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Four-Links – Jesse Valadez II, vintage EVs, Ruscar, Bethel AK

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The Historic Vehicle Association paid tribute to Jesse Valadez II, the caretaker of his father’s Gypsy Rose lowrider, who died this past week.

Although Jesse was soft spoken and humble, he was always eager to share his father’s creation with the world in tribute and with hopes of bringing people together through cars, just as his father did during his lifetime. Jesse’s undying love of low-rider culture, the Imperials, and his father’s creation will continue on with the surviving Valadez family. His kind-hearted soul will forever be missed, but never forgotten.

* We were delighted to have Bill Lillie show off his 1921 Milburn electric at the Hemmings Motor News Concours d’Elegance last weekend, and we were even more delighted to see his website about the vintage EVs in his collection.

My love affair with vintage electric vehicles began, by chance, in 2012 at the Fall AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) Meet in Hershey, PA. As I was walking through the Saturday show, I spotted a strange looking dark-colored car under a pine tree that, at first glance, looked like a phone booth or a Model T “Doctor’s coupe”. I remember that first vision like it was yesterday. It turned out that the car was a restored 1932 Detroit Electric. After that first encounter with an electric car, the next time I saw one was in the fall of 2015, when an unrestored 1922 Detroit Electric was offered at the Quam auction of “orphan” cars in Iowa. That’s when things got interesting…

* As Rusty Poole told the Canton Repository regarding his Ruscar, a homebuilt car he’s been working on for decades, it’s tailor-made, “like when you go out and order a suit.”

The vehicle started out as a father-son mechanical endeavor. The goal: construct a car styled after those raced in the Indianapolis 500. For matters of convenience and personal style, however, the duo embarked upon a more practical machine but one never to be duplicated.

Forgotten and scrapped car parts were salvaged from the Canton-Akron area. Junk pieces formed a collage of metal, wood and glass. They hammered, sawed, drilled and bolted the contraption together with minimal tools but compensated with gumption and ingenuity.

* In the town of Bethel, Alaska, cars come in but they don’t easily leave, a situation 99% Invisible recently explored.

The only way in or out of any of the communities in the region, including Bethel, is by plane or boat. In winter, when the rivers and lakes freeze over, you can also snowmobile or drive a truck along the frozen river. This all presents some interesting challenges when it comes to waste because pretty much everything that gets imported to Bethel ultimately stays in Bethel. It comes in by cargo plane or barge, and even when something stops working, it’s often too expensive and too inconvenient to get it out again. In other places in the United States, trash is thrown “away.” But in a town scratched from the tundra, unconnected by roads… there is no “away.” There is only “here.”

* Finally, Chevrolet dealer Percy Hunt decided to make the cabin part of his cabin cruiser a 1936 Chevrolet body. (via)