Friday, July 29, 2011

A Jet In Studebaker Clothing

            Randy and Linda Wilkin have maybe the strangest 1946 Studebaker in the world. While the body is, mostly, from a one and a half ton flatbed this Studebaker has been converted into a pick up. And they used some pretty amazing parts to get there.
            The entire adventure began nine years ago when Randy paid $99 for the Studebaker and then traveled 2000 miles roundtrip to northwest Kansas to pick up. He then fashioned the flat bed to fit a Chevy half ton pickup frame. “I chopped 17 inches off it to make it fit,” Randy said.
            Into this he dropped a 350 Chevy V-8 that can push 300 horse power and set it all on an ’83 Chevy half ton suspension. By piecing together parts from the various trucks Randy said, “This way I got power steering and disc brakes cheap.”
            If that weren’t enough of a strange marriage of parts, Randy went on to explain that “The entire ass end is all made from air craft parts.”
            Randy use to work in the air craft manufacturing industry and found that he had access to not only left over parts that didn’t meet spec but also a great deal of equipment that he wouldn’t have laying around his garage at home. This is how he managed to have the rear gate made from Douglas DC 8 pistons. Other discarded air craft parts went into fabricating much of the bed as well.
            He hadn’t gone specifically looking for a Studebaker but knew of them from seeing a couple around. They were fairly rare and it wasn’t the kind of vehicle every gear head owned.
            “I’ve always been an oddball,” he said. “And this is so ugly it’s cute.”
            Yeah, cute as a jet.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Daddy of a Vette Man

            Roger McHugh is a Vette man. Not only does he own four of these Chevy sports cars ranging from the 1950s through the 1990s, he’s also the president of his local group, the Eastgate Corvette Club.

            The oldest Vette he owns is a 1957 C1 or first generation that he bought about 12 years ago from an owner in Knoxville, TN. “The only thing we did to it was re-do the engine and the paint,” Roger said.
            He has two newer models, including a 1991. “That’s the only Vette I’ve bought new,” he said, and readily admits that it’s the smoothest riding car that he owns. “The older ones could be a little stiff.”

            His wife owns a 1957 Ford Thunderbird that the couple bought about 10 years ago in West Virginia. The car had undergone a restoration a few years before they bought it and so Roger admitted, “We did very little work on it.”
            Of all the cars, the one with the most fascinating story is the 1962 Vette the couple own. “We had one just like it when we were first married,” Roger said.
            Then he told the story of how he and his wife, who was very pregnant with their first child at the time, were driving along Kenwood Rd., north of Cincinnati, when all of a sudden her water broke. After his daughter was born, as much as it pained him to do so, Roger admits that he did the right thing. “Being a good father I took that car to the dealer and traded it in for a family car,” he said.
            So, five years ago when the couple had the chance to buy another ’62 Vette, they jumped at the chance. The car went through a body on restoration where, according to Roger, “It was gutted and restored.”
            One area that didn’t need any kind of work was the body. “It was what they call virgin, in mint condition,” he said. Because of the way the fiberglass for a Vette body is put together, it is easy to see if there has been any body work done on it. In this case there was nothing, no dents, dinks or repairs.
            When it came time to choose how to finish the car in terms of upholstery and paint, Roger’s first inclination was to go with a black body since his ’57 was the classic red with white. “My wife said that we should fix it to look just like our old one,” he said. That meant ermine white paint and a red interior.
            Now the still proud papa has a car exactly like the one that drove his wife to the hospital that first day. Along with three other Vettes to keep it company.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

9th Annual Bethel Murdoch Car Show and Ice Cream Social Part 2

          Despite the fact that I showed up early to the 9th Annual Bethel Murdoch Car Show and Ice Cream Social, there were already some very nice cars there and even more rolled in while I was wandering around talking to people and taking pictures. I was working fast because the battery on my Nikon was rapidly going dead. That's what I get for not checking before I headed out for a day that I knew I'd be taking pictures. Despite that, there were just too many pictures for one blog post so here is part two. Hope you enjoy. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send an email to Love hearing from you about the cars you like.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

9th Annual Bethel Murdoch Car Show and Ice Cream Social

            Josh and I discovered the Bethel Murdoch car show last year when a high school friend told me that her father was going to be showing one of his cars. We took the drive through the country to the, well, thriving isn’t really the word, but crossroads known as Murdoch.
            What we found last year was a great show in a beautiful grassy setting. There were a lot of really nice cars and the nice people who brought them. Add to that available food and free ice cream and what more could you want from a car show?
            This year was no different. Though Josh had found something more interesting to do with a female friend and my schedule was tight that day, I still managed to drive out and see most of the cars as they were arriving.
            The show featured some of the standard fare of classic Fords and Chevys but even those were fun. The Ohio Valley Chapter of the Falcon Club of America was represented by over 11 % of their membership. What makes that number even more impressive is that the club stretches from Louisville, KY, through Ohio almost all the way to Cleveland.

            There were cars that were chopped and cars that were restored. Among the trees was nestled a classic Road Runner, some trucks, both young and old, and even a dune buggy and an Army Jeep. Add to that the annual line up of tractors and you can see this is a pretty unique show.

            According to Roger McHugh, the chairman of the annual show, “This is one of the best venues. Most car shows are held on hot concrete. You don’t get to see many shows that are on grass and with trees to shade you.”
            Roger, who showed some of his cars which will be the focus of a later blog, admitted that they did have one tree related mishap a couple of years ago. “We had a tree limb fall on a car,” he said. “Luckily it didn’t do any damage, not even a scratch. Now we have some of the teenagers go through the trees and knock down any loose limbs before the show.”
            With winners being chosen strictly by the people who attend, this is an entirely fair competition. Plus consider that, according to Roger, they made 90 gallons of homemade ice cream and everyone who showed up could consider themselves a winner.

Monday, July 25, 2011


            If nothing else, Tim Klein of Mt. Airy, OH has a sense of humor. Just look at his license plate and you’ll see.
            In addition, Tim likes to be just a little bit different. Take a look at the car he restored and you’ll see that as well.
            Back in 2000, Tim was looking for a car. “Actually I was looking for a Charger,” he said. What he ended up with was a 1968 Dodge Coronet 500 and he’s glad he did. After restoring the car in 2002 he now has a pretty unique car to take to shows.
            “You don’t see a whole lot of them around,” Tim said. “It has nice body lines.”
            Tim said that he heard a rumor that the designers got the idea for the lines by laying a Coke bottle on its side. Whether that’s true or not, Tim has done his best to keep this car stock, including his 383 under the hood and even the factory air.
            He’s not afraid to take it out as was evidenced by the fact that he was showing it on a drizzly early July day. “Mostly I run it on nice days and to car shows,” he said.
            In explaining his interesting license plate, Tim said that there’s a group of guys from the same area who like to show their cars together. One of them came up with the OSCC (Oh Shit Car Club) as their name. “I liked it and got the license plate,” he said with a smile.
            So if you’re driving around and look up in your rear view you will know it’s Tim by the license plate.