28th Annual Big Bear Fun Run 2017

Big Bear Lake California

August 10-13, 2017
by Conrad Monroe

This year we tried something different, the Big Bear Fun Run which is held at Big Bear City, California. Thanks to Bob Bailey for taking the time to plan the trip, organize the hotel rooms and coordinate with the Over The Hill Gang – San Bernardino. The San Berdo club reserves a large block of rooms at the Holiday Inn Resort. In doing so they get a major break on the room charge which was quite nice.

Making the run were the following members: Tom and Val Altgilbers in their Suburban,  Rick and Debbie Aronson in their 1941 Ford Pick Up,  Bob and Betty Bailey in their 1940 Ford Coupe, Dave and Anne Bennett in their 1937 Cadillac Sedan towing their teardrop trailer, Charlie and Danise Cover in their 1937 Ford Club Coupe,  Jim and Carol Dalton in their 1937 Chevy Sedan Delivery, Paul and Judy Nolte in their 1939 Ford Coupe and Michelle and I in our 1956 Dodge Sierra Station Wagon.

Other than Bob Bailey losing a fuel pump while climbing the last hill up to the lake, the trip was rather uneventful. We all met for breakfast on Thursday morning at the Country Kitchen in Wickenburg before heading out to Parker, AZ where we picked up CA-62 W to Joshua Tree, CA where we had lunch. After lunch I checked out an International Bus that had been converted into a go anywhere/do anything RV. It was quite a piece of work! After lunch we picked up CA-247 that took us CA-18E for the run up to Big Bear. This road is not for the faint of heart, very steep, very winding with a number of blind uphill switchbacks. The weather at the bottom was hot and sunny, around 105°F. The heat and steep climb will create problems unless you have a well designed cooling system. OH, and to make things even more exciting you will meet double bottom semi trailer trucks hauling gravel down the hill… it was a bit of a pucker factor at time. The next time we are headed here I would suggest either CA-38 that comes in from Redlands or CA-18W that comes in from San Bernardino. Still twisty curvy but without the sharp switchbacks and steep grades.


Thursday & Friday Travel, Registration and Relax

On Friday we hit registration which was an absolute breeze. The Big Bear Lake Antique Car Club definitely have their act together. The registration area was well laid out and organized, the club members were courteous and helpful.  The The town streets were closed off to traffic and each of the 500 cars were assigned a numbered parking space for the show. If you indicated that you were with a car club or other organization, they would do their best to see that you were parked together. We got eight adjacent spaces with a good sized shaded grassy area behind the cars. The space was large enough for our awning, which added to the shade.

After registration we headed back to our hotel to clean up the cars and to replace Bob’s fuel pump… as luck would have it, the local NAPA store only had one manual GM pump in stock… Paul and Bob installed it and had a devil of a time getting the car to run, even with copious priming of the carb.  As it turns out on this particular pump the inlet was mislabeled so instead of pushing gas to the carb it was trying to suck gas from it… after a plumbing change all was in order and the car ran like new…
While Bob and Paul were playing mechanic, most of us went across the street to a German Restaurant for a cold beer or two and a sandwich. For dinner we all were invited to Charlie’s old school mate Jerry’s cabin for a cookout. The weather was beautiful and Jerry was a most gracious host to open his house to a bunch of car people! Great evening! Thanks to Jerry and Charlie Cover for setting it up!

 

Saturday Car Show

We were in line and promptly at 7:00 AM the let us into the parking area. The club members handling the parking duties did a great job of getting us in and into our assigned spaces. After getting set up, we sat around and visited a bit and talked with some of the other clubs parked near us, then headed off for breakfast. Big Bear has a wide variety of restaurants and bars so finding a good place to eat was not much of an issue. Finding an empty table on the other had was a tad more difficult. Not having anything better to do, we enjoyed the wait talking with members of the San Diego OTHG who were parked along the street near our restaurant.

Around mid afternoon the organizing club came around and notified the owners of all of the cars that had been selected for an award on Sunday. In addition to the usual info that is asked for they also wanted each winner to write something down about the car, its build and or what other interesting tidbits that you would like to share with the audience. This is not often done, but I think it is a great idea.

Around 4:00 PM cars started leaving the parking area and headed off for a Cruise around Big Bear Lake. Much like the Midnight at the Oasis show in Yuma and the Run to the Pines show up in Pinetop/Show Low, thousands of spectators lined the Cruise route around the lake. From what we picked up talking with wait staff and folks at the hotel, this event is by far the most popular of many that are held in the town throughout the year. It’s crowds, even surpass the 4th of July weekend!


Saturday Cruise Around Big Bear Lake

I must say that the 500 cars that were on display were all very high quality builds. Some of the higher end cars have had national acclaim at various major shows on the west coast. The organizing club members were tasked with selecting 70 notable cars for the Awards on Sunday. They have a Best in Show, a number of Best Makes, Interior, Engine etc, Top Twenty and several interesting categories. Dave and Anne Bennett were chosen for a Top Twenty Award and Michelle and I were chosen for the Best Fins Award… as an aside, when I picked up the car it was missing one of the chrome bolt on rear fins that identified the car as a 1956 Dodge. After several weeks of searching on EBay I saw a listing that showed a photo of both fins (the are of course right and left handed). The seller had identified them as “I have no idea what these are, or what they belong to” He had a buy it now price of $40 for the pair. I don’t think I have ever bought anything that quickly before… anyway had it not been for EBay there would have been no fins on the car… I have never seen another pair again.

Once again the organization of the awards was 1st class. Each winner was assigned a number and numbered parking space. The parking spaces were laid out to make it easy for the winner to get in line when the awards began. Each car was directed to park in front of the grandstands with two large US Flags displayed behind them. The announcer would cover the details of the car and owner and also would share with the audience the write up that each owner provided. It was a lot of fun, the driver was handed the award and the passenger received a very nice long stem Rose.

Having an 9 hour drive home ahead of us, we chose to leave as soon as we received our award. The ride down the mountain was very enjoyable. We stopped for gas at perhap the fanciest Circle Ks in the world. Complete with marble walls and floors, a waterfall and premium coffee. Outside seating with free WiFi… almost made the price per gallon that we had to pay seem justified … 8-)…

Our ride home was uneventful, and other than the 100°F desert temps for 6 hours out of the 8.5 hr drive it was enjoyable.

Larry Besore had asked me if I thought that the show was worth the drive and money to get to it. I have to say it was.  I have been to numerous car shows since 2002 when I bought our 1939 Ford Sedan, and I would have to say that this one is well in the top ten, maybe top five of all of them. The organization, courtesy, venue and weather all teamed up to make for a very worthwhile experience. I would not mind coming back again…

Till next time…
Next up for Michelle and I is our annual trip to the Pacific Northwest to visit friends and family and then the 2017 Run to the Pines show in Pinetop, and possibly a trip to Tennessee and Arkansas to visit an old friend and a couple of 1st cousins that I never knew I had… After this trip to Big Bear, Betty has 34,000 miles on her Dakota Digital odometer and will probably pick up another 5 to 6K by the end of the year… You Gotta Drive Them!

Conrad


Sunday Awards and the Drive Home

2017 Grand National Roadster Show

Fairplex, Pomona, California
January 27, 28 & 29, 2017

by Conrad Monroe

On January 26, the Over The Hill Gang Phoenix made it’s yearly assault upon Los Angeles for the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona at the fairgrounds.  Making the trip this year was Dave & Anne Bennett, Dan & Carol Burdett,  Jim & Carol Dalton, Charley & Danise Cover, Paul & Judy Nolte, Larry & Theresa Way and Michelle & I. Also tagging along with us was Val & Sandy Muyres who may soon be joining the club!

We stopped at Chiriaco Summit on I10 for a bathroom break and found that they were in the process of rejuvenating the old gas station to display a number of older cars, mostly Model As that were in a new shop building located behind the gas station. Looks like they should have a number of good displays from what we saw in the shop. Well worth the stop if you find yourself on I10…

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Chiriaco Summit

When we were ready to leave, Jim Dalton found that the fuel pump had died in his new sedan delivery build. We checked it out and found it was moving fuel, but was not producing the 60 psi that the LS3 needs to run. Carol called AAA and got her first ride in a tow truck back to Phoenix.

After we were sure that Jim & Carol were in good hands we continued our journey to Pomona.  We made decent time and found that we had enough time to pay a visit to Kennedy Brothers Hot Rods in Pomona.  They have a decent size shop and a good selection of hard to find parts. If you are having a hard time finding early parts give Joe Kennedy a call at (714) 307-8095. If he doesn’t have it he may know where to find it… they have a lot of contacts…

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Kennedy Brothers Hot Rods

After we left the Kennedys, we went to the Kellogg West Hotel and Conference Center which is located on the Cal Poly campus. It is used to train students in the hospitality industry and I must say they do a great job. I don’t believe you can find a nice room with breakfast anywhere in the LA area for less money than what they charge.

On Friday we got up at a reasonable hour, had breakfast and then headed over to Santa Fe Springs to visit Lime Works Speed Shop. Lime Works is probably best known for their steering columns, column drops and steering wheels. I was quite surprised to see that they have a number of interesting project builds going on as well.  The most interesting one, for me anyway, was a 1936 Ford cabriolet that was being done pretty much old school, rack & pinion A arm front suspension aside. The workmanship and attention to detail was quite nice.

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Lime Works Speed Shop

We then headed up to North Hills, near Van Nuys/ Northridge area to visit Galpin Auto Sports which is one of the businesses in the Galpin Ford complex. Quite an impressive dealership. In addition to the usual new cars & trucks, they have a Diner – The Horseless Carriage where we had lunch. The place was swamped with customers, it was right around 1PM so I figured we would all be split up, but no, turns out they have a very nice sized private dining room that they seated us in. The food was great as was the service! and the prices were reasonable… nice find Charley! After lunch we walked a couple of blocks to Galpin Auto Sports – their customizing and performance shop. In addition to the shop, they also have a nicely done auto museum with a wide selection of hotrods, custom cars, sports cars and race cars which are on display and also available for sale. Michelle and I had a chance to talk with one of the techs who had just finished putting an LT4 VVT direct injection and supercharged crate motor into a 1967 Chevelle. He gave us a lot of detail on the build… the LT4 is one hell of a great engine! We later saw the Chevelle at GNRS in the Galpin tent. He also showed us a 2017 Acura NSX supercar that they have been customizing. It will be the centerpiece of  a charity auction that will be held later this year. The car has every option that Acura makes for it, plus a lot of neat aftermarket parts. To give you an idea of the costs involved, the base car starts at $157K and goes up from there. The optional carbon ceramic rotors and calipers are only $11K!

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Galpin Auto Sports (GAS)

On Saturday we arose early and drove over to the Fairplex for the car show.  We got in line around 6AM or so and waited until they let us onto the grounds at 7:00 where we parked in long lines until they let us park at 8:00. Michelle and I split a breakfast burrito which was excellent, if not somewhat pricy… Once we got inside we were able to park in exactly the same place as we did two years ago which was Michelle and mine’s first trip.  Instead of parking inside the building, where the judged cars are parked we park outside in the Grand Daddy Drive In area located around all of the fair ground buildings. The cars are all “drivers” and most are quite well done. With just about every thing you can think of in the way of rod & customs, muscle cars etc. I would say that this year the Drive In attendance was down somewhat from two years ago, due to a competing car show being held at the Coliseum in downtown LA. Two years ago our Dodge wagon was awarded a top ten Drive In pick and as luck would have it, we got another one this year! Needless to say it made me a very happy camper!

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GNRS Grand Daddy Drive In Cars

The indoor Show Cars were all great! So many innovative ideas and excellent craftsmanship on display.  If I was forced to judge this show I think I would have to toss in the towel… just too many truly excellent cars.  Some that really caught my eye were a 1936 Ford Cabriolet with a Lasalle grill done in mid 50s custom style, clean and low… The 1955 Chevy 2dr post with the tilt front end, suicide doors and V12 engine was another top pick of mine. The workmanship and thought that went into this build was phenomenal.  The 1957 Ford Ranch Wagon that was under construction will be killer when it is done.  The red & black 1963 Corvette Split Window coupe with LT4 Supercharged power could find a home in my garage at anytime… simply beautiful and built to drive and handle… and lastly, and perhaps my favorite a 1941 Willys Coupe built street rod style. It maybe the only 1941 Willys coupe that I have seen that was not done either vintage gasser style or pro mod…

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GNRS Indoor Show Cars Part A

 

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GNRS Indoor Show Cars Part B

Last but not least, we will tour the Suede Palace devoted to all things traditional Hot Rod! The heavily louvered black 1934 Ford 5 window with the wide fives was a big hit with me. As was the dark blue Deuce Roadster. The black Deuce 3 window coupe done 1950s custom style had a great look as well. The blue 1961 Chrysler was awesome to say the least…

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The Suede Palace

On Sunday we were able to get on the road around 8:00 AM and headed back down I10 to Phoenix. Michelle and I had a 8 1/2 hour drive ahead of us to get back home before it was too dark.  Up in the mountains the elk have been out in large numbers this year and I have no desire to meet up with one while driving! So when the group stopped for lunch we kept on truckin on down the road and made it to Show Low without major incident. We were able to gain enough time to where we could stop at Macky’s Grill in Payson for a bowl of chilli for me and a half sandwich and soup for Michelle…

Great trip, we had a lot of fun with some really great friends. Looking forward to Goodguys in March and Viva Las Vegas in April. Possibly a road trip up to Dearborn in late June/ early July to visit the Henry Ford Museum, Gilmore Museum and possibly the Auburn Cord Duesenberg in Indy before heading to Tennessee to visit a very good friend from my childhood then on to Arkansas to visit two of my cousins that I never knew I had! Should be an interesting year!

Till next time! Take care!

Conrad.

2016 Northern New Mexico Street Rodders

Farmington, New Mexico

by Conrad Monroe
April 23-25, 2016

I am generally on the look out for new car shows to attend, since for me the fun of it for me is the going and coming, seeing new places, having new cars to photograph and meeting new friends.  Back in early March my friend Bob Horvath who goes to our gym mentioned that he and a few other folks from the mountain were heading up to Farmington, NM for the 34th Annual Northern New Mexico Street Rodders Car Show in April. It sounded good to me so I passed the word around to most of the usual suspects which like to go on the longer runs. Frank and Rose Svancara decided to join us for the trip.

The group from the White Mountains included Rick & Kim Fernau, Bob & Ona Horvath, Joe & Glenda Bailey and Al & BJ Mercer. The White Mountain folks left Show Low at 8:00 AM. Frank and I met at Sanders, AZ at 10:30 and headed to Gallup for lunch. We headed up 491 toward Ship Rock, and took BIA 5 over the 371 and on to Farmington. For the most part both 491 & 371 were very rough and 491 was under construction for 22 miles. They are widening it to 4 lanes which should be a good deal in the future, but a PITA now.

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34th Annual Indoor & Outdoor Car Show

The venue for the show was McGee Park Convention Center. Participants had the option of parking inside a very large building (wish we had one like it in Show Low!) or outside which had a very large covered pavilion. If you parked inside your car was there for the duration of the show, so all of us opted for the pavilion which was a good choice. I think I heard that there were over 300 cars on the grounds with a wide variety of types and styles from hot rods, to customs, street rods, stock, modified, trucks and they even had a half dozen Tuners.

The weather was what you would expect up on the high plains in the spring. High winds, some clouds, some sun and temps in the 70s. Having more than half of the cars inside was a good deal since it gave us a chance to get out of the wind and sun for awhile.  Another nice part of the show was that they had some decent live entertainment on stage for much of the time.  By 3:00 PM on Saturday the winds had picked up, dust was flying and the clouds looked pretty ominous so we high tailed it to the hotel. Fortunately, it blew through rather quickly and we were treated to a nice evening.

The awards were handed out on Sunday in a very nicely organized way with the winners walking up a ramp to the stage for the presentation and photos. Frank & Rose picked up an award in the Pre 1959 Custom & Modified Class and more importantly the Long Distance Award which included picking up the cost of their hotel room for both nights! Michele & I were shocked to learn that we got an award for Street Rod Sedan class, our old driver rarely gets a nod.  Al & BJ received an award in the pre 1970 Muscle Car class, Phil and Linda were awarded a trophy in the pre 1970 Stock class.  Bob & Ona’s 1938 Ford was the Goodguys Rep Pick and they also received the Horsepower Ranch Pick (one of the larger hot rod shops in Farmington). The owner’s comment was that Bob built the car like he would.

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The Awards

In my opinion this was a very well organized and run show. Everyone was very courteous and helpful and all four of us yellow shirts had numerous people come up to us and thank us for making the trek up to Farmington and they all really appreciate the time and effort that the club puts in at Scottsdale Goodguys which is their favorite big shows to attend. For those of you in the club that are looking for shows to attend outside of California, you should give this one a try!

Oh, by the way the food that they had on offer was excellent! The breakfast burrito is outstanding as is their burgers, and unlike Goodguys, reasonably priced!

 

 

2016 Visit to the Peterson Museum

Los Angles, California

January 29, 2016

by Conrad Monroe
Photos by Spike Cover

I had really wanted to attend this years Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, CA this year mainly because they had organized a tour of the Petersen Publishing Museum in Los Angles. On Monday of that week, Michelle had her final reconstructive surgery and would not have been up for the long ride to LA plus all of the walking around.

Thanks to Charley Cover’s brother Spike, we now have some great photos of some of the Petersen Collection!

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The Peterson Collection – Part I

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The Peterson Collection – Part II

Thanks again to Spike, Charley and Danise for the great photos!

See y’all soon.

Conrad.

2016 January Laughlin

Cruising on the River
Laughlin, NV

January 15-17, 2016

by Larry Besore

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The Cousins on the River

Most years for the last several, Nick- Deb  Bacon, Jeff – Vic Bacon, Brenda and I have made the run to Laughlin for cruising on  the river show.

Sometimes it’s cold and windy, sometime pleasant. This year it was pretty nice. They get 200 hundred or so cars for this show. Bill and Nancy Wilkins have been to every show both Jan and sept versions.

We had a non -eventful run up to the river on Thursday, spent some time in the Casino before calling it  day. Friday’s show and shine was good weather again and the cars were coming in steady all day.

The lot was pretty much full by 3PM. We saved our places and went back to our casino. The show is at the Riverside, but we prefer to stay at the Tropicana.

Had a great Birthday dinner my belated, and Nicks Jan B-day, then hit the Casino for a while.

Saturdays show was packed, they sure need more room for cars. The Sept show used to be twice as big but the Jan show is gaining on it.

Always see some unusual rides here, this year we had a Graham Hollywood, a sectioned 51 Chevy, and a nice 49 Willy’s panel jeep, along with many other nice but typical cars.

All in all a great weekend and some quality fam-time.

 

2015 Goodguys West Coast Nationals

Alameda Fairgrounds
Pleasanton, California

August 21-23, 2015

by Conrad Monroe
Photos by Danise Cover

Making the run to Pleasanton for Hot Rod Week and the 29th Annual Goodguys West Coast Nationals this year was Bob & Betty Bailey, Larry & Brenda Besore, Charley & Danise Cover and George Thienes.

I don’t have a write up for the trip, but Larry Besore has made several posts on our OTHG-Phoenix Facebook Page.

Here are the photos that Danise Cover kindly provided!  It looks like as usual a good time was had by all that went!

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Pleasanton Part 1

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Pleasanton Part 2

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Pleasanton Part 3

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Pleasanton Part 4

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Pleasanton Part 5

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Pleasanton Part 6

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!

Conrad

2015 Run to the Copper Country Car Show

Silver City, NM

August 14-16, 2015

by Conrad Monroe

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2015 Run to the Copper Country

While the rest of the usual suspects were getting ready to head up to Pleasanton, CA for the Goodguys show five couples headed over to Silver City, NM for the Run to the Copper Country car show.  Making the trip was Dave & Anne Bennett with their Tear Drop trailer in tow, Tony & Jeanine Cruze, Paul & Judy Nolte, Ken Schaff & Dee Guintoli traveling through Safford, AZ while Michelle and I headed down 180 through Alpine, AZ Frank & Rose Svancara were planning on joining us but had to bow out at the last minute.  The drive over was uneventful for everyone, which is great! We had decent weather and we (Michelle & I) didn’t have to hit the A/C until we hit Gila, NM outside of Silver City.

The show is put on by the Copper Country Cruizers and this was their 23rd year hosting the show. As usual, it was very well organized and a lot of fun.  They had a rather large contingent of cars show up from both El Paso, TX, Tucson (TSRA) and a number of cars from the White Mountain area. As I recall the total attendance was a bit over 150 cars.

Once again it rained around the time of the award presentation and as soon as it was over the skies cleared. Go figure.  Dave & Anne Bennett invited the club members over to their campsite for some of Anne’s wonderful Tortilla Soup and Dave’s great cheese burgers.  As usual we ate, talked and laughed until well after dark.  On Sunday we met for breakfast and everyone headed back home. Again the weather was wonderful.

If you have done Silver City before, put it on your calendars!  Good Show!

Bis Später!
Conrad.