Vintage Street Rodders of America
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June - 16

Jim’s Corner 

     We went to the May Cruise-in in Somerset, Ky. I wanted to go because Mopars were the featured car for the month of May. We met our friends, Ron and Dee Goben and Chester Stevens and his new bride, Abby. Ron and Dee drove their 1946 Plymouth convertible, which is a very rare car. We had very good weather and enjoyed visiting with our friends and meeting new ones. Our first event when we arrived on Friday was a meet and greet at Danny’s Rod Shop. Danny, who is also a member of VSRA, has a very impressive shop and very nice show room with a lot of street rod goodies to check out. On Friday night we went to a Cruise-in at the Somerset Mall where there were probably around 400 cars. On Saturday morning we went to a Cruise-in at the local Chrysler dealership where there were around 250 cars but about 60% of those were new cars. Just don’t understand. Anyway, we had a good time and got to go to the main Cruise-in downtown early because the Mopars were the featured cars. 

Earlier in the month, I went to a Cruise-in at the Bristol Motor Speedway, which is around 20 miles from our house. This was a first annual show called O’Reilly’s Cruise-in at the Last Great Coliseum. The big draw to this show was that, at the end of the show, you were able to drive the historic Bristol Motor Speedway behind a pace car of course. One couple drove all the way down from Cleveland, Ohio to drive their 1970 Cutlass around the track. The 1934 Dodge Panel is the third street rod that I have built and drove around the track. Driving the Bristol track is a very unique experience because of the 33 degree banks. Driving into the turns is like looking like you are driving into a wall because of the steep banking. It’s hard to explain. It’s just something that you need to do if you ever get the chance. It is hard to imagine doing over 130 mph at the end of the short straight aways and hitting those turns for 500 laps. Anyone who says race car drivers are not athletes do not realize the stamina and nerve it takes to do what they do. My first race as a spectator at Bristol was when I was11 years old in 1963 when the ticket cost $3.00. You cannot buy a bottle of water at the track for that price anymore and they wonder why they have empty seats. 

As always, we would like to publish a story on your project. Just contact us and we will be glad to run a story on your project. Also if you have not sent us pictures of your ride, for our Members Page, please do so. You can send electronic pictures to streetrod34coupe @ yahoo.com or mail hard copies to 1024 Mitchell Rd. Kingsport, Tn. 37663.

2016 Vintage Rod Tour Participants

I would like to apologize to the participants of the 2016 Vintage Rod Tour. I forgot to recognize them in the May Newsletter. I have included them in this month’s newsletter.

Tom and Rita Georgian Willoughby,Ohio 1929 Ford Roadster
Keith and Joanne Batman St. Albans, WV 1932 Chevy 4 door sedan 
Bob and Sandy Payne Elkview, WV 1934 Ford Truck
Mike and Arlene Smith Rutherfordton, NC 1941 Chevy COE
Darrell and Debbie Mullins Clendenin, WV 1934 Ford Truck
Phil and Jeanette Prather Roselle, Illinois 1932 Ford Roaster
Roger and Grace Phillips Knoxville, Tn 1934 Ford 2 door sedan
Jim and Debbie Bledsoe Kingsport, Tn 1934 Dodge Panel Truck 
Jim and Sheila Whipp Vero Beach, Florida 1941 Chevy 2 door sedan. 

Street Rodder of the Year Award


Just a reminder that the Street Rodder of the Year Award will be presented at our Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies show in Maggie Valley, NC on August 13th. Please remember to keep logging your mileage that you have driven since our Thunder Road Show last year on Sept 26. This is total miles driven anywhere. Even if you can’t make it to the show, you can send it by e-mail at streetrod34coupe @ yahoo.com or mail to VSRA 1024 Mitchell Rd. Kingsport, Tn. 37663. We need to receive documentation by August 10th. As you know the street rodder logging the most miles for the year will receive the Street Rodder of the Year Award.

2016 VSRA Events

The Ohio Nationals Medina, Ohio June 24th and 25th
Vintage Rod Tour Nashville, Tn – Ft. Worth, Tx April 23-May 1st 
Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies Maggie Valley, NC August 12th and 13th

Ohio Nationals 

Just a couple of reminders about the Ohio Nationals. Don’t forget to come early for the Cruise-in on Thursday evening around the Medina Square. This is always a very nice relaxing evening as we get to renew acquaintances around the beautiful surroundings of the Medina Square. After the show on Friday afternoon, we are hoping to have a Police escort to Dave Herrmann’s place for a cook-out. Dave has a very nice place on a lake with a neat collection of Cushman motorcycles and street rods. Make sure you plan to attend. Anyone who would like to bring desserts is welcome to do so and would be appreciated. We will need a few people to help serve the food.

Reminder – the food vendor will be serving breakfast sandwiches, donuts and coffee.

I have been told by The Sandman that he has completed his Polish Engineering on our reverse drive car that we are going to use for our new game called Back Seat Driver. This game should be a hoot.

Anyone wishing to help as a volunteer at the Ohio Nationals this year can do so by sending us an e-mail at streetrod34coupe @ yahoo.com or call 423-571-6430. Anyone who works at least a 2hr shift both days, will receive a free event T-shirt. We will need help at the main gate, spectator gate, registration and games.

Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies 

Make sure you arrive in Maggie Valley on Thursday so you can attend the Cruise-in on Thursday afternoon at The Wheels Through Time Museum. This will be at 5:00-7:00 on Thursday afternoon. Dale Walksler, the star of the TV show, What’s in the Barn and owner of the Wheels Through Time Museum is giving free admission to the museum for all registered participants and vendors. No food will be provided.

Wayne's Corner

Good morning all,
My bride (Rose) and I just returned from a 1200 mile trip with the 39 Chevy Master Deluxe 4Dr. from Aiken, SC to Kingsport TN, Kingsport to Nashville, TN, Nashville to Chattanooga, TN, to Atlanta and Atlanta to home here in Aiken, SC! Whew, that was quite a trip for an old (76) man and woman. I think the street rod did much better than we did! Here's a tip to fight the rain, which we hit going over the mountains and coming into Nashville, and it's better than rain-x, use a gel product called Rain Clear. I bought it on Amazon and followed directions. Works like a charm and Mp problem with the windshield wipers!

That was my last show for a while as I will be undergoing treatment all summer for an infectious disease that I somehow contacted this spring, I will be tied to a pick line and will receive the drugs 7 days a week! Sure hope this treatment clears up my last medical problem!

Hope ya'll are getting your reservations for August in Maggie Valley, NC as it's going to be tight for hotel reservations in the valley, to be close to the show grounds! The Maggie Valley Inn should be a lot of fun after the show is over and we have eaten. Hope to be over treatment be then!
Communication with your State Representative can be a pleasant experience, and they can assist you on many different ways, from all the VSRA hot dope, to where to get reservations at a show! I'm so sorry for not being able to make the Ohio Nationals this year due to my medical problem, but I will in the future! While on the subject of communications, I called our State Representative from Vero Beach, Fl., Jim Whipp, to see if his house had missed the flooding in that part of Florida. Thank God,Sheila Whipp answered me that the water got up in the driveway but not in the house. Jim Whipp has been calling many of the Florida ex-members and trying to recruit them to re-join again. Good Luck and thanks Jim for all you do for VSRA! 

Gene Warm in Port St. Lucie is getting to word out to the Model A clubs in Florida also! It was great that Jerry Johns, our Alabama State Rep. from Meridianville got to host the VSRA Tour on short notice. REMEMBER the State Reps. are there for YOU, the VSRA members, and this turned into an exciting event on very short notice. "WAY TO GO" Jerry! Our Georgia Rep. Jimmy Ousley has had some hospital time, but his brother Jerry Ousley in Lake Charles, LA in meeting and greeting prospective new members in Louisiana. Thanks to the North Carolina Reps. Sam Bristow and Johnson Davis for getting out the word on renewals and the Smokin' Rodz in the Smokies Show! I've been working closely with Fred Countryman in Camden, SC on local car shows and new member signups!

Hope to see ya'll at the August Car Show, "Smokin' Rodz in the Smokies", and please come up and shake my hand! I'd like to meet all the VSRA members! I'll be the big dumb kinda dumpy guy in a blue VSRA shirt that still talks like a Boston Yankee, even though I have been down south 50 yrs.

Wayne "Buckarooo" Buxton
Director Southeastern Division
Vintage Street Rodders of America

Ron’s Corner 

Okay, let's see where were we when winter ( lots of 'w's,huh) came about and I went south to a warmer climate?? OH yeah, I was deep into a challenge of building a driving street rod for $15,000. Remember?

Well, started with a running and driving 1929 DeSoto 4 door sedan. The car had been semi-restored frame on some time ago. So in order to accomplish our goal there will be no additional body and or paint work done at this time. This won't be a 'rat rod' by any means, but it won't win Pebble Beach either!



The car itself cost $8500 which left we with $6500 to modify it with. Tight budget no doubt, but not impossible.

Our local salvage yard produced a nice low mileage Chevy 4.3 V/6 engine and overdrive automatic trans. at a great price. So we ordered a new Mustang II type aftermarket front suspension kit to begin our transition. That's where we're starting this month.

Much to my surprise, the ole DeSoto was way ahead of vehicles from the same era. Our project car, as it turns out, was among the very first DeSotos produced! A little history is in order here. Plans for the DeSoto line began in late 1927 and limited production began in early April of 1928 for delivery to the dealers to sell as 1929 models after Jan 2, 1929. The initial idea was to compete with the middle class of vehicles that were a step above the Fords, Chevys and even their own Plymouths. As it turned out, the car was so well received that its first model year run and production set a new record for time.

Neat details like factory hydraulic brakes, remote master cylinder fill, electric starter, an open drive line, a vacuum fuel pump and a windshield that cranks up as opposed to swinging out, met with favor from the buying public.

And as we soon discovered as we disassembled the car it was very well built! There are no less than 21 bolts holding each front fender to the frame!! So I spent at least 3 1/2 hours carefully removing what I usually can do in 30 minutes. Good thing we're not counting labor hours! So any way, after getting the sheet metal off and safely set aside and marking the axle center line on the frame we removed the entire factory suspension and steering components. Car sorta looks naked now! I covered the installation of Mustang II front ends in an earlier column so I won't get too technical here.

Next, we unboxed the J.W. Rod Shop front suspension kit we bought and started the up grading. First things first - we made sure the parts were all there. Next, we test fitted the cross member to the frame to see what trimming, if any, needed to be done. Turns out only a small corner of the factory cross member was touching the new one. The original cross member was left in place due to it being the main support for the frame and mounting bracket for the radiator/grille assembly so we opted to work around it. After centering everything front to back, aligning the center line marks on the frame and new parts as well as left to right, the unit was tack welded in place. Then we re-checked everything again. Once satisfied with the location of the new cross member, it was fully welded in place. I cannot stress enough the fact that one MUST BE ABLE TO CORRECTLY WELD before ever installing this type of unit. If you’re not accomplished at welding, hire someone that is - your life depends on it!

Ok, so now that the cross member is in place we can mount the lower control arms and their support gusset. These simply bolt through the newly installed cross member via 2 tubular spacers. One prevents the cross member flanges from collapsing when the control arm bolt is tightened and the second mounts behind the unit to allow for welding in the support gusset. That finishes the welding portion, everything else bolts in place. 

That will do for now. Next month we will install the differential, motor and transmission.

Hope to see you all On The Streets !!
Ron & Dee - still smiling

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