Salt Flats Rainout

For the second time in the last eight years Bonneville Speed Week was canceled due to heavy rains. The event was also called off in 2014. Prior to the day of the event all reports were that the salt was well groomed and in excellent shape. However, a thunderstorm on Friday night led to an announcement that racing would be delayed from Saturday until Monday. Another, larger storm, on Saturday night led to the salt flats being covered with water from two inches to a foot deep. A scene more suited for hydroplane racing than for car racing. The salt flats are part of the great basin. There are no rivers or streams that eventually flow into the ocean. All of the water runs into the basin and sits there until it evaporates. This is a slow process. On Monday, the official announcement came that all racing for the week was canceled. The only chance that we had to get out on the salt was when we hitched a ride with Lee Kennedy, the Chief Tech for the Southern California Timing Association, the body that runs the event. We had met Lee at the Nugget car show and he had offered us a ride down the track. He followed through and we accompanied him as he retrieved some of the Southern California Timing Association equipment from the flooded area. Our only view of the race vehicles was sitting on trailers in the parking lot or on trailers being towed off the slat through the flood waters. This was a major disappointment for the three guys in my group who had just driven 700 miles to see cars capable of nearing 500 Miles per hour.
Just because racing was canceled, there were still things to do and sights to see. A day trip down to Ely to visit the train museum and ride the old steam engine was well worth the time. And the nightly car show at the Nugget Casino was the main attraction. The show occurs in the parking lot at the Nugget nightly throughout the week. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the best nights by far. Attendance tends to wain as the week goes on and racers start to head home along with the spectators. This show is different than most. There are no classes and no awards. What there are is a lot of cars that you rarely see elsewhere. Early hot rods are in heavy attendance along with rat rod types of vehicles Creativity is the name of the game. Where else are you going to see a fifty seven Chevy hood used as a trunk lid on an early pickup bed? Where else will you see a twin engine roadster, each engine with twin turbos? It is clear that most of the cars are home builds and the only limitations are the owner’s imaginations.
The first time I attended this show they had cocktail waitresses roaming throughout the show vending drinks. This no longer occurs, but there is a bar set up in the parking lot (the heat and all you know). The really fun thing is the friendliness of everyone. The car owners, racers and spectators mixing freely. It is also fun to meet people, not only from around the United States, but from around the world. New Zealanders and Australians are usually present in numbers. They have a strong car culture of their own and love to venture to the salt flats.
Even with no racing it is an event that should not be missed.


By: Terry Thompson

Rod Run to the End of the World

Hastily laid plans had been made among friends at the Beaches Cruise In. Two days later it was time to go and the hastily laid plans turned out to be not so well laid. But all the same, wildfires were raging, and PGE had announced their plan to cut off power here on the mountain (Mt. Hood) for days. So, it came time for this writer to make his own adventure, throw a tent and bags in the trunk of his Corvette and bug out.

We rolled through rush hour in the intervening cities and towns and the temp rose as we drilled further up into the state of Washington. We tripped across a blown GTO sitting at a gas pump in the little town of Clatskanie. He had a downed battery. The trusty little Viking battery jumper came out of the trunk of the Corvette. Unzipped and attached, it fired up that bad boy and sent them down the road to the Napa for an alternator. Come nightfall we rolled on into the little town of Long Beach, hungry and thirsty. And oh boy howdy, what we saw then …

The whole place was packed with hot rods on every street anywhere around! Revving engines and all manner of other ecstasy echoed up and down the main drag.

Getting grub inside the packed Long Beach Tavern proved to be an ordeal. But not so bad, what with the free drinks being offered by happy hot rodders. And the very capable bartender, Connie came through with the grub.

One fellow, I believe his name was Mike, related as to how, he and his Hotrodding friends had been getting together for years at this event. They rent an entire house next to the museum and just steps away from the main drag. They all get together and have a grand old time reenacting all the good times from times past. On this night, these fellas could make their way out of the bar and on to the strip with no worries of cops and their dastardly handcuffs. The cops – and there were plenty of them, were busy with other mischief. The cruising would continue full steam ahead up until the midnight hour.

Come Saturday, the car show would commence up the peninsula. There would be a 10 mile procession of hot rods leading to the Beach Barons’ property in Ocean Park. The drive was not so bad – until you hit the town. There you would find a traffic backup from the show property back into the center of town, all morning long. Cars that were parked all along the roads radiating out from the fairgrounds numbered in the thousands, easily!

Inside, the property is expansive. Bisected by a long narrow waterway of some sort, full of crickets and critters. There are several wooden bridges to accommodate the cars and people. And the cars and people – they were plentiful! The final car count came to somewhere not too far shy of 1,000! But that does not include a good couple thousand more hotrods remaining out in the towns! I mean if the all mighty Creator were to throw a cast net down over this peninsula he’d be coming back with thousands of keepers.

Inside was a kaleidoscope of color. So much variety and creativity to see. Not to mention a blazing sun looking down upon us like some kind of a blurry red eye, deformed by the wildfire smoke that had spread all through the area, humidifying the air. It fell upon the creations in the form of some kind of ash mixed in with some other condiment, resulting in this slurry, some kind of a seaside gumbo. Perhaps the addition of a little salt and pepper might make for a tasty appetizer if one were to sample a convenient hood with one’s tongue. Slurp!

No really, all that smoky humidity did result in a certain sort of underarm – shall we say, claminess. All of this adding to that sort of seafood ambience. Alas, in time all of that would clear. And shiny paint and chrome would once again radiate all across the valley.
It would seem that batteries were the theme of the day. We came across a ’68 Camaro fresh from the Napa store with a new battery going in. The old Optima sat on the grass. It had breached its end of life date stamp and was headed for hospice. The setup in this ride required 10.5 volts cranking. Without at least that, there would be no RPM signal to the ECU. Yes, this old Camaro had a whole lot going on with the power plant. Dave White with the NW Classic Chevy Club had purchased an LT4, supercharged Corvette motor over the counter a few years back. A sweet package that was tuned to some 700+ RWHP!

Oh. And the supercharged GTO (Lemans) mentioned earlier, made it out of Clatskanie to the show with a fresh alternator. Oh. And my old Castlerock friends, Ron and Pam from Street Fantasies car club, saw the Facebook post I made on that incident and texted me. So, we hooked up at the event after so many years.

Once it came time to wrap up the day’s activities, it was time for the long procession of hot rods to make their way back down the peninsula to Long Beach. All along the way would be the droves of excited viewers in their lawn chairs, along with the more devious ones standing roadside with the bleach bottles, holding signs that say – Burnout Here.

Did anybody see the young gal with the halter top, holding up the sign that was saying something about showing something for something … not sure what that was all about?

Once you have approached some 2 mi outside of Long Beach, traffic rolls to a halt. And you know what’s coming – a repeat of Friday night’s cruising action. Mayhem is approaching. Spirits will be uplifted. Life will once again be good. All of that Americana that helped America be so great is here again. On this night, we relive another little slice of hot rod heaven.

’nuff said,
Chuck Fasst

Northwest Art & Air Festival

The Northwest Art and Air Festival returned to the Linn County Fairgrounds after an absence of two or three years to accommodate the COVID pandemic. The event is multi-faceted and spread over three days. It has an emphasis on art and air displays. The fairgrounds are covered with booths selling art and food. There are hot air balloons on display daily (weather permitting). They lift off every morning shortly after dawn and on Friday there is a Night Glow This is quite spectacular. The balloons are tethered to the ground. Shortly after dark the burners are ignited and the balloons inflated. It is like a dozen or so huge glowing, multi colored lamps. Activities involving fixed wing aircraft are held across the street at the Albany Municipal Airport. They go on all day long. There is also live music on stage throughout the day. The musical high light is the Saturday night concert featured a well known national artist. This year the performer was country music star Billy Culligan.
Also included in the festivities is a car show. The show is staged by the Studebaker Club. This year about 75 cars showed up to participate. The show featured a mix of classical, muscle and foreign cars. Best of Show went to a 1934 Plymouth hot rod owned by Don Pyle. It is truly an outstanding ride. There were many other fine cars there as well. This is a big event with several hundred of people in attendance. A good way to spend a Saturday with people who are interested in a variety of modes of transportation.

By: Terry Thompson

Carol Hood and her 57 T-Bird

Pete Rocco’s 59 Bug Eye Sprite

Sue Thompson’s 56 Chevy

Customer Service

About the first week of August, I drove my trusty ol’ wagon to the local Les Schwab Tire Center. The location our family frequents is just around the corner from our home, and we’ve never had an issue in the two decades that we’ve been customers there.

The challenge I brought to the table this particular Saturday was a set of slotted dish Ansen Sprint mag wheels.  Ya see, my daily driver is a 1982 Ford Granada GL wagon.
For years now, I have run a big and little skinny white wall tire combo with painted steelies and Falcon poverty center caps. The wagon looked clean, but I wanted an ’80’s street machine look. So when an ’85 Thunderbird arrived at All American Classics with those slotted mags, well, the wheels started to turn.

The wheels had an aged appearance, which was ideal for my vision with the car. There was even a stamped date of 12/20/1985 on each of them. The wheels are 14″ x 6″ for the front and 14″ x 7″ on the rear. I envisioned a set of big ‘n little raised white letter tires and a stance to make the car pop!

Oh, this was gonna be RAD!!  (you know, 80’s style?)

A quick check on tire availability, and I saw that a set of Cooper Cobra radials would most likely do the trick. So I dropped by Les Schwab, and a service rep, Kellen, began to help me. We discussed the look I was going for as well as availability, and it was recommended to go with 225/70R14’s for the rear and 215/70R14’s up front. The order was placed, and a time was scheduled to make the swap. I was giddy with excitement!

Now, some background info here… The wheel/tire combo that I had been running was as follows:
The front tires were 205/75/R14’s, and the rears were 225/75/R14’s. On stock rims too. But, I was confident in my order and eagerly arrived for the scheduled appointment.
What could go wrong?

When I arrived to pick up my vehicle at the end of the day, the technician, Rebecca, handed me my keys and casually stated, “Uh, there is some rubbing.”
I paused. “Rubbing? As in tire rub? Is it safe?” I asked and could feel a sense of dread drop like a load of hot lead in my gut.
Nervously, she replied, “Uh, well there might be some tire smoke.”

I took my keys and walked out to my wagon. I really liked the look. It changed the whole attitude of the car.
I climbed in, fired it up, and began to angle the wheel to exit the parking lot. The front tires begin to rub viciously against the front fenders.  I paused, thinking, “Oh, it can’t be that bad. It’s probably minor.” I turned the wheel more as I pulled out into traffic, and it was even worse. The rear tires were singing. LOUDLY.

Every bump made it worse. I couldn’t even fully turn the steering wheel to safely make a turn. I ventured the short distance home and backed into the driveway. “Maybe the added weight of my other tires and wheels added to the wagon’s payload,” I thought.

I got out of the car and was dismayed to see that damage had already been done to the tires.  There were gouges in the tires, and white rubber was showing. The wheel opening moldings were flared out and damaged. I emailed the corporate office straight away and sent pics.

Monday arrived and I was Johnny-on-the-spot at the tire shop.  Kellen was ready and, though I was amped up, he did his best and calmed me down.  He listened and assessed the tire sizes and what was happening. My old set were put back on, and I was told that he would be in touch to address the problem more thoroughly. After waiting patiently, I asked to come in again the following Saturday.

When I did, Kellen told me of his plan. The idea was to do a test fit to see if a 215/70/R14 would work on the rear of the car. So my car was whisked off and jacked up, and the test fit seemed to be a cure. Kellen even asked me to stand on the rear bumper and bounce the car to make sure there was room. Success!!!

He told me he had a plan for the front tires, 205/70/R14’s, and to give him a little bit more time because they had to be custom ordered.
Well, some things really are worth the wait. Two weeks later, I again came in on a Saturday, and the crew dug in. The tires were not the original Cooper Cobras I ordered. Oh no, but the replacements were a set of BF Goodrich T/A’s!

Again, Rebecca was the lead tech, but when she noticed that there was still a rubbing issue, Kellen and Nathan jumped in to solve the problem. With a few calls to O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, a set of cast coil spring spacers were purchased, and the rubbing issue was solved. Can I tell you? My car looked amazing!

As the bill was finalized, I expressed that I hoped I hadn’t sounded like a whiner or a “I WANNA TALK TO THE MANAGER” type throughout the process. Kellen laughed, “We just want to take care of our customers, and do it right.” And they did!
Thanks again to Kellen, Rebecca, and Daniel at Les Schwab Tire Center on Minnehaha in Vancouver, WA. You folks won a customer for life! -Written by Mark Karol-Chik

Ridge Motorsports Park

Ridge Motorsports Park is located near Shelton Washington about 25 northwest of Olympia Washington. It offers a road course, a skid pad, kart racing and there is an off-road park.

On June 11-13th the “Trans-am series event was held at the park. One of my former co-workers, Steve Ingersoll, being a racer and a car guy went to the track for that weekend. The weather didn’t look like it was going to cooperate, but Saturday turned out to be great… Sunday, not so much.

Steve managed to take a few pics and told me a little about the event which I have transcribed here for you. The facilities look good and sounds good. They even offer catering and meeting rooms for retreats or business meetings or corporate training classes. Sounds like a cool place.

This weekends race was a joint race weekend. The SVRA, Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, and Trans Am. Trans Am races often include several classes made up of faster and slower cars on the track at the same time. Such was the case at the park for this weekend.

Also present was rain. The rain put a damper on the turn out as you might well expect, but those that stayed were rewarded with some exciting racing. Steve said it was something to see “800 hp Trans-am cars putting up huge rooster tails as they tried to negotiate the 2.47-mile road course.”

Steve and his friend, Andy Collins made a weekend of it, brave. But it turns out they had help. Apparently, Saturday night, with their camp/pit set up they held a race meeting with a Mr. Hennessey and a fellow, Jim Beam was his name to help warm the night. It sounds like it was successful.

The Lux Performance Dodge Vipers finished one-two in the SGT class in their first appearance in trans-am this season. Cindi Lux scored her fifth win when she crossed the finish line in fourth overall and first in SGT class driving the number 5 Lux Performance/Black Coffee Dodge Viper.

Carl Rydquist drove from the back to the front to claim victory in the TA2 class driving his number 47 Ford Mustang. Even though the track was rain soaked he managed to pass everyone to take the lead and finish more than 12 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.

The series returns to Portland Oregon’s PIR for the Portland SpeedTour July 23-25th.

It’s a Swap Meet!

This is a funny story. As the economy begins to open back up and the pandemic begins to wane, events are happening all over the place, thank goodness. We sincerely hope you all made it through this hell.

With events “starting” to happen. we old car guys are getting excited. One of my friends says I have Rust in my veins and that may be true. A swap meet was scheduled at the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehallis Washington in early June and I wanted to go. I didn’t have anything that I needed, mind you, but I had been cowering in the corner for long enough.

I have several friends that like swap meets and one particularly demented friend said he wanted to go too. So, we planned to start out early, like O Dark Thirty, so we could get there early and not miss the bargain of a lifetime… you know, that deal. Our plan included a stop for breakfast along the way and we both figured that we’d be able to “dine in” since the China Virus restrictions were being lifted. At the first breakfast stop we made; we were surprised to learn that they didn’t have any indoor dining service. Off to the next choice. They had limited seating but indoor availability, so we indulged.

We were back on the road again shortly and the rain was spotty. Up ahead of us looked very ominous with huge dark clouds looming, but with our lust for rust spurring us on we used our intermittent wipers extensively and persevered.

Using todays amazing technology, Google maps, on my phone, we had fore warning of the exit and made it to the destination just as a small sun ray peeked through the clouds. The place was small, compact actually, but it was bustling. The parking lot was very full, but we managed to arrive just as someone loaded with treasures was leaving. We parked and headed for the Popup that looked like the way in.

The folks were friendly and open to my putting a stack of papers on the table for folks to take and we excitedly entered the first swap meet we were able to attend in a long time.

I have to pause here to say that neither one of us had much that we had gone looking for but, it was a swap meet! The first in over a year. And we both knew that there were things here that we needed, despite the fact that we didn’t really need anything. Another pause, we both have issues with our legs being old and worn out. Jim was using a cane and I’m just slow, hips and knees, don’t work quite right and are painful, but we were going to see everything there was to see and we weren’t going to be denied.

It wasn’t long before first I found something then Jim. Negotiations were hard fought, but deals were made, and money changed hands, treasures were bought. I realized that Jim had a real method in his bringing his cane. He couldn’t carry much because he was using the cane. So, the old cripple that wobbles got to carry this stuff back to the car.

Perhaps foolishly, perhaps not, I bought something that was too big to carry so when I went back to the car, I simply drove back to pick up the big stuff. Pretty clever don’t’ ya think?

Now, after nine years as a “professional” publisher/photo/journalist etc. etc. it’s going to be hard for you to believe, but understandable with all the anticipation and excitement, we didn’t take one picture! So much for professionalism. It probably doesn’t really matter though. There were just a bunch of rusty/dirty, bent and some broken, old car parts. If you’ve seen one you’ve seen ‘em all, right? But I’ll bet you’d go anyway!

C-10 Club Cruise

The Northwest C-10 Club held a cruise in Enumclaw Washington back in April. A friend of mine who lives in Washington and is a C-10 fan attended the cruise and took some pics which he shared with me via email and we will share them with you here.

Steve Ingersoll tells me there were around 300 trucks on display. Some very cool Chevys and even a few Ford trucks too. Steve says there was a nice mix of very beautifully done trucks and lots of patinaed ones too. A great group of guys and some ladies too. The weather held off until about 2pm when it poured for about 30 minutes.
Kudos to Chris Fowler and his helpers. The cruise went off without a hitch.

Steve also shared that in his opinion the 1972 Chevy C-10 was the best pickup ever made. I know there a few of you out there that feel the same way. They are a good-looking truck.

NASCAR 2020 Cup Champion, Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott, son of Bill Elliott, has won the 2020 NASCAR Cup Championship. With the help of his major sponsor, NAPA Auto Parts, his Hendricks Motor Sports, number 9, Chevrolet Camaro rocketed from starting last to finish first, in the 2020 final 4 last race of the year at the Phoenix Raceway.

Chase is the third youngest driver to win the championship at 24 years, 11 months and 11 days. His father won the championship in 1988. Chase’s win put them in rare company because there are only a few father/sons to accomplish that feat.

When asked what the championship means to him, he said, “I’m not sure that I still even know, I just, man, I’m at a loss for words. This is unbelievable. Oh my gosh. We did it. I mean, we did it. That’s all I’ve got to tell you. Unreal.”

Hendrick Motor Sports now has 13 Cup championships with four different drivers. Jimmy Johnson with 7, Jeff Gordon with 4 and Terry Labonte who won with Hendricks in 1996.

It’s really exciting that Chase is so young and stands a chance to win more championships as his career progresses. It’s also exciting that NAPA is sponsoring the number 9 now and going forward. I hope that we get this COVID stuff under control and can return to normal early next year. Keep your fingers crossed.

The Hangar — Kool Guys Hot Rods Breakfast

About 12 years ago three old car guys decided to create a Friday morning breakfast group made up of other old car guys. Fred Davis, Vern Farris and Tom Hoffman organized it and got the word out, kind of like the famous saying, “if you build it they will come,” and they did.

Now twelve years later every Friday, rain or shine, a bunch of guys show up at the “Hanger” in beautiful downtown Carver. During good weather months, they drive their hot rods, show cars, cruisers etc. During the bad weather months, they drive their daily drivers.

Often the turn out fills the restaurant and the Parking lot looks like a Car Show or Cruise-in during the spring, summer and fall. I’ve made new friends and reconnected with old ones as a result of attending.

It’s kind of a club, kinda not. It’s not a formal organization, there is no membership, no dues or other formalities but I’ve seen tee shirts, I think hats and what not. Sometimes a worthy cause will present itself and there will be a cruise, a poker run, a request for donations etc. etc. just to help someone out that has a need. Mostly it’s just some good food, good friendly conversation and an opportunity to drive your old car on a short trip and check out what the Jones have done.

Again, the ‘meet up’ is every Friday, except holidays, at The Carver Hanger. The restaurant opens precisely at 8am, but the meet up starts anytime around 7ish. Everyone is welcome.

7 Feathers Cruise In

There are car shows, cruise-ins, swap meets and other car events that I look forward to every year. Unfortunately, so many historical events were cancelled this year. Some organizers tried to re-schedule, revamp or otherwise change to comply with some new regulation that came down from on high. Others just couldn’t make the changes work so some favorite events just didn’t happen this year at all. It’s sad for a lot of reasons.

Some of our annual events are for charity. Some are for profit and those organizers have relied on that once a year paycheck to get them through the winter months. Still others, like participants, have waited sometime a whole year to be able to show off their latest or newest creation in pursuit of that trophy they wanted to add to their collection of trophies or maybe just get their first trophy.

Others just want to be able to get out and enjoy the summer, friends, looking at cars, swapping parts for the project that’s underway in the garage. The year of 2020 had a different idea!

A very small number of promoters and organizers were able to figure out a way to allow their annual show to continue for this year, and we’re lucky they figured it out.

One of those annual shows that I try to attend every year is the Medford Rod & Custom Show put on by Rich Wilson. It used to be held and the Jackson County Fair Grounds as did his annual fall swap meet. This year neither of them could happen. Not the car show in the spring or the swap meet in the fall.

In this year of the Chinese Virus, they weren’t going to happen as usual. Rich came up with a new plan, new venue, and by combining them together Rich and company were able to pull off a whole new event at the 7 Feathers Resort and Casino in Canyonville Oregon. There was social distancing going on, mask wearing, parts swapping, car showing and the turn out was great even though it all had to come together very quickly which limited advertising.

The swap meet was both Saturday and Sunday and the car show was Sunday only. The weather tried to be a pain on Saturday but hey, we’re Oregonians! We won’t let a little rain dampen our fun. Though it was smallish, the parts swapping was brisk and on Sunday cars to show showed up from all over.

Maybe 2021 can get back to something more normal and I know Rich is already planning… Stay tuned.

Most Awesome Mopar went to Janice Sutherlin and Larry Snow for their beautifully restored 1969 Dodge Daytona out of Red Bluff California.

Rich’s Pick went to Robin and Angie Guzman for bringing out their oh so much fun Radio Flyer wagon and their Lusse bumper car from Salem Oregon.

Cruiser Chevy went to George Edwards out of White City Oregon for his gorgeous 1955 Chevy Nomad.

The Seven Feathers Pick went to Geoy Ogh for his peachy 1940 Chevrolet coupe out of Grants Pass OR.

Kool Kustom award went to Darrel Womack out of Scio Oregon for his way cool 1960 Ford Falcon.

Trick Truck award went to Kris Nace out of Glendale Oregon for his Hemi-powered 1934 Ford Pickup.

Taking home the ‘Cause It’s Cool award was Eddie Montgomery from Roseburg Oregon with his very radical 1927 Chev roadster.

Dare to be Different award went to Curry County Cruisers member Nick Orcutt out of Brookings Oregon for his 1929 Rolls Royce.

Favorite Ford award went to Renee Woodard out of Glendale Oregon for her very nice 1931 Ford Vicki.

The I’d Drive That award went to Louise Sasser for his very rare and very nice 1932 Buick Coupe out of Myrtle Creek Oregon.