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Cruisin' Amoung the Hot Rods : Foster`s Daily Democrat
Cruisin' Amoung the Hot Rods. Fosters Daily Democrat . May 24 2008

By GEOFF CUNNINGHAM Jr.
Article Date: Saturday, May 24, 2008

The grounds at Gunstock Mountain Resort looked like something out of "Grease" on Friday as automobile enthusiasts from all over the country gathered for a "Laconia Nationals" auto show weekend that clearly focuses on the hot rod.

The 6th annual "Laconia Nationals" event is expected to bring more than 800 hot rods, custom and muscle cars to Gunstock throughout the Memorial Day Weekdend and the event kicked off on Friday saw vehicles of all shapes and colors thundering into the region carrying those who say they have gasoline running through their veins.

Bob Canney (Hotrod Bob) of Berwick, Maine, is a longtime hot rod enthusiast who dresses and looks the part, with a vintage leather jacket and jeans — a look that prompted Laconia Nationals head Jim Candle to joke, "He thinks Eisenhower is still president."

Canney is a member of multiple car clubs, both locally and nationally, and has brought his 1932 Ford "five-window coupe" to this year's Laconia Nationals event.

He said the car took 18 months for him to build and — while small in stature — it boasts a 350 V-8 engine.

"I'm pushing 400 horsepower," said Canney with a smile.

Ian Targonsky of Connecticut restored his 1929 Ford Model A in four months and preferred a less-polished look, with cracked whitewall tires and a primer black paint job.

The pair said such vehicles were plentiful and cheap following World War II and were often purchased, modified and raced.

Targonsky, a landscaper by trade, has a side business in restoring hot rods, but he owns more cars than he would like to admit, including a 1966 Cadillac limousine and a 1949 Chevy pickup.

"I've got cars coming out of my ears," said Targonsky with a laugh.

While many of the cars look in showroom shape, don't think they don't get driven.

Canney said he put 17,000 miles on his Ford hot rod last year.

Mike Shea of Spencer, Mass., has a '31 Ford that he has driven 30,000 miles in just over two years.

He traded his hot rod sedan for the more sporty Ford, which features a 300-horsepower engine and a menacing look with a slim windshield a face could barely fit in.

Shea has one windshield wiper and joked, "The passanger doesn't need to see."

Many of those attending are in multiple car clubs and attend such gatherings each year.

"It's like a traveling community," explained Canney.

Officials say the rapidly growing Laconia Nationals event offers fun and entertainment for the whole family and a chance to see and — of course — hear hundreds of high-horsepower, eye-popping cars and trucks up close.

Last year's owners of participating vehicles came from eight states and Canada to be part of festivities, including smoke shows on the "Burnout Pad" and the antics of the "Flame Crew" — a New Jersey outfit that shot fire 100 feet in the air from the exhaust pipes of their cars.

Motor-building competitions, early hot rod movies from the 1950s and 1960s, and model-building for the children help round out an event that also features vendors, a "Monster Truck Ride" on Saturday and entertainment by "Memphis Rockabilly" — a band billed as one of the best rockabilly bands in the country, having performed with major artists like Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

New this year will be a continuous "Cruise to Nowhere" on Saturday night between Laconia and Weirs Beach. Those interested in taking part need only to own a registered car built before 1980 and go to www.laconianationals.com to register for an event that will feature an awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon boasting $10,000 in prizes.

One lucky participant will be qualified for the Right Coast Association's Giveaway Car valued at more than $40,000.

Admission to this year's event is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12. A two-day pass runs $15. 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 




Grundy Insurance Newsletter 2008

Deuces Wild! ...Proud to Be a "Hot Rodder."

Growing up in Maine, Bob Canney lived next door to his grandmother’s farm, and stored in the farm’s barn was a car that would eventually lead Bob into the collector car hobby… When Bob was 16-years-old, his grandmother gave him the 1936 Buick that had stayed put in the barn since his grandfather had passed away in 1953.

Upon receiving the vehicle, Bob and his father went to work on it.  Eventually, the father-son duo got the car running and turned the Buick over to a restorer for more detailed work to be completed. And, Bob says that he used to help out with the restoration of the car whenever he could.

“That was my introduction to body work,” he says. He still owns the Buick, today. And, he still has a passion for restoring collector cars— and, that passion has only grown over time.

Enthused by his new-found hobby, Bob also purchased a 1953 Ford F-100 Pick-Up truck, while in high school. At that time, he also became highly interested in painting old farm equipment.

“And, then more and more, I got into painting cars,” he says.

By 1975, Bob was a member of the Maine Obsolete Auto League, which promoted “keeping cars original.” He says that he stayed in the League until 1979 or 1980, but then became interested in performance cars. During the ‘80s, Bob was sidetracked a bit from the car hobby when work became a priority, but in the ‘90s, he was back into cars—specifically hot rods.

His love for old cars continued to grow, and in early 2005, Bob acquired a 1931 Model A. (That car was recognized by the NSRA and nominated for the Northeast Divisional Title.)  And, in late 2005, he started working on a 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe. He finished the frame, but he didn’t dive into the body work until the fall of 2006. By that winter, the car was finished.

The drive train is complete with a ZZ4 350 V8 roller cam, roller rockers, forged crank, Edelbrock intake, Thunder Series 650 carburetor, Cadillac air cleaner and many other hidden treats. It has original ‘32 Ford rails, boxed and reinforced. It is painted with sparkling high gloss BMW Red.

Also included is a Walker radiator, turbo 350 auto transmission, an 8 inch rear-end, 273 gears, magnum tube front axel, disk brakes on the front, drum breaks on the rear, a 15 gallon gas tank, 1932 Ford headlights and 1950 Pontiac taillights.  The front and rear rims are chrome 15 in. smoothies, and the front tires are double white walls, (165R15); the rear tires are diamond-back wide white walls (285/75/15). 

Satin Hot Rod Black paint screams "old-school," with a touch of red and white pin-striping, and a hand-painted "Deuces Wild" logo adds character to the car; the glass is tinted bronze.

The original ‘32 windshield frame is chopped 3 in., and the bright red interior was tucked and rolled, with the color matching the ‘32 dash that was painted with the BMW red paint. There is also a Flaming River steering column with a Banjo steering wheel.

The Deuce is complete with an under-dash AC unit and has a 1930’s art-deco interior light with a custom headliner. The rumble seat was converted into a trunk, and the front seat was cut down from a Toyota Pick-Up bench seat. The trunk is fully upholstered, also with red looped carpeting. The final touch is a Genie Ultra-shifter, with a PBR tap handle.

With all that work complete and every detail in place, Bob ventured off to many car shows and cruise nights with his Deuce. In fact, during the season, he says he usually makes it to a cruise night every night!

“You never know where I’m going to show up,” he says.

Bob continues to travel all around the state of Maine and crosses into N.H., on occasion.

He says that when he attended the Right Coast Laconia Nationals (N.H.), the car received its first award: the “Deuce’s Wild Award.” Since then, the Ford has picked up around 30 awards, he adds.

Besides being proud of his car and the awards and recognition that he has received, Bob also prides himself on being “a hot-rodder,” in general. He is a member of the Goodguys Association, NSRA, the Right Coast Association and the Maine Coastal Cruisers (based in Kennebunk, Maine). He was also a member of the Old Time Cruisers of Madbury, Maine.

“There are just some of the nicest people who are into these cars,” adds Bob.

He says that fellow hot-rodders are always looking out for each other.  And, he mentions a code of ethics among the hobbyists:

“You always stop to help another hot-rodder.  If you see someone broken down on the road, you help,” he says.

He adds that he will even stop if he’s driving his personal vehicle. And, he goes on further to say that it has not always been fellow hot-rodders that he has helped along the road.

In March of 2006, on his way to a street rodding meeting in N.H., Bob says that he witnessed a head-on collision between a drunk driver and a 24-year-old girl. He was the first on the scene, and wound up crawling inside of the crushed vehicle that held the 24-year-old. (He says the radiator was up to the windshield.)  As a retired firefighter, he knew how stabilize her until an emergency crew arrived and was able to pry her out of the car.  The girl survived the crash, and the story has stuck with Bob ever since.

“Every firefighter says that there is the one accident that affects you forever,” he explains. “That was the one. And, I wouldn’t have been on the road if there had not been that hot rod meeting.”




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