Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pickin' Up a Pickup, Part II

Liv jiggered her schedule around so she could go with me and we hastily planned a trip to Salt Lake City.  She'd lived in SLC for about five years when she was little so she had quite a few memories of the city.  I planned the trip so that we'd have a whole day there before picking up the truck: Thursday night to Reno; Friday to Salt Lake; Saturday sightsee in SLC; Sunday pick up the truck and start West; Monday home.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pickin' Up a Pickup, Part I

Last month I ran across a note on the Crosley Gang yahoo group that a Crosley pickup outside of Salt Lake City had been listed for sale on a local classified website.  There was a link to the ad, which could have been used as the 'before' example in a "how not to sell your car" tutorial.  There were photos, but they were small, fuzzy and taken from angles that made it impossible to tell what kind of condition the car was in, other than that it was rust/primer color and missing the headlights.  The text said it was a 1948 Crosley truck - and not much else.  Unsurprisingly, the car had been for sale for months.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ebay Watch: Hmod, a Hydroplane and a '48 Sedan Body

Thought I'd share some interesting and odd stuff I came across on Ebay while the auctions are still going...
First up is a neat unfinished Hmod in Vancouver, Washington that showed up on Bring a Trailer a few months back.  Fiberglass appears unfinished and that frame looks heavy, but this could be a ton of fun for someone. Comes with multiple engines and what looks like a spare steel crank.  Ends in a day with a $5500 buy-it-now and no bids yet.
In contrast, there is plenty of action in the bidding for this totally boss vintage hydroplane located in Ohio.  If you've read 'Inboard Racing: A Wild Ride' you know exactly how cool these Crosley-powered boats can be.. and this one looks really neat.  Everything looks original (ok, except the Pepsi bottle) - and pretty decent.  Note that the builder used a Crosley 4-in-1 gauge in the dash.  Two days left and it's at $1525 with 9 bids.
I'm actually stunned by the condition of the floorpans under this 1948 Crosley sedan body for sale in Oklahoma.  By all rights this should be a Flintstones special, but somehow this car escaped the fate of most rainy state cars- especially those missing a bunch of windows.  Ad suggests that it'd be a good candidate for 'Gasser-Bonneville-Salt Flats' - and a body this bare would fit the bill for a hot rodder.  It's probably too much to hope that this lil guy gets restored, but at least it'll be saved from the crusher - $152.50 with 3 days left to go.

A Taste of Monterey

I got to go to the Monterey Historics (or the Rolex Whosit-Whatsit or whatever they call it now) this year courtesy of a pit pass provided by Lee Osborn.  The pass not only got me in for free, it allowed me access to the lineup for the starting grid!  I'll make a longer post about the races soon, but I was thinking of guys like Davide De Giorgi, stuck in Europe away from all the fun, and thought I'd post this footage of Lee's group getting on the track.  If you can identify more than half the cars in this lineup you're doing pretty good.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tis the Season for Crosley Meets

The Illinois region of the Crosley Auto Club had THEIR meet last week too. Steve from the Crosley Gang posted this link to photos from the News Tribune of LaSalle, Illinois

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another West Coast Crosley Meet Done and Gone!

Got back last night from the annual West Coast Crosley Club meet in Buellton, California.  I'm sunburned, sleep-deprived and - as always - STOKED.  I look forward to this meet all year.  It's a chance to catch up with friends I haven't seen since the last meet, and of course I love looking at all the Crosley junk that shows up, from restored cars to rare ephemera to parts for sale.   I forgot to book a room at Pea Soup Andersons (the official hotel) so when I arrived on Friday night I ended up at the slightly skanky Country Lane Motel right next door. 
I hustled over to Andersons for the Friday night get together as soon as I got in.  This year was a little different... for one thing, there were SO MANY new people!  It was great to meet the dozen-plus folks that had never been to a meet before.  Some of them came in response to the membership drive we'd had earlier in the year, and some just happened to come out for the first time this year.  One way or the other, it was great to see all the new faces.
I got a bit of a surprise when I opened the door to the motel at 7AM- rain!  It doesn't rain much in California this time of year, but we got some sprinkles Saturday morning.  Gary Loomer's pickup was already in the park, soaked.  I joked that it probably hadn't seen rain in a long time and Gary said, "not since I've had it, at least."  It was overcast most of the day, but the rain was done by 10AM.
There was plenty of stuff in the swap meet including about a dozen engines for sale.  Of course I loaded up on Crosley gunk- I found an extra set of doors for my Super Sport, some NOS tires (ten bucks each!), a vintage clock radio and a forged steel crank that looked (and micrometered) like new.
I was a little bummed that the number of cars was down - I think there were 11 total.  It didn't help that four cars that are always at the meet were no shows this year: Dave Brodsky blew the engine in his convertible the day before the meet, Lee Osborn hadn't quite recovered from reassembling his '55 special after blowing the clutch (and nearly losing the tranny) at Monterey, The axle failed on Mike Bainter's tow vehicle just before the meet (he had to rent a car just to get there himself), and last, Ardell Johnson just wasn't up to the drive all the way from Oregon- this is the FIRST meet he's missed in 26 years.
If there weren't as many cars this year as usual, the ones that were there were nice.  Continuing the trend I've noticed over the past few years, the quality of the restorations is going way up.  The cars at this year's meet were undoubtedly some of the nicest Crosleys in the country, and Hemmings mag star Ron Bauman continues to lead the way.  This time he brought a very nice roundside pickup, making for three pickups at the meet!
On the other end of the pickup spectrum was my contribution to the meet.  I brought a very rough, partially complete, total hillbilly-mobile.  All it needed was a Joad in the driver's seat to complete the picture.  Liv and I had picked this up outside of Salt Lake City just last weekend, meaning that it had covered about 1000 miles in the past 7 days.  I'll detail the story of that trip in another post, but the short version is that I got it home, went through my parts stash and made it as complete as I could before it went to Buellton.  I found most of the rest of the missing parts in Buellton and added them to the load in the back of the truck.  It was for sale, but nobody bit.
Another thing that was 'new' this year was the tour to Solvang.  We usually have a funkana - a silly driving-skills test - in the parking lot, but this time we went back to an old idea: a trip.   After lunch a whole herd of Crosleys roared off to Solvang, about 10 miles away for an hour or so.  I ended up missing the trip, but everyone had a great time, and the cars ran well.  Kudos to the Dunners who led the way in their nice Hotshot.  Next year I plan to be driving MY car in the pack!
When the troops got back we held the much-improved Crosley raffle.  People donated some amazing stuff, including a complete set of new Crosley hubcaps- worth about $300!  I won a vintage model kit, still in the shrink wrap, and a FarmoRoad manual.
After the raffle we milled around checking out the cars.  There were quite a few that I'd never seen before.  This CC 'vert used to belong to Dave 'Slo-Cal Special' Wheeler, but the new owner had rodded it to the extreme.  He drove it in but I don't think he drove it on the tour to Solvang.  That would have rattled some windows!
Another 'car' that didn't go on the tour was this beautiful rolling chassis.  Owner Bob King JUST got into Crosleys last year... he jumped in with both feet, buying three in one day!  This should be installed under a car soon and will be a nice complement to the CD wagon Bob DID take to Solvang.  Sounds like he's done more Crosleying in the past year than I've done in the past five.
That was the story of a lot of the new folks: work work work.  The couple who inherited the 'garage find' Crosley I wrote about last year have it nearly finished.  The Browns have done an incredible frame-off mild custom, and it's probably only a couple of months away from being done.  The pictures they brought showed the progress and it was amazing to see the transformation - I can't wait to see it at the next meet.  They had a fun time at the meet and heartily agreed that Crosley folks are super.
Another example of new Crosley work was Gary Cochrane's Super Sport.  He'd recently completed a resto-mod on his car, converting it to a Datsun-powered automatic so his wife Jan could also drive it.  The conversion was very cleanly done, and that dark paint showed off the outstanding bodywork.  Unfortunately Gary got a bug and took off early, so I never got a ride.
I also missed a ride in Mike and Robin Stoner's FOR which had a freshly rebuilt engine.  They drive this thing everywhere, so I'm not surprised that they wore a motor out.  This time they had the motor built by Bonneville daredevils the Liebherrs, so I suspect it'll go a long time.
After we closed up the meet we got together for the banquet/business meeting at the Firestone taproom.  We ate til we couldn't move and Mike Bainter announced the results of the People's Choice Awards.  It was no surprise that a freshly-finished Skorpion from San Jose took the Best of.  Incredibly, the owner had started this project FIFTY-FOUR YEARS AGO, and completed it this year!
He was genuinely stunned when he won, but there was no question he deserved it.   The car - and the story - were absolutely incredible.  There was a bit of discussion about the Bob Carson Award; Dave and Aileen Brodsky were nominated for blowing the motor in their car the day before the meet, and I nominated the couple who had come all the way from Seattle (not in a Crosley, mind you) to see the meet.  I was also nominated for hauling the tetanus pickup out from Salt Lake City, but as I said at the meet, 'No problems!'  In the end, the Brodskys took home the gold.
The next morning we all met up for breakfast and then we were homeward bound.  As always, I started thinking about the next year's meet before I'm out of the hotel parking lot on the way home... Can't wait!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tin Block Times is OUT- and so am I!

The new issue of the TBT went out last week.  As always, contributors sent in some stellar stuff - Chuck Latty wrote the cover story about growing up with a Crosley sedan in the family and Marty Stein provided another detailed history of an etceterini- this time it was his 1952 Siata.  Part II will run next issue.  We also had a report on the Wauseon National Meet, reviews of Crosley-related books and classifieds.