Vintage Motors News

Welcome to the 2018 Activities Page of Vintage Motors USA,  a car club started in the state of Michigan in 2012. To see what we accomplished in the past seven years, view this page/click on the year that you are interested in: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.

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.


Note: We are updating the Classified Ads page in this website. To add something email our WebMaster


Merry Christmas ! Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas ! Happy New Year!

Fifty-one VMUSA members and guests attended the annual Christmas Dinner on December 15, 2018, at G. Subu’s Leather Bottle. The holiday spirit was flowing as we enjoyed a fine sit-down meal and the company of good friends. With the music of Donna G Plus One in the background, it was a great opportunity to catch up, enjoy some laughs and share memories.



Fifty-one Club Members and Guests Attended Our Gala!


Joan Johnson treated the guests to a Christmas challenge — name that cookie!  It didn’t matter if you answered or not because the real prize was a random drawing.  With the prizes being lottery tickets, the lucky winners had a second chance to win. If one of our winners goes on a spending spree, we’ll know they got a lucky ticket!



L: Joan presents a Christmas challeng! R: Cheryl & Joan bring delicious deserts to guests!


The guests received a raffle ticket at the door and held them tight as the numbers were drawn by our emcee, Brian Saylor. Up for grabs were poinsettias, Christmas decor, VMUSA tool bags, framed photographs, candy, popcorn and more. Many thanks to those that donated items for prizes - Cheryl Sauer, Joan Johnson, and Van Nazarian!



L: Brian was an outstanding MC! R: Phil is presented the Dick Monroe Memorial Award by Jim!

Phil Lyon, a founding member of our club, received the Dick Monroe Memorial Award. That award is given to a club member who has contributed significantly to VMUSA. Jim Goff and Larry Miller presented the award to Phil. Congratulations Phil!

Too soon it was time to call it a night and head out.  There were smiling faces they hauled their prize loot home!  Many thanks to this year’s Christmas Elves - Ellen Danes, Joan and Gene Johnson, Cheryl Sauer, Mike Fontana and Van Nazarian for another successful Christmas Party! For more photos and a video click here

Stay tuned — 2019 promises to be another great year for VMUSA!

VM at the 2018 Hines Drive Park Cruise

On August 26 members of the Vintage Motors USA car club and several other clubs joined together at the cruise for a day of fun! A variety of cars all 25 years old or older actually cruised through the park in the annual Cruisin’ Hines event. Across the street from VM was the Cadillac LaSalle Club. Thanks go to VM Members Mike & Roxanne Fontana, Brian Saylor, and others for setting the VM lunch, etc. up! The show is hosted by founder Don Nicholson and Don Nicholson Enterprises, LLC.

The video below by Steve Rohde catches the spirit of the cruise!



GM Tech Center Car Show

On July 27 GM Tech Centerand UAW Local 160 held their annual car show. This year 65 years of Corvette was celebrated! Several VM club members were there.



Vintage Motors Featured at South Lyon Cruise-In!

At the Lake St. Cruise-In on July 25, 2018, the Vintage Motors USA car club was the featured club.  We had about 30 cars from our club to grace the main street.



Bob's car with its clear hood cutout drew a lot of attention!

One car in particular, Jim Robb’s ’41 Ford, got there with a few problems.  He was burning up ignition coils!  He had previously been using internally ballasted coils, but in a pinch, he used a regular one.  He needed a new ballast resistor: QUICK!!.  Jim asked me, if I knew where the auto parts stores were in South Lyon.  I called the closest, Advance Auto Parts on Pontiac Trail.  They had the ballast resistor we needed after a quick internet search on my phone.  Advance had a table set up for the Lake St. Cruise at the center corner.  I asked if the Advance guy, Marshall, could help us out.   He said “Sure!, Be back in 10 minutes”.  We waited a little bit and he came back with the resistor we needed and gave Jim his money back and said, “It’s on me”.  We installed the ballast into the hot wire to the coil with a little splicing and some scrounged electrical tape.  Jim, fired it up and  Vrooom!!  After the show, Jim made it home without a hitch.  Thanks to Advance Auto Parts in South Lyon, Jim got home in his ’41 Ford w/ out a hiccup!  The Vintage Motors USA club had a great night too!! For a video and more photos from the event click here.



Cole brought his Allard and Joe, Steve, and Gene their rides!

Visit to Moran Motorsports

July 12, 2018, was a big day for VMUSA!  Mike Moran of Moran Motorsports hosted our group for a private tour of his shop in Taylor.  A high-end performance shop, Mike gave us a detailed tour including the engine building room, the dynamometer lab, and the individual machines and equipment he uses to create some of the fastest engines in the world. 


Left: VMUSA club members study an engine. Center: Mike Moran; Right: More power than a flathead!


A first-class race engine builder, Mike has been working with engines since high school. As a young kid, Mike used his dad’s garage to fine tune his hobby and went professional in the early 90’s. He now runs a 25,000 sq. ft. facility that cranks out record-breaking engines for customers all over the world. 

Custom is a word Mike lives by. Not only are the engines custom built, but also the machines he uses to do the job are often created, or fine-tuned, by him. VMUSA member Ed Scharf was most impressed with the extent of Mike’s knowledge and Jim Robb was amazed by the complexity of the Moran builds.

Click to check out more photos by Vahan Nazarian!


If It Wasn't Raining, It Wouldn't Be the Barn Show!

The Wilson Barn is an annual favorite for local car fans. The car show, the music, and the prizes pretty much guarantee a good time. As Veteran Barn Show attendee Jim Goff said everything is great - great people, great food, great time. Art Cervi enjoyed the camaraderie, the Road Knights, and the good location. Too bad we can’t get Mother Nature to guarantee good weather. The weather apps continued to say it was just cloudy, but as wet as everything was, it was definitely drizzling. In spite of the wet weather, there was a total of 479 cars this year! Not bad for such a soggy day.



Breakfast at McDonalds while our cars wait patiently in the parking lot!

We began the day meeting at McDonalds. The cars and people slowly drifted in, some only half awake. Promptly at 7:30, we pulled out and headed for the Barn. The Road Knights were waiting for us and ushered our group to our “reserved” site under the trees by the front gate. Everyone jumped in to set up the tents, the tables, the coolers, and the grill. We were ready to party! All we needed was sunshine! However, Mother Nature was in a foul mood and decided to drizzle for most of the day. A little rain can’t dampen the VMUSA spirit and we carried on!



Left: Our suberb cooks! Right: Club members in between the showers!

With the music provided by Men in Black, the show officially began. Lunch was served with hot dogs, Phil Lyon’s famous chili, chips, pop and water. Traditionally, the Road Knights award prizes for people who have random items such as a fishing license, a half dollar, or a safety pin. Our very own, Frank Fundaro had his bag of goodies and was more than ready.
Who else carries wooden matches, a skeleton key, an expired drivers license and the world’s smallest spark plug? It works for him, as he won an oil change with his nail clippers!

Cole Grandy, who has everything he has every owned in his entire life, always has a surprise for us. This year, he brought the 1947 Indian Chief motorcycle he bought when he was 17 years old — a real sweet ride! Can’t wait for the next show to see more treasures!



Left: Chris McDonald with his 1981 TransAm Bandit. Right: Frank Fundaro with his bag of "goodies".

Club member Chris McDonald brought his 1981 TransAm Bandit - straight from Smokey and the Bandit. He had been looking for one for years and had his eye on it at the auction in Auburn, IN. When the time was right, he grabbed it. Chris knows how to show his new baby and with the obligatory CB antenna and wedding veil flying out the top, we knew we had the real thing. However, sorry Chris, you don’t look anything like Burt Reynolds.

The prizes were awarded and VMUSA cleaned up! Congratulations to VMUSA club members Art Cervi, Mike Fontana, Roxanne Fontana (2), Jeff Friberg, Jim Goff (2), Tim Gregory, Billy Hill, Bob Haas, Phil Lyon, Larry Miller, Chris McDonald, Bob Nichol, Paul Rebmann (2), Jim Robb, Cheryl Sauer, and Wally Wigand. Many thanks to Mike Fontana for the organization, Phil Lyon for his super-yummy-world-class chili, and to everyone else who helped set up and clean up! Another great Barn Show in the books! For more photos and a video of the event click here.

The History of the Future: The Road to Autonomy

Today there is great emphasis on autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles. This is a video of a featured display entitled "The History of the Future: The Road to Autonomy" during the SAE World Congress that was held on April 10-12, 2018 in Detroit. Nine historic vehicles whose innovations paved the fascinating road toward autonomy were shown. The SAE International Mobility History Committee hosted this display. Your webmaster had the pleasure of driving one of the vehicles: a 1979 Cadillac from Ann Arbor to Cobo Hall in Detroit to the show!


Car Enthusiast Dick Cervi Passes

Richard P. Cervi, age 79, passed away on April 23, 2018. Dick was Art Cervi’s brother;, husband of Suzanne; father of Lisaglee , Rick, Tricia, and Brittany; grandfather of Kyle, Mallory, Jonathon, Victoria, and Noah; great-grandfather of Kaysi; and also brother of Deanna.

Dick was a true car guy: both at work and at home! He retired from Varsity Ford in Ann Arbor after 23 years in automotive sales. He was an accomplished award-winning master sales recipient from Ford Motor Company.

At home Dick enjoyed the classic car hobby and restored many cars himself. His favorite one was a 1958 Ford with a 352 Police Interceptor engine. He also owned a beautiful red 1968 Torino. The interior of that car was black with red piping.

After retiring, Dick moved to Tennessee where he lived for a number of years before moving back to Michigan eight years ago.
Dick’s last classic is a beautiful 1959 Plymouth Sport Fury that will be on display at this year’s prestigious EyesOn Design car show on Father’s Day (June 17, 2018).
Dick will be missed…

Larry's Back Door

On Saturday, April 20, Larry Miller welcomed VMUSA to view his amazing train layout. Larry’s long-time interest in model trains began when he was a teenager. His mother brought home a model train she had bought, on sale, the day after Christmas.  From there, he just took off! Today’s collection includes the oldest set from 1922 and a model of the biggest engine ever made.  As proof Larry has been a train collector for a very long time, he proudly displays a plaque declaring he is Member No. 69 of the 33,000 member Train Collectors Association (TCA.)  



Left: Multiple trains moving at the same time! Right: Note the detail of the displays.

Larry’s Train Layout is a complete “O” gauge with everything your imagination could dream.  Jeff is Larry’s “wire guy” and was there to help show off.  It has about 6 miles of wiring, took 6 months to wire and about 15 years to build. Club member Jim Goff also worked diligently with Larry and Jeff to create this masterpiece!

There are moving displays, lights, whistles, horns, and bells.  Workers are welding with light up welders, lumber jacks are sawing, and passengers actually board the passenger train. There’s the giant U.S. Royal tire ferris wheel from the 1964 New York World’s Fair that Detroiter’s know on I-94. The playground has swings that swing and there’s even a train loaded with classic cars from the 1950’s. 



Left: Dick is surrounded by walls of trains! Right: Club members were amazed by Larry's collection!


In addition to the train layout, he has an extensive collection of model trains on display along the walls, model boats, boat motors, train memorabilia and an intricately detailed doll house, “The Miller Mercantile.” When Larry collects — Larry collects! 

Of all the scenes, Larry’s favorite might be the campground.  There is a family unloading their 1957 Ford, campfires, tents, campers and even an outhouse! But Larry’s absolute favorite thing to do, is share it all.  Thank you Larry for opening your train world to VMUSA! For more photos and a video click here.


Visit to Detroit Historical Museum

On February 17 about 50 VMUSA members and friends visited the Detroit Historical Museum. That 85 year old museum is truly a remarkable place! Cobblestone streets, 19th century stores, an auto assembly line, toy trains and a fur trading post from the 1700s are only a few of the things that we saw. After touring the museum, we went to the Traffic Jam and Smug Restaurant in Detroit. The food and ambience there were great!



Left: Looks like Gene & Joan may have gone shopping! Right: Cadillac body is dropped onto its chassis.

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


Club Artist Attends Eyes on Design Poster Reveal

Van Nazarian attended the unveiling of the commemorative poster for the 31st annual EyesOn Design Automotive Design Exhibition at Ladder 12,
the refurbished firehouse that is now the design studio of the 2018 EyesOn Design Lifetime Design Achievement Award honoree,
retired head of design for General Motors, Ed Welburn.

The poster features a 1959 Cadillac Cyclone concept car, whose design was heavily inspired by the aviation and rocket designs of the 1950s.



Left: Ed Welburn and Van. Right: Cadillac Cyclone poster by automotive artist David Chapple.

Events for 2018 Planned!

On January 13 VMUSA Core Group members met and planned an exciting array of club events for 2018. These included a everything from a trip to the Detroit Historical Museum in February to a trip to the Gilmore Museum to the Hines Park Cruise in August! The detailed (preliminary) schedule can be found here. If there are other events that you’d like to see, please do let us know.



Core Group Members at work planning!

How to NEVER Be Involved in a Traffic Crash!

In this video Leonard Evans explains how to avoid having traffic accidents. Leonard is the world’s leading traffic-safety scientist and was a colleague of Steve Rohde at GM Research Labs for many years. For more information about Leonard’s research on traffic science please click here.

There Really Is A Free Lunch!

by Bill Krueger


Well, a magazine actually.

I get a lot of magazines – mostly through subscription. Yes, as in I pay money.

Sometime last year, I received – snail mail or email, I really don’t remember – a solicitation for a free magazine. Yeah, sure. This magazine, REINCARNATION, is truly amazing! Of all my print magazines, it is my “Go To” magazine when I fetch the mail. Better still, it is web-based with periodic email updates! Yes, all free! I like free.

The magazine has a history. About 15 years ago, a predecessor, Kit Car Builder, was founded by Jim Youngs, a good friend of REINCARNATION’s editor, Steve Temple. Upon Jim’s retirement, Steve acquired the publication and, as expected, made some changes. Steve’s new publication morphed into Car Builder, to more-accurately represent the preference of most folks who wanted a completed “kit car”. Fast forward, a trade magazine publisher approached Steve about selling the magazine. Thus, the birth of REINCARNATION. This magazine is web-based with a print copy.

I encourage you to take a look at the magazine - find it at, Once you take a look at it, there you will find a place to request your print copy.

There’s more. The focus of this magazine is “continuation, replica, and low volume automobiles”. Take a look!

Part of REINCARNATION's homepage.


Ho! Ho! Ho! 2017!!


2017 was another wonderful year for VMUSA and what better way to end the year than to have a fun Christmas Dinner with VMUSA friends!



Club members & guests enjoy the party!

We gathered at Subu’s Leather Bottle on Saturday, December 16, 2017, to share laughter and holiday wishes with 50 VMUSA guests. It was Christmas party time and Subu’s was dressed with holiday flair. We welcomed our guests with candy bags and lucky raffle tickets.

While the Showcasemen were warming up for their tunes, Joan Johnson provided the crowd with a Christmas quiz of “Opposite Christmas Carol” titles. Some people caught on quickly while others just gave up. No one knew, but the game didn’t matter. The game sheets with our guests names were tossed into a bag, and three people were drawn at random to win lottery tickets. The television news didn’t carry anything about new millionaires in our area, so it’s safe to say no one hit the big one!


Brian explains the Christmas carol (fake) quiz(L) and Roxie(R) facillitates the raffle ticket drawings!

As laughter and smiles filled the room, dinner was served family style and everyone enjoyed, salad, beef brisket, chicken piccata, penne pasta, red skin potatoes, green beans almondine, and bread. Everyone ate until they were full, but they somehow they found room for cake for desert!

Brian Saylor was our evening’s emcee and did a wonderful job. With his direction, the raffle tickets were drawn and the prizes distributed. Members won gift cards, cozy throws, and club hats. At each place setting, sat Frosty’s Top Hat filled with popcorn. They didn’t know six of them were slightly different and those six won the poinsettias!


Ed & Michelle look happy, & four car guys seem to be having a serious discussion!


Every year, Jim Goff and Larry Miller, present the Dick Monroe memorial award to the member who did the most for the club during the year. This year’s recipient was Van Nazarian! Van is a founding Core Group member and rarely misses a club event. A busy man, he has helped to arrange club outings, raffled his photography skills as a fund raiser for the club, and secured Subu’s for our party. Now, for the first time, Van has created a VMUSA club calendar! Contact Van at for yours. Thanks Van, for being such a great addition to our club!


Van Nazarian receiving the Dick Monroe memorial award! (R) Van's new VMUSA calendar looks super! (L)

Many thanks to all the elves who helped — Cheryl Sauer, Mike Fontana, and Gene and Joan Johnson for the Christmas Carol game, Frosty’s Top Hats, the candy bags, the poinsettias, Frosty’s Top Hats, the set up, and the clean up! Thank you to Van Nazarian for securing Subu’s, and thank you to Brian Saylor for running the show. Many thanks to Steve Rohde for the 2017 video —and many apologies for our audio visual breakdown. For those of you that were not able to view the video at the party, Steve's video is below. It’s definitely a must see! Also there are more photos of the Christmas party and a video of it here.

Best Wishes to everyone for a wonderful, safe holiday season — and remember, Peace, Love, and Happiness to all!

2017 VMUSA Event Video Posted!

Captain Video (aka Steve Rohde) has created a video containing highlights of our club's 2017 activities! Enjoy!