Year of the Hot Rod

By Eric Hinkle | Contributed
@clovisparknpark

So you have decided that 2017 is the year you no longer want to just walk the car shows admiring everyone else’s cars and trucks. You have made the decision to join the amazing car community in Clovis and around the Central Valley, but where do you start without spending your life saving or refinancing the house? Lucky for you there has been hundreds of millions of cars built over the years and you just need one.

The first option is the car that has been sitting for as long as you can remember at a family member’s house under boxes in the garage or parked on the side of a friends house for the past 25 years. We all know someone with that “someday project” in their yard. Before you make them an offer and tow home someone else’s problems, ask some important questions. The first would be, why was it parked? This will determine how much time and money it will take to get it back on the road. A blown head gasket, bad transmission or electrical problems can be a DIY garage fix. Issues like a blown motor, bad fuel injection or failure to pass smog in a 1975 or later vehicle can be very costly and lengthy fixes. Do some research online and ask around at car shows to get some advise on what is worth fixing and what to walk away from. Fortunately many times a vehicle is just parked because it wasn’t being driven any longer and is still in great shape and just needs belts, hoses, tires and a fluid flush. The last thing I would do before I purchased a vehicle that has been parked for years is look into any back fees that are owed to the DMV.

If you don’t know where a classic is sitting or you are looking for a specific car turn to the classifieds. A good deal can often be found in Hemmings, on Craigslist or similar online classifieds. The best deal is going to found in purchasing someone else’s uncompleted project car. Usually the seller has spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars building a car and has either ran out of money, time, or maybe his interest have changed. Now they are looking to get rid of the car and realize that they will never get their money back that they have put into it. If you are new to car restoration you will want to bring along a friend or someone that knows how to spot a potential problem. If the restoration is old, some of the components may be outdated like a 4-lug pinto front end – or the car may be over engineered with Corvette running gear, or massive brakes that are going to require 20-inch wheels to clear. These are all things that someone that has been around the hobby long enough knows what to look for. Again the right questions need to be asked to avoid a costly mistake.

Make 2017 be the year that you start enjoying a classic from behind the steering wheel. Join a club or just attend a local Car and Coffee or cruise night, you will met some great people that share a common interest in cars. So ask Grandma if you can have the Cadillac in her garage or your Uue for the truck that he is never going to do anything with. And don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help from a car enthusiast, we love talking about the cars and sharing experiences.

THE RPM ACT GETS ATTENTION IN D.C.

SEMA has been working with the U.S. House of Representatives to have the bill to protect motorsports reintroduced. H.R. 360, the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2017 (RPM Act), will be brought up on the first day of the new Congress. The bill ensures that transforming motor vehicles into racecars used exclusively in competition does not violate the Clean Air Act. In 2015 EPA proposed regulations to deem such conversions illegal and subject to severe penalties. Upon introduction of the Senate version of the RPM Act, SEMA will call on racing enthusiasts to contact their members of Congress to request support for the bill. We will keep you updated.

Upcoming events:

Jan. 27-29: 67th Grand National Roadster Show

Jan 29: Cars & Coffee Fresno

Feb. 17-19: Sacramento AutoRama

Feb. 26: Cars & Coffee Fresno

Mar. 3-5: March Meet Famoso Raceway

Mar. 25: Clovis First Assembly of Good Car Show

If your club or organization is putting on a car show or motorsports event, please send your information to clovisparkinthepark@gmail.com or call me at (559) 970-2274 and we will post it on our website. For more information on past and upcoming events visit clovisparkinthepark.com or you can email me eric@hhdigitaldesign.com.