Apr 17th, 2015No Comments

Classic car expert Ed Saari will be talking about all the events he has put together over the years from Hot Rod Power tours to the biggest parade of Corvettes in history. Ed will tell you how your car club can arrange its own successful events or participate in his events.

In addition to Ed’s talk we’ll be discussing the local area shows that are coming up such as the Clintonville nighttime show and the Omro car show on Memorial Day weekend. If you’re coming, please bring information about any shows you’re planning to go to.

We’ll also be “bench racing” and networking about things in general. We have a lot of cars and projects going in the shop and we expect some of the people to come to the seminar in their old cars. It’s always fun to see what people bring out in the springtime. We had a Coffee Clutcher lunch yesterday and a lot of new “rides” showed up.

Place: GUNNER’S GREAT GARAGE (Manawa, Wis.)

9.30 AM Saturday April 18


Contact: or 1-715-281-5925




Apr 16th, 2015No Comments


Ed Saari will be traveling to Manawa this weekend to put on a seminar at Gunner’s Great Garage in Manawa.

Ed is going to talk about the car events he puts together for the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. He will also be able to give good advice about how to organize specialty car events. And he can talk about collecting Corvettes. muscle cars. Pontiacs and hot rods.

Ed worked for many years for the Bloomington Gold Corvette show.

Last year he brought the Hot Rod Power Tour to Wisconsin

He also produces the Corvette Adventures, Muscle Car Adventures and Pontiac Adventures tours in the Dells. These are events where hundreds of car owners stay in the Dells and tour to different sites over three days. They are very exciting on-the-road events.

Ed knows a lot about the collector car hobby in general and will be happy to answer questions and to share ideas that your club or group can use in planning events.

The seminar starts at 9:30 AM on Saturday April 18. It is totally free and refreshments will be served.





Apr 7th, 2015No Comments

HRHL95 New Motorama Brown County Areana 01

Just a few weeks ago, Rick Paulick’s “New Motorama” show in Green Bay was only a dream.  It’s now a reality.  About 7,000 people came to Northeast Wisconsin’s new indoor car show on April 3-5. There were 50 cars and trucks filling Brown County Arena and the nearby Shopko Hall was loaded with cars and vendors (not to mention trucks, sleds, bikes, boats, ATVs. karts, semis and tractors).

We love the historic name that Rick selected for his event. The Motoramas of the ’50s were famous for their DREAM cars. The New Motorama is now famous for making Rick’s DREAM come true.

Green Bay has not had a indoor venue since Bob Ashton managed the “World of Wheels” there. About 10 years ago, the World of Wheels disappeared, but the desire for an indoor car show persisted. Rick Paulick stepped up to fill the gap. He says he’ll be back again next year.

Over the next few days we’ll be showing you some of the cool features of the show. After you see them, you’ll want to mark April 8-10, 2016 on your calendar. Those will be the dates of New Motorama II.


Apr 5th, 2015No Comments
One of Ed Saari's Corvette Adventure Tours gets underway at the Chula Vista Resort.

One of Ed Saari’s Corvette Adventure Tours gets underway at the Chula Vista Resort.

Ed Saari is giving the next free seminar at Gunner’s Great Garage in Manawa, Wis. on April 18 at 9:30 am. Ed arranges all of the automotive events at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. He was responsible for the Hot Rod Power Tour coming to Wisconsin Dells.

Ed has four “Adventure Tours” planned for 2015. Two of them are Corvette Adventure events open to any Corvette. He also does Muscle Car Adventuyres once each year. This year he is starting a new Pontiac Adventures tour.

The Adventure Tours are headquartered at the Chula Vita and each day the participants take different driving tours to points of interest in Wisconsin. The tours have also included boat rides, cooking classes and racetrack tours at Wisconsin Dells Speedway.

This is the perfect time of year to be planning your own warm-weather travels in your collector cars and we tried to put together a list of 10 reasons to attend Ed’s seminar at Gunner’s great Garage. Here goes:

1- If you are a Corvette owner you’ll be interested in Corvette Adventures

2- Ditto No. 1 if you have a Muscle Car or a Pontiac

3- Ed spent many years working at Bloomington Gold and knows Corvettes

4- Ed can give you advice about planning events for yourself or your car club

5-  Ed can talk about the biggest car tour ever that he did for Bloomington Gold

6- If you want to know more about collecting ‘Vettes, Muscle Cars and Pontiacs

7- Ed can tell you how to get your car ready for a driving tour

8- All seminars (including Ed’s) are totally free (free food, too)

9- Some really great “bench racing” goes on at the seminars

10- Ed can talk about the giant Hot Rod Power Tour that he helped organize








This Bird Has Flown

Sep 30th, 2014No Comments

OC Blog 105 Photo 01

Last winter the red Fox Valley Technical College Firebird became the “Silver Streak” with a new paint job.

The Firebird you see in these pictures has flown to a speed of 193 mph over the salt flats at Bonneville, Utah. That was back in 2011, when the car was painted red and we took it to Bonneville Speedway with a student team from Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wis.

Things have changed a bit since that time. Driver Dave Sarna traded another car the Fox Valley Tech and took possession of this one. Most or all of the young guys have bowed out of the project. Bonneville was a bit grueling for many of them. They’d rather drag race on Friday nights at Wisconsin International Speedway with their friends watching. As a result, the Bonneville team dwindled down to the veterans who were advisors in 2011.

OC Blog 105 Photo 02

Despite some intensive work sessions in Tom Ale’s garage, the car wasn’t ready in time for the September event at Bonneville.

Plans to return to Bonneville in 2012 failed to gel. In fact, very little got done to the car that year. This turned out to be a good thing, since the weather at Bonneville that fall was bad and the “World of Speed” event that we ran in was affected. Chance are the long haul to Utah would have been a wasted effort.

In 2014, a lot of work was done to the car—including the new “Silver Streak” paint job—but as fall approached we began to realize that we were not going to join the Utah Salt Flats Racing Assoc. ( at the “World of Speed” for the second year in a row. Despite all the efforts put into the car and the engine, our low-budget project did not come together on time.

Too bad! From what we hear, the 2014 “World of Speed” was an outstanding event. Motorcycle racer and team owner, Valerie Thompson, set her 7th land speed record on her CTEK sponsored BMW S 1000 RR. Thompson made her first pass at 209.85 mph and the return run was 207.71 mph for an average speed of 208.81 mph, high enough to take the record in the MPS-6-1000 class and put her in the 200 mph class. Another record was set by a race team closer to home, on Sept. 7, when Milwaukee Midget Racing’s MG Midget established a new course record of 122.539 mph for the I/GT class. This was the oldest standing record in the GT category. It stood unbeaten for over 22 years.

Work on the “Silver Streak” Firebird is continuing, with hopes of taking the car back to the “World of Speed” in 2015.





Jun 9th, 2014No Comments

CP89 Sweet 16 (01)

Brand new 1999 Mustang 35th Anniversary GT Convertible.

Sixteen model years have passed since the Christinson’s 1999 Mustang was new….sort of. Well, let’s say that 16 model years have passed since the car was made. That would be more accurate, since Marc’s 35th Anniversary Mustang convertible is still new. It only has 136.7 miles on its odometer!

Marc’s car is not one of the 5,000 Limited Edition models made in 1999, but it does have the beautiful wreath-design front fender emblems that feature a solid ring encircling the classic running horse and a tri-color bar. In 1989, Ford had been criticized in the press for “forgetting” the Mustang’s 25th anniversary, So, in 1999, Ford gave fans of the marque a year-long surprise party. All Mustangs (whether powered by the V-6 or V-8) were 35th Anniversary models.

James Sarria was a electrical engineer working for Ford International at the time the 35th Anniversary Mustangs came out. He was involved with supplying batteries for cars exported to other countries that were shipped overseas without batteries in them. He was also Christinson’s wife’s uncle.

Sarria was near retirement and had plans. Around 2000, he bought his wife Marian a T-Bird convertible. Then, he started looking for a ragtop for himself so they could tour together. His buddy was in charge of selling used cars from Ford’s corporate fleet. He told Sarria about a Performance Red ragtop that had spent the last year on display at Ford International Headquarters in Dearborn.

The car had never been used and was for sale for $20,000. Sarria bought the car, but then his wife got sick with cancer. She passed away and he fell into a state of depression. Then, he developed congestive hear failure and moved to an assisted living facility before he also died. Both convertibles remained in their possession, but sat, under custom made car covers, not being used. The T-Bird still has very low miles. The Mustang has traveled only 136.7 miles in 16 years.

Christinson got the car from the estate, He has put only about three miles on it, driving it to a shop that checked it over for him. The shop ran the VIN and told him that the car is the 35th car made in the 35th anniversary year. Mechanics who went over the car said there was not even dust in the engine compartment. It is brand new in every sense except for the number of years that have passed, The red body and beige convertible top are like new, the interior looks like it did when the car rolled off the line. The engine bay is spotless. Christinson has complete documentation for the car and it even wears Sarria’s Michigan plates.

In addition to the Performance Red paint, the car has the 5.0-liter V-8, power seats, power steering and brakes, a high level audio system, and a host of other options because it was a special display unit. Christinson, a school system administrator, wants to sell the car and thinks it might be worth at least double what it sold for new. With 2014 generating tons of excitement over the Mustang’s 50th birthday, who knows what a car that’s probably the only “new” 35th Anniversary model around may bring? One thing’s for sure,,,the car is Sweet 16!

 CP89 Sweet 16 (012

Driver side of car is just as nice and new.

 CP89 Sweet 16 (013

Car still has its original Michigan plates.

CP89 Sweet 16 (014 

Digital odometer tells the mileage story.

 CP89 Sweet 16 (015

The inside looks like no one ever sat in it.

 CP89 Sweet 16 (016

The engine needed a new, correct fuel pump and nothing else.

 CP89 Sweet 16 (017

Mustang 35th Anniversary emblem.






New Old-Car Adventure—’49 Studebaker Commander Coupe

May 27th, 2014No Comments

The ’49 Commander is Jesse’s first two-door old car.

For a few weeks we have been looking for an old car that my son Jesse could squeeze into his budget. We do know the wisdom of paying a little more to get a  better car. After looking at some of the jalopies $600 won’t buy you today, we decided we were not going to get anything rebuildable at that level and started looking at cars priced a bit higher.

How about that roof treatment? The “Starlight Coupe” is a genuine postwar “special-interest” automobile that woke the Big 3 up to the fact that their early postwar designs were out of date.

Jesse is pretty good at car hunting by computer and it wasn’t long before he discovered a couple of possibilities. The most interesting was a 1949 Studebaker Commander Starlight Coupe with the unusual rear window treatment that looks more like the pilothouse of a boat than a Dodge Pilothouse pickup does. The Studebaker was in northern Illinois, but my friend Marv Richer lived close by. He has mechanical experience and has owned a lot of old cars himself.

Marv ran down to take a look at the Studebaker and gave us a fantastic report on its condition and owner history so we bought it. Once a Mississippi car, the Commander was pretty straight, largely rust free, fairly clean inside and out and had tires that looked really good. The engine is stuck and apparently has been for years. Jesse is not against a non-original swap, though we’re hoping to stay with Studebaker power if we can fix the 245-cid six or get another one.

The interior is from an era when “classy” was standard equipment in American automobiles and it looks to be in pretty good condition.

We do not have the car yet, but as a first step we put the word out to our network of hobby friends that we want to get a car transported from the Crystal Lake, Ill. area to Iola at a cost that a young man on a budget can handle. If we don’t catch an empty trailer deadheading home to north central Wisconsin, then we’ll borrow an open-car trailer and hitch it up to our own pickup truck.

With his experience at detailing cars at Midtown Motors, in Waupaca, Wis., Jesse is anxious to see if the paint will buff up and the chrome will shine.

Stay tuned for regular reports on our “new old-car adventure.” Yours truly has no experience with Studebakers, but we’re sure that Jesse is going to learn about them very quickly. We advised him to join the Studebaker Drivers Club  ( to begin with. Too bad the old Newman & Altman Catalogs we have in the literature collection are so far out of date.