We all know what happens when you send a snowball rolling down a mountainside. With that thought in mind, the 10th Syracuse Nationals once again brought numbers of noteworthy hot rods, customs, muscle cars, and restos together for one of the hottest horsepower festivals on the right coast.
Once rodders checked into the host hotel for their credentials, it was time to hit the fairgrounds. The setting for the event is contained within the enormous New York State Fairgrounds (encompassing 360 acres) with loads of nostalgic buildings, horse barns, tree-lined roads, and plenty of honky-tonk character; typical of vintage fairgrounds.
After finding that perfect parking spot, you had a chance to head off and explore just what makes this venue so magical. With hundreds of vendors lining the roadways, as well as inside many of the numerous buildings, it was a perfect time to stop by and check out some of the hottest offerings available. Well-known manufacturers, like DuPont, Lokar, Unisteer, Cool-Flex Motorsports, and Borgeson Universal, were all on hand to talk tech and possible applications for your rod or custom. Factory Five Racing had plenty of staff on hand to help showcase each model they offer, especially their new '33 hot rod. There were informative tech seminars held by Lokar, Haun Welding, Brad Penn Lubricants, and DHP Consulting to entertain visitors and treat them with vast product knowledge. If that wasn't enough, the team from Syracuse Nationals had more than one surprise in store for anyone feeling nostalgic. The original Batman and Cat Woman (Adam West and Julie Newmar), were on hand throughout the weekend to meet with their legions of loyal fans. You also had the chance to meet one of hot roddings sweethearts, Candy Clark, who is perhaps best known for her role in American Graffiti.
On Friday there was a specially designated area known as the "Old Skool Roundup" that offered preferred parking for traditional hot rods and customs. This created a culture-fueled mini-venue for car owners complete with live rockabilly music provided by Jam Bones, El Kabong, and It's My Party. Running the entire day, the Roundup even had its own awards given out for the coolest rides in attendance.
The Street Rodder Road Tour, led by Jerry Dixey piloting the new '52 Chevy, made a stop for the weekend, as did plenty of the dedicated tour members. This gave readers a chance to catch up with Dixey and hear about his latest experiences on this year's drive. Many visitors stopped in to experience Arties Party, which brought in many of the finest pinstripers from across the country (even England was represented), to participate in a massive panel jam and auction to benefit charity. While crisscrossing the fairgrounds we noticed there were a multitude of build styles in attendance and numerous cars debuting, including Doug Klett's post-war-styled '36 Ford coupe and Lou Querusio's dramatic '59 Cadillac custom. Add continuous live entertainment from the likes of the Coachmen, Soul Risin', and Gary Dunes, a super model car display, and loads of great food vendors and you'd think you were in hot rod heaven.
Once evening set in, you could grab some dinner before heading over to the grandstands to experience a spectacular night of festivities that was sure to leave folks breathless. Kicking off with a tire burning competition (with tires literally melting and blowing off the rims), followed by snowmobile drags, mini-tractor pulls, and scorching flame-thrower exhibitions by some of the country's top artists, and then a brilliant fireworks display to cap off the night.
A signature of the Syracuse Nationals is its monumental giveaway program, awarding car owners countless prizes throughout the weekend with the highest level of excitement reserved for Sunday afternoon. This is also where one registered attendee has the chance to win a brand-new turnkey hot rod. For the 10th anniversary of the show, a special '27 Ford track roadster, designed and built by Tucci Hot Rods, had everyone in attendance wishing they had the winning ticket. When the drum roll completed, it was Bob Good of Waterloo, New York, who took the keys and the car home.
As the weekend came to an end, 7,130 cars had cruised through the main gate, along with over 80,000 visitors. Thanks to the tremendous support of the Central New York Car Club Association (the hosts of the show) and area service clubs, $60,000 worth of donations were made from proceeds of the event (which included $36,500 from the Panel Jam auctions) to a number of local charities bringing the 10-year donation total to $360,000. This event continues to grow with each passing year, and as we look forward to 2010, it's surely one you'll need to check out firsthand at www.rightcoastcars.com.
Turtle Wax Tech Tips
Clay bar and Clay bar kits:
Clay bars are great tools for removing stubborn surface contaminants from today's car finishes. Claying a car finish first will ready a finish for the best wax shine.
1) Make sure the finish has been washed and dried thoroughly. The Clay bar will last longer and have less grit to pick up.
2) Wax the car first with a spray wax: Apply a spray wax to the finish and remove it with a microfiber cloth before Claying the finish. Applying a spray wax like Turtle Wax Express Shine First, will help a Clay bar glide easily across the finish, preventing the clay from sticking, helping speed up the process.
3) Always make sure the car finish is cool to the touch. Using a Clay bar on a warm finish, can increase the aggressiveness of the Clay bar plus it will be difficult to keep the finish properly lubricated for even cleaning.
As the rodding season carved a path to the Syracuse Nationals, Street Rodder and Ford Racing's recognition of street rodders who install a late-model Ford engine in a Ford led us to DeVerne Breed, who is our latest recipient. DeVerne's fresh '32 Ford highboy coupe is fitted with a new Ford 302ci crate V-8 linked to an AOD automatic trans. The team at Powerhouse Hot Rods and Performance in Central Square, New York, get the nod for the build. Starting with a custom Deuce chassis, they added plenty of brilliance with a fully chromed front end, and polished wheels from American Racing. The body from N&N Fiberglass Reproductions was coated in vibrant PPG red gloss while an interior by Dan Williams completes the build. Congratulations to DeVerne who will receive a limited edition jacket and a chance for the grand prize: a brand-new Ford crate engine.
What are some sources for oil filter relocation kits for small-blocks?
Sometimes fitting a Ford between the framerails can be difficult because of the oil filter. The easiest solution is to relocate the oil filter with a 90-degree outlet on the oil filter pad. There are many pieces available in the market but Canton makes a nice billet piece, PN Q1LTB, which is just the adapter leaving you to use the hose routing and oil filter mount of your choice. Or for one-stop shopping, Ford Racing offers a kit for cruiser power engines (350 hp, 5,500 rpm) that includes fittings, hoses, and the filter mount, M-6881-C100. If you're making bigger power, stick with the billet piece.
DeVerne Breed, Kirkville,...
DeVerne Breed, Kirkville, New York / '32 Ford coupe
What about modular engines and their oil filter?
In place of a complete relocation many builders have had luck with Ford service PN 1L2Z-6881-AA. It rotates the filter around enough to clear many framerails.