Vintage Street Rodders of America
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June 17

Jim’s Corner

I hope everyone has been able to attend your local cruise-ins and car shows between all the rain showers.  We have certainly had our share of rain here in East Tenn.   We have been on the road almost every weekend going to shows.  I went to Asheboro, NC two weekends in a row.  On the 19th and 20th of May, we put on the Streetrod Safari Show at the North Carolina Zoo and the next weekend my friend, Willie, and I drove the Humpback back to Asheboro for Petty Fest.  Petty Fest is a car show/Petty fan gathering at the Petty Garage and Museum in Level Cross just up the road from Asheboro.  They open up the Petty Garage, Museum and you actually get to go in Richard’s home place which is right beside of the garage.  Of course “The King” is there signing autographs for all his fans.  If you are a Petty Fan or a NASCAR fan, you may want to put this on your bucket list of things to do.  Or you could just plan to come to next year’s Streetrod Safari when we will more than likely go back to the Petty Garage for another Cruise-in and may get a tour of Victory Junction.  I have been a Petty fan since I was 12 years old when my neighbors took me to my first race in Bristol here in East Tenn.  This was in 1963 when the race ticket cost $3.00. Man how times have changed!!

StreetRod Safari Show

We had great weather for out our inaugural show at the North Carolina Zoo.  We drove down on Friday hitting some rain on the way down.  Some of the West Virginia Mafia said they actually encountered some small hail around Hillsville, Va.  After we got the cars cleaned up, around 14 of us cruised up to Level Cross for our Cruise-in at the Petty Garage.   We all toured the Petty Museum and hung out for around two hours before cruising to KickBack Jacks for our next Cruise-in.  On our way to KickBack’s one of our local members, Wayne McGrady gave us a little tour.  He drove us by Richard’s house and Victory Junction.  At KickBack’s, they put us in a private dining area where we were all together.  We had a great meal and good comradery.   Our show site at the Zoo was absolutely beautiful.  We only had 64 registered cars but we hope to grow this show as more people find out that we have brought back what they used to call the Zoo Run but the real name for it was the StreetRod Safari.  We had a lot of members drive a very long distance for this one day show and we really appreciate their dedication.  Since this show was dedicated to the memory of Sam Bristow, we had several members at the awards ceremony talk about the Legacy of Sam Bristow.  Sam was a friend to many people and everyone loved Sam. 

We hope you plan to attend next year’s StreetRod Safari.  This is a beautiful area to visit and you can also go to the Largest Zoo in the world. Thanks to Rod Hackney and Wayne McGrady, two local members, for their help in putting on this show.   We would also like to thank all the State Reps. who came and helped with the show. 

Dennis Grieves 1947 Chevy was picked by our Reps. to be the Featured Car for our 2018 show.  Dennis’s car will be on all the flyers and plaque for our 2018 StreetRod Safari.  Congratulations Dennis!  Below is a picture of his car.           



Ohio Nationals

It’s time to head back to Ohio for the Seventh Annual Ohio Nationals.  We hope all of you who have supported this show before will come back and bring a friend with you.  Last year was the first year that we were in the new office for our registration which really made for a good atmosphere to meet and greet our old friends some of which we haven’t seen for a year.  Don’t forget to come out to our Cruise-in on the Medina Square on Thursday afternoon where the mayor of Medina will be picking another deserving car.  Our cook-out this year will be at the Fairgrounds on Friday afternoon.  So tell all your streetrod buddies about our show and come out for all the fun.

We mailed the confirmation cards out on June 7th so if you have registered and haven’t received your card, please let us know.

Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies

This year we will be treating all the registered car participants to a free cook-out at our Cruise-in at the Wheels Through Time Museum on Thursday afternoon.   Also, you will be admitted free to the museum.   Dale Walksler, the owner and star of the TV show “What’s in the Barn”, will be on hand with all his stories about his love for motorcycles.  Sam Memmolo, the Shade Tree Mechanic, will also be on hand for this Cruise-in.  On Friday afternoon we will cruise over the mountain to go to Harrah’s Casino.   

We will be having another silent auction this year so if you have any items that you would like to donate, bring them and we will be glad to find them a new home.

Don’t forget to have your total miles driven in 2017 because you might be The Street Rodder of the Year for 2017.  For all the new members, the Street Rodder of the Year is presented to the member who logs the most miles in one year from the period starting at the end of the Smokin’ Rodz Show until next year’s Smokin’ Rodz Show.  You do not have to be present to win. Just send in your miles to us.  Also we will present the Pioneer Award to another deserving Street Rodder.   The Pioneer Award is presented to a long time Street Rodder who enjoys driving his street rod, shows good character and is always ready to help his follow street rodder with any problems.                                                                                                       


Sam Memmolo

Great New!!!  We have a special addition to the action at the show in Maggie Valley this year.  Sam Memmolo will be in attendance this year.  Sam is well known in the automotive world via his TV and Radio show appearances.  He has been on air with tech advice shows like Shade Tree Mechanic, Two Guy’s Garage, Motorhead Garage and his current show now running on Velocity TV, Sam’s Garage.  He will be a valuable asset to our show with a meet and greet session as well as an Electrical Seminar.  He will be there on Friday and Saturday for all the fun.  So make your plans now to attend this year’s fantastic Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies.


                                                Sam's Headshots 030.jpg  


2017 Vintage Rod Tour

   Our 2017 Vintage Rod Tour will begin on Oct. 9th in Chattanooga, Tenn. and end up at the Key to the Hills Pre-49 car show in Boerne, Texas.  This year’s Key to the Hills car show will be on Oct. 13-15. We will meet in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Oct. 8th and leave on Monday to travel to Montgomery, Al.  On Tuesday we travel to Monroe, La.  On Wednesday we travel to Dallas, Texas.  Our last travel day will be Thursday when we end up in Boerne, Texas.  The Key to the Hills car show is one of the longest running Pre-49 shows around. 

The following stops are only suggested stops and you will not be frowned upon if you decide not to make some of them.  If you have any other suggestions on where to stop, we will discuss them at our Drivers Meeting that we have every night in the hotel lobby.

    Coker Tire and Honest Charlie’s in Chattanooga, Tn

    Hanks Williams Museum in Montgomery, Al.

    Duck Dynasty Restaurant in Monroe, La.

    Lunch at Bodacious BBQ in Tyler, Texas 

    Cruise-in at Sachse’s Rod Shop in Sachse, Texas

    Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas  This is the shop owned by hosts of Fixer Upper TV Show.


Below is a breakdown of daily mileage:

Monday October 9                Chattanooga, Tenn. to Montgomery, Al.                      220 miles

Tuesday October 10              Montgomery, Al. to Monroe, La.                                  365 miles

Wednesday Oct. 11               Monroe, La. to Dallas, Texas                                       285 miles

Thursday Oct. 12                   Dallas, Texas to Boerne, Texas                                   293 miles

Total miles                                                                                                                1163 miles


                       The following is list of the hotels that we will use for the tour:

Oct. 8   Courtyard Marriott      2210 Bams Dr.     Chattanooga, Tenn.    423-499-4400    $79.00

Oct. 9   Holiday Inn Express    5135 Carmichael Rd.   Mont., Al            334-270-9199     $89.00

Oct. 10  Quality Inn   1401 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.   Monroe. La.      318-361-9944     $72.00

**Oct. 11  Best Western        2011 N. Highway 78       Wylie, Texas      972-429-1771    $70.00

Oct. 12-15 La Quinta Inn   25042 IH 10      West San Antonio, Texas    210-564-6700   $89.00

    ** This hotel would only block 10 rooms for $70.  If we need more than 10 rooms, the rate will be $90 for the rooms above 10.  First come gets the best rate.  This hotel is close to our Cruise-in and is very cheap for the Dallas area.  We were very pleased that we were able to get all the hotels on the tour for under $100.

 Let us know if you will be going on this year’s tour and we will send you a tour sticker for your car.


2017 VSRA Events

Street Rod Safari at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, NC                   May 20

Ohio Nationals in Medina Ohio                                                                  June 23 and 24

Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies in Maggie Valley, North Carolina                August 11 and 12

Vintage Rod Tour (Key to the Hills)                                                           October 8-15


Wayne’s Corner

Glad to visit with you again! My wife Rose and I just returned from Asheboro, NC , where  VSRA presented the Street Rod Safari Car Show at the NC Zoo.  It was nice to see many of our old faithful members, but disappointing in the overall turnout!   So much work went into preparing for the one day show by Jim and Debbie Bledsoe and Rod Hackney before the day of the show.  The location at the Zoo was great and the tour of Petty's Garage well received by all that attended.  With over 900 members, only about 40 members came to enjoy the festivities, the rest of the approx +60 registered cars were local NC Pre-49 Street Rods and State Reps.  On a good note, we did sign up 4 new members, and we had State Reps from Kentucky, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina came out to help with the show.   Bravo to all that attended and we know for sure we all had a good time. We honored the memory of Sam Bristow our NC State Rep who recently passed and we said Goodbye to Sam in a fitting way.

I look forward to seeing a large group of VSRA members at the Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies Car Show on August 10-11 at the Festival Grounds in Maggie Valley, NC.  Jim and Debbie have a great schedule of events and cruise-ins planned around the Car Show for all to enjoy! So let's all get on board and make this a jam-up show. I personally look forward to seeing many old members and many travelers from far away.  Last year's show was great and this year's show will be better!  Come out and enjoy the Maggie Valley Show and bring your binoculars to check out the goats you can see up on the mountain ridge above the show grounds.  Very Kool sightings!

I am still recruiting State Reps and may be able to announce two new State Reps. at the Maggie Valley Show. Each State Rep is your contact with the VSRA Management team and will bring your questions and suggestions to the board to improve our organization.  Please bring your ideas, suggestions or complaints to your State Rep and he will push them up the chain of command.

Enough BS for now and hope to see ya'll at Maggie Valley in August.  Wayne

Ron’s Corner

Well today we do wiring!!  Remember those old tv commercials where the guy pulls a magnetic sign off the side of his El Camino and changes the wording to read windows!' ??  Well if you're a real street rodder you must wear several different hats to get your project on the road!  One of the required items that must be done correctly is the wiring. While involved for sure, it's still within the realm of doable projects for most all home mechanics. So in order to assist with that here are some hopefully helpful guides.

First things first, Every wiring circuit requires a plus (+) and a minus (-) side, a hot and a ground if you will. They both carry the same load so use the same size wiring for the ground as you do for the battery hot side. Next always use the proper size wire for the load it carries. In most cases if the load is at the opposite end from the battery, a one size larger wire may be helpful.

When wiring your project you have many options as to how to complete the task. Many companies produce wiring 'kits'. Some are very good, some are not so good and some are just plain junk or overpriced.  I prefer to wire my vehicles one wire at a time so that I only have what I need and can run the harness where I need it. Either way, with a kit or not, some things are very important. One, ALWAYS use a color coded system!  Never use the same color, size wire for the entire project. As a general rule of thumb there are only a few sizes and colors needed to do a whole car. (see guides at end of text). On that note please DO NOT use welding cable for battery cables!

Speaking of battery cables let's clear the air about grounding. If you relocate the battery to the trunk, run the ground cable from the battery to the starter attaching bolt!  Do not ground to the frame in the back. Yes it will function if done this way BUT the vehicle frame will diminish the ground effectiveness as it runs the length of the frame. If you ground the battery to the starter as mentioned, you then ground the motor, frame and body from there to each other. Since the starter is the largest draw of current on the unit it should get the best ground! And all the systems will perform and last longer.

Also be sure to protect the wires from heat and moisture. Anywhere the wires pass thru metal a grommet is required around the harness. I can send/draw a basic wiring diagram but they are available on the web, so if you need one you can find it or contact me directly about your project. Take a look at the attached charts and hopefully you wire your projects with ease. As always if you hit a snag, just ask and we'll see if we can assist with correcting whatever. Good luck.

Ron & Dee - still smiling


Generally accepted colors and gauges based on Gen. Motors wiring


Alternator to Battery                                   10ga                 red

                                                                     8ga for 100+ amp ser.

Body/eng grounds                                        10ga               Black

Headlites to dimmer sw.                               14ga               tan- low bm.

                                                                                             Grn- hi bm

A/C comp. Feed                                            14ga             dk blue or grn


Front park lights                                            18ga              brn

Frt turn lights                                                 18ga             lt. Blue – left

                                                                                             Dk blue _ right

Alternator exciter (if Used)                            16ga             Brn

Temp. sender                                                16ga              grn

Oil sender                                                      16ga             brn

Horn (from relay)                                           16ga             dk grn

Starter solenoid ( from ign sw)                      14ga             ppl

Distributor feed  points –                               16ga      yellow from ballast res.

HEI                                                                14ga            red

Gauge feed (dash)                                        16ga            pink

Dash lites                                                      18ga              grey

Cig. Lighter/12 volt outlet                              14ga             org

Dome/courtesy                                              16ga              org  to 12v

                                                                                            Wht to sw/grd

Turn signal flasher                                          16ga            ppl

4 Way flasher                                                  16ga           brn

Ign sw Acc to fuse panel                                 14ga          org

12 volt supply to fuse panel                             14ga          red

Radio feed  (keyed)                                         18ga          yellow

Radio memory                                                  18ga          red

Heater/a-c feed to controls                               14ga          brn

Taillights                                                           16ga          brn

Stop/rear turn                                                    16ga     left – yellow

                                                                                      Right – grn

Fuel gauge sender                                           16ga             tan

Power window/dr lock                                      14ga       yellow or pink



 All grounds should be of at the same value as the supply wire as they carry the same load




 Black – to horn switch ( momentary ground)

Orange to 12 volt supply

Green – to horn



(listed in order)



Green          these are for the key warning buzzer – generally not used

Double light blue -  Left front turn & dash indicator

Double dark blue – Right front turn & dash indicator

Brown – to fuse panel 4-way flasher

Purple – to fuse panel turn signal flasher

Yellow – left rear stop/turn light

Green – right rear stop/turn light

White – to brake light switch


Hope this helps.  Most cars use a GM column as well as most aftermarket suppliers.


Headlight  Switch Wiring for GM   Type   Switch


Courtesy ground (dome light & dash dimmer )

12 volt hot

Dashlights – direct or thru fuse panel


To dimmer switch (feeds headlights)

Front park lights

12 volt fused                


I’ve been asked numerous times about wiring a replacement headlight switch and not being able to get the lights to work.  So here is a typical connection for a GM type switch which is commonly used. The mistake most often made is failure to provide power to the #7 terminal. Next most common is trying to wire the switch directly to the headlights. The #5 terminal provides current to the dimmer switch and from there to the high/low beams.

Numbers 2 and 5 should be wired with a minimum of 14 gauge wire and the balance can be 16 gauge wire.


The turn signals and brake lights go through the turn signal plug on the steering column. They wire as follows;

The double light blue wire goes to the LEFT front-one to light/one to indicator

The double dark blue wire goes to the RIGHT front-one to light/one to indicator 

The yellow wire goes to the LEFT rear – operates turn/stop

The green wire goes to the RIGHT rear – operates turn/stop

The white wire goes to stop light switch

The purple goes to the turn flasher

The brown goes to the 4 way flasher

The black goes to the horn relay


99% of the lighting wires should be 16 gauge except where noted above.


Just a word of caution, beware of “cheap” wiring supplies.  This is NOT the place to safe a few bucks!!  Inexpensive wire kits are cheaper for a reason. They cut corners on supplies and quality. Yes they will work for LIGHT duty service. But don’t load them up with halogen lights, 100 amp alternators and big stereos. it WILL cause trouble down the road!   Wiring loads can change dramatically with driving and accessory loads so put in a good system to start with and you will reap rewards for years to come. This month’s tid bit – a lot of money is tainted – taint yours and taint mine !!!!!!   


See You On The Street      Ron       



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