Locke Car Shows Adventures

don locke may18 cover

By Don and Bev Locke

While the majority of CVA members live in colder climates and are putting their cars down for a winter’s nap, we in Arizona enjoy driving our cars and going to car shows and parades from October through May. Beverly and I have the opportunity to show “Vic” almost every weekend and enjoy meeting people who share our love of old cars. We have become more selective over the years and generally try to participate in car shows that raise funds for worthy local charitable organizations.

Since 2005, we have attended local car shows at least monthly. During that time, we have made many friends, most of whom have cars that are NOT Fords! We have come to the conclusion that there are not many 54-56 Fords in our area. During the multiple January car auctions (Barrett Jackson, Russo Steele, Silver and Biltmore) more than 400 cars gather at the weekly, longest continuously operated free show in Arizona at Scottsdale Pavilions McDonalds restaurant. We have won tickets to Russo Steele and $100 favorite car prizes at this amazing Arizona extravaganza. Quite a happening! If you are in our wonderful state for a winter break, try to spend a few hours on a Saturday at Indian Bend and the 101 freeway; it is a car lover’s paradise.

Every year, we have an overabundance of delicious pink grapefruit from our small grove. We do not want to throw the fruit away, but there is so much excess fruit in our community that we cannot give them away. Our solution was to take a large box of grapefruit to car shows and give them away. We had few takers until a friend suggested that we offer the recipe for Pink Grapefruit Margaritas and Salty Dogs (made with grapefruit juice) along with the fruit. Problem solved! More than 50 disappear in half an hour. Now when visitors see our peacock and cream ’56 Victoria at car shows, they come for the grapefruit and a visit, not to see the car.

Most folks who attend car shows are truly interested and ask questions about the history of the car, its horsepower, accessories and interior. We keep cards for the various shops that have worked on the car and advertise for them. The most unusual question we have ever had is a woman who asked my wife “How many children do you think were conceived in the back seat of this car?” She replied, “None of ours.” Another time, a woman walked up to me and said she had a car just like ours and followed me around chatting about her car. Then her husband appeared, and she said, “Look, a car just like ours.” He said, “Yes, dear, but we had a Chevrolet!”

We have a life size cowboy doll called Little Vic who stands against the front fender and hides his face. A girl about 3 walked around and around the car, watching Little Vic; she finally asked me “Why are you punishing your little boy?” Her mother stood by laughing, then showed her that Little Vic is just a doll. Of course, she wanted to take him home, cap pistols and all. Another little girl said, “Wow! This is quite a car party.” We love chatting with the kids who come to shows with their parents, they always provide a different perspective on our hobby.

Our car is often a prize winner and has taken Best in Show or First Place six times. We were featured on local television three years ago during the Chandler Old Town celebration. “Vic” was on the cover of the April 2012 CVA news and featured again in the 2017 Blast from the Past edition. Yes, we are getting older, don’t drive as much, but “Vic” doesn’t age, just gets better!

 

Sutherland's 1956 Ford Victoria

paul sutherland

My 1956 Ford Victoria is my dream come true. This black beauty is a 2-door hardtop with a rare P code, 312 cu. and three on the tree with overdrive.

As a young man, I had a similar 1956 Vicky, but when I joined the Army in 1967 I sold it as I began a new journey in my life. When I was discharged from the Army, I went back to remodeling and building homes with my dad. And I was busy working and raising my family through the year, but after retirement, I made it my goal to find a nice 1956 Vicky again.

It took a couple of years, but I finally found the one 75 miles north of me. It only had 61,200 miles on it and had been repainted in the early nineties. Once I got it home, I wet sanded and buffed it.

I drove it that summer doing changes a little at a time. I put all new coil and leaf springs and also gas shocks. I wasn’t really satisfied with the way it was running so in the fall, I had the 312 motor completely rebuilt. The board out .030 over and put in a midrange Isky Cam for the rumble sound. Had the motor painted and put on the dyno machine for tuning, it’s 8 pulls (220 hp) and 300 ft. lbs. of torg. Next put in Pertronix 2 ignition and coil, no more points. I also cleaned and painted the engine bay and put in all new bushing, hoses, belts, cables and 6 blade fan.

Once the motor was all put back together, it ran “great” even made the 2 glass packs sound better.

To make it ride even better I purchased Kelsey Hass wire wheels with 2-1/2” white wall radial tires. This improved the ride even better.

My wife and I ride through upstate New York and Vermont with all the hills, so I put power disc brakes and seat belts in our car.

When we are at car shows, people always ask me about the curb feelers, they call them antennas!! I have received many awards when participating at car shows, but the real joy is having my teenage car again.

The CVA club members has been so helpful in guiding me to the best places to get parts. I look forward to this summer to meeting some of the club members.

Submitted by,
Paul Sutherland

 

 

Westermeyer's 1956 Ford Crown Victoria

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I always had a soft spot for a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria. I finally found my car on Hemming’s Website. The owner of the car told me it was supposed to be a National Crown Winner in 1992 and 1993. I wanted a car that I could drive, and one that looked nice.

The car was purchased in Louisiana. I decided to purchase the car sight unseen! The pictures that were sent looked great. A lesson was learned - never buy a car without looking at it first hand. My wife call the car a bad nightmare.

We had to redo the engine, transmission, rear end suspension, brakes, etc. We started dismantling everything. Even the body needed work. I had it in the body shop for a year. Needless to say, it cost a fortune.

I am pleased with how it looked now and have received many compliments on the car. Even thought, I probably won’t get the price I put into the restoration of the car, I am going to enjoy driving it and taking it to car show. The good news is that my wife is still married to me and goes along to the car show with me.

I am also the owner of a 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix that was restored, and I enjoy going to car shows with my friends with this car too.

Frederick Westermeyer
Cleveland, WI

 

 

Go West Young Man and Stay Away from that Kiester...Minnesota

sioux falls meet

Each year, I get the opportunity to visit a couple of Regional Meets and write about my experiences at each one. This past year, I had the privilege of visiting Dick Rath’s Upper Midwest Regional Meet. It was held in Sioux Falls, ND. Living in Northwest Ohio, it was about a 14-hour drive to get there. The adventures that I faced on the trip there should have been an indicator of the awesome adventures that I would face the rest of the trip.

Thursday, after work, my buddy Roger and I started to make the trip to Sioux Falls. We made it to the east side of Chicago and decided to stay overnight there. Roger woke up early the next morning and decided to go get some coffee. He got lost on the way back up to the room. He forgot which room we were in and wandered the halls trying his key on different doors. He finally went to the front desk and inquired what room we were in. Well, they had my last name spelled wrong, so it took a while for them to find out which room we were in. This gave me some extra time to sleep in. After Roger showed back up, I took the opportunity to laugh at him and offered to hang a sign around his neck with his contact information.

We got around and left the hotel began the trek through Wisconsin and Minnesota. As we were almost through Minnesota, we noticed an exit sign that said that Kiester was just a few miles off I-90. No way could it have been the town from the Preparation H commercial. We crossed into North Dakota and arrived in Sioux Falls just before dinner time. The evening was lovely, and it was good to see those members that I had met at past National Conventions. The many cars were lined up in the lot and made for a very colorful display. I asked around and was told that Kiester, Minnesota was indeed the town that the commercial was filmed in.

Saturday started with a car show at the American Legion. The city’s local car club was invited to join us. Later that night, we returned to the American Legion for an absolutely fantastic buffet dinner. After dinner, friends met in the hotel lot and the conversation flowed. The day was very fun.

Read more: Go West Young Man and Stay Away from that Kiester...Minnesota
 

James Pope's 1955 Ford Victoria

 

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Editor’s Note:James and Sandra Pope are new members. Welcome to the Club!

James Pope recently restored a 1955 Ford Victoria that he purchased from the original owner, Ray Welch. Ray was the owner of “Roy’s Gulf) at the corner of Mint Street and Summit Avenue in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This car has special meaning for James because he remembers the day it was bought. It was around Christmas of 1954. His dad had purchased one like it at the same time. You could often see the two cars parked together at ‘Roy’s Gulf’. James’ dad worked across the street from the station.

After being parked in the garage at home for forty years, it has finally been restored. It has had some extensive body and paint work completed, as well as a complete new interior kit that we purchased from Mac’s. It has a 272-automatic engine that has 74,000 original miles.

James has taken it to two car shows and is looking forward to many more!

Submitted by Sandra Pope, Charlotte, NC

 

Royce & Rebecca Massey’s 1955 Crown Vic

 Royce Massey Cover

Sometime in November and December 2011 my wife and I were eating in a Subway restaurant in Russellville, Alabama after church one Sunday with some friends. My friend Dale said to me Royce your are a Ford man I know here there is a Crown Vic that I think you could buy. Dale had purchased a 1957 Chevrolet from this man. I owned a 1956 Ford Club Sedan at the time a driver but a pretty nice driver. I asked if the Crown Vic had been restored and he said it was in the process. I told Dale if the man ever mentioned selling the Crown Vic let me know and I would go look at the car.

About the middle of February 2012 Dale told me the man was ready to sell. Dale set up the meeting and he and I went to look at the car. The car was located in a shop near Haleyville, Alabama. What I found was a 1955 Crown Vic that had a frame off rebuild started a very nice solid body with the mo-tor, transmission and rear end rebuilt and installed. The frame had been cleaned and painted and the body set back down on the frame. The mane that owned the car had been collecting parts since 1988. He told me he had the parts to build this car to fac-tory specs for any option available on these cars. I listened to the engine run and looked at all his parts which included bout three sets of stainless for this car all polished and wrapped in about three layers of newspaper. I asked the man what his best price was on the car and he told me and then said before he would take less he would dig a hole and bury the car and parts in his back yard. After thinking about it overnite and talking with a couple of people about the car I agreed to purchase the car and parts.

At the time one of my sons had an empty warehouse in Tuscumbia, Alabama and he agreed to let me finish restoring the car in his ware-house. Dale took his trailer and hauled the bod for me and I took my 16 foot flatbed trailer and hauled all the parts. There were tons of extra parts, motors, transmissions, etc this was late February 2012. All the sheet metal had been primed so I started cleaning those up painting the inter fender wells and getting the car to a rolling body.

Around the first of June 2012 I talked a man into painting the car. The man I purchased from was go-ing to paint the car red and white his favorite colors. The vin plate showed the car had been Sea Sprite Green and White originally. I decided to paint it back to the original color. the car went into the paint shop around the middle of June 2012 and I picked it up in November 2012. Base-Clear paint was used and the body was taken down to bare metal and built up from there.

Around the first of December 2012 my brother Jerry Massey and I started putting the car back together. We worked about two days a week around four hours each day. All we had to go on of how to put the car to-gether was a 1955 Shop Manual which helped a lot. My brother was an electrician and he restored all the electrical circuits and everything works like it should. We had very few major obstacles in restoring the car and the man I purchased from was accurate I had to purchase very few parts for the car in most cases I had extra parts. I did order a interior kit from LaBaron Bonney that fit and looks like the original interior. We finished restoring the car in about June 2014. Since that time I have enjoyed driving, showing and admiring the car.

Royce Massey
Spruce Pine, AL

 

 

“Sweet Caroline”: My 1955 Ford Crown Victoria

 

philmeek nov2017

Submited by: Philip Meek

Back in my high school days in Dallas, there were only three things that interested the guys- - football, girlfriends and cars, and not necessarily in that order.  Concerning cars, one of the rich kids came to school in a gorgeous deep triple black Crown Victoria with red and white interior, sparkling chrome and shimmering stainless steel that festooned the chariot, dual rear antennas, fender skirts, “flipper caps” and a continental kit.  The sound of the rumbling V8 with dual glass packs was pure music!  It was love at first sight!  However, it would be many moons until September 2013 before I fulfilled my high school dream and bought my 1955 Crown Victoria.

After negotiating on the phone for weeks and receiving lots of photos from the seller, we closed the deal.  My brother, Gary, and I drove up to the Texas Panhandl e to bring the car back to Austin. I thought this would be a quick, relatively inexpensive restoration (wrong!) since it had a “new” paint job that was seven years old, but the car had never been reassembled or driven after painting.  The car also had a new, correct ABC Interiors upholstery kit that was partially installed.  Importantly, the body was in good shape with no rust.

We quickly determined that only a few parts to the mostly disassembled Crown Vic had been segregated, bagged and tagged.  Almost all of the stainless trim, the bumpers and grille were off.  Significantly, a large number of parts, fasteners of all types, etc., could not be located.  After hours of searching, we found some of the missing parts interspersed unmarked in the garage among parts of several other cars that were being restored.  

When it came time to load the car onto the trailer the real fun began.  The engine was difficult to start and stopped repeatedly.  The brakes and parking brake were stuck as a result of the car sitting idle for years.  It was very difficult to move the car and drive it onto the trailer.  But we finally finished the task and headed for Austin. Once home, I gave the car a thorough going-over.  It became apparent that I had overestimated the condition of the car, and that it was going to take a lot more time and treasure to restore it to the level that I wanted.  But I knew this car had good “bones” and would be beautiful when finished.  

Read more: “Sweet Caroline”: My 1955 Ford Crown Victoria
 

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