Vintage Street Rodders of America
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Nov 2016

Jim’s Corner 

We’re coming to the end of what has been a very eventful and successful year for VSRA. Canceling our Thunder Road Show and replacing it with Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies has already proven to be a good move. We have had a lot more interest from vendors, participants and spectators. All of the street rodders and vendors said they wanted to come back next year. We had a little over 1,000 spectators come through the gate. 

With this being the first year on the road for the VSRA Panel truck, we felt like it was important to attend as many events as possible, so we hit the road and drove it around 10,000 miles. We did not get to attend the Good Guy’s Show in Charlotte. About two days before we were to leave, I did a boo boo to the door on the Panel Truck. While raising the truck up on the lift, the driver’s door had swung open without me knowing and it caught the top of the lower ceiling that is adjacent to the lift. This little boo boo resulted in bending the lower hinge and the top of the door. As most of you know, when something like this happens, it takes a while to gain your composure, but after you do, you realize that it’s only an object and can be fixed. I worked for the next four days repairing the door and to my amazement, you cannot tell the door was ever damaged. This could have certainly been worse if I had been injured. As we grow older, it is very important that we pay more attention to how and what we are doing. I mention this as a reminder to please be careful while working in your garage and for that matter whatever you are doing. 

Our year started off in Knoxville, Tn. at the Cabin Fever show in which we had a meeting with about five state reps. From this meeting, it was suggested by Wayne Buxton that we needed to group our state reps. into divisions. I took this suggestion and grouped the reps. into the Northeast and Southeast Divisions. I appointed Wayne Buxton the Director of the Southeast Division and Ron Goben the Director of the Northeast Division. This takes a lot of pressure off of me because the reps. can work with the directors with any suggestions or problems they may have. We will be attending the Cabin Fever Show again this year and would like to have another state rep. meeting. If you are not able to come to Knoxville, we will have another state rep. meeting in Baton Rouge on Feb. 25th at the 39th Annual R.O.D.S. Run and maybe you can attend that meeting.

2017 Vintage Rod Tour

We are in the planning stages for an ultimate Rod Tour for 2017. It will take us through five states – Ohio, Kentucky, Tenn., Arkansas and Texas. It will probably be the first week of October. Stay tuned and we will try to get the plans out by the February Newsletter.

2017 VSRA Events

* VSRA Road Trip to Baton Rouge February 22 – 26
* 7th Annual Ohio Nationals Medina, Ohio June 23 - 24 
* 2nd Annual Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies Maggie Valley, NC August 11 - 12 
* 2017 Vintage Rod Tour To be announced Oct. 1 – 7 (tentative date)

2017 Road Trip to Baton Rouge

Our Southeast Director, Wayne Buxton, is organizing a Road Trip to Baton Rouge, La. to the 39th Annual R.O.D.S. Run on Feb. 24th -26th. This is a Pre- 49 show. One of our newest reps. in Louisiana, Charles Ray, helps to put on this show. We would like to get a group of at least 10 to 15 members or more to travel with us. We will meet in Birmingham, Al. on Weds. Feb. 22 at the Drury Inn on the I-495 Southeast bypass. We have a group rate $89 for two queens or $99 for one king. Their phone no. is 205-967-2450 or you can use the link that Wayne provided in Wayne’s Corner. There is also a block of rooms at the Hampton Inn in Baton Rouge, La. Their phone no. is 225-757-4600. We have signed up several new members from the club that puts on this show, thanks to Charles Ray. Let’s show Charles and all the new members in Baton Rouge that we appreciate their support by supporting their show. To pre-register for the show you can go to to access the flyer and registration form. Read more about this trip in Wayne’s Corner. Hope you make plans to join us.

Keys to the Hills Rod Run 

Submitted by Charles Ray

My wife, Marie and I traveled in our 1939 Pontiac Sedan to participate in the 30th Keys to the Hills Rod Run held in Boerne Texas on October 7-9, 2016. This rod run takes place along Boerne’s Main Street and the Main Plaza and is hosted by the Pride of Texas Street Rod Club. It is the largest pre-49 car show held in Texas and there were about 300 cars on display this year. The Main Street is closed to the public on Saturday allowing the show participants to easily display their cars along Main Street and the plaza. Registered participants receive a free t-shirt and a fried fish dinner on Friday evening. A dollar from all pre-registrations is put into a pot for a drawing to one lucky pre-registered participant during the awards ceremony on Sunday morning. The club selects the overall top ten cars which are prominently displayed during the awards ceremony. Awards are also presented by vendors and sponsors.

The weather was spectacular and the participants were very friendly. Marie enjoyed shopping in downtown Boerne where she hunted for antiques, shopped boutiques and we both enjoyed eating good food-Texas style. Marie also enjoyed shopping at the Boerne Market Days which was a few steps away from the rod run. This is an outdoor market where a large number of vendors sell collectibles, jewelry, antiques and works of art created by local artisans. 
I would recommend that V.S.R.A. consider organizing a tour to participate in this rod run in the future. Boerne is located in the Texas Hill Country where there is so much to see and do. 

The Mississippi coast is pretty, but Crusin’ the Coast is one big traffic jam. 10,000 registered cars and a gazillion spectators. Jacked up motel prices and that's if you can find one. We did go last year and half my club goes every year but we enjoyed Boerne so much more, maybe because it is only pre-49 cars. Just my two cents worth.

Also, I would personally like to invite anyone with a pre-49 street rod to participate in the Ramblin’ Oldies of Denham Springs 39th Annual R.O.D.S. Run. It will be on Feb. 24-26, 2017 in Baton Rouge, La. at the Gerry Lane Cadillac Dealership, 11271 Reiger Rd. The host hotel is the Hampton Inn (225-751-4600) and it is right next door. We have a lot of rooms blocked at a special rate; just tell them you are staying for the R.O.D.S. car show. If you are thinking about it, it would be a good idea to make your reservation soon as it is also Mardi Gras weekend. Hope to see you there. 

Ron’s Corner

Random thoughts 

Well Tis the season! The season for putting our toys away for the winter that is! Yes another rod run season has come to a close for most of us in the U.S. Yes I know some of you southern boys have no such time limits, but alas too many of us do. So as a part of ending an eventful summer a little reflecting on lessons learned and some events just remembered.
I want to start on a very positive note as Dee and I just arrived home from a very rewarding outing. A good friend, Mark Cain in Lexington, Ky. and owner of Shelly's Speed & Custom shop puts on an event called the "Blankets and Blessings" run. The purpose of this is to collect blankets and personal care items to be donated to a couple of facilities that help those folks that are homeless or in need of help for most any reason. The group of attending rodders met at Mark's shop for coffee & donuts and some hand outs. After providing the opportunity to purchase T-shirts and getting to know each other better, we headed out in the hot rods to our first stop.

It was a place for homeless men to stay, get assistance in whatever way needed and to get back on track, if you will. Blankets, shaving products, tooth paste and brushes, deodorant and soap items were donated here. Then off again to gather at a great little bbq restaurant for lunch and surprised my wife with a birthday cake !!

The last stop was at a women's shelter to delivery like items as before but for the ladies needs. At each location the people and hot rods were well received. The residents and staff were all grateful and surprised by the generosity of 'old car people!! It just proves once again that helping someone in need returns more to the giver than the recipiant! Well done Mark Cain, well done in deed.

Now let's talk a little safety. I am a strong believer, and proven statistic, that doing something right the first time pays big rewards. As most of you that know me know I totalled my 1940 Chevy coupe on my way to the very first V.S.R.A. Thunder Run event. Short version has me sliding on a diesel fuel slickened road in light rain and jumping a curb, going air borne for 130 feet, dropping into a ditch 7 1/2 feet below road surface and cleaning out the ditch for another 75 or so feet before a tree removed the entire right side of my coupe. Needless to say the damage was extensive. BUT my injuries were very minor. 

My car took the brunt of the crash and stayed together. No broken welds, no doors flying open, no coming apart (except for the missing right side front & rear fenders and the running board). Now I believe two things took place here. One - GOD was with me and not done with me yet, and two - I built my car right as to construction methods and planning. I had chopped, subframed and altered every part of that car and installed a 468 BBC V/8. But the most important parts I installed were shoulder harness seat belts!! By the way I built that car in 1980. Now I mention this to lead into another story. I see a lot of street rods every week. And for the most part, the cars are good safe examples for home brew engineering. But all too often I find and item or two that for the sake of 'appearance' or 'style' just doesn't get it.

We are doing a better job of using good techniques in the building process than say 10 years ago, but let's not slack up just yet. I see poorly designed steering systems, inadequate brake systems, wrong or poor wheel/tire choices just to mention a few problems. I've seen frames, brackets and suspension components either cut severely or welded improperly or mis-used completely! I have witnessed aftermarket cross members modified so poorly as to render them useless. Folks, there is a reason things are built as they are. Let's expand a little.

Say steering set up is your next step. I like to set the seat in the car and get a broom and a paper plate. No not because I'm snacking in the car, but to use to 'mock up' steering column and steering wheel location that is comfortable for me. I design a path for the column, connecting D shaft and related u-joints that clears everything and stays within the limits of the u-joint travel range ( which is a maximum of 35 degrees). If I have to reconsider a previously located item or part, so be it. Better now than trouble later. Make sure you solidly support everything after the final design is reached.

Same goes for brake systems. Modifying a brake pedal without consideration of how that change effects its performance is a big no--no ! As a standard rule a manual brake pedal set up needs a 6 to 1 ratio while a power unit goes to a 4 to 1. That means that from the pivot point of the pedal, the upper portion should be 6 or 4 times as long as the lower part. Be sure to keep the master cylinder as far from heat as possible and use a heat shield if necessary. ONLY steel or stainless tubing for brake lines !!! No copper tubing at all ! Make sure to route the lines away from potential pinching points and make good connections. Also "coiling or looping" excess line is a giant no-no!

A close friend recently totaled his 32 Ford on slick roads due in part to using the wrong tires ! Make sure the tires you buy not only have the stance and 'look' you're after but also are made for the type of surface and driving you do. I have seen guys running tires that plainly state on the tire " Not For Highway Use " Well, that's just what it means NOT for street use. Some so called speed rated tires are designed for track performance and not suitable for the highway. Again do your homework and do it right the first time. Spend the winter weeks going over everything and make corrections as required, please.

Next is a little personal thought. I have thoroughly enjoyed the friendships and socializing with every one of the folks I have come into contact with via V.S.R.A.! You're a great bunch. Jim & Debbie have worked tirelessly on our behalf to provide quality events. Hats off to them. Our group continues to grow, although it be slowly. When we gather together we tend to be up beat and positive about our club. But when we leave the event, we seem to forget that it's up to each of us to help promote and grow this fine organization. How about it, can you help us spread the word? draft new members? generate new ideas? give us positive feedback ? constructive criticism? It's the gift giving season, how about giving a friend a membership for Christmas?

Before I close I want to say a big, THANK YOU for allowing me to be a small part of your street rod world!! The past years outing have yielded thousands of forever memories and good times. I'm excited about the future of our club and things to come next year. With this many great people involved, only great things can happen!!

God Bless each and everyone of you - 'Til we meet again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

Ron & Dee - still smiling

Wayne’s Corner

This is the best time of the year for Hot Rodding our rides without A/C and with the windows down! Looking forward to a little down time in Dec. and Jan. to perform some preventive maintenance on the Old/New Blue Road Warrior 39 Chevy! Hope you flush your radiator and check the brake pads getting ready for the first big show of the spring.

The R.O.D.S., Pre-49 Car Show in Baton Rouge, La. should start the spring off with a VSRA Bang! The Show, Feb.24-26, is right in the middle of Mardi-Gras season in Baton Rouge. Please, if you’re going on the ultimate road trip with Jim and Debbie Bledsoe and the Buckarooo and Rose get your reservation into the host Hotel(Hampton Inn) (#225-757-4600) which is next to the show. Send me an email and I will send a flyer on the RODS Show right to your computer! On the way down to Baton Rouge, we will be making an overnight stop at the Drury Inn on the I-495 Southeast bypass in Birmingham, AL(#205-967-2450) We have a block of rooms with great rates do call early! Rates are $99. for Kings and $89 for 2 Queen beds, pretty good I believe with all the free stuff at Supper (booze and great food)!

Here is the link for the Drury Inn::    https://www.druryhotels.c om/Reservations.aspx?groupno=2 290121

I have also set up a Block of rooms at the Hampton Inn in Baton Rouge, La, but due to Mardi Gras, I could only get 6 rooms at a special car show rate. They are booked under Wayne Buxton and the confirmation number is # 85758625. They are $92.00 +tax and you must use my confirmation number and change my reservation to a new confirmation number for yourself . 

On Dec 20th, I will cancel all remaining rooms not booked, so get your reservations in early for the special rate! The hotel may still have rooms at the normal rates but remember it's the weekend before Mardi-Gras, so rooms are at a premium!

We will depart from Birmingham down I-20/59 toward New Orleans and then on to Baton Rouge! Big Fun in Bayou Country and lots of Pre-49 driven Hot Rods! Let's all show them that VSRA has the best travelers in the Southeastern part of the USA!

Congrats to all the Southeastern Division State Reps, who are signing up new members at an alarming rate. I was able to assist SC State Reps Fred Countryman and hardworking Herb Winner in Winnsboro and Cruisin the Beaches Myrtle Beach car Shows in South Carolina.

Have a great Holiday Season!
Wayne "Buckarooo" Buxton
VSRA Southeastern Div, DirectorAlken, SC 29805 803-215-8525 waybux13 AT

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