Wow, I really underestimated our readers' knowledge of vehicles.
Seven readers correctly guessed last week's vehicle, a 1950 Chevrolet Holden Coupe Utility.
I was so confident that this vehicle would be so rare I also issued a challenge to award two free Movies 10 tickets. The names of those who guessed correctly were placed in a hat. The winner of the two free tickets was Greg Dalton of Emily.
This vehicle, which 51 percent of it had to be built and fabricated in Australia, belongs to Bill and Donna Dirnberger.
A plaque propped up against their car during the 30th annual Greater St. Paul and Minneapolis International Auto Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center stated that the coupe retained the original 21- cubic inch engine and well as a Chevrolet chassis and frontal sheet metal (all provided to Holden as knock-down chassis export).
Dalton was the first with the correct guess. He was the third caller last Thursday and noticed the right-hand drive immediately.
Jonathan Richards, Brainerd, had several details. He said these vehicles were based on the 1950 Chevrolet full-size cars. They had a heavy-duty suspension to withstand Australia's rough roads.
He said once the coupe arrived in America, the car could be converted to left-hand drive easily because the parts were interchangeable.
He also noted that Holden is still in business. The company is still producing a SS Ute, which looks like a modern coupe utility. The 2004 Pontiac GTO is based on the Holden Monaro, Richards said.
Tony Rolfes wrote in an e-mail that these cars were what the Chevrolet El Camino was based on. El Caminos were introduced in 1959.
Loran Eickhoff, who knows the Dirnbergers, wrote in an e-mail that the parts for the vehicle were shipped to Australia by Chevrolet for assembly and marketed there by the Holden Assembly Plant.
Ken Martin's dream of racing his Pro Stock Bike at the NHRA Powerade Drag Racing Series Nationals in Chicago this weekend went up in smoke Saturday.
His bike made it only the first 700 feet at Brainerd International Raceway before the engine blew up and the bike caught fire. It was his first pass on an engine he had just installed in preparation for the national event.
He said the engine dropped a valve, which in turn started a fire that melted his bike's body and burned its electronics.
The No. 1 cylinder rod, which shot out of the engine block, sliced the frame like it was butter, he said.
He estimated the malfunction caused an estimated $40,000 damage.
He said he didn't realize the left side of his bike was on fire until he tried to push the clutch in. "All I heard was a crumble," he said.
He said his bike's engine kept running but once he started slowing down he saw the flames shooting off the left side of his foot.
Once his engine locked up, he said he skidded to a stop.
His next opportunity to race in a national event will be June 27-29 in Madison, Ill. He said he is not sure if he will have his bike ready.
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