Vintage Motors News: 2014

This page contains the Home Page of Vintage Motors USA during 2014! It provides a chronological summary of what we did in 2014. Enjoy!

The members of this club really enjoy cars & trucks made in the USA! These include antique, fully restored vehicles as well as modified/hot rods; custom vehicles; and "special interest" vehicles!

Our home page is intended to provide an ongoing chronicle of news, events, and other items of interest to members. In fact we encourage members and others to send items of potential interest to our WebMaster.


Vintage Motors Christmas Party Wonderful!

On the evening of December 6 Vintage Motors held its annual Christmas party in South Lyon. Tickets to this event were sold out with over 60 people attending! The food and camaraderie were excellent and everyone had a good time!

There were many door prizes (so many that for a while I thought everyone would get one!). A special drawing was held for a custom photo shoot and poster donated by our club artist, Van Nazarian. Jerry Worful was the happy winner!


Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Prize winners! Left: Phyllis & Right: Jerry

Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Left: A hungry Hank! Right: THe food was really good!


This year Roxanne & Mike Fontana were the recipients of the Dick Monroe Memorial Award for outstanding club member(s)! Unfortunately, Rox & Mike were out of town but commented upon learning of their award: "In three years, VMUSA has proven itself to be one of the best local car clubs around! The enthusiasm and support of the club members has made it a pleasure to set up outings / activities, and Mike and I are proud to be members. We’ve had fun with our long-time friends and delighted in building new friendships, too. We’re honored to be the 2014 recipients of the Dick Monroe Memorial Award. Thank you to Larry Miller, Ed Goff and Jim Goff for thinking of us, and thank you to everyone who helped make 2014 such a great year. We’re sorry we missed the Christmas Party, but family obligations kept us away. We know it was a great one and that everyone had a good time. Here’s to 2015, with more fun times to come!" 


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Left: Phil must be very hungry! Right: Jim & Larry present the Dick Monroe Memorial Award.


Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Roxanne & Mike receive the Dick Monroe Memorial Award (simulated).


Many thanks to Phyllis, Brian, Cheryl, Roxanne and Mike, Gene, and the rest of the team that set this event up! For more photos and a video of the event, please click here.

Poker Run / Color Tour and Chilly!!!!

On Saturday, October 18, VMUSA held their 2014 cruisin’-season-ending event. A total of 48 members and guests got together for a poker run/picnic/color tour that centered in Kensington Metropolitan Park. Never mind the wind was blowing, the sky threatened rain and it was bitter cold, the party was on!
Phyllis Davidovich, Phyllis’ friend Christine, Mike Fontana, Phil Lyon, and Roxanne Fontana arrived early at the picnic site to set up the tables. As a few early birds pulled in, we huddled together to keep warm. We were worried that no one would come but, no problem — by 11:00 a.m. Bob and Lorraine Haas pulled in leading the parade of 18 Poker Run vehicles!

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Left: These folks are dedicated! Right:"Poker Run" Bob!

Fool hearty or hearty fools — it didn’t seem to matter. With a temperature hovering in the 40’s, the creative souls of VMUSA hung tarps to block the wind, stoked a fire in the park barbecue grill, and fired up the gas grills. It doesn’t sound like fun, but it turned out great!
We had a good mix of classics and regular drivers in the parking lot. It was clear, even with the weather, the club wanted to end the season on a high note. Everyone brought a dish to pass, (including Nancy Deck’s yummy ghoulish jello salad!), Phil Lyon made chili, Gene Johnson cooked hot dogs, and Phyllis Davidovich brewed hot cider. With the aroma of the chili and cider, it was no surprise we ate an hour early!

Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Left: A proud grandma Cervi! Right: Yes, a birthday cake for antique cars!

Everyone enjoyed something different. Despite the cold, little Adriana Cervi was very happy in Grandma Suzanne’s arms. Cheryl Sauer brought a birthday cake to celebrate birthdays for her 1929 Model A - 85 years, and Phyllis Davidovich’s 1964 Falcon Sedan Delivery - 50 years. Frank Fundaro was a fan of the poker run; Ellen Danes said her favorite part of the day was the people. Gene Moody was heading to the desert table with a cake-in-the-eye look when he told me he enjoyed the idea of gathering with like-minded people. Given the weather, I’m not sure if he meant we were all a bit nuts, or if he meant our car addiction!

It was a picnic for everyone. Club members, family, friends and even the four-legged friends were welcome. George Fontana brought his Daisy, Steve Rohde brought George, and Paul and Kathi Shelor and Kathi’s father, Mike, brought their dog, Natasha. Natasha forgot her leash so Daddy Paul carried her around inside his jacket. Maybe Natasha hid the leash — she seemed perfectly happy and warm!

Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Left: Steve brought his new "son" George! Right: Even though Halloween was two weeks away...

After lunch, Mike Fontana rounded up the cars, classics and regular drivers, and we cruised the park for a color tour. The weather was crummy but the colors were still beautiful. We made quite a sight and turned a few heads.

Thank you to Bob and Lorraine who headed up the poker run that started at M36 and US23, cruised through the countryside and ended at our picnic site, and thank you to Cole Grandy who ran our 50/50. We had six happy winners from both the Poker Run and the 50/50, but in the end, we were all winners! Thank you to everyone who helped pull this together. It was a great opportunity to wish our snowbirds safe travels and we hope to see the rest of us at the December 6 Christmas Party! For more photos of the event and a video click here#.

2014 Orphan Car Show -- Great as Usual!

On September 21 several VMUSA club members attended the Orphan Car Show in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Despite some rain, the show was a lot of fun! Below is a video of some of the Studebakers at the event including those owned by members Harvey Snitzer and Steve Rohde.



Crosspointe Meadows Church Car Show - Another Great Event!

The leaves are changing, there’s a chill in the air, convertible tops are up, and there’s a car show at Crosspointe Meadows Church -- fall has arrived. On September 14, VMUSA members gathered together and enjoyed our classics with our friends. The air was crisp, but the sun was out as 70 cars, members and guests gathered for a fun afternoon of friendship, food and music.

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Left: Phyllis manning the gate! Right: Some of the cars on display.

Phyllis Davidovich manned the gate as the cars pulled in and Ed Danes directed the parking. Phil Lyon did a great job rounding up some of the finest machines in the area and there was plenty of smiles and laughter. DJ, Keith Erdman, fired up the music -- let’s get this party started!
We had Camaros, Falcons, Corvettes, Dodges, Mercuries, Buicks -- you name it, we had it! Bob Haas brought his ‘54 Ford Golf Cart and the children lined up for rides. The church provided everyone with lunch as hot dogs and hamburgers hit the grill. Bob and Lorraine Haas had the Coca Cola ice cream sundae car and served dessert. It was a good time all around.

Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Bob Haas does it all: kids' rides & ice cream!


VMUSA grabbed a few minutes from the festivities as Vahan Nazarian presented Cheryl Saurer with her Grand Prize win from the Hines Park Cruise -- a professional portrait of her car, a 1929 Model A. Vahan does a remarkable job and, needless to say, Cheryl was thrilled.

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Cheryl Saurer received a professional portrait of her 1929 Model A from Vahan Nazarian!


Crosspointe Meadows had door prizes, a raffle, and car awards to be presented and several VMUSA members were door prize winners. In keeping with the giving nature of the church, the proceeds of the raffle were given to church member and cancer patient Kathy Branch and her husband Tim.

All the cars and people were winners but some stood out from the rest. Best In Show was awarded to Wendy Murdock and her 1937 Diamond T Model 201 Truck. She and her husband, Bart, purchased the truck at Mecum Auto Auction, Indiana, in Spring 2014. With a 400 Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission, a 350 small block, power steering and beautiful two-tone paint, she turned heads. Second Place went to Phyllis Davidovich and her White Pines Lodge, ‘64 Falcon, and Third Place went to Al Cox and his ‘53 Ford Wagon.

The afternoon went by fast, and it was soon time to go home. Thank you to Phil Lyon and the members of Crosspointe Meadows Church for their generosity and another great day. Click here to see more photos of the event.

Our Bozo (Art Cervi) Featured on Fox TV & in a New Book

Recently Art Cervi was featured on Fox TV where he discussed his new book written by Herb Mentzer and entitled "I Did What." The book discusses Art's career and is available online from Amazon. Art also recently turned 80. Happy birthday Bozo!


Bozo and His Cars!

Vintage Motors Cruises Hines Park

The Hines Park Cruise is quickly becoming one of the area’s most popular cruising venues, on par and above the Woodward Dream Cruise. Vintage Motors USA joined the fun and held our annual picnic at Nolar Bend in Hines Park. Over 100 members and guests shared a day of food, cruising, car watching, and relaxing.

Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Left: The guys getting the tent set up. Right: Sue getting the condiments ready!


The picnic was a true team effort for VMUSA. The club needed two volunteers to be our early entrants and stake our claim to Nolar Bend. A big thank you goes out to Ed Danes and Phyllis Davidovich as they sacrificed a few hours of sleep to enter early. Right behind them were other club members as they pulled in carrying tables, coolers, boxes, tents and all the other stuff needed for a picnic.

When we arrived, we had an extra, surprise VMUSA early entry. Tom Laso managed to get into the park and set up his DJ equipment for all of us to enjoy. Thank you Tom! The tunes were jamming, the tents went up, tables were in place, and the cars were cruising. Let the party begin!
The club provided hot dogs, chicken, water, pop, and paper products while members brought a dish to share. We had plenty of yummy salads, side dishes, and deserts. No one went hungry.


Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Hungry cruisers!

Everything was rocking right along when disaster struck -- the restroom was out of service! The men didn’t seem to be bothered by the lack of restrooms, but it was a real crisis for the ladies! Choices had to be made. Some ladies chose to go the nature route and headed for the nearby bushes. A few chose to ride Brian and Matt Saylor’s bicycles to the nearest port-a-potties and others went for a very long walk. Still some of us, found that not all Super Heros wear capes and tights. Bob Haas shuttled the “Potty Bus,” otherwise known as the “55 Ford Coca Cola car, to the restroom for the ladies. Thanks for the ride, Bob -- and thanks for not wearing tights!


Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Watching the cars go by!


Our 50/50 raffle is a critical part of VMUSA as it’s our main source of income. Along with the cash prizes, participants won a variety of odds and ends donated to the club. Our grand prize, was a professional portrait of your vehicle by Vahan Nazarian. A sample of his work can be found on our website. Cheryl Sauer was our grand prize winner and I know for sure she hasn’t stopped smiling! Thank you, Vahan, for your generous gift.

Members of the Fairlane Club, the Spark Plugs and the Cow Town Cruisers stopped by to share in the fun -- proof VMUSA knows how to party. Karen Klocke and Sue McLennan both agreed the best part of the day was the people with a side order of lots of old cars. Sandra Raguso, of the Spark Plugs, felt the best part of the day was time with the people and all her friends. Joe Newland was with friends, Paul Martin and Roger Rose, and as Joe put it, “This is what the hobby is all about -- park, cruise and being with friends.”

As we all know, classic cars can be a bit testy. Dick Anderson was heading in with baked beans when his ‘51 Kaiser vapor locked. Dick’s grandson, Sean, towed him to the picnic area, the baked beans arrived, and once the Kaiser cooled, everything was fine. This year’s “Trailer Queen” award goes to Jack Krompatic and his ‘50 Mercury. With bad wheel bearings, he had it trailered back home, but not to worry, Jack returned with one of his spare cruisers -- a ‘51 Ford, all stock.

What goes up must come down. Too soon the day was over and the tents, tables, grill, coolers and trash disappeared. It was all gone as quickly as it went together and it was time to go home. Thank you to everyone who pitched in to help and thank you to everyone who came to the picnic. The great cars and the great people made it a great day!

It was a long day, but we weren’t quite done. Mike Fontana’s ‘29 Roadster decided not to start. With the handful of classics that were left, there wasn’t a one that was capable of jumping the ‘29 when around the corner came Cole “AAA” Grandy and his ‘69 Dodge Dart. Cole jumped the ‘29 and followed Mike just in case he didn’t make it home. That was a good thing because Mike made it part way when the ‘29 conked out for good. Thank you Super Hero Cole for towing Mike home -- and a bigger thank you for not wearing tights!

Thanks to Roxanne Fontana for the article! For more photos and a video click here.

Vintage Motors Visits the "Village"

August 13, 2014, was a special day for the residents of The Village of Westland, a/k/a Presbyterian Village, as some of our members gathered together to have a “private” car show and barbeque. It was a perfect day for everyone to be outside. The balloons, tents and barbeque grill gave it away.


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Left: Residents watching Phil (and his truck). Right: Denise Rohde with residents & club members.


We pulled in with our shiny paint and chrome and we could tell this was going to be a winner. There they were, some with their wheelchairs, walkers and canes, greeting us with smiles and waves. All together, with VMUSA members and the relatives of the residents, there were 14 vehicles on display.

One lady remarked her boyfriend drove a pick up truck just like that one, meaning Phil’s ‘34. Well, maybe not just like Phil’s ‘34, but I wouldn’t argue! Another talked about the Vette just like Vahan Nazarian’s that was just sitting in her daughter’s garage. I know a few people who would like to get their hands on that one!


Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Left: Van pulls by in his beautiful '65 Vette! Right: The cars line up for the "pass in review"!


The residents got into the act, too. Tom and Pete Papazian’s mother is a resident and they brought Tom’s ‘66 Chevelle SS. He bought it in 1973 for $600 and now estimates it’s worth a whole lot more! Several residents, including Wanda, were wearing their best party hats!

The seniors may be old, but there is still a spark inside. I overheard one resident telling his son “What happens in the back of a ‘46 Ford….” I didn’t want to know where that was going! Maybe their vision isn’t as sharp as it used to be, but they could fill in the blanks with their memories.


Thanks to Steve Rohde’s sister, Denise Rohde, Activity Coordinator, for inviting us to the party! The smiles made our visit well worthwhile! The barbeque lunch was delicious and it was fun to chat with the residents. Vahan and I couldn’t help but wonder what type of vehicles would be coming to visit us in our retirement homes -- Toyota Prius? Nissan Leaf? Yuk! For more photos go here. (Thanks to Roxanne Fontana for the great writeup!)

Vintage Motors USA Visits Pratt & Miller

On July 18, about 20 VMUSA members and guests were treated to a private tour of Pratt & Miller (P&M), in New Hudson, MI, an “all you could ever imagine” facility for the world of cars. They are involved in everything automotive from restorations to racing to design. Greeted by Tim Ryan, Security Manager, and Rob Walker, Project Manager, Restoration Department, we were dutifully impressed from the moment we entered the door.


Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Club members entering Pratt & Miller in New Hudson. What an immaculate shop!

We began with their 30,000 sq. ft. auto restoration area. The overwhelming first impression is of cleanliness and organization. Everyone was working, but there wasn’t a drop of oil on the floor or dust on workbenches. Every tool was neatly placed and spare parts were inventoried and organized. I found myself being extra careful with my coffee and donut!

Our group wandered among the work-in-process vehicles and marveled at the degree of detail involved in the restoration. Proof they are a full-service auto restoration shop started at the door. There sat a 1966 Sunbeam Tiger, with a Ford 302 in for minor engine repair and a convertible top installation. Down a few feet sat a gorgeous bright green 1932 5-window Coupe, 302 cu. in., 400+ HP. A 3-year restoration, Pat LaPorte, 5-yr. employee, was working on the electrical system. The paint was amazing and generated more than a few comments. That’s when Rob told us they did everything except paint. In Rob’s opinion, “Hardest part is the paint and bodywork.”


Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Some of Pratt & Miller's current projects!

In the same row as the ‘32 sat a 1955 Chevy BelAir that had been there about a month, waiting for paint touch up and convertible top installation. Next up, a 1938 Chevy that had been in a front end accident. They’d had it for about a year and replaced fenders, grille and the hood and they were working on the air conditioning. On a rack sat the shell of a 1970 Camaro waiting for it’s transformation to Pro Touring with a modern 700-800 HP LS motor, modified suspension and all the other goodies for a mere $300,000. A 1932 Ford was being modified to handle an Edelbrock super-charged 720 HP engine. The engineers would take it for a test drive, tear it down, rebuild, and start all over -- a “full-service shop!”

Just behind the impressive restorations, were a series of tall screens clearly marked DO NOT ENTER. Behind the screens, hidden from view, were secret defense projects for the military. We were well-behaved under Tim’s close eye and stayed out of the restricted area.

There was plenty for everyone to admire. Jerry Matson, guest George Storrs, Randy Valko, Mike Hilber and Jim Bender all were impressed with the process. Gene Johnson and Mike Fontana were guessing the year of a Lincoln with suicide doors. Brian Butler and Steve Rohde couldn’t wait to get to the Corvette racing area.

Next up -- the Racing Program. Rob led the way as we caravaned down the road to their 100,000 sq. ft. location that houses the Racing Program. In 2000-2001, P&M only had 2 bays dedicated solely to Corvette racing. Today they have 5 and they’re filled with Corvette and Cadillac racing. P&M is the primary builder of race cars for GM; GM Powertrain builds the engines, and the P&M engineers, designers and technicians do the rest. They are actually paid to race cars, and no, they are not hiring!

Once again, Tim was on his toes making sure no cameras were being used as we began our Racing Department tour. We were about to enter the super-secret pre-race world where nothing is left to chance.

On site is a complete carbon fiber fabrication shop where all body components are formed, finished and painted. Need an extra hood? How about a fender? No problem!

Moving into the testing area, we watched as the P&M employees were readying the Corvettes for next week’s GT race in Indianapolis. Here sat a $600,000 Vette as they tweaked the weight. The Vette weighs about 1270 kilograms (2,799 pounds) but the Corvette Team has performed so well in its class, they have been penalized and ordered to add an additional 55 pounds. A 5.5L/ 336 cu. in. 483 HP engine sucks up E85 fuel at about 1 hour on 90 liters, or, if you trust my math, about 4 MPG. Not your daily driver, but it is one of the cars on your X-Box game!

Take a closer look and you saw the Vette could be set up to be fueled on either side, depending on the track. The steering wheel looked like a video game controller with buttons for things like traction control, pit, radio, turn signals, reverse, map, and flash to pass. The engine was set back from the nose for better weight distribution to aid in handling. Since they run in 24-hour races, it makes sense the signage on the sides is lit up at night. Nothing is forgotten!

The Cadillac team had already loaded and moved out for their next race, but they were loading 3 semi-trucks for next week’s Corvette GT Race in Indianapolis and they let us tour the inside. The cars are carried on the top level, while underneath is set up with spare parts, tools and a work area that will be needed at the track. The walls carry nitrogen for inflation and the “war room” up front is filled with computers and equipment needed to review race tapes and competitor’s stats. Races can be long so there are tools to maintain the humans too -- a microwave and refrigerator!

The GM racing program holds very impressive records. The Corvette Team holds the 2012 ALMS GT, Driver, Manufacturer and Team Championships, and the 2013 ALMS Driver and Manufacturer Championships. The Cadillac Team holds back-to-back World Challenge Manufacturer’s Championship and the World Challenge GT Driver’s Championship for 2012 and 2013. As Brian Butler said, “The success that they all came from here.”



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Pratt & Miller has earned many racing awards as Brian Butler studies them!

With all the talent gathered at P&M it’s not surprising they have developed new products for the automotive world. It was P&M electrical designers that created a rear mounted camera for the driver. Similar to the back up cameras in today’s vehicles, this one remains on as an aid for the driver to eliminate the need for the rearview mirror. It seems the rearview mirror will be going the way of the ash tray and hand operated window crank.

After the tour, a handful of members stopped for lunch and conversation at Gatsby’s. VMUSA sends out a huge thank you to Pratt & Miller for allowing us the opportunity to visit and tour their facility. Thank you to Tim Ryan and Rob Walker for being our hosts, and a big thank you to Hank Dawson for getting us in!

Another successful event for Vintage Motors USA! For more photos and a short video go here. (Story by Roxanne Fontana!)


Members Attend Ann Arbor Rolling Sculptures Car Show

The 20th annual Rolling Sculpture Car Show presented by Bill Crispin Chevrolet and the Main Street Area Association brought classic cars and car enthusiasts to downtown Ann Arbor on Friday, July 11.

Over 300 classic cars were on display for people to check out and learn the history of the makes and models of cars from a bygone era. The event gave people a chance to see restorations of classic cars, but also gave the owners a chance to display their skill and passion for cars.

VMUSA club members Harvey Snitzer and Steve Rohde brought there cars to the show and worked as volunteers, and Bob Haas was a spectator.


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Top: Bill Crispin Chevrolet sponsored the show. Bottom: Harvey Snitzer's Avanti sits proudly on Liberty Street!


For more photos and a video, please go here.

Vintage Motors Visits Alex's Place

On June 28 over 60 club members and guests visited what might be called a more rustic "mini-Greenfield Village" in south east Michigan! The event was organized by Roxanne and Mike Fontana and included a pizza lunch.


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Club members enjoy the day while their cars do likewise!


Henry Rords Mustang


At the event Club Artist Van Nazarian presented Ed Danes this beautiful poster of his truck!

For more photos of the event and a video, please click here.



A Great Day for Vintage Motors USA at the Barn Show!

Sunday, June 8, 2014, dawned as a dreary, cloudy day with rain threatening any moment. Just to prove we really are crazy, 18 VMUSA members and their cars met at McDonald’s for breakfast, anyway. VMUSA wasn’t going to let a little Mother Nature get in the way of our fun!


Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Club members had an early breakfast at McDonalds (l). Cole's "barn find" type Model A was very cool (r)!

Mother Nature cooperated a little by holding off the rain until after we parked, set up the tents, and unloaded the food. Then she started the rain and everything was soaked. Just how many people could we fit under one 10’ x 10’? As we huddled under the tents for shelter, the spirit of friendship and fun was put to a test. VMUSA past the test with flying colors!


Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Club members eat under a canopy (l). John has the right idea to avoid the downpour (r).

The tents were heavy with rain water and Mike Fontana’s chili was smelling pretty good, so we ate lunch early. It was also a good excuse to turn on the grill for some heat. Hot dogs, chili, chips, pop and water were served and everyone chowed down. As we scrapped the bottom of the chili pot and ate the last hot dog, Joe Piziali said, the fun is in the friends, the food, the bench racing and the talk. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

If you had a leak, today was the day you were going to find it as Frank Fundaro can attest. It was a good thing there was a mug in the goodie bag. Frank used it to catch the water running into his 1936 Ford.

Finally the sky cleared and the rain stopped. Out came the towels, the cars were dried, convertible tops came down, and they all looked beautiful again. It was a free car wash!

The sun came out, the people started streaming through the gate, the band, Men in Black, started playing and the Road Knight’s, who hosted, began their show. This was the Barn Show everyone knows!

VMUSA had some beautiful sheet metal to show.

* Mike Mitchell brought his “rainy day car”, a 1956 Nash Rambler that he’s had for 10 years.

* You never know who you’re going to meet at a car show. Larry Miller brought a 1970 Plymouth Fury III that he bought brand new in 1970 and met Dick Clayton, who was the Director of Industrial Design in charge of Fury studios.

* Paul Rebmann arrived with a beautiful 1967 Ford GT500 -- all original with only one repaint. Parked next to Joe Piziali’s 1968 Shelby, they made a sweet looking pair.

* Cole Grandy’s ID tag read 1969 Dodge Dart Convertible but his car certainly looked like a 1929 Model A to me -- complete with a chicken in a crate in the cow catcher.

  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

VMUSA Members look very happy with their awards! Van took this photo and also received an award! (below)

  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Everyone helped pack up just in time for the awards to be announced and VMUSA can be proud! Out of 18 cars, 13 won, and some won more than one award! Congratulations to Jim Goff, Phil Lyon, Mike Fontana, Darryl Harding, John Szwast, Roy Stull, Steve Rohde, Bob Haas, Hank Dawson, Cole Grandy, Vahan Nazarian, Joe Piziali, and Roxanne Fontana. From Outstanding to Best in Class and Top Ten, VMUSA certainly cleaned up! Click here to see more photos and a video. Story and photos by Roxanne Fontana!


Our Own "Texaco Man" on TV!

On June 8 the "Cars 'R' Stars" car showwas held at the old Packard Proving Grounds in Shelby Township. This show was previously known as the "Carnival of Cars" and was a truly great car show for many years.

This year it was not just cars but trucks that were the stars of the show. The special feature was historic commercial vehicles, including some of America's most iconic trucks like the 1937 Ford Texaco Tanker (owned by Brian Saylor!), the 1947 Chevy Vernor's truck, the 1920 Model T Depot Hack with elaborate wood paneling, a 1963 Plymouth Scout police car, the 1934 Ford Delivery featuring Kodak advertising, as well as the Australian 1934 Chevy "Ute," Australia's national vehicle with the tag line - "Real Aussie's drive Utes."

Club Member Brian Saylor being interviewed by Channel 7!


Vintage Motors Visits the Henry Ford Museum

On Saturday April 26th our club visited the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Mi. We met at 10:00 AM and once everyone arrived we bought our tickets and entered the museum. That morning we had 32 people in attendance. Most of our club members spent the majority of the morning in both the “Driving America” area and the magnificent aircraft display. Three hours is not enough time to visit all areas of this museum. This museum is a local national treasure that we do not visit often enough.

Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Cole Grandy reminisced about his experiences in the museum as a child (l). Jerry, Steve, & Van were the first to arrive (r).

At about 1 PM we headed over to Buddy’s Pizza on Michigan Ave. in Dearborn for a delicious lunch. You can’t get much better than a Buddy’s Pizza.

Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

We all enjoyed having lunch at Buddy's Pizza!

Many thanks to Jerry Mattson for arranging this trip! More photos by Van and a video by Steve can be found here!

Club Member's "Coke" Car Featured on Coca-Cola's Webpage

During a recent trip to Atlanta Lorraine and Bob Haas visited the World of Coke with their 1955 Ford Fairlane customized Coca-Cola car. They really impressed the folks at Coke and were featured on May 7 on Coke's webpage!


A familiar car displayed on Coke's website!

Good going Bob & Lorraine!


New Lingenfelter Venue open Saturday Mornings

We thank Van Nazarian for pointing out this new Saturday morning event!




Art Cairo's Mustang on Display in Lobby of Ford World Headquarters

Art Cairo’s Henry Ford II 1964 Mustang is being displayed in the lobby of Ford World Headquarters the entire month of April. During this period, on April 17, Ford is having a 50th birthday party for the Mustang also at World headquarters! Art’s Mustang once belonged to Henry Ford II and has been featured in several magazines including Mustang Monthly, Mustang and Fords, Muscle Car, and In Search of Mustangs.

In 1974 Art saw an ordinary classified ad in the Detroit newspaper in 1974 that read, "1965 Mustang once owned by the Ford family." At under $1,000, the asking price was a deal so Art went to take a look at the tired Hi-Po hardtop—and noticed some unusual components including front disc brakes. In the glovebox, he discovered a '65 Mustang owner's manual inscribed with Edsel B. Ford II's name and a Grosse Pointe address.

So Art bought the Raven Black Mustang assuming that it had been owned by Edsel Ford, who would have been in high school at the time. Then, in 1983, during an interview with Edsel for the Mustang Monthly, Art learned that the hardtop had belonged to his father, Henry Ford II (HFII). Edsel said that he had indeed driven the Hi-Po fastback, and somehow the owner's manual for his fastback wound up in the glove compartment of his father's hardtop!

Henry Rords Mustang  Art Cairo & Edsel Ford

Art's Mustang on display in lobby of Ford's World Headquarters (l). Edsel B. Ford presents Art with a signed glovebox door for his Mustang (r).


Art's HFII hardtop was a preproduction unit, one of approximately 180 Mustangs assembled prior to the official March 9, 1964, start-up date at the Dearborn Assembly Plant. Because it was going to Henry Ford II, it received special “attention” such as the front disc brakes and an experimental 289 High Performance engine.

In 2002, Art became concerned about the hardtop because it was beginning to suffer the effects of storage, dampness, salt spray, and inactivity and restored it just in time for Ford's 100th Anniversary where Art rolled Henry’s hardtop out for display in front of the Henry Ford II World Center! There Art had the good fortune of showing the completed restoration to Edsel Ford II, who was thrilled to see his father's Mustang for the first time in years. In August of that year, Art was invited to display his Mustang at Ford's exhibit at the Woodward Dream Cruise, drawing plenty of people who both remembered and admired what is undoubtedly one of the most significant Mustangs ever made.
For more information, please see  Mustang Monthly or the Rotunda Times.

Club Members Judge State Science Fair

VMUSA Club Members Gene Dickirson and Steve Rohde spent Saturday April 5, 2014 judging the engineering projects at the 20th   Michigan Science & Engineering Fair at Kettering University in Flint. There were 65 projects at the State Fair representing some of the best in the state!



Steve, Science Fair Director Tim Fino, and Gene stand in front of Kettering sign. The projects were judged for a good part of the day!


Judges are always needed for these events so club members are encouraged to participate!

2014 Autorama Photos

For those of you who missed the 2014 Autorama on March 7-9 in Cobo Hall in Detroit (like I unfortunately did), Paul Coleman just sent me a link to a wonderful set of 600 photos that cover the upstairs and downstairs cars! Thanks Paul and Boss Mustang who took the photos!



The Autorama sign upstairs in Cobo Hall. Downstairs we have the Rat Rods!

"WEDIDIT: We attended an ididit Welding Seminar on March 22" by Brian Saylor

I never attended an IDIDIT Winter Seminar, but always heard they were pretty good.  Since this was on a day that I could go, I signed up and  I am very glad that I did!
The morning started off with coffee and chatting with a few people that I recognized like Tom Zielinski. 

The IDIDIT crew puts together a great presentation.  The winter welding seminar started with a one hour presentation from a representative from Ann Arbor Welding Supply, the local Lincoln Welder distributor.  The presentation was so much more than a sales pitch.  Once the lecture portion was over, we broke out into about 7 groups, well organized by IDIDIT.  Each group separated into stations of plasma cutters, TIG welding machines, tools, abrasives, personal protection, Woodward Fab products, and WELDERS!  The big Lincoln truck was on hand to demonstrate most of their welders!  The groups contained only 25 people per segment so questions were encouraged.


Everyone looks like they are really concentrating!

The plasma cutting display also had a CNC cutting table, and demonstrated computerized shape cutting.  The TIG person welded steel and aluminum, with and without filler rod as well as demonstrating variable power to the torch.  Champion Tools had a person demonstrating drills, hole cutters and LED work lighting and  CGW displayed a huge variety of grinding / cutting wheels and abrasives.

I could not resist purchasing a Steiner Velvet Shield.  The Velvet Shield is a soft pad that was demonstrated by a man holding a penny with it in his bare hand while melting the penny into a liquid pool with a torch.  His hand was completely unharmed!  This is a heat shield for any welding or brazing to protect items in the background. 

The John Tillman Company demonstrated a huge assortment of welding gloves and protective items for welding.  Woodward Fab, who we have all seen at different events had their basic wares, but allowed us to try each item out individually.  Last, but not least, the Lincoln Welder truck had most of their residential and smaller commercial welders on display and running.  The instructor talked about wire, gas, feed, power consumption, etc.


The Lincoln Welding truck was very effective!


Overall, it was an impressively organized and instructive day.  My son, Matt, won a large Lincoln welder banner.  We were served a great lunch and got to have fun!  I met a few new friends and a few old ones.  The seminar was hosted at IDIDIT, but put on by Ann Arbor Welding Supply, who is the local supplier of all of the equipment and supplies that were demonstrated that day. 

And all for $12!  Besides being educational, there were items for sale and the prices were actually pretty good with various discounts and rebates available that day.  I too had to leave a few dollars behind.  Some of the toys were irresistible.  A special note: Almost all of the items demonstrated and available were “Made in the USA”! Each instructor let you know it too, very proud!  No ‘cheap junk’ items were available!

Vintage Motors USA March 2014 Outing

Saturday, March 15, was another fun Vintage Motors USA outing.  It started at 10:00 a.m. with at the Motor City Steel Auto Restoration Shop where about 50 members and guests showed up for coffee, doughnuts and a grand tour of the shop by owner, Dave Droulard, his associate, Rickki, and his son, Matt.  It’s a pretty cool place to visit and it had every project you could think of -- everything from a Z28 ‘69 Camaro to a Divco milk truck that was turned into a pick up truck for a customer’s bird seed business. They had a fresh build, small block Chevy on a dyno test. It was a great stop for our club!


After Gene gets coffee & doughnuts ready, members learn about Motor City Steel.

It was about 11:30 now and time for our second stop to “The Cool Works” in Wixom where we were welcomed by Chuck Spieser, Tom Kirby and Warren Manning. Once again our club was not disappointed. They told us about all their Amsoil and Billet products and other products they have to offer. They find 50s-60s cars for clients, detail them and then sell them.


Yes Roxie, another Metro standing proudly next to a Model A at The Cool Works!

Out in the back of the business they have a great collection of classic cars. Up on the lift was a 1931 Model A Coupe and next to that was a Nash Metropolitan convertible.  They had ‘55 Belairs and a ‘57 Ford retractable top. Also a ‘62 Chevy, 409-409 dual quad 4-speed. All mint. Just to mention a few.


Boy, that pizza looks good! And happy birthday Phyllis!

Now it was time for lunch and we were treated to food from a new company called Rollin’ Stone Wood Fired Pizza. They had a pizza wagon outside and they could make us pizzas in 90 seconds at 900 degrees. It was some of the best pizza that we had ever had. About 30 pizzas later, we were all full and now it was time to sing Happy Birthday to Phyllis Davidovich and have cake. We still had enough room to finish it all.
We had our 50-50 drawing and had our birthday girl draw the winner.  Well, guess what, she drew her own ticket!  We were all thinking it was a fix, but it was her birthday and we all had a great time.  Thanks to all that came and had fun. For more photos of the event, click here. (Thanks to Van, Roxie, and Mike for the photos and article!)

Club Member's Buick Accepted to Autorama

Club member Dave Harrington's 1984 Buick Electra Park Avenue was just accepted to Autorama Detroit 2014, and will be on display March 7-8-9 in Cobo Hall. "They just finished 11 months in the body & paint shop two weeks ago. I had it painted House of Kolor Kandy (Kandy Apple Red and Pagan Gold) and I'm working to get all of the items back on it that were stripped off over the past year (side mirror, door handles, gas filler door, etc)" Dave remarked. For more information about Dave and his cars click here.

Dave's Buick in its final stages in the paint shop!

March 15 Event Scheduled

Gene Johnson & Mike Fontana have scheduled an outing to Motor City Steel and The Cool Works on March 15. Click here for more information.


Vintage Motors USA Opens 2014 Activities with a Bang!

Vintage Motors USA opened 2014 activities with a bang! On February 15, 41 members and guests gathered at the Detroit Historical Museum. The bright sunshine added to the festive feel and you could tell by the smiles and laughter everyone was happy to be out with friends.


Members await the museum's opening. Yes, a Cadillac was being assembled there!

The Detroit Historical Museum underwent extensive renovations in 2012 and is truly a jewel of Detroit. If you grew up in Detroit, or even heard of Detroit, the exhibits offered something for everyone. It’s a genuine “deep... dive into the history and soul of Detroit.”

Detroit is known world-wide as the Motor City but we know it is so much more. Wandering through the exhibits, we learned about our city from the early frontier days right up to today. The interactive displays caught everyone’s attention. In Frontiers to Factories, you could push a button and listen to an early barber or candlemaker tell their story. The Glancy Train Exhibit, a model train layout, had the attention of Hank and Janet Dawson with the mini-video cameras installed in the train’s engines. We watched as the trains roared across a trestle or barrelled through a tunnel. You could push a button to switch trains or go from day to night. We walked the streets of old Detroit, with wooden pavers for the street, past a Kresge’s, Sanders, and more. There was a horse drawn fire truck that caught Mike Fontana’s eye. He wasn’t sure, but it may have been the same one he trained on when he first joined the department.


Wandering around in "Old Detroit"!

From Detroit’s Music history in Kid Rock’s Music Lab to Detroit’s Arsenal of Democracy, we were treated to a fascinating journey. Did you know that 91% of the helmets for WWII were made in Detroit? We toured the Doorway to Freedom highlighting Detroit’s participation in the Underground Railroad -- and no one got wet crossing the Detroit River!

There was a tribute to Detroit’s restaurants and nightlife including a genuine Playboy Bunny suit. Were the women really that tiny???? The well-known Cadillac Assembly line was running with the famous “body drop” in action. I wonder if they’re ever going to finish that car!

After our visit to the museum a hungry group crowded into the Snug Traffic Jam for lunch. We had our standard 15-minute club meeting and more smiles, laughter and good food marked the day. It was good to get out with friends after such a long hibernation. Be sure to mark your calendar’s for VMUSA’s next outing on March 15. By then, it will almost be Spring! For more photos and a video click here!

Michigan Chapter of the National Corvette Restorers Society Swap Meet Scheduled



On April 12 at Les Stanford Chevrolet Annex Building the Michigan Chapter of the NCRS will hold their 18th Annual Chevrolet Corvette Swap Meet. Proceeds from this event go to charity. For more information or to register for the event click here.

Photos from the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) Preview

On January 15  I attended the NAIAS Industry Preview. Not having been to the NAIAS in a number of years, I was pleasantly surprised by the various car displays, the artwork, and the use of electronic media. In particular the Corvette, Camaro, and Mustang displays were great! I took many photos that you can see here. (Steve)


A 1965 Mustang was on display as well as the NAIAS Car of the Year: The Corvette


Chairpersons Group Meeting: Get Ready for a Great Year!

On January 12 the Vintage Motors Chairpersons Group (VMCG) met at Brian Saylor’s home. A number of topics were discussed including membership and events for 2014.


VMCG member Hank Dawson leads a discussion of 2014 events.
Hank has also just been elected VP of the Ford and Mercury Restorers Club
bringing some needed leadership to that organization!

As we have 100 members in the club now with some really good people who want to join us, the VMCG decided to lift the 100 member limit. This change is reflected in our by-laws!


VMCG members participate in meeting.


Rox looks busier than Steve!


Most of the meeting was devoted to planning events for 2014. Our coming event page now reflects the tentative plan that we created. A VMCG member was assigned to finalizing each event (dates, etc.). Some bus tours and even an “overnighter” are being considered! Our calendar will be updated as new information is obtained. It should be a SUPER year!


Our host Brian Saylor served us some wonderful refreshments!

The VMCG then enjoyed Jimmy John's and some unique entertainment!

Club Photographer's Show Opening

Our own Van Nazarian is having a show in the lobby of the Livonia City Hall building. The Livonia Arts Commission sponsors a monthly show, offering a different artist to exhibit for a month.

Although weather is delaying the start of the January 2014 show, it should start by Wednesday, January 8th and runs thru January. The show is open to the public during building hours: 8:30 Am - 5:00 PM. The Livonia City Hall is located at 33000 Civic Center Drive; 1/8 mile east of Farmington Rd, on the south side of Five Mile Rd.


The photos are from various shows and private collections located in Michigan. The shot showing a restoration of a boat tailed Auburn speedster is from the OFF Brothers collection, in Richland township, near Gull Lake, MI.

Club Member Making New Corvette Video

On November 9, 2013 ProTeam Corvette Sales in Ohio hosted an all day National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) Technical Seminar. The main topic was "How Chevrolet's Relentless Pursuit of HP Benefited Corvette." The all-day session was co-sponsored by the Michigan and Heart of Ohio chapters of the NCRS. This short video is a trailer for an upcoming DVD that covers that event that is being created by VMUSA & NCRS member Steve Rohde.

The day's agenda included various presentations by well-known Corvette enthusiasts, engineers, and insiders.including former Corvette Chief Engineer and Hall of Famer Dave McLellan who spoke about development of the C4 ZR-1.