The Ohio Nationals are just around the corner and we are busy making plans to help the show go off smoothly and provide a fun time for all of the participants. Hope everyone is making plans to attend this year’s Ohio Nationals. I have also been busy trying to get the Humpback back on the road. After driving almost 2,000 mile on our 2016 Vintage Rod Tour, the radiator started leaking the very next weekend while going to a local cruise-in. We were very lucky to get home without any problems on the road. I removed the radiator and took it to a local shop where they told me they could not repair it. I immediately ordered one from PRC and I am currently waiting for the delivery in about a week. I took advantage of this down time to remove the five speed Tremec TKO that has leaked from day one. I took it to Silver Sport Transmissions in Knoxville, Tn. I bought the transmission from Keisler Engineering in Knoxville, who has since closed, and Silver Sport opened up in the same location. Silver Sport was gracious enough to offer to try to find the leak with their equipment. The trip to Keisler was very interesting. I was treated very good by all the employees that I met. Ben, who is the tech. man that I worked through, introduced me to the President, Jack Silver. Jack is a car guy and wanted to know what the transmission was in. I proceeded to tell him about the Humpback and while we were talking Ben was busy pulling up the build pictures on our website. We spent the next twenty minutes looking at the build pictures. The point that I am trying to make is that the folks at Silver Sport Transmissions in Knox. Tn. are a very down to earth and personal group that I will definitely consider doing more business with when I need to purchase another transmission. If you ever have a need for one of their products, it would be worth your time to check these guys out. You can check out their transmissions at silversport.com. The problem was the rear seal. Silver Sport has started using a different design and hopefully the new seal will fix the leak. Of course there was a small charge for checking out the transmission because I did not buy through them.
2016 Vintage Rod Tour
This year’s tour will be remembered as the 2016 Vintage Rod Tour Detour. On Friday morning the day before we were to meet everyone in Nashville, Tn. to begin our tour, Debbie called and said that the weather was not looking good along the route for our tour. I went to weather.com to confirm her prediction. There was a chance of tornados and large hail in the Texas and
Arkansas areas where we were scheduled to be. It was just not worth the risk to head into these areas of potential bad weather so I immediately called all the participants and told them that we needed to cancel all the hotels except Nashville and head south to stay out of the bad weather. Everyone was in agreement, so I planned a new route and got new hotel reservations in four new locations.
We met in Nashville, Tn. on Sat., afternoon. Deb and I took a shuttle bus with three other couples to Downtown Nashville where all the Honky Tonks are on Broadway near the Ryman, which is the home of the original Grand Ole Opry. We had a very interesting time walking around watching all the young people do their thing. I think most of us felt like a fish out of water. We discovered that the song George Jones and Allen Jackson sing is true.
The name of the song is Murder on Music Row. The song is about how real traditional country music was killed. The music we were hearing coming out of most of the Honky Tonks sure was not traditional country music. There were a few of the bars who played some of the traditional country music. We had dinner on the roof of one of the restaurants where we could watch all the happenings down on the strip. This was a very interesting evening and I believe all enjoyed the experience of seeing how the new generation conducts themselves. I’m just glad we came up when we did.
The next morning we headed out on the back roads toward Montgomery, Al.
Knowing we were going to go through Meridianville, Al., we called our Alabama. Rep. Jerry Johns to see if we could get a tour of his shop. He was very surprised and exited that we were coming by. We arrived at Jerry’s place just before lunch. We had a really good visit with Jerry and his wife, Jona.
Jerry’s shop is far above the average everyday shop. He has the room and the tools to do most anything he so desires and let me tell you he does some very fine work. We were all very impressed with his setup and his abilities. After the shop tour we went to a local restaurant and had lunch with Jerry and Jona. It was a long day, good road and a beautiful weather. We got to Montgomery, Al. just before 6:00.
On Tuesday morning we headed out for Long Beach, Ms. Long Beach is where Cruisin the Coast is held. This is a beautiful beach. We tried running the back roads but they were just too rough for our cars so we hit the interstate and arrived in Long beach around 2:00. That afternoon, I decided to go to a local car wash to wash the Humpback. After I got it washed, I pulled it out of the stall only to have it die. When it would not start, I decided to call the West Va. gang.
These guys have traveled with each other for years and always go prepared to handle any situation. The WV Gang consists of Keith Batman, Bob Payne, Darrell Mullins and their adopted friend, Mike Smith from Rutherfordton, NC.We first tried to see if it needed gas and when adding gas did not help, they checked the fire to the coil and there was not any. We decided to call AAA and get it back to the hotel. Well, five hour later, the rollback arrived. Needless to say we had Pizza at the car wash for supper. These guys would not leave me and I think they even missed their favorite TV show !!! The next morning, I acquired a new MSD Ignition box and we had it running by 9:00. These guys never complained a bit and I really appreciate them and their know how. I think Keith even enjoyed seeing the Humpback on the rollback and Mike made the comment that it would give us something to talk about next year. Thanks again guys.
Keeping an eye on the storms, we saw that there was another front moving into the Ft. Worth area where we were still trying to go. After finding this out, we decided to cut our trip short and head back home on Wednesday. The storms were moving toward the East where we would be traveling. That afternoon Deb and I traveled with Sheila and Jim Whipp to Baton Rouge for the evening. We called ahead and made plans to meet member Charles Ray and his wife, Marie, for dinner. We had a very pleasing visit with them and was back in Long Beach around 9:00.
The next day everyone headed home. Continually watching the movement of the storms, Deb and I decided to drive all the way home. You’ve heard of storm chasers. Well, the storms were chasing us !!! We drove 656 miles and got home before 10:00 PM. We got a thunder storm about 5 minutes after we got home.
Well, although it was cut short, we all had a good and safe trip and made a lot of good memories. Maybe we’ll try the Ozark Mountain Tour again next year. Just not around tornado season!! Let me know what you think.
To see more pictures of the tour << click here >>
Just a reminder, that the cut-off date for the Hawthorn Hotel is May 22nd. We also have a block of rooms set up at the new Holiday Inn Express in Medina. You can call them at 1-800-465-4329 and give them our group code (VSR) and they can set you up with a room for $79 if you so desire.
Our cut-off date for early registration for our show is June 13th. The confirmation cards will be mailed out around the first of June.
Don’t forget our Cruise-in on the Square in Medina on Thursday night. Our cook-out will be at Dave Hermann’s place on Friday night. I have been told that Dave has a beautiful place on a lake which is a great place for a cook-out. You will also be able to check out Dave’s collection of Cushman motorcycles, antique cars and street rods.
Our food vendor has informed us that they will be opening at 7:00 AM Fri. and Sat. morning with breakfast sandwiches, donuts and coffee.
Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies
This week Deb and I went to Maggie Valley to meet with some officials to finalize some plans for the show. We visited the Wheels Through Time Museum and got to meet with the owner, Dale Walksler. Dale has a TV show on the History Channel called What’s in the Barn. The Wheels Through Time Museum is a premier museum with over 350 rare motorcycles and several rare Pre-49 cars and trucks. Dale is a very personable guy who enjoys talking to the people who come to his museum. Dale spent over an hour with us as he gave us a personal tour. He also agreed to have a Cruise-in at the Museum on Thursday evening the 11th - the day before the show. Dale is giving all of our participants and vendors free admission to the Museum. So if you are coming to Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies, make sure you arrive on Thursday so you can meet Dale and tour the Museum. If you’ve not seen his show, What’s in the Barn, be sure and check it out on the History Channel..
We have also acquired a Police escort for our Cruise to Harrah’s Casino on Friday afternoon. Make your plans to attend the first Annual Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies. I don’t think you will be disappointed. Maggie Valley is a beautiful town nestled in the mountains of North Carolina.
2016 VSRA Events
The Ohio Nationals Medina, Ohio June 24th and 25th
Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies Maggie Valley, NC August 12th and 13th
Hi VSRA Members,
I sometimes think back to the days, when I first got involved in a club of fellow street rodders, down here in Dixie. It was 1992 and I had just relocated to Augusta, Ga. for nuclear work at Plant Vogel in Waynesboro, Ga. I had been a drag racer most of my adult life, and didn't know much about street rods or hot rods in the deep south. I saw some hot rods in town and inquired about were there any clubs in town. I was told that Augusta, Ga. was the home of the Master Golf Tournament and golf was king, but there was a few hardy rodders that claimed to belong to a club called the Dixie Wheels! It took a few months to discover the hot rod heartbeat of Augusta, Ga. and find some Dixie Wheels members. I inquired if they have a meeting, that I could attend and the minute I mentioned that, I had a Farty Ford Kar, they became suspicious of me and my Boston accent.
After a while I did get to attend a couple of meetings, but they seemed to argue a lot and never get much done! They put on one car show a year at the local air field and gave out trophies to all that attended, so as not to offend anyone. I didn't last long (6 months) and dropped out! Important lesson learned is keep my mouth shut about my Kar around southerners! I did meet some older Rodders from other states and in 1993 five of us formed our own club called the CSRA Road Angels. Over the next 10 years we grew to 315 members by explaining our philosophy of hot rodding "All for 1 and 1 for All" We had monthly meetings, we traveled to car shows in neighboring states and cities, and joined organizations like Goodguys. I got involved in hot rodding here in the deep south and even the people have put up with my accent and Kar.
The buzz word in this month is "GET INVOLVED"! I am so proud on the new VSRA Southeastern Division new State Representatives, because they "GOT INVOLVED" to help their fellow state members enjoy VSRA a little more! They are your voice as a VSRA member and will push suggestions and information up to the management of VSRA. Contact your State Representative and communicate with them! Don't know yet whether my medical problems, will allow the trip in June to Medina for the Ohio, Nationals, but when I get well, I certinally will make the trip to "STAY INVOLVED"
See you next month
Welcome to summer!!! Here's wishing everyone a fantastic rod run season ! I am going to hit a couple of topics this month but first a little personal item. Our Kentucky state rep, Chester Stevens, got married on April 29th!! A warm and sincere 'Best Wishes" to him and our newest street rodder, Abby! May they log many happy miles together.
Now on with the article. As most of you reading this are aware, Dee and I went snow birding in Florida last winter and drove our old '46 Plymouth convertible the entire trip. We tend to take the surface/back roads and 'boycott' interstates as much as possible. So our journeys always take a smidge longer than other folks. Anyway on our trip home we drove thru portions of Florida, the extreme southern tip of Alabama and then diagonally north east thru Georgia. After driving until around 4:30pm we decided that 1) we had driven long enough and 2) we were hungry!! So we stopped at a restaurant in Georgia for dinner and to find a place to stay for the evening.
After a good meal we returned to the car for the short drive to the motel. We begain to smell an odd odor. Thinking it must be from the area since we had not smelled it previously, we headed out. However once on the road again it became apparent that the smell was traveling with us! So when we arrived at the motel I asked Dee to check in while I checked the car for that 'burning smell' !! Now imagine if you will a 1946 Plymouth convertible packed tightly for a 4 month trip/winter vacation. Placement of every item had to be carefully thought out in order to get the doors and trunk lid to close !
So first, I felt of the floor in the rear seat area thinking maybe the floor got hot via the exhaust and heated the bags and such back there. No problem found so I opened the trunk. Oops - a little blue smoke - definitely NOT GOOD. I had that trunk packed so well that even a mouse could not have gotten in! So I began to remove clothing bags one at a time. Well as I laid the first one aside and reached in for the second one something caught my eye. More smoke and red ambers.....on the bag I just removed! As I quickly turned loose of the second bag the first one began smoking worse. Now I'm standing in the parking lot stomping my own clothes bag while trying to see if any others are burning ! Luckily only the top bag had caught on fire, but why??
After looking for the culprit I discovered that in all the stop and go traffic the metal shield around my 3rd brake light had heated to the point of igniting the clothing and bag packed tightly against it!! Lesson learned. I had not thought about the housing becoming hot enough to start a fire, but...it did. So, I will alter the light and re-position it or convert to LEDs which don't get hot to start with. Heed the warning.
Ron & Dee - still smiling