Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Beeline Cruise-in Car Show, Payson, AZ

Although we missed the larger Old Route 66 Car Parade in Kingman, we discovered that a similar group was having the Beeline Cruise-in Car Show and Swap Meet, sponsored by the Rim Country Classic Auto Club. It was to be held at Green Valley Park in Payson, Arizona.

We could have ridden our bikes from where we are to the city park, but our friends that we hung around with in Kingman were now just "down the hill" (as they say here), about 20 miles away at Jake's Corners RV Park. They also wanted to see the cars on display, so they picked us up. That was just as well as it continued to sprinkle rain on and off most of the afternoon.

The Beeline Cruise-in Car Show actually started on Friday night, with an hour long cruise around Payson, followed by a "Burger Burn" at the Payson Elks Lodge. On Saturday afternoon, the cars were parked on display at Green Valley Park, and that is where we went to see them, after a quick breakfast at the local Jack-in-the-Box restaurant... a chain we had not been to since we left Mesa in 2005.

I have to apologize that I did not document each car that I photographed. They all had a sheet of paper in the windshield that told what each one was and a little about the vehicle, but if I had stopped to write down all the information, we wouldn't have seen them all, as many were starting to leave early because of the rain and lack of crowds.

I believe this first one was a 1946 Ford, but beautifully customized. Even the interior was all hand-stitched leather upholstery. Everything was "show-perfect" right down to the last detail.

I believe this was a 1946 Ford, highly customized.
I went right down the line along the street first, choosing to photograph only the most unusual or the ones that I considered "special" for my own reasons. It was next to impossible to photograph them all. I believe the next one is a Model A Ford square back sedan, but I don't recall the year. Again, it was very nicely done.

Model A Ford square back sedan, beautifully restored.
You can see from the above picture that there were quite a few of them scattered down the street, and that I skipped over a few, even though they were all very nicely restored. The one below I believe is another Ford, probably early 40's, but if someone knows for sure, please feel free to correct me. 

Early 1940s Ford sedan?
I only wish I had more time available to document and photograph each and every one! But the one below I know only too well. as I had built one of these myself, in 1986. Titled as a Gazelle, it is actually a replica kit car of a 1929 Mercedes Benz SK touring car. This builder had used a Volkswagen engine and drive train for his, which was very common. But notice the "For Sale" sign in the front window. These cars were sold as both kits and turn-key models from the now defunct Classic Motor Carriages in Miami, Florida, and are no longer available... unless someone else bought out the molds and make them available through another company.

Formally a Gazelle, a replica of a 1929 Mercedes Benz SK touring car.
And just as a comparison, below is the one that I built in 1986, on a 1900 cc Pinto engine and drive train with a 4-speed manual transmission. We owned it for nearly three years and only put 700 miles on it. Due to the roll-up plastic curtains for windows, it was strictly a fair weather car, and collected dust in the garage most of the time. We eventually traded it and another car for a demonstrator (they call them "program cars" today) 1988 Lincoln Mark VII LSC, and we liked it much better!

Our car, built in 1986. Gazelle title. 1929 Mercedes Benz SK touring car.

Next up was a late 30s/early 40s pickup truck, believed to be a Ford. I'm sure that white was not an original color, but many of these vehicles have been customized and updated. Many do not have the original engines, drive trains, wheels or other components that would actually make them more valuable, but they are all neat to look at. 

Late30s/early40s Ford? pickup.
One that was little later vintage was this mid-60s Ford Falcon Ranchero. It's not my color of green (I doubt if there are any shades of green that "are" my color!), but I can still appreciate the work that went into restoring them.

Mid-60s Ford Falcon Ranchero.
You can tell by the empty spaces that some vehicles had already left, possibly due to the rain that had come down just before we arrived. Some people were still wiping their cars down with chamois cloths to get the rain drops off.

An unidentified late 30s black coupe.
I decided to pass up a nicely restored classic Chevy to get to the next vehicles, which are far more rare, like the black coupe pictured above. Next to it was a beautiful old "hot rod" that I would be proud to drive in any car show!

Not sure what this hot rod is, but you can bet the owner knows, and is proud of it!
Having grown up in the early 50s and 60s, I used to be able to identify nearly every car on the road, but my memory is getting a little fuzzy on some of them. I can still recognize a 1952 Oldsmobile convertible when I see one, though, even if it's not too often any more!

A nicely restored 1952 Oldsmobile convertible!
Next to that was another classic, but I don't recall what it was!

A mid to late 30s classic sedan! What is it?
And next to that one, another that I can only guess at. If I am wrong, please correct me. I'm going out on a limb here to say that it's an early 1940's Ford sedan.

Early 1940s Ford sedan? Help me out here!
And my favorite of all (and this one I DO remember), a 1932 Ford (sometimes called the "deuce") square back sedan! And in my wife's favorite color, too... bright red!

1932 Ford square back sedan! My favorite of the whole show!
Because our 1929 Mercedes kit car had roll up/removable plastic windows (which were impossible to snap closed from inside the vehicle), I swore that if I ever built another kit car (or restored one) that it would have normal crank-up windows on it so it could be used any time of the year! And the old square back sedans had oodles of space in the back seat area! I'm sure this one has probably been "upgraded" to a newer and larger engine, too, based on the wheels! My kind of classic!

On the inner circle of the park drive were a few more classics, like this 1966 Ford pick up truck. The gray on the hood was actually a design, but I don't remember what it was.

1966 Ford step-side pick-up truck.
Just in front of the Ford truck was a wonderfully customized woody station wagon with a chopped top and custom rear door that opened sideways!

Any guesses what this woody actually started out as?
Not sure what this beauty was, but I would certainly be proud to drive it!
A few cars in front of the woody was another old station wagon/panel van that was still being restored. Its owners pulled a tear-drop camper behind it to stay in at the show! I believe it's an early 40s Chevy.

An early 40s Chevy "window van/wagon"?
As we moved to the center walkway around the park, we found even more classics, like this great old square back sedan. This one appeared to be restored as original, and still had the original engine, drive train and wheels! I heard it run as it left the park!

An all original old square back sedan? Anyone recognize what it is?
There were so many classic cars here, and so little time to photograph them all. This very sharp blue hot rod was definitely updated with a larger engine! I hope his original wheels are enough to handle it!

Another nicely done, early 30s hot rod!
Time forced me to move on and pass up some that I would like to have showed, but Corvettes and Thunderbirds have always been a favorite of mine. There were several Corvettes at the show, including this nice copper and silver colored late 50s/early 60s model. 

Nice early Corvette with a soft-top and custom wheels!

The classic blue hardtop below was too beautiful to pass up!

An early 60's classic Corvette hard top in dark blue!
And next to that was yet another unforgettable classic, the early 70s Pontiac GTO known as "The Judge". One of the most beautiful "muscle cars" that ever lived! And a convertible yet! Oh my !

The early 70s Pontiac GTO convertible!

And we can't forget the Thunderbirds! Below is a beautiful example of a classic 1963 Thunderbird Landau! We had a partially restored '71 Thunderbird that was the last year for the 360 HP engines without smog controls on them, and I'll never forget the power that car had!

A beautiful 1963 Thunderbird Landau!
I had to catch the next one on the run, as he was leaving before the show was over. It appears to be a 1956 Thunderbird hard-top with the porthole windows, although the wheels were definitely not original! And there were several kit-car companies that built fiberglass versions as kits, so it's hard to tell them apart from the originals. 

Original or kit? 1956 Thunderbird porthole hard-top.

As I moved around the inner circle, another strange beast came into view! This appears to be a 1951 Chevy high cab truck with a special bed on the back. It was slightly longer than a normal pickup bed, and yet lower, and with special compartments on it. Whatever it was, it was beautifully restored!

A 1951 Chevy high cab truck with a special bed on it.
And next to that one was an old Studebaker pickup, probably early to mid-50s. It was done in a beautiful pearlescent white.

Early to mid-50s Studebaker pick up truck.
There were a couple other Studebakers there, too, including a black "Hawke" style (not a "Golden Hawke") with the high fins, probably a 1956 (sorry, no photo), and  another Studebaker, only this one was (I'm guessing) a 1950-53 2-door coupe, possibly a Champion model.

Early 50s Studebaker 2-door coupe.
I tried to see what the one was next to it, but was running out of time. Anyone got a guess as to what the one below was?

An unknown green sedan. What is it?
On the west side of the circle on the outer side, they had even more cars and trucks, including this nicely restored Chevy pickup... I'm guessing about '68 - '72 model.

Nice Chevy pick-up! What year is it?
There were also a couple nice '56 Chevy wagons on display. The first one is (I think) just a normal family wagon, possibly a Bel Aire or the next model down from it. It's also a 4-door wagon.

1956 Chevy 4-door station wagon.
The one next to it appeared to be a little fancier, and was a 2-door station wagon, possibly a "Nomad" wagon, although I couldn't see the back of it, other than the curved side windows.

Another '56 Chevy wagon in a 2-door model.
This '53 or '54 Ford pick-up caught my eye, too. I wish I could have taken the time to talk with the owners of all these vehicles and learn their complete story, but some were already leaving, so I had to move on. 

1953 or '54 Ford pick-up truck. 
This early 40's Ford pick-up truck looked to be in original unrestored condition, but was in excellent shape! 

Early 40's Ford? pick-up truck in original condition.
This mid-70s Ford Ranchero was definitely nicer than original! 

Mid-70s Ford Ranchero in show condition!
I'm not sure what this hot rod coupe was, but it was very meticulously restored and built up into a modern day show machine! Anyone have a guess as to what it was?

What is this great show machine?
As we were ready to leave, we had to stop and examine the beautiful war memorial to all wars and all branches of service. The other wall listed all the veterans from this area who had lost their lives in combat.

The Payson, AZ memorial to all wars and all veterans.
We hope you have enjoyed this little sample of what the Payson area has to offer. This city sets at nearly 6,000 feet elevation (which is still way below Mogollon Rim level) (that's pronounced "mo-gee-yon"). It is surrounded by beautiful pine forests, most of it part of the Tonto National Forest, and with lots of outdoor activities available. In the local area are everything from Casinos to expensive art and a lot of history.

The next post will be about another outing into the Tonto National Forest, up Colcord Road and Diamond Point Road, searching for quartz crystals and geodes with our rock hunting friends. In the process, we explored some pretty high country, and yet still below the Rim, and had lunch in a quaint little forest village before following an unpaved forest road back to civilization. So stick around, and make sure you subscribe to post notifications. 

Unfortunately, we are due to move on by the end of this week. We are awaiting a packet of forwarded mail, and to meet with a fellow nomad who is a "friend of a friend". But believe it or not, a few of the places along our planned route in the higher elevations are still dipping into freezing temperatures at night, even in this first week of May! We had thought about heading back south from here, but since we're in one of those areas where "you can't get there from here", we may have to stick with our plans. We have the time, but to go any other route would add considerable mileage and expense to our budget.

And we still have two problems that an RV shop is going to have to deal with. (1) Our generator runs fine, but now it's not putting out any power to the receptacle that the coach cord plugs into! And (2) our water heater sometimes takes several tries to light, and often (literally) explodes so hard from gas build-up that it's a wonder it doesn't blow the cover off! The first issue is just a "PIA", but the second one is definitely a safety issue!

Hopefully, both are easy fixes, and will greatly add to our comfort level when boondocking, which we plan to do at least 80% of the time, if not more. Both Arizona and New Mexico have countless places where an RV can park safely for the night, so it's no problem in the western states. Texas may be another issue, especially as we head farther east to take care of business.

But that will be short lived, because as soon as our business is done, we will be headed back west again, for several reasons. First, the air is drier and cooler. Secondly, we don't want to hang around in the Midwest and have to deal with thunderstorms, tornadoes or floods. Thirdly, there aren't near as many boondocking places in the Midwest nor in the eastern states.

We have several different apps on our phone and computers, plus many books and other things to figure out where free camping and other facilities are. That includes not only "normal" campgrounds, but dump stations, water fill stations, propane stations, public lands boundaries, RV repair facilities and much more. We also check online reviews of such places, and if we still aren't sure, we'll pull up Google Streets or Google Earth and get a satellite view of it! We have tons of resources and we know how to use them!

To remain safe and out of weather and other disturbances, we pay attention to news of the local areas as well as check weather reports for the areas. If we don't like what we hear or see, we have no problem with going around such areas or timing our visits to avoid them whenever possible.

But our most immediate concern is getting to where we need to be, and staying comfortable. Even without the generator, we have our solar setup on the trailer, which "back-feeds" into the RV batteries (when connected), so we should have plenty of power for running the furnace for at least one night at a time, and probably many more. We can do without the microwave until we get the generator repaired.

The water heater is also a concern, but it does work... eventually. Maybe the gas pressure needs to be adjusted down slightly. Maybe the electric ignitor is not positioned properly in front of the burner. But it does eventually light. And even if it didn't, we can always heat water on the stove for what little bit we use, so we'll be fine until we can get repairs made.

The combination of the RV and trailer work fine on level land. Getting from Fountain Hills at 1200 feet up to Payson at 6,000 feet with grades as much as 11% is another story. The slowest we got down to was 30 mph on a couple of the grades and down to 2nd gear. But it's no different than our old '86 Honey 34-foot motorhome with this same engine and drive train, and towing a 3700-pound car behind it. You just get used to it after awhile.

Still, we will be attempting to route our path around steep grades whenever possible. There's no point in adding too much strain to the system and having more repairs in our future. We got the trailer brakes working with the RV's brake controller before we left Kingman, and had the trailer wheel bearings repacked, as well as all the lights checked out, so we're in good shape there. We can handle the downhill grades just fine. It's the uphill climbs that it doesn't like. But even coming up to Payson from the valley, it never overheated, so that's a good sign! It CAN handle it when it needs to!

So as soon as we finish our personal business here, we'll be on our way again. We'll try to get the next post (about Tonto National Forest) written before we leave, and schedule it to post automatically next week. We might be a little busy traveling to deal with it until we get to our next destination, where we hope to remain for a month or so... just not necessarily at one place. We might be within 75 miles in any direction while we're there.

Thank you to those who use our links to purchase things on Amazon. We appreciate whatever we might make from the links, and we still have many purchases to make for our vehicles and our lifestyle before we finally get tuned into this way of living. We're still learning as we go!

Stay well and travel safe!


Steve said...

I enjoyed all those photos you took of the cars. I love that high cab Chevy truck. Thanks for being so honest in your write-ups. The water heater issue is an example of what I'm talking about. I look forward to see what the solution is to that issue. Glad to hear overall that the "new" RV is working out for you.

Whenever I see the name Payson AZ I remember back to May 1976 when I was riding my bicycle solo from Bloomington Indiana to San Diego California and then up to Seattle Washington. I had left Show Low AZ early that morning expecting to spend the night in Payson. I arrived before lunch, ate and rested ... then decided there was still enough daylight left to make it to Phoenix. Long story ... but wrong move. I was stuck at night with the lights of Phoenix on the horizon ... it was a total of 180 some miles riding that day but I made, only out of necessity.

Your blog has a ton of good information.

John Abert said...

Hi Steve! Thank you for the comment. We started coming to Payson after our friends moved up here from Mesa around 2003, but we've been gone for about ten years. It sure has grown during our absence! Even Walmart has moved to a brand new building and there are already three new "round-a-bouts" on the main highway. They may be fine for cars, but large rigs hate those things! We may be uphill from the Phoenix Valley, but there's still a lot of hills to climb on the way down, too. I guess you found that out the hard way! But at least Hwy 87 is all 4-lane now, and the slower traffic doesn't hold up the ones that are able to go faster. Of course, that all added to the faster growth of this area, too. We'll have that water heater and generator checked and repaired somewhere around Albuquerque. We'll be in that area for about a month, and if they have to order any parts, that's a good time to do it. I'll be sure to post what they found wrong with them.

Gary Wood said...

It's always nice to go to a car show. I too was raised in the 50's and 60's. Had a nice assortment of autos in my younger years, mostly new. I just attended the summer Friday car show with friends in Escondido. They had a nice show with a great variety on display. Thanks for sharing all the great shots and commentary.

John Abert said...

Hi Gary! Thank you for the comment! With the weather improving, we are seeing notices of car shows all over now. We are in an area where we are still seeing snow on the mountains yet, but summer will be here before we know it... and even more car shows! We aren't going to go out of our way to see them, but if they happen to be where we are and it's convenient to get to them, we'll go. Enjoy your stay in SoCal. We might get to the SE corner next winter. Stay well and travel safe.