Vintage Street Rodders of America
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May - 18

May 2018 VSRA Newsletter

Ron’s Corner

Hello fellow street rodders!!! To most of you reading this I need little or no introduction. But for our new members or those that have not yet attended a VSRA event, please allow this brief intro. I am Ron Goben, a street rodder since the late 50s and retired owner/operator of Custom Cars Parts & Service. In past years, I have served as state rep for KKOA, KOA, past president of KSRA, member and officer in 3 different car clubs, Ky. state rep for VSRA and most recently North Eastern States director for VSRA. In case you can’t tell, I LOVE old cars and people!

As all our members are aware, VSRA has been going thru some organizational and growth changes. As was previously announced our beloved and fearless founders and president, Jim & Debbie Bledsoe are retiring and stepping down from the daily chores of running our organization. They have earned some well deserved personal time with each other and family as well as a permanent place in our hearts! They will remain a vital part of our family of street rodders as we move forward.

I will be assuming the duties of running and promoting Vintage Street Rodders of America and trying my best to continue the great work set in motion by Jim & Debbie! The "Pre 49 " venue for the driven street rod WILL NOT change. We will remain a nationally chartered organization as such. I strongly feel that we have an opportunity and even an obligation to provide a place for the REAL street rodder in today’s society. Our members joined us for that reason and we will be true to that promise.  

Our continued growth depends largely upon our members and their dedication to the building/owning and driving of those magnificent pre 49 vehicles! That’s not to say that some changes aren’t coming, but those will be aimed at increasing our numbers and attendance at certain small events in order to ensure steady and continued growth. One possibility is to allow attendees in up to 1964 vehicles into certain, but not all, shows. Not as members but welcomed guests in order to increase attendance and revenue to help us grow. Doing so will increase the number of attendees and exposure to the public, both intended to expand our exposure and awareness of our organization. Just an idea at this stage - Yah or Nay? All of our main events will remain strictly Pre-49.

Also as Jim has mentioned in a previous post, all current members in good standing will be given a one year extension on your membership due to the down time while we regroup!

Our tradition of hosting non-judged shows will remain, but with a twist. We will be asking participants to vote for their ‘favorite’ ride in listed categories on a ballot in the goody bag. As one surveys the fine vehicles at our shows, you will be able to give those you choose a ‘ pat on the back ’ via your vote. One set of votes per entry please! Past rules regarding not selecting trailered units stays in place. While some mistakes were made in the past in this area, we are after all just human and will strive to do better.  

We are planning an increased volume of VSRA merchandise and some new locations for our outings, which will become Friday – Sunday events. New games and activities and a Sunday morning church service are also planned. We are actively seeking a chaplin or minister for this position. Awards will be early Sunday afternoon around 2PM to allow travel time returning home.

 Our website is still a great place, though under-utilized, to learn what’s happening. And don’t forget to use our facebook page by searching for ‘ Vintage Street Rodder Chat’. There you can see who’s doing what, post what you’re doing or ask about anything street rod related.

 I am currently working with several of our members to form a 5-7 person board to assist in decision making as to how, when and where our events are. After all, YOU the member are VSRA. Without your support there would not be the great family of friends and rodders found among our rosters!

Those of you that know me will understand my dedication to the hobby/sport of street rodding and to our VSRA members. I pledge to do the very best I can to provide you with entertaining and fun filled events and to honor the foundation that Jim & Debbie have laid out.


I am VERY excited about the future of VSRA and am looking forward to greeting each of you at one of our shows in the near future. If you have a suggestion, comment or idea please share it with me so that we can try to improve every aspect of our shows. Contact information is below.

 Please allow me to say in advance a heartfelt " THANK YOU" to those who have already expressed good wishes to me in this endeavor. I am humbled by your kindness! I am praying that you will remain steady in your support of VSRA and help us increase our membership by sharing with friends and fellow rodders about our growing group. As we grow, so will the benefits to each and every member. Please feel free to contact me with whatever concerns you may have, I am here to serve you. So let’s grow together as we cruise into tomorrow!!


ronhotrod at


Facebook at Vintage Street Rodder Chat


Jim’s Corner

The news is out! Ron Goben, our current Northeast State Director, will be taking over as President of VSRA. Ron has a lot of good ideas and knows a lot of street rodders who respect his ambitions and I think he will make a great President. This was my intention in the first place, to start VSRA and hand it over to someone at some point. Debbie and I will stay involved and try to help VSRA grow. It is our hope that all of you will continue to support VSRA. VSRA is more than a car club. It is a family of close nit folks who have a common interest. We have made a lot of lifelong friends. I would like to thank Debbie for her role she played in keeping the business part of VSRA on the up and up. I didn’t realize how much work it was to keeping everything legal. Her background in bookkeeping really helped a lot. She has been and will continue to be a great ambassador for our club.

Andy Brown

Lifetime member, Andy Brown, from St. Helena, SC passed away on March 16th. Andy was a great guy and will be missed. I was proud to call Andy my friend. He owned and operated an upholstery shop and helped me with the interior on the Panel Truck. He was also a recipient of the Street Rodder of the Year Award in 2012. Although he was handicapped, he would drive his little black 32 Ford Roadster all over the country. One of the best stories that describe Andy’s character was when Mike Smith’s 41 Chevy Cab-over broke down on his way to Medina, Ohio. Mike was on the side of the road for several hours and Andy, who walked with a walker, was the only one to stop to offer assistance. What a guy, we’ll miss him. He was a "True Street Rodder"


Dixie Rod Run

We had a good time at the 40th annual Dixie Rod Run in Pearl, Ms. Mike and Arlene Smith, Jim Burkhalter and Linda, Roger and Grace Phillips and Debbie and I made the trip to Pearl, Ms. on March 16th. We wanted to support their show because of the hospitality they showed us during our 2014 Vintage Rod Tour. They had a cook-out especially for us when we came through Pearl on the Natchez Trace Tour back in 2014. The Mississippi Street Rod Association put on a great show. Friday night at the Host Hotel they had a feast fit for a King with plenty of good cooking. Roger and Grace Phillips won a trophy and I was surprised and appreciative when the Panel Truck took Best of Show.


2018 Vintage Rod Tour

Although we are not having any shows this year, we are going to do a Vintage Rod tour in the Fall. It will be called the Color Run since the Tin Dusters show, where we will be going, is called the Color Run. The tour will begin in Shepherdsville, Kentucky on Tues. Oct. 16th where we will have a Kick-off party at Ron Goben’s garage. On Wednesday morning we will head out for South Bend, Indiana, 254 miles away, where we will tour the Studebaker Museum. On Thursday morning we will head out for Springfield, Ill. 269 miles away. On our last day on the road, we will only have to go around 100 miles to Quincy, Ill. where we are going to attend the Color Run which is a Pre-49 show put on by the Tin Dusters of Quincy, Ill. We have been told that if we get to Quincy on Friday afternoon that we will not miss any activities.

After running a long tour last year to Boerne, Tx, we decided to do a short but sweet tour this year. Five days and only 638 miles from our starting point. This should be a great laid back drive with plenty of nature’s fall color to brighten our way. So give us a call and we’ll get you signed up for another memorable tour. We have not finalized our hotel in Shepherdsville, Ky. Call us when ready to book rooms at 423-571-6430. We should have this done shortly.

Below is a list of the motels and prices for the Tour

Tues. Oct. 16th Shepherdsville, Ky.

Wed. Oct. 17th Inn at St. Mary’s 5399 Indiana St. Rt. 933 South Bend, Ind. $110 574-232-4000

Thurs. Oct. 18th Comfort Inn 3675 South 6th St. Springfield, Ill. $104 217-529-8898

Fri. Oct. 19 - 20th Comfort Inn 4122 Broadway St. Quincy, Ill. $125 217-228-2700

When making your reservations, please mention that you are with the Vintage Street Rodders group.


Past VSRA Tours for your Reflection

2011 Blue Ridge Parkway From Cherokee, NC to Wavnesboro, Va.

2012 Natchez Trace From Nashville, Tn. to Natchez, Ms.

2013 Branson, Mo. From Medina, Ohio to Branson, Mo.

2014 Coastal Cruise From Savannah, Ga. to Virginia Beach, Va. – Outer Banks, NC

2015 Pennsylvania/Dutch From Kingsport, Tn. to Lancaster, Penn.

2016 Ozark Mountain Because of the threat of hail storms and tornadoes, we met in Nashville and

drove to Long Beach, Ms. The tour was ended there because of continued threats.

2017 Key to the Hills From Nashville, Tn. to Boerne, Texas


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.


The Newsletter will be continued by Ron Goben bi-monthly for the rest of the year and hopefully start back next year every month. If I figured correctly, this is our 88th VSRA Newsletter and I have enjoyed writing each and every one of them. From time to time I will probably have something in the newsletter but Ron or someone he appoints will be in charge of the newsletter. I hope all of you have gotten some enjoyment out of our newsletters. Thanks for your past and continued support.


Jim Bledsoe

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