Vintage Street Rodders of America
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April -19


Ron's Corner


Greetings members. As everyone is aware, we put the 1st ever “Swamp Rat” Rod Extravaganza in the VSRA-USA annals. To those that attended – A HEART FELT THANK YOU!  To those who didn't – you missed a fun one!

The Florida weather lived up to its reputation as it was a sunny and pleasant weekend. Temps in the low to mid 80s with a breeze all day.

We had entries from several states and a great variety of vehicles. Several photographers were there and have posted pictures and videos on Facebook as well as YouTube. So you can check them out and see what you missed.

Mr. Don “Big Daddy” Garlits was around most of the time enjoying the cars and meeting people. He pulled his 1940 Ford Convertible (on the t-shirt) out and parked it beside the yellow 32 ford (also on the shirt) on Saturday and Sunday for all to enjoy.

The swap meet area was well visited and contained many treasures not easily found! There were homemade items, some vintage stuff as well as just plain interesting things that were among the offerings.

The Saturday entertainment was well attended and fun. Impersonator Wesley Presley opened from 6 to 7 p.m., was followed by the Florida Roundabouts playing 50s, 60s and some 70s tunes as well as a few country hits until 10 p.m.

Mr. Garlits also opened his garage for visitors to meet him and get him to sign various items and get pictures with him. His stories made the trip to Florida worthwhile even without the show! Many thank you's to the entire staff at the Don Garlits Museum for their assistance all weekend long.

He opened his garage for visitors to meet him and get him to sign various items and get pictures with him. His stories made the trip to Florida worthwhile even without the show! Many thanks go to the entire staff at the Don Garlits Museum for their assistance all weekend long.

Sunday morning was beautiful, finding street rodders were back and having fun. The church service was well attended, and we appreciate that. Although we had some technical problems with our sound equipment for the Salute to our veterans, we finally got to honor them Sunday around 12:30. Thanks to all of our military, past, present and future! GOD bless you all.

A special debt of gratitude goes to some of our amazing club members that stepped up to with some badly needed help –especially the ladies. Both women and men power were needed to handle the various behind-the-scenes tasks like registration and merchandise sales. Thank you to those who helped as the events could not happen without you!

The new method of picking award recipients was well received. Voting by the participants on their personal “favorite” vehicles meant a lot to those chosen as winners.

Garlits was gracious enough to make a personal favorite pick and he resented his winner a special trophy stating that it was his favorite. As he honored the winner he also gave us a story of why he chose that car. The winner was Mr. Paul Marcotte of Ill. in his 1940 Ford convertible. Truly a fantastic street rod.

Big Daddy then explained the story behind his own '40 Ford ragtop. Seems after waiting 30 years to acquire it, the car was too far gone for a restoration project so he had his people re-create his first 40 Ford custom !! We are glad they did.

Show award winners are listed below and we offer our deep congratulations to each one of them.


                                  FAVORITE VOTE GETTERS


Favorite Coupe – Larry Teal – 38 Ford

Favorite Sedan – Bob West – 39 Chevy

Favorite Fat Fender – Mark Leary – 36 Plymouth

Favorite Chopped – Herb Winner – 34 Ford

Favorite Hot Rod – Robert Schmate – 32 Ford

Favorite Open – Johnson Davis – 48 Mercury

Favorite Truck – Don Pearson – 46 Chevy P U

Favorite Commercial – Dob Synder – 34 Ford P U

Favorite Rat Rod – Mel Wilson – 48 F1 Ford

Favorite Traditional – John Holm – 36 Ford

Favorite Wild Thing – Dan Doubrava – 35 Chevy

Ladies Choice – Paul Marcotte – 40 Ford Convertible

Long Distance award – Paul Marcotte – 40 Ford – 1234 miles

Hard Luck award - Jim Davis – 36 Packard – Broken windshield

Big Daddy Don Garlits Pick & feature car award Paul Marcotte 1940 Ford Convertible!!




Ok, so what's next? I will begin work on a single day event in Ohio and see if I can get something fun put together. Also, in the mix is finishing the details on the Maggie Valley, N.C. “Smokin’ Rods in the Smokies” fall show. I should have art work, applications and some details by next newsletter.

Along the way in the coming months I must finish up a couple of promised projects, sell the Kentucky property, pack up my shop, move somewhere and then and catch my breath ! So please bear with me.

We still have some t-shirts from the Swamp Rat run available so if you missed the show you can still wear the colors and support VSRA by purchasing a shirt for $18 plus $5 shipping.

Of course we also still have other VSRA merchandise available.  Two different clocks, our soft key chain, the traffic light view finder, polo shirts and now, by order only, an electric double neon logo clock with a chrome case and while face covered with the VSRA logo. They are gorgeous! Cost is $150 each plus shipping. 

Several members have called about renewal dues. Jim & Debbie Bledsoe are handling that and will send you a notice when your dues are necessary.

As we grow thru memberships and merchandise sales we can do more for our members via benefits and outings. We are staying true to our roots by remaining a chartered pre-49 organization. So if that's what you like, support us by recruiting members, attending our events and renewing your membership.

 Well that's enough from me this month!  Let's have a great and safe season of street rodding this year. Your Antique (and somewhat forgetful) Teenager Ron Goben


Jim's Corner


2019 Vintage Rod Tour

The 2019 Vintage Rod Tour will be from July 15 to July 20.  We will be touring the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.  The following is our schedule.  Please let us know if you are planning on going so we can provide you with a Vintage Rod Tour sticker for your car.  The stickers have been ordered and should be ready very soon so when you have decided for sure that you are going, let me know at 423-571-6430 and I will send you a sticker for your car. When reserving your room, ask for the Vintage Rod Tour  block to get our rate.  Some of the rooms are sort of pricey but the average for the whole trip is $109 per night.  


Monday July 15th      Meet in Cherokee, North Carolina at the Super 8 by Wyndham $76.49 - $85.49  The higher rooms are Suites.  They did not have enough regular rooms.  828-554-1281      


Tuesday July 16th     Travel to The Switzerland Inn in Little Switzerland  $139  828-765-2153   135 miles


Wednesday July 17th    Travel to the Hampton Inn in Mt. Airy  $109  336-789-5999   150 miles


Thursday July 18th      Travel to the Comfort Inn in Roanoke, Va.  $65  540-527-2020  100 miles


Friday July 19th           Travel to the Best Western Plus in Waynesboro. Va.   $125  540-942-1100   120 miles


Saturday July 20th       Travel to the Holiday Inn Express in Winchester, Va.  $99  540-667-7050    105 miles   Front Royal, Va. is the end of Skyline Drive but hotels in Front Royal were very expensive.  Winchester is only 20 min. away. 


Some of the points of interest are as follows: 

- Mt. Mitchell (highest point east of the Mississippi River) 

- Mt. Airy (Andy Griffith's hometown)

- Mabry Mill     

- Minerals Museum      

- Blue Ridge Music Center

- Meadows of Dan      

- Woods Brothers Racing Museum    

- National D-Day Memorial

- Linn Cove Viaduct      

- Peeks of Otter      

- Many other lookouts along the parkway.

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