This spin off association was holding one of their national events over the weekend in Decatur IL. Having never attended any of their shows before I thought it worth a look. They no longer require all entrants to be members so even I was welcome. It was about an hour and a half drive (with no heat problems) not counting the half hour wait for the grain train to unblock the crossing. There were some very fine rides there but surprisingly only about thirty entries during the day on Friday. I had followed a friend who is a member along with fellow ''Old Guy'' Fuzzy Ron and we hadn't intended to stay for the evening so possibly the number of street rods would go up when people got off work on this Friday afternoon. We talked to members and were told that attendance at all of their shows had fallen off. Any way we enjoyed the day and the street rods that were there.
Just five blocks from my garage is the city park where the Popcorn Fest car show is held. I went over early to park in the shade but was not the first there. One of the Old Guys was already parked. Friends from the Wheels car club rolled in and parked next to mine. The day was cloudy off and on and ''fairly'' warm but with a good breeze. Over one hundred entries filled the corner of the park and good crowds wandered through all day. It was a great day. One of the best things about this show was that I got to see the runner-up for Street Rod of the Year (at GoodGuys Columbus). John Fry's '40 LaSalle coupe is astounding and of course rightly won Best of Show. Some time back I posted build pictures of this coupe and it turned out even better than I would have imagined. The rest of the day went well visiting with spectators, friends, and family as well as breaks for a great fish dinner, cobbler and ice cream, and even free popcorn. The drive there and back was uneventful with no heat problems.
We left in thick fog about 5:45am Saturday morning but made the two hour drive to the Frog Follies in Evansville IN without problems. We were early enough to get a prime spot to park next to the entrance road and watched the endless parade of real street rods coming and going past us all day. That is between trips through the crowded fairgrounds to look at the over four thousand entries. Parked next to us was a GoodGuys multi-award winner '36 Plymouth, and saw lots of other high quality rods. I kept my eye on the heat gauge after the fan replacement and reassembly of all the cooling system. It's strange how the gauge varies but stayed under 200. Going to check the timing and vacuum advance next to see if taking some timing out might cool the engine a little or if the vacuum is not working right. Any way there and back again from the absolute best rod show in the midwest.
After driving for hours on the way home from the Nats with my eyes on the heat gauge it was time for a fix. Once again the front end had to come off along with the fan shroud so a new extension could be mounted which moves the belt driven fan to within two inches of the core and fully inside the shroud. Even though it only made about a 1/4'' difference the electric pusher fan was remounted on the inside of the brackets. A new expansion tank was added on new mounts as well. I'm too embarrassed to say why this was necessary. The test drive was on a cool rainy evening to a car show about half an hour away. The temp stayed at 175 both ways, but not sure if this was due to low outside temps or to a working cooling system. Our non-club has a sort-of motto ''it's always something'', in this case it applies to the fan making contact with the lower radiator hose clamp screw. Even though it didn't show up when turning the fan by hand to tighten the fan mount bolts. I needed to loosen and turn the clamp when I discovered the damage at the show. So, here we go again, a new fan is ordered.
I wish I could say the trip to the Nats was smooth and uneventful but parts of it were definitely not. I'm going to have to admit that the new copper radiator is probably too small even though it was rated for a ''mild small block''. A temperature reducing additive was added before the trip. We left at daylight on Friday morning and the temp stayed 175-80 which is good, but then it was early and cool. After the first stop for gas two hours down the road it started to heat up. I don't think it cooled off any at the stop and the trip across southern Indiana was very hilly which put more heat in. Add in a short stop for registration and then a really very long short drive in heavy traffic and the heat was extreme. We enjoyed the day and came back again all the next day before leaving in dense fog early Sunday morning. It is a long tiresome drive in our hot rods but we made it the whole way.
The first thing back home was to order an extension for the belt driven fan to move it farther into the shroud and closer to the radiator. The electric fan was also remounted on the inside of the brackets which moved it about a quarter inch closer to the core. Another bottle of additive was pored in. The shows this weekend will see if all this helps or not.