Gretsch Events

VLV 19 Road Trip

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Can we claim Viva Las Vegas 19 as a Gretsch Event? Technically no...however, since Joe C always makes sure that Gretsch has a huge presence at every VLV and the number of Gretsch guitars being played by the bands far outnumber any other guitar brand, and Brian Setzer's Rockabilly Riot is the headliner...and...to the best of my knowledge there are a fair number of GDPers attending this year, then I say we can claim VLV as a Gretsch event

I am heading down to Vegas on Wednesday morning at the crack of dawn for a somewhat epic roadtrip from Vancouver BC in my 1957 Dodge Coronet, Betty Lou. I have Betty Lou entered in the VLV Car Show and she's rarin' to hit the road.

I'll post a little roadtrip 'blog' here for anyone interested in following along and I'll include coverage of VLV as well.

Here's me and Betty Lou yesterday afternoon right after I gave her an oil change and a general spruce up for the trip.

More to come.

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wow you are a brave man!!And here I am chicken to drive my buick from so cal to vegas 4 hrs awayGod bless you on this awesome feat of endurance.

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Thanks Tavo! It's a very blurry line that separates brave from reckless ...I'm not sure which I am

My Dodge has been inspected and proclaimed fit for the trip and there are only 52,000 original miles on the engine, of which I'm responsible for about 500 already, so I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll make the trip there and back...but that remains to be seen...Betty Lou is still a 59 year old automobile so all manner of mechanical/electrical issues could potentially arise. Thanks for the well wishes...much appreciated!

Oh...and I'll be looking out for you when I get to VLV. Have a safe trip yourself.

4

Have fun and don't forget to pack that Streamliner. Nice suit BTW.

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not to worry..the factory installed gps and bluetooth will get you through

nice ride!!

cheers

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Absolutely righteous ride. For my money, late 1955-59 MoPar kicks ass all over 1955-59 GM

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I would love to see a road trip blog! Sadly tho I can't go this year but hopefully next year I might... With my Buick although I'm kinda in the same boat as tavo

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I'll keep tabs of your Road Trip Blog ,any trip with an over 50 year old car is always an adventure.

I'll be there Friday afternoon. First stop is the bowling alley.

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You'll have a ball and it looks like you'll arrive in style! I haven't been for a few years due to the young family here in the UK, but hope to get over for the 20th next year.

So I miss seeing how things have turned out with the artwork that I make for the event. Any photos would be really appreciated, anything from T shirts, skate boards, the stage backdrops etc,. We just designed a new one for the Car Show stage. As Brian Setzer and Dick Dale are both performing on the stage I designed, you can't imagine how frustrating it is for me not to see that!

Have a ball mate

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You'll have a ball and it looks like you'll arrive in style! I haven't been for a few years due to the young family here in the UK, but hope to get over for the 20th next year.

So I miss seeing how things have turned out with the artwork that I make for the event. Any photos would be really appreciated, anything from T shirts, skate boards, the stage backdrops etc,. We just designed a new one for the Car Show stage. As Brian Setzer and Dick Dale are both performing on the stage I designed, you can't imagine how frustrating it is for me not to see that!

Have a ball mate

– Vince_Ray

Thanks Vince. I'll grab a few photos and add them here for you in a few days time. I'm a big fan of your work and VLV wouldn't be the same without it.

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This is a great idea, Greg. I will look forward to reading your blog.

And, I am also a little concerned about your Betty Lou making it to Las Vegas and back home again. Drive it slowly. My son owned a 1988 Lincoln Town Car and we drove it when we moved him down to college in Fullerton, California. Unfortunately, when we hit the Grapevine just north of Los Angeles, the tranny went out on it. It would have cost us more to replace it then the car was worth. So, with great sadness on his part, we had to say goodbye to his vintage car. Yours is even older, which concerns me, even though it has less miles. Good luck and safe travels to you.

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Thanks Bob...I appreciate the concern, and yes, I'll be taking it slow. With the big MoPar Red Ram engine Betty Lou can easily top 100mph on a straightaway but I'll be keeping her at a sedate 55-60mph for the entire trip. I'm traveling only in daylight hours so if anything gives out I'm hoping that the worst case will be I'm stuck by the side of the road waiting on a car hauler for a few hours.

...and so, on with the preparations. Gotta load the kids...

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...there we go. Safely in the backseat. The trunk is stocked with a jerry can of gas, toolbox, spare fluids, belts and hoses and various 'just in case' sundries so the 'kids' are traveling in style with me. As it should be of course

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Last check under the hood. New Air Filter installed. Fluid levels checked. Checked the tires. And she's all gassed up.

For any classic car buffs out there in GDP Land, Betty Lou is a 1957 Dodge Coronet 2Dr Sedan. She is part of the Chrysler 'Forward Look' family of cars designed by Virgil Exner which included 1957 to 1961 Dodge, Plymouth, Desoto, Imperial and Chrysler. She has a 325 cu/in V-8 Red Ram Poly engine, push button Torqueflite transmission, power steering and power assist brakes. She was built on May 23rd 1957 at Maywood Assembly in Commerce, CA and sports a two tone paint scheme of Glacier White and Flame Red.

To the best of my knowledge I am her third owner and I'm as proud of this car as I am of any of my guitars

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...and one last photo for the evening. Tucked in for the night in her nice warm, dry garage. It's raining heavy outside...I'm hoping that will pass by early morning. We got a 4am start. Sleep well Betty Lou...big day tomorrow!

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Dang, that's a beaut! I'll be looking for it at the car show on Saturday. Can't wait to get to the Orleans and immerse myself in all things rockabilly, automotive, and burlesque. Plus Dave and Deke's Hillbilly-fest. We're not playing there this year, but if anyone needs a Leapin' Lizards CD, I'll have some to sell ya.

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Looking sharp as ever, Greg.

I hope you have a safe and pleasant journey and give my regards to Vegas

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Thanks Deke!

Here we go...3.45am in Vancouver BC and about to embark on mile 1.

Let's go!

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Wow! What a great life! That car, that amp, that guitar and all headin' for Vegas.

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Greg, I can't imagine anyone looking more cool than you at this event. You really know how to do it up. Is the Missus going along or is the 55' going to ride shotgun?

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Safe travels, Greg!

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1st 3rd of today's driving is done...Betty Lou's taking a rest while I eat breakfast.

Thanks Vince, Dave and Andy.

Vince, I consider myself a lucky man that after a lifetime of wishing I was around in the 50s I can at 50 years of age finally justify treating myself to a few 'always wanted' items and I'm happy living the life of a 1950s anachronism

Dave, no, Mrs Nitro couldn't make the trip this time. I subject the poor girl to rockabilly 24/7 so I'm pretty sure she's fine with 'missing out' on even more wall to wall rockabilly at VLV

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A few pics from along the way this morning...

4.15am at the Peace Arch Canada - USA border. Usually the third busiest border crossing, this morning there was only one car in front of us and only one US Border Officer on duty. It can take as long as 4 hours to get through this crossing on a busy holiday weekend. We did it today in two minutes. Gotta love that!


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