A two part report this time. Left Saturday morning on a sixty mile drive south to attend a car show that was off and on again over the last year. There were over 100 entries of every king scattered through a shady park. The weather was comfortable, over cast with one two minute sprinkle, but made for a pleasant day. The ''old guys'' split up by attending separate shows in the morning with the possibility of meeting up at an evening show. The drive down went well with no problems over high temps on the gauge. I was able to visit with a friend and see his much anticipated roadster project at the show. An accomplished engine builder, I learned all about the hot vintage small block in his real '32. He was presented one of our ''old guys with hot rods'' hats in honor of his long history in hotrodding. After mentioning the plan to attend a second show that evening, another occasional fellow attendee asked to follow along back north in his '33 purple Plymouth after the awards presentation was over. So we loaded up and headed up the highway.
Just last weekend I put several hundred miles on the hot rod and now we're back on the road again to yet another car show. The weather was fine, a little humid but clear. This show drew about 60-70 cars and also showed a big collection of antique tractors and steam engines which ran all day putting and chuffing. The drive was uneventful and the heat demon must be exorcized as the temp stayed at 180 both ways, there and back. On the whole a good day of hot rodding. A couple of bigger shows coming up this month one of which will be the Frog Follies.
The last three times I've driven my hot rod to the Street Rod Nationals in Louisville KY I went alone. This time I drove down and back with company, my friend Fuzzy in his '36 Chevy truck and friend Bill with me. The trip didn't seem nearly as long. We tried hard Friday and Saturday to see everything there was to see. There were over ten thousand entries so we may have missed a couple. We were able to spend nights with my youngest son and he rode into the expo center in the back of Fuzzy's truck as we were one too many to fit inside. We all had a great time. This was Bill and Fuzzy's first trip to the Nationals and I think they were impressed, not only by the number of cars but also by the incredible variety of individual efforts. We each had favorite styles and I've posted a couple of mine. The trip down was uneventful and without breakage in spite of the bloodthirsty traffic on I-65 and road surfaces never meant for solid axle hot rods. The return trip was better as we left very early and missed the traffic through Louisville. We enjoyed the company of passing street rods waving and sharing camera shots on I-64, and arrived home safe and damage free. It seemed that even my heating issues worked out as the temp gauge stayed 180-190 the whole trip with no puddles.
I spent this whole trip watching the heat gauge. Thankfully it wasn't very exciting. My changes seem to have done some good, although I would rather the temp top out at 180* consistently. It did hover around there but hit 200* too often. The car show itself was good with lots of fine machines. There was a break in the weather, the really hot has let up which made for a comfortable evening. Made it there and back with no trouble and didn't leave any puddles along the way. Got to visit with new and old car show friends, had a pork burger and enjoyed the evening very much.
I've mentioned before that the 350 in my hot rod has been running hot. Really don't understand why. The radiator was replaced after the leaking old one couldn't be fixed. The plan was to also install an electric fan to help as the belt driven one was very low due to engine placement. There was some trouble with the powered fan after a lost nut. I ran without the fan installed as a test of the radiator and it held 180* temp on it's own...moving. After reinstalling the electric fan the engine stayed at about 200* but edged a little higher some. I wondered if the fan blocked more air than it was pushing (1000 cfm). After checking with my usual consultants it was suggested a fan shroud might help and changing to a 160* thermostat. That became the plan. I used a universal fan shroud from Speedway and drilled air holes in the brace area for more cooling. Hopefully all this will also stop the puddles left by the overflow tank. Now after an eighty mile round trip to an evening car show...left in the hottest part of the day, and the temp varied between about 185 to 200*. But went no higher. There was also no evidence of overflow. So I guess it's a little cooler?!?!?
I have been alternating between working on my garage addition and the hot rod. The garage has finally gotten to the point where it's ready for the metal roof and the siding (which I saved from the original), but at least I can use the space now and not need to climb over the tires to get around.