Thursday, August 20, 2009

"In GOD we trust" More Jalopies...CLE circa 1954

OK...Here we go again...One of my favourite photos of Barry Kettering's #47 car is the first one here(through the fence and in the river). If you look at the ariel photos of the CLE track in previous posts, you will see how close the river is to turn 4. The huge back bumper proclaims the statement (In God we trust)...lucky that Barry did.
The next photo is of Malcolm Galbraith's #35 car up on the rub-rail. The rub-rail made of railroad ties was to stop many of the cars from tearing out yards of fence, however, the carpenters at the CLE track were constantly busy replacing fence every week so the cheap-skates on the other side couldn't see the races for free.
The next photo is of the Massaro brothers #87 and #88 duking it out in turn 3. Tony and Albert were always putting on a show for the crowd, either by kicking up dirt or by some of the pre-staged fights in front of the grandstand. Some of the fist fights, however, were too real to be fake...ask Louie Tocheri about that.
The #4 picture is of Malcolm Galbraith #35 up on his side and at the rub-rail again and of Conrad Tromboli #49, now easily passing him. See all the cheap-skates that won't pay a quarter to come into the races. Its a lot more comfortable sitting in the Grandstand. NOTE: If you go down Northern Ave. today you can still recognize all these houses, by their unique roof designs, and place yourself right where these cars are as you stand in the Golf Dome parking lot.
Photo #5 is of #49 Conrad Tromboli again and my good friend Merv Dove #31 (always the most gentlemanly driver at the CLE track, and winning awards for that). Their cars were locked together and the flagman didn't quite know what to do. "Hey Merv, get the hell back in your car".
The last photo here is of an unknown(Does anyone know who drove #36) and #39 Speed Bortolussi of "Speed's Service" jockeying for position on the back stretch, there's that funny roof line on that house again and the non-payers peering over the fence, waiting for a jalopy part to come flying over. NOTE: don't forget to check out Northern Ave. to see exactly where these cars were. Enjoy!...............Click on photos to enlarge!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Dad....John(Jonnie) Cano is 90 Years Old Today

A milestone like this in any ones family must be documented. We are so fortunate at our age to have our father alive and well at 90 years old. As mentioned previously, he has always been an inspiration to me with his incredible will to live and looking so great for his age. We had a drop in for him this past Sunday and the sheer amount of friends, family and acquaintances that attended showed how much he is and always was admired and loved through the years. His watchword "Try anything once" has also inspired me to do the same.
The first photo was taken in 1941 in Canadian Army uniform in Winnipeg on their way to Victoria BC where his was stationed. I would be born 3 years later out there, which is the second picture(cute eh!). The third picture is Dad, taken at our Winter Carnival here in Fort William back in the '50's. He had taken first place for the best Van Dyke beard. The fourth one is from 1967 during his 30 year tenure at Kam Motors. He was the body shop manager there(note the Olds Tornado in the background, and the cool "Blues Brothers" fedora). The fifth picture is one of my favourites with him and I working on my '33 Ford Vicky, and the last one is how he looks at 90 years old. His 2 very happy marriages, the first to our mother Noreen until she passed away at a very young age in 1974 and his second to my step mom Gert who still nudges him forward to yet a longer life have both been the rocks in his life.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD.....We love you tons and look forward to many more great years together........from all your family!! on photos to enlarge
FOLLOW-UP.....Be sure to click on comments below on this post made by Dan, and read some great additional stuff...Thanks D

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Original "Hot Rod Lincoln" - Charlie Ryan

Charles Ryan, the Spokane man who co-wrote the hit song "Hot Rod Lincoln," ran his last road race back in Feb 2008 at age 92 after a long battle with heart disease.
"Anyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting with, or working with Charlie, knew one thing: He was the REAL DEAL!" wrote Karl Bingle, a friend who operates the Web site .
"He had the kind of spirit and personality that immediately brought a smile to your face and challenged you to live life to the fullest," Bingle wrote. "His amazing contributions to country and rockabilly music will never be forgotten."
Ryan and W.S. Stevenson wrote "Hot Rod Lincoln" and Ryan first recorded it in 1955. It has been recorded many times since.
Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen made it a hit in 1972, and it has been a mainstay of popular culture for decades. The song passed the 1 million-play mark in the summer of 2000, according to Broadcast Music Inc.
Ryan was born in Graceville, Minn., on Dec. 19, 1915, grew up in Polson, Mont., and moved to Spokane in 1943. He served in the Army in World War II.
He worked as a musician and songwriter, touring with Jim Reeves, Johnny Horton and others. He married Ruth Scheffler of Polson in 1943 and they had three children.
The song was inspired by Ryan's commutes in his 1941 Lincoln from Spokane to play gigs at the Paradise Club in Lewiston, Idaho.
"One night his Lincoln chased a friend's Cadillac over the Clearwater River bridge and up the Lewiston grade," the Web site said. "The telephone poles were whizzing by so fast they looked like picket fences as Charlie later referred to in his hit song." The song concluded with the rueful line, "Son, you're gonna drive me to drinkin' if you don't stop drivin' that Hot Rod Lincoln!"
Hot Rod Lincoln
My pappy said, “Son, you’re gonna’ drive me to drinkin’If you don’t stop drivin’ that Hot Rod Lincoln”
Have you heard this story of the Hot Rod Race
When Fords and Lincolns was settin’ the pace?
That story is true, I’m here to sayI was drivin’ that Model A
It’s got a Lincoln motor and it’s really souped up
That Model A Vitimix makes it look like a pup
It’s got eight cylinders, uses them all
It’s got overdrive, just won’t stall
With a four-barrel carb and a dual exhaust
And four-eleven gears you can really get lost
It’s got safety tubes, but I ain’t scared
The brakes are good, tires fair
Pulled out of San Pedro late one night
The moon and the stars was shinin’ bright
We was drivin’ up Grapevine Hill
Passing cars like they was standing still
All of a sudden in a wink of an eye a
Cadillac sedan passed us by
I said, “Boys, that’s a mark for me!”
By then the tail light was all you could see
Now the fellas was ribbin’ me for bein’ behind
So I thought I’d make the Lincoln unwind
Took my foot off the gas and man alive
I shoved it on down into overdrive
Wound it up to a hundred and ten my speedometer said that I hit top end
My foot was glued like lead to the floor
That’s all there is and there ain’t no more...
Now, the boys all thought I’d lost my sense
And telephone poles looked like a picket fence
They said, “Slow down! I see spots!” the lines on the road just look like dots
Took a corner; sideswiped a truck
Crossed my fingers just for luck
My fenders was clickin’ the guardrail posts
The guy beside me was white as a ghost
Smoke was comin’ from out of the back
When I started to gain on that Cadillac
Knew I could catch him, I thought I could pass
Don’t you know by then we’d be low on gas?
We had flames comin’ from out of the side
Feel the tension, Man! What a ride!
I said, “Look out, boys, I’ve got a license to fly!”
And that Caddy pulled over and let us by
Now all of a sudden she started to knockin
And down in the dips she started to rockin
I looked in my mirror; a red light was blinkin
The cops was after my Hot Rod Lincoln!
They arrested me and they put me in jail
And called my pappy to throw my bail
And he said, “Son, you’re gonna’ drive me to drinkin
If you don’t stop drivin’ that Hot ... Rod ... Lincoln!”
Charlie created the actual Hot Rod Lincoln by merging a 1930 Model A Ford with a wrecked '48 Lincoln. The Ryans hauled that dream machine with them to county fairs, concerts and car shows for years until his passing. This is one of the best classic hot rod tunes of all time. I actually had an anonymous request to do this. Thanks for the idea, Dave

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Brad's Sport Coupe and Safari Wagon.....

I haven't talked to Brad Ager in a little while but the last photos he sent me of his Model "A" Sport Coupe project and his beautiful Pontiac Safari Wagon looks to me that he is well on his way to building more beautiful cars. My young and very talented friend used to live in Thunder Bay but now resides with his wife Sherrie in Waterdown, Ontario, near Hamilton, where hot rodding is very much alive and well and being in close proximity to an incredible amount of events on the Canadian and American side of the border makes me wish I lived closer to the action there. Brad is also very involved in the Goodguys Rod and Custom association, and attends many of their events. At a young age and up to this point Brad has built a number of incredibly impressive cars, so I can only imagine how his "A" will look as well as future endeavors. Just keep on roddin' Brad. Hey Brad, thanks for sending these photos....and send more updates. Dave. Click on photos to enlarge.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Should Never Have Sold It......

My 1962 Buick Electra 225 was purchased right after I sold my '32 Ford Coupe to tide me over while I restored the '32 Ford Vintage Modified dirt track car. It was the only vintage car that I actually purchased and not built or restored. I bought it in St. Paul during a Back to the '50's shortly after Y2K for a very reasonable amount of money and even though it had 4 was pretty cool with it being lowered 5" and had the typical Nailhead Buick throaty sound with the dual glasspack mufflers. It only had 41K original miles on it when I bought it and was one of those cars owned by an elderly couple that had hardly driven it over the years, with an original paint job, original interior and a trunk that could fit a small compact car in it. We had tons of fun with the car as you could easily have 6 people cruising around in total comfort with factory air conditioning to boot. We had driven it to Back to the 50's when the Sensational Hot Rods played there and Ron, Pat, Steve's son Josh and us comfortably cruised St. Paul and Minneapolis through that whole weekend.
It's the only car I miss of all the cars I've had because of the sheer size of it and that it could fit so many passengers. It would be nice to still have it as well as my hot rod just for those reasons.
It was purchased by a first time vintage car owner Paul Plasse who lives in eastern Ontario near St. Eugene. He flew here and drove it back from Thunder Bay in one shot....some 18 hours and all by himself, without even the tiniest glitch with the car.....a testament to the great cars of the '50's and '60's. I didn't pay a ton for it and sold it for what I had paid. Obviosly I should have kept the car, but its another Oh Well!...and we move on. on pics to enlarge