Vintage Street Rodders of America
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Jan - 18

Jim’s Corner

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and Happy New Year. I’m sure everyone including me is tired of this extreme cold weather and is ready for Spring. I’m glad we have some global warming because if we didn’t, we’d really be in big trouble! I’m working everyday on the 34 Dodge truck, hoping to be able to put it on the road sometime next year. The body is off the chassis and is almost ready for paint. I am also working on the chassis at the same time. I have the engine and transmission set in the chassis, the clutch, master cylinder and brake lines, gas tank and gas lines have been mocked up. All of this will be removed before I paint the chassis. Below is a picture of the chassis with the 1955 Dodge 270 C.I. Super Red Ram Hemi and a five speed manual Dakota Transmission.

Jan Tyson

Jan Tyson, Don Snyder’s longtime girlfriend, passed away on Nov. 6 just before our Nov. Newsletter was to be released. Our Apologies to Don for not being able to get this in the Nov. Newsletter. Jan was always there at our shows ready to help Don when he volunteered to help at the gate. She also helped us sell t-shirts and 50/50 tickets at some of our shows. Jan was a fun loving person who had an artistic knack of modifying our VSRA Merchandise which added some bling-bling to it!!! She will be greatly missed and please keep Don in your thoughts and prayers.

2018 R.O.D.S. Run Show Feb. 23-25, 2018

We are planning on making the trip again this year to the R.O.D.S. Run Show in Baton Rouge on Feb. 24-25. We will meet at the Drury Inn at 3510 Grandview Parkway in Birmingham, Al. on Feb. 22 and travel to Baton Rouge on Feb. 23rd. This is one of the few Pre-49 shows left that we like to support. We have several new members from the club that puts on this show and I’ve got to hand it to them, they really know how to put on a show and their hospitality is second to none. So make your plans to meet us in Birmingham on Feb. 22. The phone no. for the Drury Inn is 205-967-2450. The rate is $89.99. The phone no. for the Host Hotel, which is the Hampton Inn, at 11271 Reiger Rd. is 225-751-4600 and the rate is $94.99. You can download a flyer for the show by going to If you don’t use the computer, just contact us and we will send you a flyer by mail.

40th Annual Dixie Rod Run March 16-18, 2018

Debbie and I are planning on attending this year’s Dixie Rod Run in Pearl, Ms. on March 16th, 17th and 18th. Although they have moved up their years to 1974, we would love to have a good representation of Pre-49 cars. The club that puts this show on, hosted us for a cook-out a few years back when we did the Nachez Trace Tour. We are meeting in Birmingham, Al. at the Drury Inn on Wed. March 15th and driving over to Pearl the next day. The no. for the Drury Inn is 205-967-2450. The no. for the Host Hotel which is the Holiday Inn in Pearl is 601-939-5238. If you would like me to send you a flyer on this show, just let me know.

2018 Hot Rod Power Tour

I have checked out this year’s Hot Rod Power Tour and I would like to encourage you to join me in this week long adventure. This year’s tour is quite a bit shorter than what they usually run. Another good thing about this year’s tour is that it is mainly in the Southeast. Below is this year’s agenda and the hotels I have booked for me. I do not have a block of rooms. If you would like to make this year’s tour, it would be nice if all of us street rodders could stay together and make a good showing for the Pre-49 cars. Just a note, Debbie will not be on this trip with me. My friend, Willie will be along with me.

- June 8th- 9th Bowling Green, Ky Ramada Inn 4767 Scottsdale Rd. 270-781-3000
- June 10th Chattanooga, Tn Wingate Inn 7312 Shallowford Rd. 423-933-2941
- June 11th Birmingham, Al. Hampton Inn 30 State Farm Parkway 205-313-2063
- June 12th Hampton, Ga. Holiday Inn Express 1302 Green St., Conyers, Ga. 678-964-2400
- June 13th Darlington, SC Hampton Inn 3000 West Radio Dr. Florence, SC 843-629-9900
- June 14th Raleigh, NC Comfort Inn 2539 S. Saunders St. 919-863-0091
- June 15th Charlotte, NC May drive home after show is over.

Rod Ramblings

Since asking for personal experiences with carburetor to electronic fuel injection (EFI) conversion kits in my November column, several VSRA members have been kind enough to write or call in response. So as promised, this month I’m passing along some of their words of wisdom.

Jim Prowse of Elsie, Michigan writes: “ I have a ‘32 Ford 3 window, 351 Windsor with Ford AOD and 350 differential.......A couple summers ago I was approached by Kevin Witte of Performance Fuel Injection with an offer of an EFI conversion “deal.” .......Conversion was done at his shop near Elsie, but can be done at home if you’re handy......The conversion is based on a reconditioned GM throttle body and uses a GM computer, sensors, etc., as well as an external fuel pump, adapters, fittings, etc. —a complete package. The distributor is modified to eliminate advance as that’s handled in the computer. I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that I’ve bought my last carburetor. The car starts easier and quicker, no choke or cold start issues, better throttle response, better driveability and better fuel mileage. There is NO downside, it’s all positive and trouble free. I’d recommend Kevin and fuel injection in a heartbeat. (Can a Ford guy say that???)

Absolutely Jim!! If a street rod can be made of parts from a variety of makes, so can your vocabulary! There were other responses with mixed reviews, including a member who had put one brand of EFI on several different cars with great success. But when he tried the FITech brand he had nothing but trouble and had to have the unit reworked several times before getting it straightened out. This was kind of bad news personally since I’m having a FITech unit installed on the newly rebuilt 340 Mopar going into my ‘35 Plymouth coupe. But like most hot rodders who have gone through this process, I depended on the advice of friends, magazine articles and the word of my mechanic who had previously used the FITech units on several rebuilds with no problems. So we’ll see what happens when I get the car back—hopefully in early February. I’ll keep you updated on that. But meanwhile it appears that, with some exceptions, the EFI conversions can be a viable option for street rodders in the process of rebuilding their engines or installing a new one. But make sure to do your homework first. Consult with other car owners and mechanics. Read up on EFI conversions in a few of the hobby magazines. And let me know how it works out for you.

Meanwhile, next month I’d like some ideas and suggestions on the future of VSRA. As most of you should be aware by now, Jim and Debbie Bledsoe are wanting to retire from the organization they founded and find someone new to take over. It’s your organization as well, so what would you like to see happen with VSRA. Again my email is and phone is 336-953-2983. Let me hear your thoughts. See ya” at a car show.

Ron’s Corner

Well old man winter is sure having his way with a lot of the eastern states!! That in turn curtails a lot of street rodding activity other than some repairs/alterations getting done. However since I was lucky enough to get to spend my winter in Florida, I am still enjoying "hitting the streets" in our 32 coupe. And as a new comer to the area and winter cruises here in central Florida. I have not learned all the events that are available, but I' m trying to. Street rodding is alive and well in many areas of our country and I have met many enthusiasts here. I find it interesting to see the differences as well as the similarities as to build methods across our land. We have attended about half a dozen events so far and have studied several hot rods here. For starters I was glad to see that safety was a priority. Next came personal taste mixed with individual style. As the ‘new kid on the block' the locals had to inspect my ride and of course, I had to check out theirs! A pretty good guess on my part is that 98 % of street rodders are great friendly people and here is no exception. We have been welcomed to the community and advised locations and dates of area shows and cruises. It has been fun driving around and learning where things are. I have talked with man's fellow rodders about VSRA and found some interest accompanied with some distain for the other organizations. But for the most part, I feel like street rodding is alive and well. I'm sure that most of us 'old timers ' have noticed the price of an older built rod continuing to go down. I don't think that's due to a lack of interest but rather the always rising cost of modifications.

Today’s world has seen tremendous increases in the cost of most everything. However the desire to own and drive an early vehicle is still strong. As we age our needs tend to change somewhat with regard to the creature features we want but not the fact that we want them in an older car. So the need for a national organization such as VSRA is very real. The friendships and experiences we have gained over the past 8 years and through the efforts of Jim and Debbie are further proof of that need. It should be a team effort to run such an organization. Just the fact that those two have done it almost alone is amazing!! Our sincere Thanks to them for all they have done. We have grown and can continue to do so if we work together. As the new year begins and plans are made for rod season driving, please consider volunteering to assist in the production and running of an event and/or our club. We need everyone to do a little so that we all can reap the benefits. An unfortunate truth is that it takes money to run and produce an organization and its events. Memberships alone cannot procure enough funds alone. We need sponsors and merchandise sales to keep growing. We also need of course man power and new leaders. How about it, will you just enjoy the work of someone else or will you pitch in for the good of everyone? If you would like to get more involved with running VSRA please contact Jim and have conversation about it. Until we meet again on the road to where ever - stay safe my friends!

VSRA Future

We still haven’t given up on someone taking over for Debbie and I. The job is still open to anyone who would like to take this challenge. Remember Debbie and I will always support you at the shows. We would really like to see the club continue but we feel that we owe our family more time than we have been able to give them for the last eight years. So contact me for all the details if you would like to take over. If no one steps up, we will run the Newsletter in March and May and after that there will not be a Newsletter. Also as I said last month, we do not have any shows scheduled this year. We have built up a family of true street rodders and hope we can continue to make long trips together and meet up as a group at car shows.

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