Jim’s CornerOur First Annual Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies is now history. For it to be our first show in Maggie Valley, it was a great success. We were blessed with very good weather. We had a lot of the participants and vendors tell us that they would be back next year. We have already made up some generic flyers for next year’s Smokin’ Rodz show which will be on Aug. 11th and 12th 2017. We will be detailing the highlights of the show in this newsletter.
About two weeks ago, Debbie and I were headed to Brookville, Ohio for an open House and Car Show at Brookville Roadster when the Humpback just wasn’t driving too good and when I hit my brakes, I immediately knew that we had a problem. The front left brake caliper had stuck and the heat that was created from the friction cooked the grease in the wheel bearing and destroyed the wheel bearing. We were lucky enough to get a rollback to take us to a garage about three miles from where we broke down. This was in Pound, Va. which is about seventy miles from Kingsport. We got to Kyles Garage around 10 AM. By the time we rounded up all the parts we needed, it was almost 6 PM. Pound, Va. is a very small coal mining town in Southwest Va. Setting around all day at Kyles Garage may seem like it would have been a bore, but we got to meet some very nice people who would drop in when they saw the Humpback up on jacks. Believe me, everyone in this town knew everyone. We heard everything from coal mining tales to the local gossip. We gave out some cards to some local street rodders who were very impressed that we were driving the Humpback. Well, after we got the wheel assembly back together, the caliper still wanted to drag, so we decided to have the rollback driver return us to Kingsport where I could take my time and figure out the problem.
As of right now, we are planning the following trips to shows this year:
Charlotte Auto Fair Sept. 22nd through the 24th .
Cruisin the Coast in Biloxi, Ms. Oct.2nd through the 8th.
Cruisin the Beach in Myrtle Beach, SC on Oct. 13th through the 15th.
Good Guy’s Show at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 20th through the 22nd.
Emerald Coast Nov. 7th through the 12th.
Anyone planning to go to any of the shows, please look us up. We would also like to hook up with you and cruise to the shows.
We welcome Charles Ray from Baton Rouge, La. to our group of VSRA State Reps. He is a member of the Ramblin Oldies which puts on a Pre-49 show in Baton Rouge. See shows below.
Our Indiana Rep., Paul Gilb is in the hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Paul has leukemia and is very sick. Please keep Paul and his wife, Sue, in your prayers. Paul is a very dedicated state representative and has done a lot to promote VSRA.
First Annual Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies
Thursday was set up day and we were busy all day registering cars and parking vendors. At 5:00 all the registered cars and vendors assembled at the Wheels Through Time Museum where Dale Walksler, the owner and the star of the TV show “What’s in the Barn” gave free admission to his awesome museum. Everyone enjoyed touring the museum and getting to talk to Dale about his motorcycle and car collection.
On Friday we were blessed with partly cloudy skies and mild temperatures. There was a steady flow of street rods and spectators all day. Ron Goben, our Northeast Director gave a seminar on Air Conditioning in which everyone who attended learned some tips of how to keep their street rod cool.
Our special guest showed up a little after noon. Since we are dropping our Thunder Road Show, we thought it would be nice to end up this era in our history with a bonified real ole time moonshiner and his 1940 Ford moonshine car. We contacted Dwight Cass to come to our show. Dwight is a member of the Georgia Mooshiner’s Hall of Fame. Dwight had some very interesting stories to tell about his moonshining career. His 1940 Ford moonshine car was also a big hit. It had a beefed up suspension with eight shocks to handle the load. It had a Cadillac engine with two fours which was built by Junior Johnson in 1957. We did not advertise that Dwight would be there because it was not known whether he could make it until the last minute. Below is a picture of Dwight Cass and his 1940 Ford Moonshine car.
At 4:00, we all lined up for our cruise across the mountain to Harrah’s Casino. We got a little shower as we crossed the mountain which really helped to cool things a bit. When we arrived at Harrah’s, we parked in the first roped off parking lot. We were told that we would have reserved parking for our visit. After our thirty five street rods got parked, an official from Harrah’s came along and said all of our cars would have to be moved. We told him that Mike had authorized us to park there. He called someone who was also not aware of what we had been told. After a short conversation with her, she finally told him just to let us park there. Well, we got out of that situation without having to go to jail and everyone proceeded into Harrah’s with the ambition of being millionaires. Debbie and I do not gamble, so we just enjoyed looking at the luxurious surroundings inside the casino. We did eat supper there which was a bit pricey. We did find a food court that we could afford. All the other restaurants would have been around $75 for two people to eat.
Saturday was a little warmer with partly cloudy skies. We registered a few more cars and had a constant flow of spectators through the gate. Ron Goben presented another street rod building seminar on Overheating Solutions. Ron also added to the show by acting as our DJ with the sound equipment that we rented. Our portable mic allowed him to mingle through participants and do live interviews. This added a lot to the show.
Our 50/50 was another success thanks to Bob and Nancy Russell. They helped to raise $780 for the Hejaz Shriners Hospital. All the members of VSRA can be proud that through their generosity we were able to donate this money. We had a winner both days.
Our awards ceremony began at 4:00. Wayne Buxton, our Southeast Director began the ceremony by recognizing all the Reps. and thanking them for all the help they gave him. Wayne was in control of the show since this is in his territory. This took a lot of pressure off of me. Wayne did an excellent job making sure that everything went smoothly. Deb and I were surprised when Wayne introduced Rick Howe with the Georgia Street Rod Association. Rick presented Debbie and I with a plaque for our dedication to the street rod community.
Ed Roth from North Royalton, Ohio was the lucky winner of the Cobalt Tool Chest. $1288 was raised from all the raffle tickets sold.
The Young Street Rodder Award was won by Cabe Garnes with his 1941 Chevy that his grandpa had left him in his will.
The long distance award was won by Rich and Diane Brown from West Palm Beach, Fl.
Jim and Sheila Whipp were presented the Street Rodder of the Year award by driving over 12,000 miles in their 1941 Chevy.
Our Pioneer Award was presented to Roger Campbell by Wayne Buxton, our 2015 Pioneer recipient.
The following are the 25 VSRA Picks for the First Annual Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies:
Dean Hempel 1948 Chevy Sedan Delivery Seymour, Tenn.
Mike Koeppel 1933 Plymouth Coupe Troutman, NC
Jan and Herman Howell 1934 Ford Sedan Louisville, Ky
Wayne McGrady 1934 Ford 3 W Coupe Randleman, NC
Mike and Arita Morrett 1926 Ford Model T Sedan Delivery McCormick, SC
Rod Hackney 1935 Plymouth Coupe Bearcreek, NC
Tom George 1933 Chevy 5 W Coupe Knoxville, Tenn.
Charles Weber 1932 Ford 5 W Coupe Peachtree City Ga.
M.K. Blackman 1932 Ford 3 W Charleston, SC
Howard Krusey 1932 Ford Roadster Longwood, Fl.
Darrell Mullins 1934 Ford Truck Clendenin, WV
Terry Soltis 1934 Dodge Coupe North Lima, Ohio
Jack Clingan 1948 Chevy Town Sedan Lexington, SC
Chip Fair 1941 ChevySuburban Melbourne, Fl.
Keith Batman 1932 Chevy Sedan St. Albans, WV
Larry Hammon 1948 GMC Truck Spencer, Ohio
John Murphy 1937 Ford Flatback Forest, Va.
George Hodges 1935 Chevy Master Coach Rocky Mount, Va.
Jim Davis 1936 Packard 120 Touring Sedan Jacksonville, Fl.
Bruce Campbell 1937 Ford Coupe Waynesville, NC
Bob West 1947 Olds Convertible Maryville, Tenn.
Mike Leathers 1932 Ford Roadster Covington, Ga.
Dennis Russell 1932 Ford 5 W Coupe Mantua, Ohio
Steve Outen 1930 Ford Truck Monroe, NC
Gary Dilley 1936 Ford Flatback Eagle Rock, Va.
Gary Dilley’s 1936 Ford Flatback will be the 2017 Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies Featured Car which will be on all the flyers, plagues and T-shirts for the Second Annual Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies. Below is a picture of Gary’s car. You can see why the VSRA Reps picked this Smokin’ Rod to represent our show in 2017.
Thanks to all of the you who attended the First Annual Smokin’ Rodz show and hope you will be back next year and for all of those that did not make it this year, you need to make plans now to be in Maggie Valley next year for this great show. The picture below shows some of our participants at the show surrounded by the beautiful North Carolina Mountains.
We’re going to keep everyone informed about any upcoming Pre-49 shows. If you know of any, please call or send us a note and we will make sure that we put it in the newsletter. Below are two shows that are coming up in the near future. Please try to support these shows.
39th Annual Radius Rods Round Up on Sunday September 18, 2016 at the Gretchen Wilson Park in Pocahantas, IL. For more information call Dave Prater at 618-669-2551.
30th Annual Keys to the Hills Rod Run on Oct. 7th- 9th, 2016 at Boerne Main Plaza, Boerne, Texas. For more information call Lanne or Patsy Brehmer at 210-698-3062 ext. 10 or evenings 830-816-2221.
39th Annual R.O.D.S. Run on Feb. 24th-26th 2017 at 11271 Reiger Rd., Baton Rouge, La. For more information call 225-921-7530 or 275-9868.
Having just returned to the hot flat land of South Carolina after the cool and sunny skies of Maggie Valley, NC, I can reflect on the Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies Car Show that VSRA successfully staged. Jim and Debbie Bledsoe could not have selected a better location for the two day show, and our members from all over the country responded by driving many miles to participate and enjoy the weather and spectacular scenery!
My bride, Rose, and I spent 4 days/nights in Maggie Valley, and enjoyed every minute of the crisp cool mountain air and the sound of Hot Rods reverberating off of rocks and mountains. Thanks to all the State Reps and members who helped setup the grounds prior to the start of the show. Kudos to all the volunteers that helped in the merchandise booth! It was like the old days when everyone pitched in to make the shows a success!
Big News in the Southeastern Division of VSRA!
We would like to welcome Va. State Rep. Vic Bradshaw and the all the members in Virginia into the Southeastern Division and look forward to seeing more of the Va, group at the show next year. We would also like to welcome our 2016 Pioneer Award Winner, Roger Campbell, back as a North Carolina State Rep. Roger is a long time hot rodder and I know Sam Bristow , leader of the N.C State Reps, will enjoy having him back on board! The State Reps that attended, worked the gate, parked cars and helped pick the 25 VSRA Picks were: Johnson Davis NC, Jerry Ousley La, Fred Countryman SC, Herb Winner SC, Roger Campbell NC, Sam Bristow NC and Jim Whipp Fl.. Rick Huffman from Harlem, Ga. again provided Repair Service for broken down members with a smile on his face.. It was a real pleasure to work the show with VSRA Northeastern Director Ron Goben and Ky. State Rep. Chester Stevens that traveled down to provide additional support! Remember these names, because they gave their time and effort to make the show a success. Kudos to all.
The show was not the only attraction in Maggie Valley, NC as the VSRA members really turned out on Thurs. evening at a Cruise-In at Dale Walksler's famous Motorcycle Museum "Wheels Through Time" It was a magical motorcycle tour back in time with bikes and automobiles! Also, Jim Bledsoe lined up the Humpback Dodge and led the Cruise-In to Harrah's Casino on Friday evening, which many of the members attended.
It was a great pleasure to present the VSRA 2016 Street Rodder of the Year Award to Jim Whipp of Vero Beach, Fl. Jim and Sheila Whipp have been attending both Ohio, Piney Flats and Maggie Valley VSRA Car Shows and Road Tours for several years, and he leads the Florida State Reps. along with Gene Warm in Port St. Lucie. Jim and Sheila drove over 12,000 miles attending events where he spread the VSRA word and flyers. The Long Distance Award went to Rich and Diane Brown from West Palm Beach, while Cabe Garnes from Waynesville, NC got the Young Rodder award.
All in all, a very successful show, and the attendees really liked the cool mountain venue! VSRA members drove their rods many miles to get to Maggie Valley, NC and wholeheartedly thought it was worth the trip!
Wayne "Buckarooo" Buxton Southeastern Div. Director 803-215-8525 waybux13 at gmail.com
Well this ole year has certainly flown by!! I find it hard to believe that it’s September already! A lot of fun times have been had and a lot of miles have been traveled - and we're not done yet! The First Annual Smokin’ Rods in Maggie Valley, N.C. was a blast! Everyone enjoyed the scenery and good friends. This event has only one way to go and that is up, up and up as more people hear about this great event. Lots to do and see in the area as restaurants, hotels and merchants all assist in promoting the fun. The trip thru the Wheels of Through Time museum is worth the drive all by itself! Better make plans for this run next year.
By now most of you have read or heard of the adventures in Evansville at the 42nd Frog Follies. Although extremely hot for the weekend, the Follies once again proved to be a great time. The V.S.R.A. booth was in a super location this year and was well visited and staffed. Several new members and some renewals were obtained. The "Humpback" was a huge success and admired all week end long.
As is our custom, we had the state reps in attendance search the entries for their favorite to receive a 'pick' from VSRA. And man did we find some good ones!! It continually gets harder to pick just a couple from the thousands of neat rides registered. But we finally settled on what we thought were the best folks deserving of some recognition.
Our pick for the Youth pick was a young couple from Westville, Il. Mrs. Taylor Dicken and her husband Cory were amazing people. Driving a 1948 Buick Roadmaster convertible powered via 500 Cubic inch Caddy V/8 they definitely made an entrance! Married for all of 3 years they have already started on another hot rod to go with the big Buick. They drive the large convertible regularly and enjoy its comfort. Oh, and another interesting point - the Buick was a wedding present from her grandfather!!! Talk about a neat family!! Wow.
Next up was our adult pick. I must admit right here that I was very honored to meet and be allowed to introduce this pick! Mr. Bill Konechny from Saskatchenwan, Canada made my week end. Aside from the fact that he drove over 1600 miles just to attend the Frog Follies, his story just gets better. A 1934 Ford 2 door sedan pulls a travel trailer and carries Bill everywhere, He has been in all 48 states a least once and many of them several times and has crossed Canada twice!! That helps to explain the 303,400 plus miles he has driven his street rod!! Jim Bledsoe and Alabama rep Jerry Johns handed Bill his plaque and a year’s membership in VSRA.
While speaking with Bill and hearing his story I learned that his wife is fighting cancer. Been there, done that. He and his better half do everything together and she insisted that he make this trip without her. Bill is a believer and makes no apologies for it. He considers every day a blessing to be used wisely. As of Feb.2015 he has his green card which makes him a U.S. resident. In Feb. 2019, he will become a U.S citizen!! He and his wife, a natural born U.S, citizen, are excited about that accomplishment and I for one am pulling for them!!
So, getting back to the shop and heat and humidity and reality now. The DeSoto project is progressing as the motor and trans. have been installed as well as the brakes pedal assembly. More on that next month as this article is long enough!! So Stay Safe out there and I'll see you on the street!!
Ron & Dee - still smiling