Friend Jerry and I left Edmonton this morning for Dayton WA on our fourth trip to the PNW for the Northwest Vintage Speedsters' 31st Annual Labour Day Endurance Run.
The runs are 200 miles +/- and in our experience, the majority of participants trailer their cars to the event. We have no trailer and are real men so prefer to drive anyway. Last year we were 1,865 miles total including the endurance run this year our route is about 900 miles each way for a total of 2,000 miles.
Today was Edmonton AB to Revelstoke BC, 451 miles, cruising at 45-49 mph, 12-1/2 hours including lunch, fuel and pee breaks. Averaging 29.6 mpg CDN/24.6 mpg US. Charging system went AWOL at Mile 8, otherwise all systems flawless. One litre oil added at 375 miles.
Neither bride wants to be a part of these adventures. Can you imagine?
Along the David Thompson Highway between Rocky Mountain House and Saskatchewan River Crossing.
Photographer's Assistant Jerry
We were regularly passed by semis going uphill
We, on the other hand, passed one grader, this tractor hauling hay, and a very pokey lady in a RAV 4.
Ah!! you know how to make a fella jealous, what a great road trip, we are still in winter down under, but the sun is trying!!
Awesome guys! That's what it's all about... Very envious.
You need to plan a Speedster run on PEI. That would be a real trip. Wish I was with you.
Great adventure! Do you ever get hit by rocks from the tires?
If you have time Stop in to the Antique Auto Ranch in Spokane, We'll see if we can get your charging system going again.
the best of luck
Hey! With no gen, what do you do about daytime running lights?
See you guy at the run. We will be there Saturday. Tom Lloyd and Scott Elliott
Great attitude, great photos, way to go fellas!! I have the same question as mentioned above . . what about rocks off those front tires?
Ahhh the smell of freshly mowed hay, the feel of the wind in your hair, the taste of fresh bugs....
Hello all, Day two, a more leisurely 155 miles and a number of novel adventures.
Ralph and Roger never a problem with rocks, but road water can be annoying in corners.
Mike thanks, and we'll try to make it in Friday. It will be good to see your place and meet the folks there.
Isn't it remarkable what some people do for fun?
They still sell gas from visible pumps in Trout Lake, BC (year 'round population 20). The proprietress says they will continue "as long as they keep certifying us". At $8.00 per gallon, who could blame her?
We bought picnic provisions at the Trout Lake store, including these frozen bagels they didn't stay frozen long on Henry's warming iron.
Down the road and just outside Marblehead was this abandoned marble quarry cavern, created by carving marble blocks directly out of the mountainside.
Remains of the big marble saw we in an adjoining cavern.
this is awesome!
This is great. Thank you for taking us on your journey. Safe travels and enjoy every moment.
Loved the fill up photo.
Great adventure guys. Enjoy, and please keep posting pics.
A great adventure indeed! Please allow us to live vicariously through your continued (hopefully) pictures!
Chris, Some really cool pics and sounds like a great trip!
I can't believe the glass pump is still in use!
Hello all, Day 3, 283 miles and nice weather all day, overnighting in Colfax WA 70 miles from our final destination.
Started off in Nelson BC, where the friend we stayed with last night volunteers with the Nelson Electric Tramway, a neat little historic streetcar line in downtown Nelson. I'm a vintage streetcar motorman in Edmonton, and it is traditional for motormen to be allowed driving privileges on other historic lines, at their discretion I drove a loop of their scenic line and we had a great time touring the workshop and museum.
We made Spokane by 3:00 and Mike Robison at Antique Auto Ranch made short work of our generator problems turns out the used generator I recently installed had a poor brush holder and makeshift third brush plate insulation. Jerry and I had a great time wandering the premises and looking at endless vintage treasure while Mike did the repair. The invoice for generator service and a spare coil was more than reasonable and we drove away 100% satisfied.
Before leaving however, Tom Carnegie offered me a ride in his Montana 500 roadster. He didn't have to ask twice WOW what a machine! Basically a stock 26-27 car with minor improvements and blueprinted/balanced to a very high level. We saw 57 mph in a 40 zone and it was running smooth and strong. Coils and Anderson timer, Ford iron high head, no Ruckstell, no accessory brakes (and the Ford factory brakes were excellent), stock rear gears it was both humbling and motivational to experience what can be done with a largely stock T. Bravo!
Nelson Electric Tramway #23 is a 1906 car purchased used by Nelson in 1924. It was the third and spare car for their two-car system, the smallest tramline in the British Empire, and served until streetcar operations ceased in 1949 (www.nelsonstreetcar.org/).
We forgot to gas up upon leaving Nelson, then decided we could probably make it to Selmo on fumes. But just to be on the safe side, we pulled into the tiny community of Ymir and prevailed on this local fellow who happily sold us a couple gallons from his lawnmower supply reminiscent of early travellers searching out fuel before service stations were common.
Mike Robison working his magic on our generator.
Tom Carnegie and his most impressive Montana 500 roadster.
Tom suggested a route south of Spokane that would be paved and lightly travelled. We couldn't have asked for better T roads gently rolling through wheat fields and little towns, with lots of perfect speedster curves signed for 25-35 mph but feeling just right at 35-45.
One word: Awesome!
Nothing like living the dream.
I have also ridden in Tom's Montana 500 roadster. You're right, 50 mph is nothing and it's smooth as silk.
It's good to see that Mike R. has a messy work bench. At least I'm not the only one.
A clean workbench means you don't know to fix anything. Or, the wife was in the shop when you were gone and "tidied up things" -- in which case you will never find all your tools again.
Mike, by my definition, that is a clean workbench!
I bet he knows where everything is.
Mine looks similar and as long as nobody messes with it I can find my stuff when I need it.
Could I ask you guys, Did you run at night?
Hello all, Day 4, made it to Dayton around 11 for a late breakfast (which, it turns out, we could have skipped in favour of the very well-provisioned hospitality room).
It was good to be here and we were pleased to be remembered by several as the nutty Canucks who always drive to the event. With our best placement about 25 out of 30 competitors, this is truly our only claim to fame. We are however feeling under some pressure to perform tomorrow as the first car registered we will be first out of the parking lot and have no one to follow!
Tech inspection started this morning before we arrived in town and went on throughout the afternoon. Thirty of the 34 registered vehicles were here by 4:00 when we left for a short tour to the shop and collection of Herb and Lois Mettler, parents of Endurance Run Chairgal Dujaun Recknagle.
Daniel we did run a bit last night after dark but our 6-volt halogens are not all that great and there were scary many deer. We kept it down to 25-30 mph and made for Colfax WA and the nearest motel.
The tech inspection was surprisingly thorough, and we were given a couple of welcome advisories of non-urgent items that need attention. Herb Mettler is on the right in the blue cap.
A couple of nice rigs in the hotel parking lot. Those worried about the lack of young people entering the hobby should meet the owner/builder of #71 (black shirt)
On our way to the Mettler collection this afternoon.
Herb has a very full shop a little of everything it seems, with with a strong emphasis on Ts and Buicks. There's a decent '39 Ford sedan in the very back that is looking for a new home.
Two more younger hobbyists in a very distinctive speedster.
I love my cats but envy dog people who can travel with their pooches.
Day 5 Sunday, and its been an interesting day!
Following the drivers' meeting, at 08:00 the first car away, Team Bamfords' Garage, led the gang out of the parking lot and onto the route. A few blocks in, several hotshots who took a shortcut ended up in front of us and gradually the field spread out.
Around Mile 18 we hit "Hardsocks Grade", which was a much longer and steeper downhill than most teams were expecting. Especially us. A local fellow at the banquet tonight estimated the hill as 1,700 ft drop in about 2-1/2 miles. Clearly we should have been firmly in low right from the get-go but as bad luck (ie bad judgement) would have it we weren't and to make a long story short by 1/3 of the way down we had no low, no brake, and next to no handbrake. Our outside ACs were compromised to begin with and no help either, so we just rode it out all the way down. I told Jerry to jump anytime he felt safer in the ditch but he hung in there anyway as we blew past a couple other speedsters like they were standing still. Our hill ended with a stop sign at a tee intersection another speedster was turning right so we swung wide to the left, dropped two wheels in the opposite ditch and coasted to a stop 1/4 mile down the road. Yikes!
The trouble truck was busy with a earlier breakdown so didn't get to us for two hours but that's when our luck changed big time. Herb Mettler (see yesterday's post) was driving the vulture wagon and suggested he drop us and the car off at his place, where he happened to have a set of mounted Kevlar bands soaking in oul and a fully equipped shop for us to use. We were on the road and loving our brakes by 16:00 and made it back to Dayton before they had taken the finish line banner down.
Early this morning Jerry and I were prowling the parking lot and looking at various front brake setups. Next year the endurance run will be put on by the Portland Chapter and may be a run up and down Mount Hood wherever it is we'll be there and we'll be running four-wheel brakes. Guaranteed.
Many thanks to DaJuan Recknagle and her team of dedicated support workers for putting on a great tour (and to her dad Herb Mettler for getting us back on the road and back on schedule). Up early tomorrow, on the road northbound at daybreak
An early scene on the run. No shortage of wind around here!
Loading up on the trouble traier.
For sale cheap two wood bands, slightly used, as is.
Our fourth run, our first trophy. Calling this the hard luck trophy is not particularly accurate given the circumstances, we had incredibly good luck to be intact, with a running, driving car, and heading home tomorrow as planned.
Nash Metropolitan brakes on a T front axle. An excellent winter project.
Thanks for relating your big scare. Glad you're unhurt.
Hello all, Day 6 Monday, 423 miles and half-way home. The car has been behaving acceptably well, only opened the tool box for a lube and oil change, to nudge the charging rate up a couple amps, take up a bit of brake adjustment as the new bands seat in, and correct an errant coil box contact that turned the engine into a three-cylinder job. (I just noticed that's still five things when the general public comments "They don't make them like they used too" the general public doesn't realize what a good thing it is that they don't!)
No pictures from the road today, but here are five more random speedster pix from Saturday, with my favourite one last.
Chris, those Nash Metropolitan brakes look suspiciously like the front brakes on my wife's '61 Morris Minor. Are they 7" or 8"?
I have been asked about my speedster What will you do if it rains?
I used to say we got out the soap and cleaned up, ready for action that night.
Back home before dark last night (good thing too, generator AWOL again, but that's a future thread), no other problems aside from frequent rain. 1,825 miles total short of our 2,000 mile goal but if we hadn't DNF'd so early in the event we would have been close enough to justify a little longer route home. Great to be back, planning already for the 2015 Endurance Run near Portland.
We decided that if spending a week getting cold, wet, dirty, wind-blown, tired, greasy and almost killed is one's idea of a good time... then this was a very good week indeed!
Ken They are 8" diameter and might be like your sweetie's MM brakes this fellow said he understands the Triumph GT-6 brakes are possibly the same as well. There are several British car suppliers/wreckers in the area, so it shouldn't be hard to find donor parts.
Chris same question, same answer. Along with the other usual queries: How fast, how old, how's it on gas, what is it, where do you get tires, and surprisingly often at gas stations Does it run?
Rick that's a good one and I'll try to remember for future.
Coming across the finish line
Glad you made it home safe and sound!
Ken, the Metro brakes are 8", which conform nicely with the pre-'26 rear drums.
A few pics that I took.
Thanks DaJuan and Tom for the additional photos.
I've since sourced brake hardware for my front brakes project, will post details in a separate thread.
WOW!! Just read this post from one end to the other. I think I'm going to break my computer as I've been drooling all over it.
What a great run you took us on thanks fellow Canucks.
I'm building a speedster and my buddy and I have been talking about the day we can join in on such a run, and like you two we want to drive from home to the event. If all goes well we will be ready for next year, Any luck at all and I will be on the road this year.
Maybe next year we could catch up somewhere along the route and come in as 4 crazy Canucks.
You two passed me (I was heading north) as you went south near Cheney. I told my wife I saw a couple of crazies zipping down the road in a T on my way home. "Really ?" she said.
Neil, here's hoping you get that car ready for Portland next year we plan to go there the long way thru Lillooet and Whistler and could pick you up on the way.
Burger, I bet there is an interesting story behind your profile pic...
Burger, I bet there is an interesting story behind your profile pic...
It is much like some of your "on the road" photos. A lonely spot, an ancient technology. No place to be and all the time in the world to get there. Time stands still. It could be today, or it could be 1925. Pretty much "the place" I like to spend my time. Some people golf, others go fishing. I like to linger in the nether space of a forgotten time and place and meaning. One of those things where if one has to explain, the other isn't going to understand. I presume anyone with a T requires no explanation.
Chris, That would be great, would enjoy tripping down to Portland with you guys. My buddy Dave and I usually take the back roads down to Munroe swap meets. We like little two lane roads the twister the better. I have a friend in Lillooet and he's a T guy too. When you leave let me know and I will tell him, maybe be a good leg stretch spot.