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1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Hard Top
With the production of the 1955 Chevrolet, the phrase "Double Nickel" started. It referred to the '55, '56, & '57 Chevy's. These three years of production have been the most popular years ever for Chevrolet Classics. General motors spent over $40,000,000 to retool for what was to be one of their greatest design changes. It would be recognized by the automotive world as the definitive car of the '50s. The properly equipped 1955 was a major fast track competitor, only to have the Cherry's withdrawn from racing in 1957. This car underwent a five-year, frame-off rotisserie restoration. The engine is a 350 cid coupled with a 350 Turbo automatic transmission and a Pontiac rear end. A Firebird sub frame, air conditioning were but a few of the new additions that were added.
By the time the '55 Chevy was gaining sales, Ford was making a big push trying very hard to take the number #1 spot in the nation. For a time it looked like they may just pull it off. It was not to be as Chevrolet held on to the number #1 spot. To let you know just how good Chevy was, in NASCAR and other tracks in 1957 Daytona Speed Weeks they took the first three places in a two-way flying mile for class #4 (213-259 cid) thirty three places out of thirty seven places on class #5 (259-305 cid) the average speed would top 131.076 mph. In the Pure Oil Manufactures Trophy Ford had 309 points to Chevrolet with 574. Even with the ban on racing, Chevy still got a lot of support provided by "underground-racing."
Christmas in 1942
We were at war, many items were rationed and our son’s were going off to defend our country. We needed Christmas more than ever. I was a young boy growing up on a farm not far from the small town of Coffee Creek, Montana. Our school had two rooms, which held fifteen students from the 1stto the 8th grade. When it was time for the Christmas play our teachers made sure every one had a part in it. The entire community would participate in making all the props that would be needed from the wise men to the baby in the manger. The Nativity Scene had a couple of newborn lambs. Many of the lines were short so all could take part. The role of the three wise men went to the 7th and 8th graders. The best part was watching the young kids that had to be prompted on their lines by the teachers in front of the stage. Under a large Christmas tree were presents for every child in the place. When all the festivity ended there were lots of cookies and cake with Santa in his chair listening to the children’s wish list. The memories of Christmas plays will always be with us for the rest of our lives. We never grow too old to lose the memories of our youth.
by Monty Wallis
For a motorcycle driver, one of the worst sounds in the world is that of tires screeching on the pavement behind you. And for anyone who’s spent any time on their bike, it happens more often than we would like to admit. Let’s face it…people just don’t see motorcycles like they see cars. And that’s especially true when a motorcycle slows down unexpectedly, usually by compression braking first, then regular brakes. It can happen on the interstate or on a city street, and when its car verses bike…the bike always loses.
That’s where a new safety device may make the difference between going home… or going to the hospital. It’s called VoloLights… an enhanced motorcycle visibility device built into a license plate frame that senses when your motorcycle starts to slow down. It does not replace your brake lights…it’s used in addition to brake lights. When a motorcycle starts to decelerate from downshifting there are no brake lights just like when a car with a manual transmission uses its engine compression to slow down. When Vololights senses deceleration, two different flash patterns alert drivers behind you, whether it’s normal deceleration or emergency braking. This earlier indication can provide drivers that extra second or two to reduce the risk of rear end collisions.
Here’s how it works…Vololights is a powered license plate frame with its own set of bright LED's. Using internal microprocessors, it measures the deceleration of your motorcycle regardless of the rate you are slowing down. Today's brake lights are not always perceptible. For instance, a driver behind you might see your brakes solid or flashing but they cannot tell whether you are 'tapping' on the brakes or slamming on the brakes. Vololights solves this problem by varying its flash rate with the urgency with which you are slowing.
If your rate of deceleration indicates a normal braking scenario, two rows of four red LEDs will flash alternately at a rate of two times per second. This alerts drivers to the fact that your motorcycle is slowing down. But if you decelerate very quickly, the lights will flash five times a second. The urgency of this flash setting alerts drivers that they have to react quickly to avoid an accident.
Contained within the Vololight frame are eight red LEDs, a microprocessor, and an accelerometer. A white LED also provides continuous illumination of your license plate. Vololights recently upgraded their onboard firmware to include more sensitivity settings. They include:
Touring: This is the most sensitive setting, good for large touring motorcycles or those with automatic transmissions. Default: Good all-around sensitivity for a broad range of motorcycles and riding styles. Sport: This is the least sensitive setting, good for motorcycles with lower gearing or riders with more aggressive riding styles
Earlier this past year, CMYRYD purchased a Vololights directly from the manufacturer. Our intent was to see if the product lived-up to its claims. After several months of testing on the streets and highways of the great Northwest, I’m happy to tell you that it works as promised. You may want to check your state’s motor vehicle laws to be sure that this system does not conflict with lighting code. In Montana, a check with a local MHP officer gave us the green light and a comment that anything that prevents a rear-end collision with a motorcycle was OK in his book.
The unit is easy for the average do-it-yourselfer to install and takes its power directly from your motorcycle’s license plate light circuit. The LED’s are bright enough to be visible during daylight, but not so bright as to be totally distracting to drivers at night.
But they are noticed by drivers behind you. On more than one occasion during our tests, drivers pulled-up beside us at traffic lights to inquire about the lights. In most cases, these were fellow bike owners who were interested in safety. The Vololights system was unusual and bright enough to gain their attention and interest.
Our tests used a Vololights system on both two-wheeled and three-wheeled bikes. It performed as promised after being correctly installed and calibrated using the easy instructions and a calibration magnet which was included by the manufacturer. Vololights units are available at the limited number of retailers across the country as well as Revzilla.com and Motosport.com. I’ve also spotted the units on Amazon.com and on the company website at vololights.com.
If you are a motorcycle rider and riding safety is important to you, this may be one purchase that you’ll want to make, and it would be a great Christmas present for any rider. By the way, this technology may hold future promise for four-wheeled transportation safety also.
CMYRYD Goes to SEMA or..."My Bucket List" by Monty Wallis
For years, one of the destinations on my bucket list has been SEMA Show in Las Vegas. If you’re into cars, SEMA is the premier venue for everything auto. So, thanks to CMYRYD, I got the chance to go, and I’ve got to say, it was even bigger and better than I had imagined.
First, it was absolutely huge. The exhibits and show took up the entire Las Vegas Convention Center; and a few blocks away the companion AAPEX Show in the Sands Convention Center utilized every floor of that large complex. If anything, it was overkill. There is no-way anyone could visit every booth, display and event during the length of the show. There were display areas for first time exhibitors, collision and repair, mobile electronics and technology, car care accessories, tools and equipment, racing and performance, restoration, trucks, SUV’s and off-road, utility vehicles, tires, wheels and accessories and more. The GM Proving Grounds gave convention goers the opportunity to demo the latest offerings from General Motors under high-performance conditions. And FMC was well represented with displays of high performance drivers and FORD vehicles doing drifting, Gymkana and autocross demos.
If you wanted to see some of the best classic and custom cars in the world, you wouldn’t have been disappointed. Over 500 of the world’s most spectacular custom cars were on display throughout the venue. For classic lovers, over 2000 classic cars and trucks were displayed both outside and inside the event. Then on Friday night, the SEMA Cruise featured over 2000 classics simultaneously rolling out of the convention center to officially close the show.
TV Stars? You bet there were stars. Overhaulin’s Chip Foos was there signing autographs as well as Courtney Hanson and other automotive stars from Cable’s Velocity channel.
If you went to SEMA to find a particular product or service, you would not have been disappointed. It might have taken you the full week and two pairs of walking shoes, but it had to be there. Over at the AAPEX show, an entire floor was dedicated to overseas automotive products, categorized by country. Yes, China was well represented.
If I have any complaint about the show, it’s perhaps too much of a good thing. Shin splints and blisters were very much a part of the experience. I will say it again…this was a huge event. Only Las Vegas could host an event of this size. And Las Vegas may be part of the problem. $8.00/ plus tax for a Bud Light was not uncommon. And it would be nice if the Mono Rail actually stopped at the Sands Convention Center. That said, there were free shuttles between the official hotels and convention center.
So, if SEMA has been on your bucket list, I’d say the 2015 show should be a great one. Be sure to be ready to walk for miles and endure the crowds of tens of thousands of car lovers from across the world. But be ready for the world’s largest car event.
A CLASSIC OF A DIFFERENT KIND
This is the story of Columbine 2, a classic of a different kind that is in need of restoration and preservation. Maybe you can help. Click Here
Long-time hot rodder Scott Wolynetz has driven this small block Chevy-powered, chopped 3-window ’32 over 15,000 miles in just five years! With obvious nods to John Milner’s Deuce coupe from the film American Graffiti, the car has been seen on the streets of Delaware in several configurations. Scott proudly exclaims that its appearance can “go from ‘Graffiti’ to ZZ Top’s ‘Eliminator’ just by changing the wheels, fenders and hood!” Courtesy SEMA Action Network
By Duane Demars
Ladies, We love You
Who in their right mind would ever put up with a bunch of guys who would unload a car as old as he is and smile from ear-to-ear. When you look at what he has dragged in, you may see a thorn bush, yet he may see a beautiful memory of the past reflecting the ride he had in high school that gave him the best memories he will ever have with "you" the girl of his dreams. The car may be missing a front end, wheels or the mice may have rearranged the interior, yet it is a diamond in the rough to the guy you love. After all what can you think of that would be better to get him from under foot and into the garage every night 'til the wee hours of the morning! We men may just have a few secrets when it comes to restoring an old car, like "the cost." I, for one , have made the colossal mistake in a weak moment and divulged how much money I had in my classic Chevy. It took less than a moment for her to say, "and how long have I had this kitchen?" My response was, "honey how soon do you want to start !" What else could I say !!!. By the way, the car was cheaper. We husbands have, over the years , learned to bend like a willow tree. After all, do we really want to cook for ourselves ~~~~~~ I think not!
We must never give up on our dreams. Remember that thorn bush we talked about earlier. When the day comes that the old classic is ready to go and you back it out of the garage for the very first time, honk the horn and say "honey, want to go for a ride?" That will be the moment that nothing else in the world matters, the blood, sweat and tears, the long hours late at night, it's your baby from now on.
For those who now own a classic car there are a few truths you should be aware of. You are now the proud owner of a wonderful investment to someday sell or better yet pass on down to your children. Most states have what we call "vintage" plates available. In Montana these cost about $10 or $20 paid one time only. Few restrictions apply however these cars cannot be used as a daily driver to and from work. On the other hand if you have $50,000 invested in your ride, full classic car insurance coverage will cost you about $10 per thousand per year. There are several class-A companies that offer a variety of insurance depending on your requirement. You may never be disappointed should you ever plan to sell your prize possession. Remember this simple formula: if you have $50,000 into your ride, keep it for 10 years and sell it for $45,000, your entertainment has only cost you $500 per year.
Single or Double?
SEMA Action Network (SAN) Compiles License Plate Requirements By State
Since cars began crowding the nation’s roads, enthusiasts have had to contend with bolting license plates onto their prized vehicles. Whatever your preference in vehicle or style, each state currently offers plate options intended to suit your personal needs. In recent years, the importance of license plate legislation to the SAN has been noticed. Single plate proposals are overwhelmingly favored by hobbyists nationwide, as they would save the state money, conserve its resources and protect the aesthetic contours of collector cars. In 2014, the following states introduced legislation to require only a single, rear-mounted license plate: Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin. Missouri, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming each had similar bills in 2013. While these bills were not given serious consideration, their introduction is a great sign and first step.
Individual support for these single plate bills is important, but mass organization from SAN members is vital for these bills to ever have a chance of becoming law. Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies generally oppose such measures on the claim that front plates allow officers to quickly identify vehicles involved in violations of the law. By working together with local law enforcement officials, attending hearings and sharing the responsibility in finding mutual solutions, we have the opportunity to impact the future of these laws.
Designed to be a quick reference guide, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) has developed a compilation of the specialty license plates available by state. It includes a map that illustrates the number of license plates required. Those looking to purchase or apply for a specialty plate are advised check with their local DMV for guidance and paperwork. Here is a link to this new resource: semaSAN.com/LicensePlates
States requiring a single rear plate: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia
States requiring two plates: Alaska, California, Colorado, DC, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
This information is current as of September 2014 and is posted here as an informational resource. State laws are subject to change, and it is important to consult the current statutes and regulations in your state to ensure accurate information. You should not rely solely on the following information, and SEMA disclaims any responsibility for damages that arise out of reliance on the information. If you have further questions, please contact SEMA Action Network at email@example.com.