural Portland Collector Car Auction; 600 Muscle Cars, Classics, Hot Rods and More to be Auctioned June 17-18 at Portland Expo Center
Walworth, Wis. – Feb. 10, 2016—Vehicle consignment for Mecum Auctions’ inaugural Portland classic and collector car auction begins today, approximately four months in advance of the June 17-18 arrival of the estimated 600-vehicle lineup at the Portland Expo Center in Portland, Ore. American muscle cars, classics, Corvettes, Hot Rods, Resto Mods and more are all expected to cross the auction block from an estimated 20 surrounding states and Canada.
“We are happy to bring Mecum Auctions to Portland and to support the rich collector car heritage in the area,” comments Dana Mecum, the President and Founder of Mecum Auctions. “Events such as the Portland Roadster Show and the Portland Automotive Swap Meet that have longstanding traditions of more than 50 years are evidence of the passion, dedication, and grassroots history of collector car enthusiasts in the area.”
“The people of the Pacific Northwest are passionate about cars and the history associated with the industry as reflected in local attractions like Portland’s World of Speed Museum,” said Jeff Miller, president and CEO, Travel Portland. “We are thrilled to have the Mecum auction coming to Portland for the first time and look forward to introducing visiting sellers, buyers and general consumers from throughout the region to all that Portland has to offer.”
The Portland auction is open to sellers, buyers, and spectators. Persons interested in consigning a vehicle to be auctioned at the Mecum Portland auction should visit Mecum.com or call (262) 275-5050 for complete details about the consignment process and pricing. Mecum Auction’s website is updated daily with the latest consignments including detailed descriptions and photographs of the vehicles.
Bidder registration is $100 in advance and $200 at the auction and includes admission for two for both auction days. To view the list of consigned vehicles when available, or to register as a bidder for this and all Mecum auctions, visit www.mecum.com or call (262) 275-5050. General admission tickets available at the gate for $30 per person per day or $40 for a two-day pass; children 12 and younger receive complimentary admission.
Doors open each day at 8 a.m. with the auction beginning with Road Art at 8:30 a.m. and the cars at 10 a.m. NBC Sports Network will broadcast a select schedule of auction coverage, and a live stream of the entire auction will be presented at Mecum.com.
About Mecum Auctions
Nobody sells more than Mecum. Nobody. The Mecum Auction Company is the world leader of collector car, vintage and antique motorcycle, and Road Art sales, hosting auctions throughout the United States. The company has been specializing in the sale of collector cars for 29 years, now offering more than 20,000 lots per year and averaging more than one auction each month. Established by President Dana Mecum in 1988, Mecum Auctions remains a family-run company headquartered in Walworth, Wis. For further information, visit Mecum.com or call (262) 275-5050. Follow along with Mecum’s social media news and join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.
Portland Expo Center
2060 N. Marine Dr.
Portland, OR 97217
June 17-18, 2016
Admission: $30 per person, per day or $40 for two days; children 12 and younger
receive complimentary admission
Preview: Gates open daily at 8 a.m.
Auction: Vehicles start at 10 a.m. with Road Art beginning at 8:30 a.m.
TV Schedule: TBD
(All times Pacific)
Silver Auctions came to Portland In April with a complement of 94 cars consigned to be sold at their auction.
This one day auction brought some very unique and nice cars to the EXPO Center. Mitch Silver said vehicles offered were sold or were high bid to a total dollar figure of $1,561,000. A respectable figure. They managed a 43% sell through when the dust was settled.
There were a lot of really cool cars. One beautiful Dodge Coronet bid to $70,000 but didn’t sell. Yes, it had a HEMI. I think I’ve seen rare cars like this sell for bigger bucks so no wonder the reserve wasn’t met. Speaking of rare cars. There was a 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, SS454/AT/AC car, well equipped and nice looking. It too didn’t meet the reserve with a high bid of $13,000. I don’t know what the reserves were but either of these two cars are good examples of what was available. Personally, I love to own either of them.
The next Silver Auction will be in Missoula, Montana on May 7th. Find out more @ www.silverauctions.com or call 1-800-255-4485 to learn more.