Friday, July 25, 2008

More Pictures from Winchester Speedway

Thought I'd try to upload a few more pictures from the Centennial T-Party activities at the Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Indiana. T-Party activities continue through this weekend in the East-Central Indiana, Wayne County area. See a previous post in this blog for a schedule of events.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Model Ts @ the Winchester Speedway!

We didn't get to see this one run. They were loading it into a trailer as we parked at the track.

Well, if you're interested in Model T Fords, East Central Indiana is the place to be this week. In an earlier "Suede and Chrome" post, I listed all the events that are taking place in area towns for the 100th year celebration of the Model T.

As my son and I entered the grandstands, these vehicles were leaving the track.

Unfortunately for me, I've been too busy with "life" to be able to get to anything until this afternoon. Today, my oldest son and I jumped into Ol' Blue and headed just down the road a few miles to the Winchester Speedway. The Winchester Speedway is located in Winchester, Indiana and is actually home of the 1/2 mile oval speed record. Many famous drivers have raced at Winchester coming up through the ranks including Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Mark Martin.

I actually know the owner of the track, Charlie Shaw, as he was my former employer when I worked a few years in Human Resources at his other business...Astral Industries, Inc. in Lynn, Indiana. (Astral is one of the world's top 5 producers of steel burial caskets. They produce caskets of both 20 and 18 gauge steel.)

Anyway, today from noon until 5:00, Charlie allowed Model T owners on the track with their vehicles to "take a few laps". Charlie told me they had over 400 Model Ts visit the track. Unfortunately for us, we got there at about 3:30 and most of the cars had already left.

We did stick around for over an hour and were able to watch several vintage cars and trucks take a few laps around the track. No track records were broken today, as these vintage vehicles top out at about 40 or 50 miles an hour. Still, it was really cool to watch the owners enjoying the opportunity.

I took plenty of pictures, I'll post more from the track as time allows.

I may try to get to some more Model T events on Friday. I'd really like to see some of the timed Model T assembly competitions. If not, I do have plans to travel south to Nashville, Indiana this Saturday. I'm loading up the wife and kids and taking them to the Hillbillies and Hotrods Show. I'm really looking forward to the cars and music!

Cheap Ideas For Your Rod

Well, sorry to all those Suede and Chrome readers who are "traditionalist". Those you think a car should be restored back to how it "came off the assembly line". I've got a couple of cheap things I've done recently that I think have improved the look and "uniqueness" of my car.

The first involves dash knobs. One thing I haven't liked about my car since I bought it is the condition of the dash knobs. Over the last 50+ years, a combination of use and oils from human hands mixed with the heat of the sun have degraded the material that the knobs are made of.

You can see in this picture that the dash knobs are "gnarly" looking.

I've wanted to replace the knobs, and I've watched eBay as well as looked at custom knobs online and at swap meets. I'm not real keen on the "teardrop" knobs, and I haven't really seen anything else I've liked.

Yesterday, while surfing the Internet, I ran across a "customizing tip" that I thought would be an easy answer to the problem, and would certainly be a unique conversation starter. I hope I'm not breaking any copywrite laws by posting a copy of the "tip" in this blog, but here it is.

I thought about trying to find some "period" bottle caps. You know, caps from drinks that were bottled in the 1950's. I even got on eBay and looked for a few. Caps ranged from a few dollars a piece (plus a few more dollars for shipping), to 20 or more dollars a piece on eBay.

I decided I really didn't want to spend that kind of money, AND I remembered I had a ziplock bag of some 1,000 Coca Cola Classic caps that I had "squirreled" several years ago. (o.k....a little info about me. If I see someone throwing something away that I think I might be able to use, I'll take it and 'put it away' until later. Several years ago, the science teachers at my school received a large quantity of unused bottle caps from COSI (Center of Science and Industry). Every year, they would send a "free mini-lab" using simple materials. This particular lab was not a favorite of the teachers, and they decided to throw the caps away.) At the time, I had envisioned making a cool table top using the caps and then pouring clear resin over them. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to do that yet. (editor note: I also thought about spray painting a few caps and trying my hand at some pinstriping instead of using the coke caps.)

I gave the vent knob the same treatment.

Well, to make a long story short, last night I crawled up into the rafters of my garage and found the box containing the bag of bottle caps. I used some epoxy and was amazed that the caps fit perfectly over the old dash knobs. I didn't cover the windshield wiper knob because it is smaller and isn't in that bad of shape.
Another cheap tip is also included in these photographs. I'm noticing more and more decals on cars and trucks these days. You can get about any kind of decal you want from vendors at car shows and swap meets. Some of them are of very poor quality though....sort of blurry or fuzzy looking.

Well decals are a lot like tattoos to me. I've never been interested in getting a tattoo because I can't imagine getting something that permanent. What I think is "cool" today, I may think is pretty stupid 5 or 10 years from now. I've got a friend that recently got a "Taz" tattoo removed from his upper arm. He thought it was cool right out of high school, but pretty stupid in his '30s.
Anyway, the other day I got what I think is a great solution. I searched the Internet for designs that I Mooneyes logo, skull and crossbones, Iron cross, rat fink, etc. Then I printed them out on photo paper. I had some old magnets that I'd bought for a summer job a few years ago. They were designed to put your business card on. They are thin and have an adhesive on one side. I used these, placing the pictures on the magnet, then using a pair of scissors to trim to the size I wanted. The cool thing is, they look like decals, but if I get tried of them, or want to move them around for a different dash is just like my refrigerator!
Well anyway, I guess my point is that it doesn't take a lot of money or even know how to make changes in your cars appearance. Just a little creative thinking and you can do some pretty cool stuff.
Scruffy update on my daughter. She has had her mouth wired shut for the past week. We go back to the doctor tomorrow to have him look at it again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

2008 Street Rod Nationals

Looking for something to do next weekend? Might I suggest traveling down to Louisville, KY to the 39th Annual Street Rod Nationals? I can remember as a kid, my father used to work the Nationals into our family vacations. This year, the NSRA (National Street Rod Association) claims there will be over 10,000 street rods in attendance. There will be a LOT of trailer queens, but I'm sure the number of traditional rods and rat rods will be large as well. The last time I attended in the early '80s, it was during the "pastel" phase of hot rodding *yuck! I remember lots of pink, lavender, mint green, and peach vehicles. Scallops were big too. I'm glad that phase didn't last long! HA!

39th Annual Street Rod National®
All the vehicles of 1948 and earlier manufacture are welcome to enter the event.
Take advantage of the $10.00 pre-entry discount available through the June 27th mail-in deadline. When this deadline has passed we will be able to accept your entry at the Brown & Williamson Club at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium located at 2800 South Floyd Street in Louisville.

Event Registration Hours
Wednesday, July 30th - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.Thursday, July 31st - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.Friday, August 1st - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.Saturday, August 2nd - 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Even though you may not be in your street rod everyone is welcome to attend the event. Bring the whole family for a day at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Spectator gate hours will be Thursday, July 31st from 8am to 5pm, Friday, August 1st from 8am to 6pm and Saturday, August 2nd from 8am to 7pm and Sunday, August 3rd from 8am to 3pm.

Spectator admission will be
$14.00 — 13 years and older$5.00 — children 6-12FREE — children 5 and under when accompanied by an adult
A special discounted $12.00 admission is available for military personnel with proper military identification, NSRA members with their current membership card or anyone 60 years of age and older. One discounted admission per person.
Although everyone will enjoy the spectacular vehicles as well as the vehicles’ owners there are other activities the family will enjoy. Here are a few activities that you will enjoy: the Commercial Exhibitors, Swap Meet, and Women’s World (arts and crafts with items that will interest women as well as men and children) as well as children’s games.
For additional event information please contact the National Street Rod Association®; 4030 Park Avenue; Memphis, TN 38111; 901-452-4030.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Art of Dan McCrary

I ran across the art of Dan McCrary while surfin' the Internet this afternoon. I followed a link to his website and was absolutely "blown away" with the realism and detail in his work. Having drawn and painted several auto related pieces of my own in my younger days (my parents sent me to a few art classes as a kid & I really enjoyed drawing in junior high and high school) I know how hard it is to get realism in the reflections of paint and chrome. Dan's work takes it to a new level with the reflections becoming a "piece within a piece".

Dan not only paints hot rods and customs, his work also covers muscle cars, race cars, classics, and even rusting relics. Dan's work is available and reasonable priced through his website and other sites online. You can check out his work at:

The following was taken from his website:

"Combining a photo-realist approach to watercolor technique with a unique and adventurous sense of composition, Dan McCrary applies his vision to a wide variety of automotive subjects. The Development of reflection and shine can be played to the maximum on one piece, and then he shifts into another gear to depict in amazing detail the rust and pitted chrome of an aging derelict.Dan was born in 1949 in Raleigh, N.C. As early as age 5, he was attending races and becoming fascinated with automobiles in general. He attended East Carolina University and worked for several years as a musician before turning to the fulltime pursuit of automotive art in the early eighties. Dan's award-winning work has been widely published and can be found in numerous prominent individual and corporate collections. He now resides in Charlotte, N.C. with his wife Lynn and daughter Danielle."

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thanks for Reading!!!!!

Well, my "Suede and Chrome" counter recently passed 7,000 hits! That's AWESOME! Thank you the readers for your continued support of this site. You are truly the driving force behind my commitment to continue to post pictures for area shows and other car enthusiast related items.

I recently added a feature that may have went unnoticed by many readers. Along the right column of my blog, there is a small rectangle that tells you who many readers are currently logged on to the site. If I click on it, I can pull up some graphs, maps, and other data about the traffic on this site.

This morning I looked at the map of "recent visitors" and thought I'd share my findings. From the United States...I've had recent visitors from the states of: California, Missouri, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Virginia, New York and Florida. Globally, I've also had recent visits from readers in: Alberta Canada, Glasgow and London in the U.K., Amsterdam, Netherlands, Athens Greece, Denizli Turkey, Johannesburg South Africa, and as far away as New Zealand! (all I have to say about that is G'day Mate!!!). It is truly exciting and humbling to be able to see the location of readers! Isn't the Internet an amazing thing?!?

p.s....An update on ol' Scruffy's daughter. The doctor "wired" her mouth shut yesterday. He said he "didn't like the fact that her jaw was still out of alignment". She has to go until next Thursday with her mouth wired shut. Only able to eat or drink what she can get through a straw! We drive back down to Dayton on the 24th to see the doctor again. Thanks to those readers who have sent notes of encouragement!

Goodguys, Des Moines, Iowa 2008

A Motortopia friend from Iowa just posted an album containing pictures from the 2008 Goodguys Show in Des Moines. Thought I'd provide a link to his album via Suede and Chrome. Thanks chevy150 for the pictures!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

So You Think You're Having a Bad Day!

A friend of mine sent me this series of pictures in an email entitled, "This is what a bad day looks like!" I thought it was timely and thought I would post them on Suede and Chrome. (Ok...they don't really fit with the theme of this blog, but many ARE "car" related.}
I thought they were timely because my most people's standards, we had a bad day last Saturday. My wife and I loaded the kids (yes...all 6 of them), up in the minivan and drove 1 1/2 hours to see the Dayton Dragons play. The Dragons are a minor league farm club in the Cincinnati Reds organization. The club came to Dayton about 8 years ago and has sold out most every game since. I believe that Sports Illustrated reactly listed the Dragons on their "most desireable tickets" list. At any rate, we met up with a group of parents and students from my middle school. We had an area of "lawn seats" reserved for us right along the right field fence and right by the visiting team (Beloit Snappers) bullpen.
Well, our "bad day" started early in the game when it began to rain....a light rain that only lasted an inning or so, but enough to get us wet. Then things went well until the 7th inning. If you've ever been to a professional baseball game, you know that it is tradition to have a "7th inning stretch" in which everyone stands to seeing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame".
Well, as we stood and looked at the Jumbotron to read the lyrics, the rightfielder was warming up with one of the pitchers in the bullpen. The rightfielder made an errant throw that went over the pitchers head and hit my 15 year old daughter squarely in the jaw. Immediately there was a crowd around us, and security quickly came and took my daughter and wife to the First Aid area. I then tried to gather up all of our stuff (blankets, baby toys, etc.) and the other 5 kids including one stroller and one wheelchair. As I was doing this, the skies "opened" and it began to down pour.

Well, to make a long story short, by the time I got everyone rounded up and under some shelter, security came and got the rest of the family. They took us through the First Aid area and out to the street just in time to see my daughter being loaded into an ambulance. My wife road along with my daughter, and I got directions to the Children's Hospital from one of the EMTs. I then walked a couple of blocks with the kids and loaded up the minivan, then headed for the hospital.

After a long evening in the emergency room, and a CAT scan, doctors determined that my daughter had two fractures in her jaw and at least two broken teeth. Because of the swelling, they were unable to determine whether she will need surgery.

We are scheduled to drive back to Dayton this Thursday so that a doctor can look at her jaw and tell us what needs to be done. She also has an appointment at the orthodontist on Thursday morning to try to determine if her braces will have to be taken off to repair the damaged teeth and to take some X-rays to see if any other teeth were cracked.

So the bottom line, Thanks Rocky for the pictures! It reminded me that no matter how bad your day....there is always someone that is probably going through something even worse!

Have a GREAT week! I've got a couple of shows on my calendar that I'm hoping to get to in the coming weeks. As always, I will have my camera in hand taking plenty of "Suede and Chrome worthy" photographs!