Bringing Betsy Back
Hi. My name is Betsy. I am a stock 1965 Plymouth Barracuda. I earned my factory stripes October 20, 1964 in Hamtramck, Michigan. I was shipped to Hahn Chrysler-Plymouth in Vancouver, Washington, and adopted when I was barely a month old. After seven years of faithful service, Rochester Ronnie stupidly traded me away in 1971; the nerve! He immediately regretted his mistake and spent the next 31 years searching for me. He had no idea I spent two years in Centralia, and the next 29 years in Rainier, Washington. I had given up hope we would ever see each other again when in 2002 I was listed on eBay, Rochester Ronnie found and rescued me and, unbelievably, we were reunited! At that point I was in terrible shape and it took nine months of intensive restoration work before I again looked as spiffy as I did from 1964-1971. Rochester Ronnie is turning his 250 page journal and 1,300+ photographs detailing my restoration into a book (starring me!) entitled Bringing Betsy Back! It’s great to be home again!
Here I am in the fall of 1966 at the ranch where I first resided. I was still wearing my original thin whitewalls and Lewis County "LBF 785" Washington license plates:
This photo was taken in late 1969 just before we left for San Antonio to join the USAF:
I was under several inches of snow when Rochester Ronnie and I reunited in 2002. That's my brother Bart parked next to me; we left Rainier together.
Charley the Classic Car Carrier delivered us to the restoration shop. Ten years worth of grime, moss, and blackberry vines camouflaged much of my water and body damage. Note my trailer hitch; oh, the shame of it all!
Total disassembly took quite awhile; I have a lot of parts!
Removal of original paint left me stark nekkid! Once my heavy metal fabrication repairs were completed, I underwent extensive finishing body work and mechanical repairs:
Just like the original factory paint job, my center section was painted red, the stripes were taped off, and white paint was sprayed over the red:
It was very exciting when the tape was removed revealing my red racing stripes. After all I have been thru, I have definitely earned them!
I was soon beginning to look and feel like my old self again:
Here I am with Rochester Ronnie at the 2006 Greenwood Classic Car & Hot Rod Show in North Seattle. Life is good! (photo courtesy of Olin Darling)
Ed Camus' Car Show - Rochester, Washington - July 2, 2011
Again this year we enjoyed attending a picnic and mini-car show July 2nd at Ed Camus' in Rochester, Washington. Ed, Rochester Ronnie, and Littlerock Nancy were high school classmates. These days Ed does top quality car restorations. I enjoyed considerable attention while Rochester Ronnie was yakking and stuffing himself with lots of great food.
This hot rod coupe started life as a '37 Plymouth. These days it sports a 413 that came out of a motor home. We really like those suicide doors and the straight steel body.
And we continue to admire this old school '38 Dodge coupe with its huge engine and slicks. Ed's beautiful '63 Chevy pickup on the right has a 327 and sits just right thanks to lowering the back end four inches.
Here are two views of Ed's other pickup, a '55 Ford. It features a 351 Ford engine, automatic on the floor, and black bucket seats out of a late model Ford sedan. It is currently listed for sale at $14,995. This one is a real head-turner!
This '67 Chevelle Super Sport convertible is one of Ed's works-in-progress that is nearing completion. The 396 hiding under the hood is mated to a four speed. The second photo was snapped while I was up close and personal admiring this beautiful car.
As you'd expect, we're closing this show report with a couple of shots of yours truly. Note my spiffy new stainless steel wheel well trim, repainted black inset panel on the front pan, and black front license plate frame. I also have a new (factory original) speedometer cable that Rochester Ronnie installed last week.
T-9-0 Quarrymen Car Show - Tenino, Washington - August 21, 2011
We rarely attend the same show two years in a row, but the T-9-0 Quarrymen's show is very well organized and supported, and the venue is terrific, so we returned again this year. Here are a few of the great cars that were on display:
This 1928 Chevrolet Speedster was an interesting car. Note the dual carbs and extensive use of wood.
We really liked this 1938 Chevrolet. That's Rochester Ronnie's brother-in-law Tom scoping out the nice paint job.
If you're going to customize a 1939 Ford Coupe, you might as well give it a paint job that really shows off the top notch bodywork and flowing lines...
The bodywork and black paint on this 1952 Chevrolet Pickup was superb. Note the reflection of the adjacent car (see next photo).
Everything about this nice 1938 Chevrolet Coupe is either yellow or chrome.
These two young ladies were probably discussing whether or not to make a counteroffer to the asking price of $28,000 for this customized 1948 Ford Coupe.
A 429 Thunderjet is hiding under the hood of this sharp 1955 Ford Sunliner.
Here are two shots of our favorite car at the show, a 1927 Moon Roadster Series A Arrowhead. The judges agreed, as this was one of three major award winners. To learn more about the Moon Motor Car Company, visit http://mooncars.wordpress.com/.
We don't recall seeing a 1935 REO Royale 7-S before, especially one sporting a replacement Chevrolet 396 engine! Beautiful car!
The flames on this 1935 Chevrolet Panel were very well done.
So were the flames on this 1934 Ford Tudor.
Flame jobs on customs are okay, but we prefer this stock 1933 Plymouth Coupe,
A beautiful, stock 1938 Buick, and
This extra clean 1956 Studebaker Flight Hawk. Given Chrysler's purchase of American Motors, Studebakers are now technically MOPARs. Right, Ralph?
This nice 1959 Studebaker is another orphan car seldom seen these days.
The "Resale Red" body on this clean 1950 Chevrolet custom was almost blinding!
We generally don't like anything purple (its a Cougar thing), but made an exception to admire this extra clean 1934 Ford Coupe.
This is a seriously sharp 1955 Oldsmobile. Note the exhaust exiting just in front of the rear tire.
Another of our favorites was this 1925 Dodge Brothers "Sidescreen." It appeared to be in unmolested original condition.
This 1956 Dodge Coronet parked between me and a bright red Viper. MOPAR or no car!
Here's the nicest 1937 Packard Sedan we've ever seen. What a beautiful car!
We wish this 1935 Plymouth Sedan was still stock, but if you're going to hot rod it and it ends up looking this nice, who cares?
If you happened to have a spare $45,000 in your pocket, you could have driven home in this stock 1950 Oldsmobile 88.
I had a nice parking spot next to a 1965 GTO. Whew, the sun was bright!
These three customized bad boys were hanging out at the far end of the show. Left-to-right (we think) they include a 1949 Chevrolet, 1947 Ford, and 1937 Chevrolet.
Speaking of bad boys, this 1941 Willys Coupe has a year 2000 Mustang Cobra 5.41 DOHC engine shoehorned into it. Not surprisingly, it was a major award winner.
This 1958 Chevrolet Convertible won a special award for the "car with the best back seat for making out." Hmmm...
Hub City Car Show - Centralia, Washington - August 27, 2011
This is another show we have attended two years in a row. Given the perfect weather, approximately 300 vehicles showed up and the organizers reportedly turned away another 100. The show could benefit from better organization, but downtown Centralia offered plenty of diversions and there were some stellar cars on display:
We had been there only about five minutes when this extra clean 1938 Chevrolet Pickup parked directly across the street and almost blinded us. Talk about clean!
This super clean 1966 Dodge Dart is an all-out dragster. Note the slicks and roll bar.
One couldn't miss this bright orange 1939 Chevrolet Master Deluxe Tudor.
Although we're not into Fords, we admit to having a soft spot for 1932 Highboys, especially ones that look this good!
Old school customs are nice too, such as this 1951 Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtop that looks like it was built 50+ years ago. Note the rounded hood corners, molded body lines, lakes pipes, frenched headlights and antenna, spotlights, full wheel covers, and custom grille.
We're partial to MOPARs, of course, particularly sharp ones like this 1964 Plymouth Fury. We liked 'em back then, we like 'em now!
This 1955 Buick Special sits extra low.
Lots of customization, but still identifiable as a 1950 Studebaker.
One of the cleanest 1969 Plymouth Road Runners around and still a great looking car!
Here's a fully-optioned 1954 (we think) Mercury Sun Valley. Note the wire wheels, lakes pipes, and continental kit.
This freshly restored 1970 Dodge Charger R/T was extra clean.
We're not sure the last time we saw a 1962 Ford Econoline Pickup, but it may have been the time a deputy sheriff stopped us in downtown Rochester circa 1965. Ah, but that's another story for another time...
Just making sure you're paying attention! Faber & Sons Salvage from Rochester drove (yes, it runs!) this 1938 Chevrolet (we think) Pickup to the show. The flames make it look extra fast. Not.
I was somewhat hidden away on a side street. Note my freshly restored headlight rims.
This 1935 Dodge Pickup is a real head turner. Note the suicide doors.
It has been a long time since we've seen a 1950 Crosley. Brother-in-law Tom and his grandson, Rennik, weren't sure what they were looking at...
Before I was born, Rochester Ronnie had a 1951 Plymouth much like this 1950 Coupe. He paid $35 for it and made a killing when he sold it for $90 a few months later.
The wide whitewall tires and spinner wheel covers really set off this extra clean (and very rare) 1953 Pontiac Convertible.
Here's Rennik taking aim with the machine gun on the back of this restored WWII Jeep...
1929 Model A Ford Roadster Pickups just don't come any cleaner than this one...
Orange is a really popular color for hotrods this year. This 1935 Ford Pickup definitely catches the eyes.
Although it has been extensively customized, this four door (look closely) 1941 Graham was our favorite car at the show.
This 1932 Ford Five-Window Highboy is straight out of the 1950s. Nice car!
We'll close with this beautiful 1958 Chevrolet Impala, a car we never tire of admiring.
My complete life story will finally be told once Rochester Ronnie wraps up his other major writing projects and gets busy on Bringing Betsy Back. For now, my "auto-biography" continues to be on hold. MOPAR or no car!