2022 Pumpkin Run Car Show
This 1913 Hupmobile was in fine running condition.
While I have not said much about it here on the blog, my wife and I are in the middle of a pretty substantial move - both in housing and in what we do to make ends meet. We have relocated into a temporary situation for the next several months, and to some degree I have suspended some of the work on the Fairlane or other pursuits in the garage while we get things sorted out here. During the summer months, we did not even expect to be living in the area, but things change as we speak with various churches and other ministries concerning timelines.
Even though much of my time has been taken up with ministerial pursuits and preaching engagements, I did have the opportunity to take in a wonderful classic car event. This past weekend the annual Pumpkin Run Car Show was held here in Clermont County, Ohio. The show draws roughly 2,500 cars and trucks of various makes and models, and regionally this is "the show" of the year for the vehicle restoration scene. You may recall that I drove the Ford to this show last year for the first time but never entered any of the judging. It was really just the week before the Pumpkin Run that I made the decision to participate, and that was only after some encouragement from fellow enthusiasts in the area. You can read more about that experience by visiting the blog post "1955 Ford Part 108..."
Close to 2500 vehicles registered for the Pumpkin Run.
In the days leading up to this year's Pumpkin Run, I gave the 55 Ford a good bath, double-checked her running condition, and prepared a nice display for my Drag Racer's New Testaments and Fast Fords Programs from June. To make the materials readily seen and accessible, I designed and built a wooden platform that was secured to the battery's hold down hardware. The transparent, plastic displays were 10"x6"x6" and were found in the kitchen section of a local department store. These bins really did the trick to bring the printed Bible portions out in the open when people stopped by to take a peek under the hood to examine the Y Block hardware. We actually had to replenish the bins throughout the day. If you are one of the new subscribers to the website blog because you took a copy, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always humbled at how many people stop to talk about the car, Y Blocks, or Hot Rod Reverend Ministries. The 1955 Ford always draws a crowd - I guess it's the stainless, chrome, and that red and white color scheme!
The Ford had been running well since I installed the fuel gauge and lubed the speedometer cable and the speedometer/odometer mechanism. With an idle of about 600 rpm, the E4 camshaft makes the Y Block lope just a bit. I am sure the current valve lash setting (now a tick or two tighter than stock) helps in that regard. On the road, the recent upgrades certainly give the Y Block more grunt, and I can feel it through a wider powerband as I watch the tachometer between shifts. One more comment would be that the speedometer is now just 2-3 mph off what my GPS app reads when the car is at speed. Installing that 150 mph speedometer lens helped give that correction. After driving quite a bit on the Saturday of the show, however, I am convinced that I just need to replace the speedometer cable. It would make a little noise here and there, and my memory kicked in this past week back to when I was a teenager. Before I went to college, I had purchased a new cable for the Ford and had just never got around to installing it. It was still in the box and I had kept it all these years.
On the morning of the show, I pulled out of the garage at about 7:15 am - the fairgrounds are about 20 minutes away, and I wanted to make a coffee and donut run before pulling in to the show field. The gates were to open at 8 am so I had plenty of time. I hit the key and the Ford fired right up. I pulled out of the garage and let her warm up for a few minutes since the outdoor temperature was a brisk 42 degrees. "Time to turn on the heater," I said to myself.
When I left the driveway, things were going great. My headlights lit up the fall morning darkness as the 55's exhaust note did it's best to rouse the neighbors on Woodville Pike. Arriving at the first light, I mashed in the clutch and stabbed the accelerator pedal a couple of times to listen to the glasspacks a bit. On the second stab, nothing. Like, literally there was no response from the engine when my foot went to the floor. "What's that about?" I mused? I let the car roll into a vacant parking lot right there at the light, got out of the car, and popped the hood. "What in the world?" I said to myself as I examined the carb linkage.
The carburetor linkage problem surprised me, but the fix was quite simple.
All that was needed was a 12-24 lock nut to secure the threaded rod.
Believing that this was a linkage problem (and I was right), I had expected to find the throttle rod either broken, disconnected at the carburetor, or maybe even disconnected at the bellcrank arm. Nope, this was the oddest problem I had encountered yet. The threaded end of the carburetor linkage rod had been unscrewed from the long female threaded end of the linkage that was bolted to the swivel at the bellcrank. The issue? No lock nut to keep the length stationary. My mistake and I don't know how I missed it. What this all means is that for quite some time (again) I have not been getting full throttle. I probably did not even have full throttle when I was at Fast Fords for the drag race! At any rate, this was an easy fix. I threaded the rod back onto the boss, closed the hood, got back in the car, and headed back to the house that was less than a mile away. No big deal here - after a few minutes we were back on the road winding it out!
I motored up to about 300 yards from the main entrance near the show field and had to wait a full 15 minutes because traffic was so heavy. There were not only a lot of show cars but also quite a few spectators and vendors! I parked in Ford Country. Since the day was just getting started not many vehicles were parked in the available rows, but just about the time I closed my door up came a beautiful 1965 Ford Mustang. The owner, Josh, was very friendly and was eager to check out the 55 Ford. He encouraged me to enter the Fairlane in the car show to be judged. After another 5 minutes of cajoling, I finally caved in and said, "Alright," and sauntered over to the tent where registration was located.
With car after car piling in and the morning air brisk and fresh, I hurried over to one of my favorite parts of any car show - the swap meet! Thankfully many of the vendors had already arrived at their booths and by the time I started walking the aisles the vinyl tarps had been removed and all of the goodies were on display. Most of the spaces I saw had a plethora of GM 50's and 60's parts. There was an array of Model A parts at several booths closely situated, but overall in the swap spaces Ford and Mercury were not that well represented. This was not too big of a deal - what was I trying to locate? If you follow the blog then you know my 1955 Ford really doesn't need much of anything, but I am in the market for two engine run stands. I expect that whatever I purchase, whether new or used, will have to be modified for the Y Block. These run stands will be used during the 2024 Fords at Carlisle car show and swap meet when the Y Block takes center stage. Welp, I did not locate any run stands, but there was a good offering of tools, various toy trucks, and the occasional motorcycle, go kart, or Cushman. I did end up finding a used carburetor spacer for the Holley 4000 (to add to my 2x4 intake manifold build), a 1957+ Y Block distributor rotor for only $1, and then a remanufactured 1957-64 Y Block distributor for only $50 (this one had a set of US made condenser and points). Also, I reconnected with a man named Terry who lives in Kentucky and wants to sell me quite a few Y Block parts he has on his property. I am hoping to get down there next month, and if I do, I will certainly give a report. Terry did have a cast iron rear main seal retainer - not very common among Y Blocks as most were aluminum. I gave him some cash and told Terry I would call him next month.
My father-in-law joined me later in the morning during my rounds of the swap meet spaces, as did a good friend, Chad Robinson, who was with us at the Fast Fords race weekend back in June. We grabbed some lunch later on after standing in line quite some time, but all of that is to be expected what with such a large show. Concessions can be quite the chore at a venue like the Pumpkin Run. There were plenty of nice cars and trucks, along with a great group of people to meet and hear their stories.
My father-in-law enjoyed the day probably more than I did!
Just take a look at these pictures...
One man I reconnected with was an owner of a 1955 Ford Victoria. We noticed the car because of the bright pink color, but the closer we got to the Vickie we could see that it was for sale. While looking the Victoria over, the man who owned the car, Chris Alsip, walked up and said that he recognized me. After jogging my memory a bit, I was reminded that I had helped Chris with his 3 speed overdrive transmission, finding parts, etc. He seemed pretty happy about how things had ended up, although he did say that he was never able to find the original Hurst brackets to mount the shifter on the floor. Chris reported that the car was indeed for sale and that he was trying to thin out the herd of cars he owned. I offered to help him by posting the car and the information here on the website. As of this writing, October 3, 2022, it has not been sold. Chris lives in Kentucky, and you can check out the pictures here to get his phone number.
After looking at quite a few cars and trucks, grabbing a funnel cake, and checking out some more vendors who were located on the far side of the fairgrounds, we hustled back to Ford Country. We had been told they would be announcing the winners at 2 pm. Walking back across the rows of beautiful vehicles on the grounds, we could see a sizable crowd gathering at the tent marked "Ford Country." Quite a few cars had registered to be judged, evidently, and among them were some of my dream cars. 1957 Thunderbirds, 1956 F100's, mid-60's Mustangs, and quite a few others were all in the mix. When they called out my car number, 2219, for a top 20 plaque, I was really kind of flabbergasted. In my opinion, there were plenty of cars that were more deserving and even much better in appearance than mine. But I was privileged to receive the award during the show, and I thanked the judges for their time and honoring the 55 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan.
The 55 Ford Fairlane won a Top 20 Award!
While it is very nice to earn awards, the real deal at car shows, events, and even race weekends are the people. As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ I come in contact with thousands of people each year. Many of them are unbelievers, some of them are hurting, and still others have questions about God and eternity. During the day, there were many who took a copy of the Scriptures in either a volume of the New Testament or the Gospel of John and Romans. One man named Ed, a Vietnam Veteran above the age of 80, sought me out to let me know that although he had never read the Bible, he was thankful for what we had printed and promised me that he would read the verses I had marked inside the cover. He offered me his business card planning to keep in touch.
Hot Reverend Ministries is all about connecting people with God.
As the website here continues to grow, and as more people get to know me each week it seems, I hope and pray that Christians will be encouraged, that unbelievers will put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that all would put confidence in the Word of God as the guide for life. In the pages of the Bible we find not only directions for who to be and what to do in this life, but especially what awaits us in the life to come. Are you prepared to meet God?
The Hot Rod Reverend
aka Daniel Jessup