Let’s say that for some reason, you didn’t feel like running your car on the strip at the Roadkill Zip-Tie Drags. There are many reasons that could be. Perhaps you couldn’t pass tech with your leaker. Maybe you like to start drinking early, and we appreciate your not drinking and driving. Maybe your car came out of a barn just the week before, and is from the 1920s, and the wheels are made of wood. 100-year-old wood. We can understand not sending that down the ol’ 1320. No problem. The Zip-Tie Drags has a place for you, and it’s in the official Car Show presented by Pioneer Car Audio.
Now, the car show at a Zip-Tie event is not like your usual car shows what with organization and pre-planned awards and the best cars winning. Oh no. No, that is not how we do. Instead, we walk around, and Dulcich, who is supposed to be judging, gets in a deep conversation with a guy about Dodge Darts, and we have to pick most of the winners without him. Once we’ve picked cars we really like, we need to justify picking those cars, and make up official sounding awards so people don’t think we just made this up on the spur of the moment, even though that’s totally what we did. Here’s who caught our eye at the Ohio Zip-Tie Drags presented by Dodge.
Jim Fox’s 1972 Chevrolet Corvette
The “Elana Thought It Was A Lace-Painted Opel” Award
Jim bears the brunt of a joke that’s only funny to me and the two Opel GT owners out there. See, an Opel GT looks like a little tiny C3 Corvette, and I love Opel GTs, and there were two Opel GTs at the show but I couldn’t pick them as winners because the owners gave me awesome presents and that would be bribery and corruption and this isn’t the 24 Hours of Lemons. So anyway, Mike Cardina, I love my orange Opel GT model and I loved your car and I’m sorry you had engine failure on your way home.
Now let’s talk about Jim’s car, which I also loved, and which fully deserved an award on all its own merits. Jim is from Bucyrus Ohio. He bought the ‘Vette in spring of 2001 off a “Buy Here Pay Here” sales lot. “I had to take a double take! I couldn’t believe there was a chrome bumper Corvette on that lot,” said Jim. He bought it for $6000 Tax & Title out the door. “I had always wanted a Gold ‘72 Vette to bookend my Silver ‘72 SS Nova.”
Over the years he rebuilt the L48 350 with a Performer RPM cam and intake and Pro Action heads to make 420hp. It’s fed by a Holley 800 double pumper, sparked off by Crane Igniter ignition. An X-pipe with no mufflers gives it that side-pipe sound. A Richmond 5-speed is backed by a Centerforce clutch and Quicktime bell housing just added over the winter. That Goldfinger 70’s interior is new, also put together this winter. Jim painted the lace stripe on as well, and it really looks like orginal old school patina. “I’ve lived, breathed, and ate cars since I was 4 years old,” said Jim “I bought my ‘72 SS Nova from my brother when I was 19. He had bought it in 1973 and I’ve owned for 30 years now. I added a 1969 SS396 Nova to my collection in 1991. Then this Corvette in 2001 and a 1979 Trans Am in 2003. My favorite moment of ZTD was being out on the track to receive my award! And seeing General Mayhem making a 10 second pass. And seeing all the Roadkill cars that were brought to the show. And hanging with my friends. It was all fun!!!”
Chris Hosner and Leila Ann Coppala’s 1972 Oldsmobile Vista Crusier
The “Matt Henry’s Family Choice” Award
Chris and Leila are in a band, so they are cool to start with. Then they have an Olds wagon, so now they are almost too cool. The couple came from Science Hill, Kentucky to the Ohio Zip-Ties in their #vistabruiser wagon.
Chirs got the wagon almost 20 years ago as something to drive while he fixed up a Tempest—“never finished that project either.” He used to deliver pizzas in the wagon, and use it as a daily while working on a slow restoration. They’ve done things like new Energy suspension, rear swaybar, and replacing the old trans with a 200R4 and a shift kit. It’s powered by a 1971 Olds 350. Chris says the goal is to put a gloss black paint job on it, then take a roadtrip and put chips in that paint.
Mike Cribb’s 1965 Pontiac GTO
The “Easiest Engine Access” Award
Mike’s tilt-front goat was awesome when we first spotted it tucked up against the grandstands, and it was even cooler when we found out that it wasn’t a recent build, but instead a resurrection of an original gasser from the ‘60s. For providing such a brilliant view of the Pontiac’s Pontiac powerplant, Mike gets to take home a wrench and gift card.
Virg Wamsley’s 1965 Ford Ranchero
The “Steve Dulcich Choice” Award
Virg bought his Rancho back in 1976 with a hopped-up 289. Next came a 302, then a supercharger, and then that must-have of the ‘80s, 17-inch wide Cragers. As an Ohio car, the salt worked its expected magic on the bed, so he bought a ‘64 Ranchero, cut the two cars in half and grafted them together. “Now that’s a back-half,” jokes his son, Andrew. While the truck was in pieces, Virg fabricated a ladder bar leaf spring setup, moved the rear axle forward six inches, and built a supercharged 351 Windsor. Two more 351s came and went, then came a Windsor based 393, which had a grisly crank failure that put the Ford in hibernation for almost six years. In 2013 Virg built a new Windsor-based 408 with aluminum heads, forged crank, forged I-beam rods, 6-71 blower, twin 750 holleys, and home made late model EFI intake. “It is the life’s masterwork of a mechanic of 40+ years,” says Andrew. “It’s practically an urban legend in our hometown.” It certainly caught Dulcich’s eye, and he picked Virg for an award.
Janine Cox’s 1962 VW Bug
The “Best Mother’s Day Present Ever” Award
Janine Cox and her family are from Perrysburg Ohio. Her 1962 VW Beetle, “Bugly,” was a Mother’s Day present from her husband and sons in 2008. “Joe and my boys found the bug at an estate sale. The engine was in the garage, the carburetor was on the shelf, and the Volkswagen was sitting outside. They put the car together and surprised me. She has 65000 original miles and still runs a 6-volt system. We laughingly say she’s a hundred percent organic… No preservatives added.” The Cox family installed a Big Bore Kit and put an interior in Bugly and Janine says she would like to upgrade the engine to a 1600 or more so that she can get up to highway speeds but overall she really likes the VW just the way it is. “She’s definitely a treasure.”
Jesse Keller’s 1991 Mazda Miata
The “Because We Gotta Have A Miata” Award
Akron, Ohio’s Jesse Keller scored an award just by being the only Miata in the show. Also, it a cool Miata. He got it on Craigslist by promising the seller he wouldn’t chop it up. He did anyway. “I bought the car because Miatas are awesome! Affordable, RWD, 5 speed, well balanced and fun to drive, even though they’re super slow.”
Jesse says most of his work on the Miata has been cosmetic, he’s a tattoo artist so he enjoys the visual part of customization. Mechanically he did add an intake, exhaust, and roll bar, and the car is lowered. “I build cars and motorcycles in my free time,” he told us. “Getting to meet everyone from Roadkill was awesome! I was honored to be the only Miata.”
Keith Clark’s 1970 Ford Mustang
The “Matt Really Likes Mustangs” Award
This was a pick from our guest of honor, “Mustang” Matt Henry. Keith is from Ottawa Lake, Michigan, and he brought out a 1970 Boss Mustang he liked so much he almost ditched his then-girlfriend, soon-to-be wife to go buy it. That was back around 1975, and like Freiburger and the Disgustang, Keith found his rare pony in a junkyard, well his soon-to-be-brother-in-law did. It had no motor or trans but there happened to be a 429 and transmission laying around that the yard threw in the car for them!
Keith’s brother-in-law later wanted to find the right Boss engine, so he started calling around and found one for $500. Those were the days. But the best day for Keith was when his BIL decided to get married and to sell him the car. He’s had it, and the relationships surrounding it for 38 years.
“The flares were done in 1971 by the first owner because he was getting tickets for ‘tires sticking out of the fenders.’ I used to be ashamed of them but after going to the 100 Years Of Ford show and seeing 2-5 people standing around the original and perfect Boss 9s and then looking at mine and seeing 25-30 people standing around mine hour after hour I decided not to feel bad about the flares.”
Jim Harbauer’s 1928 Dodge
The “Because It Has Freakin’ Wood Wheels” Award
We got so excited about Jim’s original and ancient Dodge that we forgot to take notes, but from what we can remember, it’s a true barnfind, and he’s driving it regularly, to the joy of everyone around.
Ian Bokesch’s 1991 GMC Syclone
The “Gale Banks Ran A Land Speed Record In One” Award
Ian has been so excited to see this post that I had to threaten him with death if he messaged me one more time about it. Who can blame him though, it’s not every day you sit on a wall with Freiburger while he tells you a story about your car and Don Prudhomme. So good on you, Ian. You deserved this.
Ian is 23, and a tech at Porsche of Beachwood Ohio. He grew up in Mantua Ohio, and majored in high performance at Wyotech Technical Institute. His first ride was a 2002 ZR2 S10 and that got him hooked on S10s. “I worked for an entire summer at National Tire and Battery (NTB) and bought yet another ZR2 S10 that was minty fresh. I had that truck for a few years and realized I had a need for speed. So I started looking for fast cars and trucks. That’s when I discovered the crème de la crème of all “S10s,” the Syclone.”
He wanted to know everything about them and when he found out how rare and how fast they were, he had to have one. He sold his beloved ZR2 S10 and used that money to buy Syclone #2904 from a Facebook Syclone/Typhoon forum member in February of 2016. “ I’ve spent the last year and a half fixing and re-doing just about everything. The list of what I have not fixed is shorter than what I have to fix!”
Those fixes and upgrades include the following laundry list of radness:
-fresh 181 casting L35 cylinder heads
-60# Flow matched injectors
-3 bar map
-Hybrid 20G turbo with 8cm exhaust housing (18psi)
-Aeromotive 340 fuel pump
-sureflo intercooler pump
-Forge Motorsport waste gate
-Renz Fab A/C Delete
-160 degree “high flow” thermostat
-relocated battery in bed
-relocated oil filter on block
-cruise control delete
-new front diff
-new transfer case
-aem x-series wideband
-Forever sharp steering wheel
-scanmaster G digital gauge (super cool)
-all cladding pulled off, fixed, and painted
-C4 Corvette Grand sport wheels
“My plans are to completely redo, upgrade, and modernize the front end to start autocrossing the truck. The goal all along is to smoke pony cars at the red light and hurt their feelings.”
Tim Schlairet’s 1963 Chrysler 300
The “Best Square Steering Wheel” Award
“I can talk about that car all day,” said Tim when we asked him about his sweet ’63 Chrysler. He bought the car on Craigslist, and took his girlfriend along for the test drive. He said she was silent the whole time, just staring at the car and he was sure she hated it. “Then we walked back to our car and she asked why we weren’t buying it. I went right back and we drove it home the next day.”
Tim says he was born into a Ford family, but always liked the Mopars, an affection he shared with his uncle—also Tim. Uncle Tim had a ’68 Charger that he traded for a ’78 Plymouth Volare Richard Petty Special.
“The 300 is my entrance to the classic car/ hot rodding world. So far, I’ve only done some general maintenance. Plugs, wires, shocks and tires. But it’s starting to burn some oil, so the motor is coming out this winter. I plan to have the heads redone, new cam, exhaust and I’ll be switching from the cast intake and 2bbl to a 4bbl carb.
Tim has worked in the auto parts industry for years, and is currently a distributor for Exxon Mobil. “I’ve been selling oil for the last year and it sure beats auto parts.”
He says the best part of the Zip-Tie Drags was the people. “The staff of Roadkill were great, the drivers and their willingness to open up about their cars, the stories that were shared about hot rodding and the overall atmosphere made for an extremely memorable day. I honestly can’t wait for the next one I’m able to attend.”
Yay for all these winners! We still have one more ZTD event in 2017, and Tucson, Arizona in January, 2018, so come see what all the fuss is about!