Black beauty |

Black beauty

Another new car guy-okay, a car couple-has moved into town. Larry and Kelly Walling recently moved to the Grass Valley area from Livermore. They both have a passion for cars. On a wonderfully warm evening last week we sat down for a glass of iced tea and conversation and I began to feel like Gary Maguire on “Car Crazy.” As we talked of the old Oakland Roadster Show, Fresno Autorama (they know Blackie Gegian personally), the Sacramento Autorama, the Detroit Autorama (they actually won the Riddler Award once), Hot August Nights, old race tracks long gone, car people and places, I knew these two were car crazy.

You all should be sure to look them up at the next cruise night and introduce yourselves. They are great people and you’ll find them very interesting. They presently own three hot rods, two are ’36 Ford Cabriolets, and one is a 1949 Chevy coupe. I chose to feature the ’49 Chevy today. Why? Because I have the pencil and I love the car.

The ’49 Chevy coupe has the old school look and the perfect stance. It rides on American mags with a Mustang II front end, power steering and power brakes and an eight-inch Ford rear end. The Chevy is powered by a 350 cubic inch Chevy ZZ-4 engine and a 700R transmission.

The body modifications include a 1947 Oldsmobile grill, 1950 Oldsmobile one-piece windshield, frenched headlights, frenched ’54 Chevy taillights, is nosed and decked, has a louvered hood and the door handles are removed. This “black beauty” has just enough modifications to be different-a tasteful interior and superbly detailed engine. I understand why it won “the fat fender award” at the Good Guys show in Pleasanton. Just so you don’t think Walling just became a car nut last week, you should know his first car and high school ride was a 1949 Mercury custom with a hot flathead engine. My kind of guy. Welcome to Grass Valley, Larry!


There is a monster truck event at the Nevada County Fairgrounds this weekend. It’s an event that neither educates, edifies (the Teague brothers may have to get out their Funk and Wagnalls for that one) or enlightens, but it’s hard to beat for good ol’ no brainer entertainment. You combine lots of noise, horsepower and color, smash a few cars, have a hot dog and a beverage, and you have an evening to talk about.

Another great event you don’t want to miss will be on the weekend of June 2 to 4, also at the fairgrounds. The Early Day Engine and Tractor Association (EDGE & TA) are having their annual “Gas Up.” If you’ve never attended this event, there are restored antique tractors and stationary engines galore. The tractors are driven around, as well as static displays, and the stationary engines chug, pop and wheeze all day long. I’m going to have a feature story on this event, Friday, June 9, so keep your eyes open.

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