Vintage Street Rodders of America
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March 17

Jim’s Corner

We just returned home from Baton Rouge, La. where we attended the 39th Annual R.O.D.S. Run Pre-49 car show.  We had ten cars and 22 members which included wives to make the trip.  See more details on the show under the R.O.D.S. Run heading.

I would like to remind everyone again that if you need flyers to hand out at any of your local show, to be sure and let us know and we will send you as many as you can handle.

If you would need a member sticker for your car, just let us know and we will get it in the mail to you.

All new members, please send us a picture of your car for our members page on the website.

Another reminder about our new Facebook page.  This is a great tool for all of our members who like to use the computer.  The uses are only limited to your imagination.  You can ask for technical advice, post pictures of your project, post pictures of your finished street rod, inquire about car shows around the country or post a picture of a car or parts that you would like to sell.  Please keep all subject matter to Pre-49.


Sam Bristow

We regret to report that Sam Bristow passed away on Feb. 23rd . Sam was a very dedicated North Carolina Rep.  In fact, Sam and his friend and member Rod Hackney were currently working on our new regional show in Asheboro, NC.  Sam and another Friend and member Tom Tomlin, built and donated a 350 Chevy engine to VSRA a few years ago in which we raffled off.  We will be giving away a Sam Bristow Memorial Award at the Street Rod Safari Show.  Sam was a“True Street Rodder” and was very well known throughout the street rod community and will be greatly missed by many. 


Mike Sinclair

Mike Sinclair of Brunswick, Ohio has passed away.  Mike always came to the Ohio Nationals in Medina, Ohio.  I did not know Mike very well but the times that I had spoken to him, he seemed like a very spirited and friendly man who loved his street rods.  Mike will truly be missed among the street rod community.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.

New VSRA Reps

We want to welcome 3 new Reps  to VSRA: Ronald Atkins – Corryton, Tenn,  Rod Hackney – Bear Creek, NC, Johnny White – Harlem, Ga



We all had a great time on our Road trip to Baton Rouge, La.  Deb and I met up with Ronald and Cathy Atkins, Roger and Grace Phillips and Dean and Linda Hempel at the Cracker Barrel in Knoxville, Tn.  After breakfast we headed out for Birmingham in the rain.  We ran out of the rain in about 80 miles.  Dean Hempel suggested that we make a stop at Coker Tire and Honest Charley’s Speed Shop.  We enjoyed our visit to Honest Charlie’s.  The guys that work there were really friendly and enjoyed looking and taking pictures of our rides.  We had lunch at a restaurant that they recommended next door and went back over to their shop for a tour of the Coker collection. 

After our tour, we hit the road again and landed in Birmingham around 5:00.  The group that came up from South Carolina and Georgia were waiting for us in the lounge at the hotel.  In fact they had arrived at 11:30 AM.  They must have been really anxious to get this trip started!!

The next day we left Birmingham around 9:00 to let all the early morning rush hour get thinned out.  We had great weather.  We had nine cars in our group and we all stayed together as we ran down the highway at around 70 mph.  We stopped several times for food, gas and just to have a break.  That day we drove 400 miles and arrived in Baton Rouge around 5:00 after sitting in the local traffic around 40 min. 

Our host, Charles Ray, made a 6:00 reservation for us at Roux 61 for dinner.  We met Charles and Marie and some of the member of the Ramblin Oldies of Denham Springs.  We had a great meal and enjoyed meeting some new street rod friends.

On Friday morning things did not get going till around noon so we got a little sleep in time.  Let me tell you, these guys that put on this show area layed back bunch of guys.  The show was right next door to our hotel and it made it very convenient.  We just set around all afternoon enjoying the warm sunshine.  That night the club fed all the participants Jambalaya - that was different for an East Tenn. Hillbilly!!!

Saturday morning had a little chill in the air but really not too bad.  We had another good day meeting a lot of the locals and more of the club members.  We signed up 11 new members.  All of the members of the Ramblin Oldies went out of their way to make us feel special.  They were so appreciative that we had driven all of those miles to come to their show.  That night, Charles Ray and his wife, Marie, had all the out of town members over to their house for a great meal in appreciation for us making the trip.  We all had a great time.  I got a surprise when Charles brought out a birthday cake for me that was decorated with the VSRA Logo and a picture of the Panel Truck.  My 65th birthday was the next day.

Sunday morning’s activities started at 9:00 with a church service in the parking lot at the show that lasted around 45 min.  This was a very inspiring way to end a show.  After the service, they proceeded giving out the awards.  Our traveling group took home some very good awards.  I could go on and on talking about the good time that was had by all, but the Newsletter would be too long.  We all decided that we would make this an annual trip.  And I hope that when you read this, you will decide to go along with us next year. 

We regret Dean and Linda Hempel had an electrical problem and had to stay over and trailer their car back to Tenn.  We’re all just glad that the problem happened before they got on the road and they were not involved in an accident.

We had a total of 22 members (including wives).


 The following members made the trip:


Jim and Debbie Bledsoe                 1934 Dodge Panel Truck                           Kingsport, Tenn.

Wayne and Rose Buxton                1939 Chevy Sedan                                     Aiken, South Carolina

Dean and Linda Hempel                 1948 Chevy Sedan Delivery                      Seymour, Tenn.

Ron and Cathy Atkins                     1938 Ford                                                    Corryton, Tenn.

Roger and Grace Phillips               1934 Ford Sedan                                          Knoxville, Tenn.

Jimmy Ousley                                  1938 Chevy Sedan                                       Harlem, Ga.

Johnny White                                  Rode with Jimmy Ousley                            Harlem, Ga.

Jim and Sheila Whipp                    1941 Chevy Sedan                                       Vero Beach, Florida

Tom and Rita Georgian                 1929 Ford Roadster                                    Cape Coral, Florida

Jerome and Sherry Hale                1931 Ford Coupe                                        Nacogdoches, Texas

Phil Prather                                     1932 Ford Roadster (won long distance award)      Chicago, Il.

Jerry Ousley                                    1929 Ford Truck                                           Lake Charles, La.


Mike Smith was bound and determined to go along even after the transmission on his 32 Chevy  tore up on him the day before we were to leave.  He and his wife, Arlene, followed along in Arlene’s new Chevy Suburban.  They were tabbed as being Secret Agents as they looked after the well being of the group. If the Suburban had been black, it would have looked like President Trump following along behind us!!




To view more pictures follow this link to Google Photos:

Ohio Nationals

June 23rd and 24th is getting closer every day and will be here before you know it, so now is the time to Pre-register for the Ohio Nationals in Medina, Ohio.  We sent out flyers to all members about 2 months ago, but if you are a new member and are interested in going to this show and do not have a flyer, just let us know and we will get you a flyer in the mail.  Anyone in the Medina area who would like to have flyers to give out at local shows may go by Russ’s Car Care in Medina and pick up all the flyers you need.


2017 VSRA Events

Street Rod Safari at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, NC                  May 20,  2017

Ohio Nationals in Medina Ohio                                                             June 23 and 24, 2017

Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies in Maggie Valley, North Carolina                August 11 and 12, 2017

2017 Vintage Rod Tour  (Key to the Hills)                                               October 8-15, 2017

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.  Below are some suggested points of interest where we will be stopping. 

We are currently working to get a Cruise-in at Coker Tire and Honest Charley’s in Chattanooga for Sunday afternoon.  (This has not been confirmed yet. Stay tuned)

         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

                                                                                                                    1163 miles

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

Oct. 9  Courtyard Marriott       2210 Bams Dr.             Chattanooga, Tenn.    423-499-4400            $79.00

Oct. 10  Holiday Inn Express    5135 Carmichael Rd.      Montgomery, Al  .   334-270-9199            $89.00

Oct. 11  Quality Inn     1401 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.       Monroe. La.         318-361-9944            $72.00

*Oct. 12  Best Western     2011 N. Highway 78                     Wylie, Texas       972-429-1771            $70.00

    ** 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.

I am still waiting to get a quote from the hotels in Boerne, Texas. Let me know if you will be going on this year’s tour and I will send you a tour sticker for your car.

Carl Perkins Trailer

The following story was sent in by VSRA Member Bob Lehn, Breckenridge, Minn.  Thanks Bob!

In the late 1970’s my friend, Tim Sills ran across this old trailer while on a road trip through Magic Valley, Tenn.  For years Tim drove by this trailer and finally stopped to see if this little trailer may be for sale.  To Tim’s amazement it was indeed for sale. 

Tim bought the trailer and ask about the history behind it.  The previous owner was from Tiptonville, Tenn. and had used the trailer to haul his beagle dogs around in.  The stacks were added for the beagles. He went on to say that the story behind it was that it had been built and owned by Carl Perkins.  Carl had used the trailer to haul his band equipment from show to show.  We bought the trailer in 2013  and hope to show it this year.  We will be doing some more updating with hand painting lettering later on. Since my son, Matthew, is a music buff, he feels blessed to have acquired a part of Rockabilly History.





Street Rod Safari

We have our flyers done for the Street Rod Safari Show in Asheboro, North Carolina on May 20.  This is a one day show at the North Carolina  Zoo.  If you would like us to send you a flyer, then just let us know and we will send you as many as you need.

Wayne’s Corner

Happy Spring to ya'll'

My bride Rose Buxton and I just returned from the"Ultimate Road Trip to the Ramblin Oldies of Denham Springs Car Show in Baton Rouge, La."  We traveled over 1400 miles with a dedicated group of VSRA travelers and spent 3 very pleasant days at the show, where we were totally impress by the hospitality that we were shown. KUDO's to the Ramblin Oldies Club of Denham Springs that put on one Hell of a show.  We will be back in 2018, and look forward to seeing many of their members at Smokin’ Rodz in Maggie, Valley, NC in August.  Also, many thanks to our La. State Rep. Charles Ray who invited our whole group to a Mardi-Gras supper at his home!  It was awesome, and all appreciated your hospitality.

I discovered that I had added an extra quart to my engine due to bad light and could't read the dip stick, so for the first 500 miles I was the last one in line due to spitting oil out the exhaust pipes!  Getting old (77) I guess? You think? My 39 Chevy blue Road Warrior took a beating on the terrible roads around Atlanta and Birmingham and will need to realign my front end and rebalance my rims and tires, but all in all everything else worked perfect on the old Kar. Wish I could say that for my old body!  Both Rose and I were beat from the trip up and back. 

We at VSRA are all in shock at the untimely passing of our Sr. North Carolina State Rep. Sam Bristow, who will be greatly missed.  We plan on dedicating the new "Street Rod Safari" a pre-49 show in Asheboro, NC on May 20th in his honor.  RIP Sam, you will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved you.

Plans are finalized and please make plans to attend our first VSRA Southeastern Regional show (Street Rod Safari) that will be held on the grounds of the North Carolina State Zoo in Asheboro, NC on May 20th. The Host Hotel will be the Comfort Inn in Asheboro, NC, and if you contact them, ask for the VSRA rate of $99 + tax.  N.C. VSRA member Ron Hackney (336-593-2983) is our point of contact with the Zoo and promises a fun filled day of cars and animals.  Looking forward to seeing all VSRA members at our newest regional show, dedicated to the memory of Sam Bristow.

Look forward to seeing many of our southeastern VSRA members at "Run to the Sun" 3 day car show at Myrtle Beach (Mar. 16-18).  Over 3300 registered Hot Rodders in 2016! Please come by the VSRA Booth and say hello to Jim Bledsoe and Debbie and all the dedicated State Reps that man the booth.

Pick up a flyer for the new "Street Rod Safari" Show in Asheboro, NC May 20th, and enjoy the seaside and shopping.  We will be making our annual group picture at 1:00 on Saturday.  So come on over and help us break the camera.

Enough BS for now, and the old Buckarooo will see ya'll in Myrtle Beach.


Ron’s Corner


Well that's what I keep hearing anyway. Folks are dying off and the youngsters don't want our old cars. Kids today want the "tuners" or a late 60s lowrider, not a 30s hot rod !!  Street rod clubs are disappearing. Events now-a-days are full of late model power houses. Really ?  Let's talk about this.

I've had a hot/street rodder since the 50s and I've saw a lot of things/trends come and go. If I have learned anything it's that somethings never change....but somethings do! Let's discuss our beloved hobby/sport - street rodding. First is it a hobby? Is it a sport?  As I understand a hobby is something one does for fun and relaxation. Something to take ones mind off work. That fits with street rodding. Ok then a sport is an activity one participates in for pleasure and the excitement of participating. Usually involving some sort of competition held in conjunction with others. Well, geez that fits as well!!  Ok let's stay focused and just agree that street rodding is BOTH a hobby and a sport... a 'hort? or maybe a sporbby ? ( I like sporbby LOL )

Well hot rodding, as it originally started, has seen many changes over the years. But if we really look back with clear minds we find early " technicians" modifying cars for the sake of speed. They removed most anything that wasn't necessary that added weight. They pulled every available horse power from whatever they had to work with. Thus stripped down 'factory' cars were born, the beginning of 'high boys' style. This started in the 20s and continued into the 30s but got side tracted by the depression and WW 1. NOT killed, but slowed down, a few dedicated folks kept the flame alive so that after the war hot rodding blumed again.

When the 'fat fender' cars came along in greater numbers they brought with them larger more powerful engines. People would buy as new a car as they afford and practice the art of modification once again. As a result early (pre 1935 cars) vehicle modifying was left to a small group of folks that couldn't afford or didn't want the bigger rides. Customizing found it real start in this era. Making an old car look newer by the addition of things like rear fender skirts and wheel covers and lowering became popular.

Hot rodding blossomed between WW 1 and WW 2. In the late 40s after the troops were home and our country was getting back to expanding things on the home front, the young men that had been abroad and saw a lot of foreign engineering brought that knowledge home. Hot rodding grew even stronger and the fodder of choice was American iron of the late 30s and early 40s as that was all we had. Clubs sprang up everywhere.  Hot rods were being built for the street in large numbers, at first mimicking the look of the race car - it had to at least "look" fast. Custom cars also thrived during this era. But hot rods were king.


By the mid 50s Detroit had gotten the message and started building 'factory' hot rods. Big motors the key to sales. In the late 50s custom cars took over and hot rodding backed off. Folks were buying new performance rides and ruling the streets. Your local new car dealer could (and would ) deliver a factory fresh " hot rod/race car" in your choice of color and brand.  Just sign the dotted line. Still those few die hards were hanging on and busting knuckles in the back garages and building home brew hot rods.

Show rods and show cars were prevalent thru the late 50s and early 60s as Detroit kept turning out performance/muscle cars. But hot rodding never stopped, we devised ways to increase want the factory was producing as it pertains to horse power. We got caught up the muscle car craze thru the 60s. Now there are ALWAYS exceptions to any rule and hot/street rodding was no exception to that rule.  A new wave of cars now being called 'street rods' were making the scene in increasing numbers. These would not go away. All through the 70s we enjoyed rapid growth of the street rod segment except for one period of slow down caused by a so called fuel shortage and economical craze.

Local and nation clubs and organizations gained members by the thousands. Whole industries were born to feed the appetite of the motoring public for street rod parts. Things were good. This growth stayed positive thru the 80s and 90s. Although there were ups and downs at times street rodding remained healthy. Now we get into the early 21st century. Once again Detroit (or possibly Japan ) stepped up to make high horse power offerings to the motoring public. Once again street rodding became a slow decline.

Now granted there is some merit to the theory of declining numbers of street rodders due to age, there are also those die hards that just won't go away.  History has shown us that every time the factory builds fast cars the aftermarket declines for a short while. Yes I know that event participation has gone down at some major outings. Yes, I agree that our numbers are dwindling but so did the generation before us ! Every time I go to a pre 49 event I have a great time! I find hundreds of people just like me that are enjoying the fruits of their labor via a street rod. I see young men in their 30s and 40s learning from the 'old guys'. I see the future of my favorite pass time still looking good. We may be cycling thru another phase but don't count us down for good!! 

See you on the Street !!!!

Ron & Dee - still smiling


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