Vintage Street Rodders of America
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Sept 17

September 2017 VSRA Newsletter

Jim’s Corner

The 2017 Street Rod season is nearing the end.  We have had a great time this year attending as many shows as possible to promote VSRA.  We had a very successful show in Maggie Valley and we just returned home from the Frog Follies in Evansville, Indiana where the weather was unusually cool with temps in the low to mid 80’s.  There were a little over 3500 pre-49 street rods at the Frog Follies.  We only have one more official event left this year which is the 2017 Vintage Rod Tour.  We also just returned from the Shades of the Past in Pigeon Forge, Tn. where we go to see a lot of our friends.

It is very important that all of the Vintage Rod Tour participants give me a call to confirm that you will be going with us so I can reserve you a parking spot at the Key to the Hills Show.  Also you need to make sure that you mail in the orange card that was in your flyer to reserve your catfish meal on Friday night by Sept. 25th.  

A Street Rodders Troubles by Paul Varcoe

Paul Varcoe sent this story in just before the last newsletter was to go out so I’m running it this month.  Paul explains some of the problems he has had this year, as I can rest assured that most of us can relate to his experience.  Thanks for the story, Paul.

OK,  I try not to think about it too much.  After twenty three years of owning and building my 37 LaSalle, I have to admit that it is much like having a house.  There is always something to do.  First of all, that junk yard find did not come with instructions.  Everything I did was a new experience even if it is the second or third time the task at hand needed doing. 

Last fall, it was obvious that the air conditioning evaporator needed replacing as the case was splitting open and the unit was falling down.  An upgrade was required.  Out with the old and in with the new.  But the new didn’t fit like the old. It was time to gut the system from the compressor to the evaporator and controls.  With much frustration, the job was completed just before the VSRA trip to Asheboro. 

The night before leaving for the Asheboro show as I washed my ride, the headlight rim came loose and the lens fell and smashed on the ground.  Where do you get an aftermarket headlight the night before a trip?  You don’t.  My solution was to super glue an original headlight lens to the reflector from the aftermarket headlight.  My temporary fix worked.  New headlights are on the way. 

Let me back up a little.  Last fall I also noticed the front end sagging on the right side.  I ordered new springs for the ‘84 Cutlas Supreme that the front clip came from.  Having installed the springs when I changed the front clip (the second time) the decision was made to have the local shop do the work.  A wise choice.  As I drove home from the upgrade, I noticed that the car drifted from side to side.  A closer inspection revealed the steering box was in need of replacement.  I promptly ordered another one and proceeded to remove the nose of the car to access the steering box.  Over the next two and a half months eight steering boxes were ordered.  None arrived.  All of the local stores as well as the on line sources said they had it but no one could produce it.  In total frustration, I called the three major re-manufacturers only to find there were no cores available to rebuild.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch the lesson was learned.  Night after night exercised my Google thumb as I looked for a 6506 steering box.  Please don’t talk to me about sending my box off to never-never land at four times the price and a four month wait.  After much determination a small re-manufacturer in Tennessee was located and they had what I needed.  Good to their word, the said part was delivered that week.   Re-assembly could finally begin. 

One more project stood between me and a new interior.  Fix the leak in the windshield.  Now GM shipped the car with a windshield divider, however, when I found my ride this feature was broken.  To remedy this I found a glazier who butted the two sides of the windshield and sealed them with silicone, but that was twenty years ago and 700 miles away.  A five year search found a  ‘38 Buick windshield divider which shared the same part number.  Now, three pieces of glass and new gaskets later I again sought the aid of a professional to finish the job.    Unfortunately, I found out this week that the window still leaks. 

Well that being said, I hope our trip to the VSRA show in Maggie Valley will be a drier experience this year than last year when we found water rushing down the mountain and over the running boards.

There is more to this story, but I’ll not trouble you with the mundane or my misadventures as a mechanic.

A slow start this year provided some much needed improvement in our ride.  I can only hope that these events are behind us and will provide us with trouble free adventures across the country.  Good rides to everyone.

Wayne's Corner

Well folks, all good things must come to an end, and this will be my last column!  Due to my health deteriorating from the big C, I will be turning my Southeastern Director position over to Rod Hackney, our North Carolina State Rep.  I feel certain that Rod will be a great communicator with ya'll and please give him your attention.  I have enjoyed my time in the Directors position and served VSRA to the best of my abilities. VSRA is still growing and I will drop back to just being a South Carolina Rep. along with Herb Winner and Fred Countryman.

I will not be able to make all the events, but will enjoy seeing the many friends that I have made over the years. Please give Rod your undivided attention and let's see the Southeastern Div. continue to grow and have fun with our cars.

This past Feb.2017, I was able to help organize the Ultimate Road Trip down to the Rambling Oldies of Denham Springs Car Club's Car Show (R.O.D..S) in Baton Rouge, La.  It was a great show and many of our VSRA members came along for the fun.  Well, as my parting "coupe de gras"  We will try to do it again in Feb.. 2018.  This should be a don't miss deal for all VSRA hardcore travelers.  We will run two (2) separate Tours called (1) the VSRA Southern Ultimate Road Tour to Baton Rouge, La. and (2) the VSRA  Northern Ultimate Road Tour to Baton Rouge, La.!   The dates for the show will be Feb. 23-25, 2018 at the Gary Lane Cadillac dealership in Baton Rouge.  Right next door is a Hampton Inn where we all stayed in 2017, and they really treated us right.  We will have a show special $RATES $TBD.  We will post the Hotels we will stay at on the way down; (1) Drury Inn in Mobile, Ala and (2) Drury Inn in Birmingham, Ala.  We will have special rates at each Drury Inn with free supper and libations also TBD!  The Dates at the Drury Inns will be Wed. Feb. 21.  Tour leaders for the Southern Tour (1) will be Jimmy Ousley and (2) Tour leader will be Dean Hempel.  Both of the Tour leaders went on the 2017 Tour and will make your travel experience all it can be.  More to follow on this Spring 2018 Ultimate Tour to Baton Rouge, La for the Rambling Oldies of Denham Springs Car Club's Car Show (R.O.D.S.) in Baton Rouge, La.

Enough B/S for this month, but I wish all of the VSRA members a good trip on the Vintage Street Rod Tour from Tennessee to Texas in October.

Wayne "Buckarooo" Buxton - Former VSRA Southeastern Director

Ron's Corner

Things are Changing !!!

We tend to hear this a lot now a days! But in reality they are. Everyday something from our past is replaced by the newest, latest, greatest thing-a-bob. And our beloved hobby/sport is no exception. I recently read with interest an article penned by Tom Price concerning the future of the automobile as we know it today. While I agree with most of his conclusions I offer my own vision as to our hobbies portion of what's coming in the future.

Let's start with an over view of what's happening in today's world. Many 'experts' have written about tomorrows vehicles and how they will affect our everyday life. The most intriguing and most talked about are the driverless cars, followed be the changeover to all electric vehicles and perhaps the combination of the two.  On the books now in three major markets are plans to introduce driverless electric cars in a test marketing study to analyze their potential safety and cost savings. A comprehensive study comparing total yearly costs of gas versus electric found significant savings for electric vehicles. Word is that 150,000 of these units could on our streets in 2 years. If all goes as planned and they can control or eliminate the threat of hackers, this will drastically alter the future production of the person mode of transportation. As they improve and implement the use of the new wave vehicle it is said that the younger set will flock to the advanced mode of transportation. After all as I reflect back twenty years ago most everyone had a home line telephone. Now very few do.

We now have many ‘start up’ companies working on the necessary sensors and controls to build a safely performing self driving vehicle. After all every driverless unit must be capable of seeing and detecting everything around it for 360 degrees!!  Something a lot of humans can’t do now. But that’s not as crazy as it sounds. Advances in this new technology are growing by leaps and bounds. Research monies are available in ever increasing amounts.

As of right now Volvo has vowed to stop building fossil fuel only vehicles in 2019 ! France has a law on the books to completely outlaw the internal combustion engine all together in 2040 and England is proposing the same law! Let's look at the impact that will have all by itself. Not if but WHEN we go to electric or some other non gasoline powered vehicles what becomes of the multi million dollar industry that now supplies the cars, parts, service and maintenance for them ?  One will no longer run down to your local auto parts store to pick up replacement parts or oil or air filters - no need for them. From this point on only the big mail order box stores will be available to supply those needs.  Gone are the local repair shops, the new car dealerships (as they exist now), the quick service oil & lube stores and so on.

If predictions hold true within 3 decades there will be in the neighborhood of at least 300 million abandoned or scrapped gasoline powered vehicle!!

It has been stated that the "Last Mechanic" has already been born ! A new born today will not graduate from high school until around 2035. Add to that a couple of years of technical training and we into the future far enough so as to eliminate the need for mechanics as we know them today!  Now we need electrical engineers and computer wizards!

So does that spell the end of the 'street rodder'? Not so fast there partner!  Look back at our past to see a glimpse of what's to come. Hot rodding, which led to the street rod movement evolved and adapted to many changes thru out the 21st century. When world War II came in to play the hot rodder made do with whatever was available to him. After the war hot rodding grew bigger and better and started many new companies to supply the growing demand for our love of the modified automobile. We quickly latched onto the post war engines and chassis improvements. In the 60s when our nation was growing Detroit stepped in to produce factory hot rods and the hot rodder again adapted by using their engineering to our advantage. Then came the 'gas shortage' era of the 70s and once more the creative street rodder began to adjust with what we built.

The computer age arrived with electronic fuel injection and more computer controlled task being performed by the car's ECM. Once again we adapted and learned how to make good use of the modern technology. Just look at today’s well built street rod, it’s a far cry from the crude, but inventive, creations of the past .Creature features abound along with plenty of electrical and computer controls.

What I see in the future is a new and grander source of useable parts as the 300 million vehicles find their way into the scrap yards of America!!  Then after they outlaw the gasoline fired engine ( and they will) I think there will be enough readily available electric pieces and parts to supply a now adapted group of street rodders. After all we have always learned and grown from advancements in the world of transportation.  We are a very inventive group of souls and our future relies on our ability to adjust and adapt. Our past shows me that our future is bright !! So don't jump ship now!! We have a lot ahead of us and it promises to get even more interesting.

See you on the streets

Ron & Dee - still smiling

The Second Annual Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies

We had a great show with great weather except for a little rain at our Thursday night cook out at the Wheels Through Time Museum but it did not dampen the excitement of our anticipated show.  We fed over 150 people and they all got to go through the museum free of charge.  Sam Memmolo was at all of our activities and he interacted with all of our participants.  We found out one thing, Sam really likes to talk cars and he is a Guru on almost any subject about repairing and building cars.  Sam gave an Electrical Seminar on Friday and Saturday where he had a full house of interested Street Rodders. 

Ron Goben kept the music spinning and kept everyone updated on what was happening with his announcements on our new sound system.  We are going to invest in more speaker cords so that we can reach the whole field. 

Debbie and her crew of volunteers had their hands full registering cars and selling merchandise.  We appreciate all the volunteers who helped Debbie and the truth be known this team probably works harder than anyone at our shows.

I’d like to mention one more volunteer who stayed on the gate for two solid days cutting up with the spectators and making sure any handicapped people got to see the show with the help of our golf cart.  That gentleman is Ricky Huffman.  Thanks Ricky for your help on the gate.

I’d like to recognize one of our participants from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Hank Langsenkamp had just returned home from the Nationals in Louisville, Ky. when he called me almost one week before our show.  He said, do you have room for one more car at your show in Maggie Valley.  He was not the least bit worried about whether it was going to rain or not. I said, do you drive your car and Hank said, yes I drive my 1940 Ford Convertible everywhere.  Well, Hank shows up in Maggie Valley by himself in his 1940 Ford Convertible.  The amazing part about this is that Hank was born in 1930.  Now folks,  Hank is a True Street Rodder and one of the newest members of VSRA.  My hope is that I can be this active when I am 87 years old.

Ron Goben introduced us to a new game where the participants sucked Gatorade out of a baby bottle.  The person who sucks the most Gatorade out of a baby bottle in five minutes is the winner.  Sherry West beat out several opponents to win a $250 gift certificate to Vintage Air.

Cathy Atkins won the 50/50 pot of $400 in which she generously donated back to VSRA to give to the Shriners Club.  Thanks to Cathy, we were able to give $800 to the Shriners Transportation fund.  Thanks also to Don Snyder and Jan Tyson, and also Sherry and Bobby West for their help in running the 50/50 pot.

Jim and Linda Davis got the Street Rodder of the Year award for driving their 1936 Packard over 17,325 miles in one year.  Congratulations to Jim and Linda.

Jerome and Sherry Hale came all the way from Nacogdoches, Texas and won the long distance award for driving 868 miles.

Our most prestigious award, the Pioneer Award went to Jerry Johns of Meridianville, Alabama.  Jerry has been a True Street Rodder for many years and has been all over the country in the many different rods that he has built.  Jerry has been there for many of his fellow Street Rodders when they need help with anything.  Thanks Jerry, for your many years of dedication to our sport.

The following is the 25 VSRA Picks at this year’s Smokin’ Rodz in the Smokies.

Roger Hockaday                                    1937 Pontiac                                        Clemmons, NC

Mike Koeppel                                       1933 Plymouth                                     Troutman, NC

Sonny Walker                                        1938 Chevy                                            Evans, Ga

Tim Bowman                                          1934 Ford                                              Stuart, FL

Bobby West                                            1939 Chevy                                            Maryville, Tn

Steve Childress                                       1930 Packard                                        Alum Creek, WV

Jim Henry                                                1937 Chevy Sedan Delivery                Pinson, Al

Avery Cobb                                             1932 Nash                                              Trussville, Al

Sarge Deegan                                           1940 Pontiac                                          Simpsonville, SC

Craig Callender                                       1932 Ford                                              Greenwell Springs, La

Phil Shelton                                             1935 Ford Coupe                                  Richlands, Va

Roger Phillips                                          1938 Model  A Truck                             Luttrell, Tn

Hank Langsenkamp                                1939 Ford Convertible                         Fort Lauderdale, FL

Morris Hannah                                        1937 Ford                                               Waynesville, NC

Phil Prather                                              1932 Ford Roadster                              Roselle, IL

Jim Burkhalter                                          1936 Ford Sedan                                  Baton Rouge, La

Ernie Anthony                                          1931 Ford Truck                                   Denton, NC

Carroll Yeargin                                         1933 Ford Sedan                                  Greenville, SC

Ron Ochipa                                               1932 Ford Sedan                                  Valle Crucis, NC

Mark Leary                                               1936 Plymouth Coupe                         Severn, Md

Darrell Mullins                                         1934 Ford Truck                                    Clendenin, WV

Lonnie Futreal                                          1935 Dodge                                           Clover, SC

Dale May                                                   1933 Ford 4 Dr Sedan                          Salem, Va

Spencer Farmer                                        1939 Chevy  2 Dr Sedan                      Greenwell Springs, La

Jimmy Ellenburg                                       1937 Plymouth Truck                           Rutherfordton, NC



Jimmy Ousley’s 1934 Dodge Sedan Delivery was named the Featured car for 2018.  Jimmy’s 1934 Dodge will be on all of the 2018 Smokin’ Rodz t-shirts and advertising flyers.  Congratulations Jimmy.  






San Antonio Tour

Grace Phillips has researched a tour of San Antonio for the participants going on our tour who would like to get a guided tour of the Alamo, the River Walk Cruise and other sites in San Antonio.  This will take place on Friday the week of our tour.  The bus will pick us up at 8:30 at our hotel and the tour will be almost 8 hours long.  She negotiated a special rate of $60 per person for VSRA members.  The website for this Tour Company is  If you are interested, you can make your own reservations for the tour by calling them at 210-492-4144.  Be sure and mention that you are with the Vintage Street Rodders to get your discount.  We will be returned back to the hotel in time to make the kick-off party in Boerne where we will get a free catfish dinner if you are among the first 300 participants to register.  All the participants on our Vintage Rod Tour will have reserved spaces at the show so we can all park together.

Thanks Grace, for your help in researching this tour.

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.





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