The Times Journal & Russell County News
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Winter time Cruisin’ activities
In Dec. 20 Issue
Russell County News
By Ron Cowell, Columnist

During the summer months we all go to the Cruise Ins and Car Shows and admire all the beautiful old cars that are on display. As I attend these shows I see a lot of smiles and a lot of memories come forth from people. You always see the car owner shining and polishing his vehicle and making it presentable to the public but did you ever wonder what a true classic car owner does during the winter months? Wintertime can be very busy for the old car person. Usually the car owner is working on his car or cars to get it in shape for the next season.

No one know this better that Mike Taylor of Russell Springs, Kentucky and a member of the “OUTSIDERS CAR CLUB” This past year has not only been a busy year for Mike but an expensive one also.

For those of you who think you just get in, start the car and go show it off this story will give you a little idea of the time and expense that goes into owning a classic car.

The Cruise In season started off well for Mike last summer. In May his club went on a road trip to Henderson Kentucky for the show put on by the Ohio Valley Cruisers. On the way there, Mike’s car started shaking. It was shaking so bad he had to hold the shifter in place so it would not pop out of gear. The first night of the show Mike and a member of the Ohio Valley Cruisers, Fran Lutz worked on Mike’s car just so he could get it to the last part of the show on Saturday. After working on it all that time the problem was still not solved. On the way home his car started in again, so he had to load it on a trailer to get it home.

Once home and doing some further checking they found there was a shaft that was bent in the transmission so Mike had to replace the transmission. For those of you who have had transmission problems before, you know that’s not a cheap fix.

The transmission was replaced and once again Mike was ready for the shows and the road. He went to go to the next show and got in his 57 Chevy with the new transmission in it, all set to go. He turned on the key and, nothing! It would not even turn over. That fix didn’t cost as much as the transmission but was a headache because it was hard to find out what was wrong. After a while and moving wires around under the dash he found he had a bad connection on the ignition. Problem two was solved.

Once again he was on the road and ready to go. On a Friday night the club was headed for the Block Party in Somerset at the Summer Nights cruise. Mike noticed his car was burning some oil. Now he has to decide what to do about that. After long thought and consideration, Mike decided he was tired of the problems and ordered a new Chevy 350 motor for his car.

Last Wed. Mike, and myself along with Dwayne Esau, the real mechanic in the group went to work pulling the old motor out of Mike’s car getting it ready for the new motor. Next step will be to deliver the car to Shawn Roeder, a body and paint man who lives in Jamestown. Shawn will be cleaning and repainting the engine compartment and getting it ready for the new motor that should be delivered soon.

When Shawn is finished the car will come back to Mike and the new motor will be put in place. That’s what winter is like for the Classic Car owner.

At the Henderson show Mike received a trophy for the Hard Luck Story and believe me he deserved it. By the way, he also received a trophy for having one of the sharpest cars in the show. The summer and the winter has been a busy and expensive one for Mike and I’m sure a lot of other car owners.  The thrill you get when you are driving down the road and someone yells out “NICE CAR” makes it all worth the trouble.

So if you want to get a classic car make sure you have plenty of time and a little, well in Mike’s case, maybe a lot of extra cash to keep it going. The 57 had a 283 motor in it. Next season when you see Mike’s Blockbuster Blue 50 Chevy, it will be sporting a brand new, 350 motor and transmission. Good Luck Mike, we are looking forward to seeing your 57 next season all shinny and new. We hope that 2009 will be a better year for you.

A little over a year ago I was asked to do this column for the Russell County News. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it, I had never done anything like this before. I decided to do the article and I am so glad I did. With Christmas upon us I would like to thank everyone for your wonderful comments on the column and sharing the memories the articles brought back to you. Memories are something that no matter how hard times get we will never loose them. Thanks also to David Davenport for giving me the opportunity to write “CRUISIN”.

I would like to wish all the readers a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful and Happy New Year,I’ll be looking forward to another year of fun, informing you on the car clubs’ activities and another year of memories.

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Phone: 270-866-3191
Fax: 270-866-3198
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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Jamestown KY 42629
Phone: 270-343-5700
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