Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Half and Half
I started planning this trip last year when the West Coast Crosley Club decided to have more than one 'official' event per year. At our club dinner I pitched the idea of having a Crosley Club contingent attend SWULCS, figuring that any Crosley nut would love a chance to be around cars even weirder -and smaller - than a Crosley. Plus, I knew that several members are regulars at SWULCS, so we'd have a built-in starting crew. San Diego member Mike Blackburn ran with the suggestion, and while I was in Europe last year he got the ball rolling, coordinating with the SWULCS officials and even figuring out where the nearest KOA was. By the time I got back stateside we were official - all I had to do was wait for March 28 and show up!
Not long after Mike finalized the details on the meet, I found myself brokering a deal between two Crosley guys who had matching projects. When Arizona Crosley nut John McKnight told me he'd bought a roadster chassis that had no sheet metal, I knew just the guy he needed to talk to. About 10 years ago I'd looked at a big stash of Crosley parts that included some NOS stuff plus various bits, including a Super Sports body that had been chopped in half to facilitate a Spitfire-style tilt front - and then was never finished. I passed on the lot, but Curt Schoellerman, a club member that lives near Sacramento, bought everything -- and has been wanting to get rid of the SS carcass(es) ever since. John and Curt worked out a deal and both seemed pretty happy about it - and I was happy that two sad projects were going to become one much better project.
As the date for the SWULCS approached I realized that I could haul the SS body halves down to Pomona if John wanted to drive out to meet me. That would be a shorter haul for him than coming all the way north, and it would be an excuse for him to hang out with some California Crosley nuts for a couple of days. He liked the idea so I made arrangements to pick up the SS from Curt a few days before leaving Sacto. I hooked up my $50 trailer and headed up to Curt's place in Auburn just after work on the Wednesday before the show. We'd had the heaviest rains of the season that week and I could see black clouds coming over the mountains to meet me as I drove east.
Friday morning I got out of town early and had an uneventful trip down 5. My load of Crosley chunks rode fine and was so light I barely noticed the weight of the trailer and cargo. I'd found a set of old time radio show tapes just before the trip, and listening to episodes of 'Night Beat' made the 400 mile drive go by quickly. I hit traffic in Castaic, so I didn't pull into the meet HQ (the NHRA museum parking) lot until about 4:30 -- the neat stuff was already coming in...