The 37th Corvette Expo took place in Sevierville, Tennessee this weekend, so I combined a little business and fun, to check it out. The event included a Park N Show, Sales Corral, a cruise of the Smokies, a huge Swap Meet and a decent sized Auction. I wandered around for a few hours and enjoyed the show cars. I even found a hard-to-find trim part for my car, at the Swap meet, for about 1/4 the cost of a replacement part. The auction was interesting. From what I saw, the cars that sold were going for pretty fair prices.
Here are some random photos from the day. If you are a Corvette fan, I’d highly recommend this show. The horrid Sevierville traffic is a pain for sure… but in the end it’s worth fighting to get to the Expo.
Issue #13 of Grease Monkey Magazine is in the stores now. Be sure to grab a copy and check out my photos of the DoMaCo Norton, as well as re-cap photos of the 2013 Spring Thaw bike and Rat Show. You can view the entire magazine here.
I did a photo session with this cool hybrid Norton a couple weeks ago. It was built by local builder Lance Dodson, out of his Dodson Machine Company (DoMaCo) shop here in Nashville. Images from this shoot can be seen in the current issue of Grease Monkey Magazine.
I got ambitious and decided to re-paint my vintage helmet. This is the third version of it so far… simple, homemade silver-flake!
Every Easter weekend, the local CMA chapter holds their Blessing of the Bikes event. Riders from all walks of life come to the local park and the good people of the Cornerstone Riders pray over you and your bike. It’s nice to have people care enough about you to spend a few minutes praying for you.
In case you missed my review of the Harley-Davidson Seventy-Two last year… HERE’S A LINK TO IT.
Every year in March, my good friends over at Both Barrels Promotions put on a great bike show in Shelbyville, Tennessee called The Spring Thaw. Each year it marks the onset of Spring for me…and more importantly , the end of Winter! Well, today was the day, and the event, as usual, was awesome. I took a bunch of photos but one bike in particular caught my eye. Check out this gorgeous 1976 FLH from Harlot Motorcycles.
Check out more of my pics of the Spring Thaw at swag.zenfolio.com.
What’s the deal with all the haters? I just read through a thread on a well-known car-related forum, where a majority of the posts were ripping the Gas Monkey boys a new one. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Gas Monkey Garage is located in Dallas, Texas and a film crew has been following them around, producing a “reality” show called “Fast ‘N Loud” for the Discovery Channel. For whatever reason, a lot of the good-ole-boys are not happy about it. I’ve heard the bashing in several other places as well… and frankly, I just don’t get it. Why is it that every time someone gains a little success and notoriety in the automotive/motorcycle industries, people start taking pot shots? The same thing happened with the Teutuls on “American Chopper” a few years ago. That show single-handedly brought more attention to the custom bike industry than anything probably ever has, and yet… bashing Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. became the “hip” thing to do among the bike-builder pack. And, now it’s happening again with Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman. I don’t care if you like the guys (or rather, their TV images) or not, if you own a car-restoration business, you ought to be thrilled that people across the world can tune in every week and realize the fact that their dream car is in fact doable and attainable. People buy custom cars and motorcycles on emotion, and the Gas Monkey guys are fueling the fire. Stop looking the gift-horse in the mouth and take advantage of the exposure that these guys you hate so much are giving your business for free! Then get out there and work your ass off to put out the baddest vehicles you can come up with. Maybe your ego can’t take the fact that they are on TV and you aren’t… but the fact is, “Fast ‘N Loud” is good for the industry.
What! Are you kidding me? The Sporty has gotten out of the garage 2 weekends in a row now. It’s almost like riding season… and Spring is so close you can smell it in the air. Bring it!
I made my way to Nashville, Tennessee today to check out the Hunters Custom Car Show. Saw some cool stuff and took a bunch of photos. Several are here but you can see a ton more by clicking HERE.
I recently had the honor of creating some more artwork for the good folks over at Both Barrels Promotions. This is a cool event. Vintage automobiles letting it all hang out on the drag strip.
The Dark Months have been up and down here in Middle Tennessee. Ice storms followed by temps in the 60’s are probably why I’ve contracted 2 head colds already this winter. But, I’m not complaining. I’ll gladly tolerate some harsh weather if it calms down every few days. That’s much better than the extended periods of doom and gloom we’ve had in the past.
Today was January 26, and by all accounts right smack dab in the heart of the Dark Months. The good news is that and we were blessed with sunshine all day long and temps in the upper 40s. To make things even better, our local H-D dealership (Bumpus Harley-Davidson of Murfreesboro) held an indoor mini tattoo convention, so I drove Otis down to check out the festivities. I saw some fantastic artwork and got to combine three of my favorite things in the process, Old Trucks, Harley’s and Ink. I snapped the pic above of Otis in the parking lot.
I even got back early enough to get the Sporty out for a bit before nightfall. Put about 30 miles on it before returning to the house. Frankly, the cold was pretty painful! But, it was a blast and I’m happy to say, the Eagle is still Screamin’!
Last week I walked past the Stepside in the garage and noticed a small puddle of antifreeze underneath it. After investigation, I discovered the water pump was leaking. So, Saturday morning I swapped it out and took a few pix along the way. Kinda boring but I thought I would share anyway.
Here’s the culprit.
I hate draining antifreeze from a vehicle… it’s such a mess. But you gotta do what you gotta do.
Old pump off…
And a brand-spanking-new one!
It looks better… doesn’t it.
And finally, everything back together.
I spent today shooting the Tennessee Motorama in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for Grease Monkey Magazine… and dude, it was a blast. Lots of cool rides and a HUGE swap meet make this a way-cool event.
I guess it’s painfully obvious that I gravitate towards the truck community for my personal favorites… haha! But, here’s my pick of the day. And this beauty was parked outside in the parking lot!
CLICK HERE to check out a ton more pix of mine from this event.
So my Sporty Project has been on somewhat of a “hold” lately, due to a lot of work being done on the Stepside. But out-of-site, does not mean out-of-mind. There are still some things I want to get done and I’ve been thinking about it a lot this week. Vintage white grips (like these) are coming soon… and I think I may have found the answer to my plain tank. Initially, I had just planned on having a buddy do a little pin-striping but I found the bike pictured below on the Harley-Davidson “Dark Custom” website.
The bike is owned by a cat in Wisconsin who IMHO has really good taste! I freakin’ love this tank graphic. Something similar may be in order. Maybe not gold-leaf per se, but something with this feel and vibe would be cool. What do you think? I already have a couple ideas for what it might say.
The trend these days is definitely to go bigger in the engine department of old-school vehicles. Try to find a 67-68 Camaro with a six in it these days. They barely exist, despite the fact that Chevrolet sold a ton of them. It’s the same with the 60-66 C10 pickups. If it had a six in it originally… chances are it probably doesn’t now. All of this finds me once again, where I typically am, on the side of the minority. When I started my search for a truck, one of the things I wanted specifically was an in-line 230. Why you may ask? Well… look at this thing. I can actually crawl under the hood with it. And there’s nothing to it, which means anything that might go wrong can be fairly easily addressed. No, I won’t be racing the guy next to me in the Chevelle Super Sport to the next red light, but I wouldn’t be doing that even if Otis were equipped with a Big Block. Maybe I’m getting old but I’m perfectly content to tool around the city with my simple little in-line 230 pulling me right along at a decent clip.
A buddy and I braved the cold and wet weather here in Middle Tennessee today… and got out on two wheels for a bit. This was the first time I’d had the Sporty out of the garage in a couple months and it was quite liberating! I thought I had a major problem at one point. I was tooling down the highway and my speedo started bumping from 60mph to 0 mph, back and forth… and every time the speedo hit 0, the bike would sputter and cough. Upon investigation, I discovered the positive battery cable was barely hanging onto the battery. Not sure how it got so loose but I’m glad it was nothing more serious!
On our way back home we stopped in to visit our friends at Bumpus Harley-Davidson in Murfreesboro, Tennessee where this beautiful Russian-built Ural Sidecar greeted us. It seems the good folks at Bumpus have become a Ural dealer. This thing is way cool. This particular model is the “Gear Up” which features the Ural 749cc OHV Air-cooled, 4-stroke Boxer engine. It’s a shaft drive with 4-speed tranny (plus 1-reverse) and features a Brembo full-floating front disc brake. Oh… and it also features “on-demand” 2-wheel drive, making it an off-road demon… as demonstrated in the video below. Like I said before… way cool! MSRP is $13,949… contact Tom at Bumpus Harley-Davidson for more details. (No… I don’t work for them! Haha)
For December 2nd, today was a pretty awesome day. It was overcast, but temps reached the lower 70s and there was no precipitation. It was my kind of winter day… for sure. A perfect day to hang out in the garage/driveway, crank the Titans game up on the radio and get a few things done to Otis. (My ’66 C10 Stepside.)
First up was replacing the broken drivers-side mirror. In this picture it looks like the new mirror is smaller, but that’s not the case. It was an easy, exact replacement.
Next, I re-installed the fender badges I painted last week. This was no easy task… There’s not a lot of room on the inside of these fenders so it took longer than I anticipated. Mission accomplished though.
These tailgate chain covers will eliminate the slapping noise, and save my paint around the tailgate. I opted for the clear ones as opposed to the black ones.
Next, I installed the decal set I got from LMC Truck for the tailgate letters. They were pretty easy to install and anybody with a somewhat steady hand could apply them easily. They aren’t paint but they look great. Hopefully they will last. Here’s a time-lapse video of my installation.
And… here’s a tail-end shot at the end of the day. I’m diggin’ it!
Some cool stuff for the stepside arrived yesterday. I’ll reveal most of it later this week but here’s a look at the repro owners manual I got. How cool is this thing!
So… today I got the glove compartment I ordered from LMC installed. Oddly enough, it’s made out of fiberboard. I thought this was just a “cheapo” fix but apparently, this is how they really were back in the day. At least that is what I was told by the old guy at the local mom & pop hardware store. At any rate, I got it installed and all I can say is: Finally… somewhere to put my gloves!
Before I sign off… here’s a pic I took today of my two favorite toys. The sun was shining and since the Dark Months* are upon us, I thought I better take advantage of the photo op while I could!
* NOTE: For the uneducated… The Dark Months are what I call the period in Middle Tennessee from November 1 to March 1 — when the days are short, the air is cold, precipitation transforms into solids and good riding days are few-and-far between. They SUCK!
Sanded and painted the grotee Stepside mirror today. It looks better now.
A beautiful day in Middle Tennessee dictated that I take the Stepside for a lazy afternoon drive. It was quite a treat, and ended up being the longest trek I’ve made since the truck came back from paint. And… it certainly got some attention. While I was out, I got a lot of turned heads, 4 thumbs up… and a purchase inquiry. I stopped in the local grocery store and as I was getting out of the truck a guy approached me and asked if the truck was for sale. When I told him it was not, he explained that his dad had a ’66 and that he really would like to have one. I know the feeling brother!
BTW… the truck now has a name. My wife (and daughter) have had this habit of naming our vehicles over the years. Everything from Raymond to Brownie have been in the family. Well, for whatever reason, the 66 Stepside has been designated as Otis by my beautiful wife. I’m not sure why… but Otis it is!