Category Archives: Odds & Ends

Corvair For Sale…

***FINAL UPDATE: Corvair has been sold. Thanks for viewing!***


**Updated Selling Price — 3/22/2011**

After 11 years of ownership, the time has come for me to part with my faithful steed, my 1965 Chevrolet Corvair Monza coupe.

First a little history. I purchased it at a used car lot in Greenfield, Indiana in April of 1999. The folks at the lot didn’t really know anything about its history, other than it came from Kentucky. I was in the market for a ride that I could take to car shows & cruise-ins…something to fill free time I had on Friday & Saturday nights. I had previously owned a ’68 Corvair that I purchased as my first car in 1987, plus my dad and several of my brothers owned Corvairs since the 1970’s, so we were the epitome of a Corvair family.

Some basics of it: As mentioned, it’s a ’65 Monza coupe, 110 hp, 164 cubic inch air cooled flat 6 cylinder with a 2 speed automatic powerglide transmission with dual exhaust. It currently has 131K miles on the odometer. I bought it with 93K, so over the 11 years, I’ve averaged about 3,500 miles/year. 

It’s been a good car and met the needs I first had for it. I took it to a lot of Friday & Saturday night car shows & cruise ins. It’s also a GREAT car to just get in & take a drive out in the country or a twisty two-lane road somewhere. It’s been as far west as Iowa & Oklahoma and never left me stranded. I’ve taken it on many road trips around the midwest during various motor tours, especially along fabled Route 66.

Now, for the overview. I won’t get into every detail, but just some things over the past few years. First, this car is not a concours quality Corvair! What it is is a solid, sound running Corvair that you can show off with pride at a cruise-in or benefit car show. We painted it in 2006 after some body work here & there, but nothing real major. Currently it does have some minor bubbling in a couple of typical Corvair prone areas, but nothing is rusted through. Please refer to the link to the Flickr page below for more pictures.

Mechanically it runs well. I purchased two new rebuilt carbs from Grant Young at Wolf Enterprises in 2009. He’s a highly respected Corvair carb guru, and it was a purchase that was well worth it! As for leaks, no, it’s not bone dry underneath. The pesky transmission cable tends to leak when the car’s not run for a period of time, but it’s not too difficult of a fix. I can give the names of a couple of highly respected Corvairs mechanics who can fix it. O-rings and some other engine seals HAVE been replaced since I’ve owned it. It’s also got newer AC plugs, cap/rotor, plug wires, and coil. I also put a Pertronix electronic iginition on it in 2001 and it’s still running strong. Also for the past two summers I’ve used AMSOIL synthetic motor oil.

Wheels/Tires: I currently have Chevy rally wheels (15X7) with Firestone Firehawk 195-60-15 tires. They were purchased about 6 years ago and might have another season left in them. Also, I’m throwing in a set of original stock 13″ rims with ’65 Monza hubcaps if you want to change the look back to original, like I had here:

Interior: I had the seats reupholstered in ’02 and got the material from Clark’s Corvair Parts, along with new carpet. I also installed a Pioneer CD stereo with 2 6″X9″ speakers in the rear and two 2″ speakers under the front dash grill. I also replaced at some point over the past 11 years the headliner, so it’s in good shape as well.

Other odds & ends: As mentioned, this is a GOOD Corvair, but not perfect! It’s got its share of squeaks & such as most 45 year old cars do. I’ve got a maintenance book that I thought I had most everything written down, but after looking through it, there were some things I didn’t write down, so if you have a question about something specific, I may not know the date, but I can tell you if its been dealt with! Also, you may notice in the pictures that the tail lights are those of a ’66-’69 Corvair. The reason? When we gave it a paint job, I decided instead of putting the ’65 tail light lenses back in, I wanted to go with the later version, which I liked better than the ’65s. Also, I had the rear cove painted Argent Silver as the original Corsas were painted. I always liked that, so I went with it, even though it’s a Monza. As for fuel mileage, on a highway trip averaging 55-60mph, I can usually get around 23-24mpg.

As to why I’m selling it? Well, I was a single guy when I bought it 11 years ago with more time than I knew what to do with. But life changed, I married a great gal in 2002, and my interests have changed. We took the plunge last year and bought a small travel trailer and have fallen head first in love with camping.

And no, the Corvair doesn’t have  a tow hitch.  I just did a little strategic positioning for this picture. Even though we’ve since sold this trailer and are moving up to another one, the fact still remains my time for the Corvair has become limited and I’d really like to pass it on to someone who’ll love it as much as I have and give it a nice warm garage to sleep in.

For more pictures, go to:

If you have an interest and have any questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them! My asking price is $4,750 $4250. My e-mail address is: Please note, I’m located in the Indianapolis, Indiana area.



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Just what the world needs: Another online forum…

Some of you may know that we started the online forum for American Road magazine back in the fall of 2002. We were at a Route 66 festival in Springfield, Illinois in 2002 when our friend Jim Ross, one of the founders of the magazine, informed us he & Thomas & Becky Repp were starting a new magazine and he wanted us to run their forum.  We started on Yahoo Groups and the forum was eventually taken in house by the magazine.

It’s been a fairly easy forum to maintain, as all of our members “get it” as far as what we want and expect out of them. They make it easier because our members want the same thing we do.

With our new found hobby of being RV owners, we’ve decided to create our own online forum for owners & fans of the T@B and T@DA travel trailers. After looking at a few options for forums, we chose one on Ning, which can be found here.  I was a little leery at first, but after playing around on it for a couple of days, I’m hooked. It’s got a little of everything, as well as a Facebook edge to it. There’s another site for T@B owners on Yahoo Groups, but it can be unnecessarily restrictive on topics, so we decided to open another option for other T@B and T@DA owners. We plan on treating this forum like we do the AR forum: It’s a forum for the members.

The Yahoo forum has over 3,000 members after six years and we have 5 members after two days. Our forum may get there one day…depending on when we sell! 🙂

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After one year…

Monday marked the one year anniversary of the start of this URL. It was going pretty well early on, then I found Facebook in December. It seems my random nothingness moved from here to over there. I figure I should either try to give this thing more attention or keep it in moth balls so my three followers can move on with their lives. Maybe I could retool it into something else. Stay tuned….or not!

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A Fair Shot…

My photography life started around 1984 when my parents bought me my first SLR, a Pentax K1000. I used it for photography class that year and it is still to this day a servicable unit.

I used the K1000 nearly 20 years for all of my photography needs. It was in 2002 after getting back home from our Route 66 honeymoon that I decided I had enough of under and overexposed photos. I wanted something that had a little more modern features….like an “auto” button that would do the thinking for me. At the advice of friend & fellow Route 66er Jim Ross,  I upgraded to the Nikon N65. This gave me all the features I was looking for as well as some automatic settings that covered up all the photography knowledge I had long forgotten since that high school photography class in 1984. I spent several hundred dollars on the N65 and an additional zoom lens. It gave me a lot of good prints that made spending that kind of money worth it to me.

Never being one to want to break my routines in life, I’m usually the last one to switch to the latest & greatest. It wasn’t until 2007 when I finally broke down and bought my first digital camera, a Canon PowerShot A550. It’s a very nice point & shoot camera and takes some decent photos when there’s not a lot of thought to have to put into the shot.

Jennifer, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. She’s not your typical “I want jewelry” kind of gal. She’d much prefer the latest electronic gadget over perfume and necklaces. She’s usually ready for the newest model of a camera before someone like me is even ready to buy the outdated stuff. She’s been serious into digital SLR photography for several years now and has become quite the pro, literally.  I, however, finally broke through and got my first digital SLR last week. Per her suggestion, I went with the entry level Nikon D40. I stuck with Nikon because as she says, when it comes to DSLRs, “we’re a Nikon family”. She had purchased the higher end Nikon D50 in 2006 and still swears by the quality of the unit as well as the quality of the images. My oldest brother also purchased a D40 a couple of years ago and he too raved about it. So, I finally decided after I spent a lot of time at the speedway this past May that I needed something that I could take decent shots of the action on the track, and the Canon A550 wasn’t built for that. It was time to go DSLR.


I purchased it online through Wal*Mart as a package deal. It came with the body, 18-55mm lens, and 55-200mm zoom lens with the “Vibration Reduction” feature, which gives a helping hand to your photos under low light situations. I got it the day we went to the 2009 Indiana State Fair, so I was anxious to try out my new toy there. I waited until we got there before I took a shot with it. And that first shot was that of a deep fried pizza.

With some coaching from Jennifer on what to do with the manual settings, I was really happy with the results, especially of those at the Midway when it was dark.

I gave it some more work this past weekend at my dad’s birthday party. My 9 month old great niece Annabelle was more than willing to flash her blue eyes for me throughout the afternoon.

I’m probably going to sign up for a photography class through IUPUI’s continuing studies program to give me a refresher of all the info I forgot since I took that photography class in 11th grade. However, it won’t be soon enough, as I’ll be throwing myself to the wolves at the end of August when I give it a workout at an IndyCar night race near Chicago. Low light & fast moving objects…that should be a breeze.  :-/ Ahh, but I won’t be alone in learning my new Nikon over the coming weeks. Buying my D40 kind of pushed Jennifer over the edge in her decision to upgrade her D50, so she too bought a new Nikon, the D700 model. I can’t really explain all this model can do, but let’s just say it’s almost at the  top of the Nikon DSLR food chain.

The photos she’s created with her D50 have over the years generated a few bucks for her and even a free night’s stay at a Radisson in Cincinnati. I can only imagine this big daddy will probably generate enough bucks  for her next Nikon!


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There’s a fungus among us…

It’s been an unusual summer season for my yard. Due to a somewhat wet and cool summer, the grass has been as green as it is in April. This time of the year it should be a little crunchy and I should be cutting it every couple of weeks. However, no longer than 6 days for a cut has been the norm this year.

What’s even more unusual about the yard is what popped up out of nowhere after last week’s cut. After the sixth day, we have fourteen HUGE mushrooms growing wild in our back and side yard, with one in the front of the house for good measure. And measure I did. There are two of them that check in nearly 8″ across.

I’m not sure what to think of this. All spring & summer we never had one, and after last Friday’s cut of the lawn, they started popping up a couple of days later and haven’t stopped. Earlier this spring I tried a different lawn care treatment called NaturaLawn of America, which is an organic based lawn care treatment which is a little more friendly to the water supply it seeps into. I’ve always commented to a neighbor down the street how great his yard looks and he told me he uses NaturaLawn, however they come out and apply it. I chose the do-it-yourself route, as they have a 5 step program.

The only other thing I’ve put down this year was some grub control, but I wouldn’t think that would have anything to do with it. Heck for all I know, the lawn treatment didn’t have anything to do with it either. Suggestions, anyone? We’ve had mushrooms pop up periodically during the 7 years we’ve lived here, but nothing like this. Perhaps it’s a seasonal thing and that season is now & my yard is fertile ground.

Being a big fan of sauteed mushrooms on my burgers, I’d really like to learn one day if these things are safe. But due to the “poisonous mushroom” fear, I’d never fully have the confidence to try. But then again, with the new yard treatment, these ‘shrooms should be totally organic….pois0nous or not.


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Random Ramblings….

Wow…has it been a month and six days since I cruised around the speedway?? No wonder I’m getting complaints from the 3 people who check this thing! I thought I’d talk about a trip up to northern Indiana last Saturday until I realized it just wasn’t that intersting. Then I thought, well, maybe I’ll talk about my TV. Then I thought I’d just talk about anything that pops into my head. Done!

–The 500. What a race! Well, not really that great of a race, but there was a lot of action. We were in the 2nd row in the Tower Terrace. Vitor Meira’s pit was directly in front of us…20-some feet away.  Vitor didn’t have the best of days. First, a miscue on a pit stop caused a slight eruption.

I’m sure later he wished that fire would’ve put him out of the race, because he then would’ve avoided this spectacular crash, which broke two vertebrae in his lower back.

Vitor will recover, but he likely won’t be back in a car until the 2010 season.

–The TV. The television we have in our living room is rather smallish by today’s standards…about a 20″… however, I’d never think of getting rid of it for a larger model.

I aquired this Sony in the early 1990’s after my grandfather passed away. My dad & two aunts got it for my grandparents sometime around 1988. In the early 1990’s when my grandparents went into a nursing home, my dad asked if I’d mind living in their house until he & my aunts could get the place sold for them. I was down there for several months. I was probably 22 or so at the time, so my first sense of independence was rather enjoyable. My grandmother passed away late in 1990 and my grandfather in 1992. As a thank you for helping them out with the house, my dad & aunts gave me the Sony TV they bought for them….and I’ve had it ever since. The picture on it is still perfect. The fact that it belonged to my grandparents…born in 1897 & 1901…gives me a way to still stay connected to them, even though they’ve been gone for close to 20 years.

–Birthday Cruise. We had a nice, although short, trip out to Oklahoma from June 12-14. We took US 60 from Kentucky out to Oklahoma where we picked up Route 66. We stopped off for dinner at Lambert’s Cafe in Ozark, MO, the home of “throwed rolls”. The food was OK, but I guess the place is more of a novelty than anything. Yes, they have a roll guy who tosses rolls to you from the other side of the room.

We made our way to our friend Laurel Kane’s Afton Station. Afton Station is an old gas station on Route 66 in Afton, Oklahoma dating back to the 1930’s. Laurel & her former husband restored the station over the past 8 years and now it serves as a bona fide Route 66 tourist attraction. Laurel greets folks cruising Route 66 who stop in to take a peek at her collection of old signs and postcards, and David’s collection of vintage Packards and other cars.

–Tires & Turtles. I planned on getting a new set of tires for my Honda later in the year before winter. However, I checked out the web site for Tire Rack, with a distribution center located in South Bend, Indiana. I found a really nice set of BF Goodrich Traction T/A tires that were marked down to $39 from $63. After checking their reviews, it looked as if they performed well in the snow, which is a must for me.

Compared to the Firestones I had my eye on, I saved a whopping $170 by going up to Tire Rack. They had quite the facility. The mega warehouse is some 500,000 square feet and even has a little road course in front where weekend warriors come out to race.

The process took less than an hour by the time I got there. The operation is quite remarkable. The wheels and tires in the facility are all picked off the shelf, mounted on the rims, and then onto the car. But to see the size of the building is something to behold.

With new tires mounted, I made my way east on the Lincoln Highway to Churubusco, Indiana. I’d read where the annual “Turtle Days Festival” was going on, so I thought I’d make the drive over to see what it’s all about. Apparently in ’49, there was supposedly a turtle spotted in a farmer’s pond that had a shell so large that it could seat eight, as it was the size of a dinner table. My dad recalled when the hubbub of the Beast of Busco was going on 60 years ago. The festival was little more than a bunch of amusement park rides at the town park and a 150 year old, 165lb turtle named “Crunch”. It cost $1 to take a peek at Crunch. I’d still like to know how anyone knows how old this guy is.

Whether or not there was a turtle in that pond in ’49 remains to be seen. I give Churubusco all the credit in the world for capitalizing on it nonetheless. Afterall, it got me to show up and spend a couple of bucks in their town.

–Deep South roadtrip! It looks as if July 4th weekend we’ll be back on the road. We’re in the early stages of planning a Great River Road trip, which closely follows the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. We’ll probably pick it up in St. Louis Thursday and have the next four days to explore. Not sure where all we’re going, but I’ve got a little route that would take us through 11 states in those four days. Not sure if we’ll follow it, as I’m leaving most of the planning of this thing to Jennifer. But stay tuned…I hope to have updates here, provided we have internet access.

So there you have it…a blog entry! Aren’t you glad you waited 5 weeks for it???


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A Lap Around The Indianapolis Motor Speedway…

If you’ve never had the chance to drive around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, well, here’s your chance…to watch me do it in the Corvair. Every Wednesday before the Indianapolis 500 is Community Day, where everyone can drive their own car for a lap around the famed 2 1/2 mile oval. Due to YouTube’s time limits, I had to break it up between two different videos. My apologies for Part 2 being a little chopped up. I was running out of space on my memory card and had to quickly do some deleting, as I forgot to bring my camera bag with me that housed a spare memory card.

I add some novice history throughout both videos, all of which at least sounds like I know something. Hope you all enjoy this little ride on this American icon, which celebrates its 100th year this year.

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A guy to cheer for…

My intentions at the beginning of May were to have blog posts of my days spent this month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Well, after about the first day, I figured there wouldn’t be much interest in letting everyoen know that I arrived at the track, hung out in the garage, got some autographs, sat in the stands for a while, went back to the garage, and then went home. Come back the next day, repeat cycle.

Instead, the idea popped into my head last night to blog on one of my favorite drivers, John Andretti. In a sport where egos can run amuck, John first impressed me in the late 1980’s when he first appeared on the Indycar scene. He always seemed to a mild mannered guy who always had a smile. As a fan, John was an easy choice to gravitate to.

Even though John’s Indycar career started in 1987, he was no stranger to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Having been born into racing, John’s father Aldo (twin brother of Mario Andretti) had him at the track at an early age. This photo taken at IMS in 1967 shows (left to right) brother Mark, cousin Michael, John, and cousin Jeff.

John’s career has fluctuated over the past 20 years. After his Indycar options withered in the early 1990’s, John turned his attention to racing stock cars, where he has had a solid career since making his debut there in 1993. In recent years, John’s career has come in fits & starts since being released by Petty Enterprises in 2003, where he drove the famed 43 car for Richard Petty starting in 1998.

Since 2003, John’s been in & out of varies stock car series, but one good thing that came out of his semi-employment was the opportunity to return to the Indianapolis 500. Prior to 2007, John’s last run in the 500 occurred in 1994. But in ’07, he had the time and brokered a deal to run the Camping World car in that year’s 500.

Returning to the 500 again in 2008, John was already looking ahead to 2009. He convinced his now stock car sponsor, Window World, and his former boss Richard Petty to help him put together a team for the 500 with the assistance of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. To date, it’s not been the best of months, on and off the track. John’s dad Aldo has had some health issues and John’s car wasn’t getting up to speed in the first weekend of qualifications. That was compounded on May 10 when John smacked the Turn 1 wall, setting the team back even further. Right now I’d like to say that John’s safely in the field for the May 24th 500, but he’s yet to qualify. With 11 spots left open and upwards of 15 cars likely making qualification attempts, John and the team have their work cut out for them…and it showed Friday afternoon in their garage.

But despite all of the pressure this month has brought for John, he still has time for the fans. I was standing in the seats next to the entrance to Gasoline Alley watching the crews haul the cars back off pit road for the night. All the drivers either rode or walked back to Gasoline Alley. John’s crew pulled his car back, but John chose to walk and he was one of the last drivers to come through.

There were fans lined up on the north side of the entrance to Gasoline Alley waiting for any of the drivers to give them even a waive, as there were two fence rows separating them from the entrance. None of the drivers did…until John strolled upon the scene. He went down the line…at least 30 people long…and signed every item anyone had. There were a group of kids at the end of the row who I’m sure will remember the rest of their lives how John took the time to acknowledge them…just like how I remember in the late 1970’s when John Martin acknowledged a couple of us kids there on a 5th grade field trip.

It was a cool sight to see the 30 or so people along that fence and the 10 or so up in the stands next to it cheer and applaud John when he signed for the last person in line. When it comes to the fans, John gets it. He’s a guy you want to cheer for. 



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Earth Hour 2009: Watt’s the use?

As I begin typing here at my well lit desk in the middle of “Earth Hour 2009”, I felt compelled to comment on this non-event. Looking at the Earth Hour web site, you’ll find a bunch of participants with pictures of themselves on Flickr holding candles. I’m really thrilled they feel better about themselves. I’m not posting to rip on the entire green movement….it’s the phonies I have issues with.

I have friends on both sides of the political aisle who call themselves green. Fortunately they don’t ram it down anyone’s throat. Even though I’m not the greenest person around, they have my utmost respect. Why? Because they walk the walk. A couple of friends went solar  in their Tulsa home. Yeah, I’ve got a few CFL’s in my house, but I also have my share of the time tested incandescent bulbs. I’m a little old school when it comes to my light bulbs. But as I mentioned, I’ll run a few CFLs to push down my light bill a bit. So my purpose in using a CFL is strictly for monetary reasons.  Just something about the warm glow of an incandescent bulb that a CFL can’t compare. Plus, it’s a part of historical technology that I’ll do what I can to keep from disappearing.

But, back to Earth Hour. I’ve got a bit of a problem with this whole concept. It appears to be a whole lot of symbolism and very little substance. I saw a sign tonight at an eastside coffee bar touting Earth Day and to come in & celebrate at 8:30. I can only guess they shut down the lights & had candles burning. And I imagine they, like just about every other participant of this “glowious” event blew out the candles and flipped the light switch to the on position at 9:30:01 pm.  I’d love to ask some of these people that if it’s soooo right to flip your light switch off and live by a candle, then why not do it 24/7/365? What, not practical? Hmmm??? Then what was the point of your little vigil tonight? Was it just to tell yourself “I care”? Feeling a little trendy, are we? Yup, that’ll get it done.  Talk to me when you throw enough solar panels on your roof to make your light meter run in reverse or start repurposing and recycling in a meaningful manner. Otherwise, don’t throw your shoulder out patting yourself on the back.


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Indianapolis Motor Speedway Motel: 1963-2009

This week, demolition crews will knock down the final wall of the 96 room Brickyard Crossing Inn, originally dubbed the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Motel, which was abruptly closed by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in December.

(courtesy Indianapolis Motor Speedway, circa 1966)

Opened in 1963 outside of Turn 2, the IMS Motel was never an architectural masterpiece, but it had plenty of memorable guests during its 45 year tenure on West 16th Street. Many celebrities throughout the years attended the Indianapoolis 500 and most of them stayed at the IMS Motel, given the fact today’s upscale hotels in Indianapolis didn’t exist in the 1960’s. Names like James Garner, Jim Nabors, and Paul Newman  made it their home while in town for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Many a driver stayed there during the entire month of May, most notably 4-time Indy 500 winner AJ Foyt, who typically passed on the luxury motor homes for a comfortable room at the motel.


Newman’s roots with the speedway and the motel run deeper than his celebrity. He filmed many scenes from the 1969 movie “Winning” at the speedway and the motel, co-starring Robert Wagner and his on-screen and off-screen wife Joanne Woodward. Probably the most memorable scene from the movie was when Newman’s character, Frank Capua, returned to the motel after leaving Gasoline Alley and caught Woodward and Wagner (his team mate in the movie) “in the act” in Room 212.


When I found out the motel was going to be leveled, I was hoping to be able to get access to the room so Jennifer & I could get current day photos of the room and do some side-by-side shots from the movie, much like we do on our Road Trip Memories blog. I went straight to the top and wrote a letter to IMS president Joie Chitwood, but to no avail. I got a nice “Sorry Charlie” e-mail from the IMS public relations department a few weeks later. Hey, I tried! Hopefully Joie enjoyed the issue of American Road magazine that I sent him along with my letter. 😉  The last photos I took from there during demolition, Room 212 was still hanging on….although gutted and broken.

Newman was a fixture at the speedway for decades and became a car owner in the 1980’s for Mario Andretti. He made his final appearance at the speedway during qualifications for the 2008 Indianapolis 500, just four months before losing his battle with cancer to watch his rookie driver, 19 year old Graham Rahal, qualify for his first 500.


The other more notable guests to stay at the motel were none other than The Beatles during their 1964 tour. Legend has it that during their stay in Indianapolis, fans were tipped off they were staying downtown at the Essex House Hotel. Their manager then put all four in one room at the IMS Motel.

Thus ends a piece of the history of the century old Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The adjoining Brickyard Restaurant and Flag Room Pub remain open for business with no plans of closing. The future of lodging at the speedway is uncertain. With the Town of Speedway undergoing a major redevelopment plan coupled with a struggling economy, it might be a while before anything transpires, but early indications are there’ll be a more upscale hotel and conference center sprouting up near the site of the former IMS Motel. But whatever replaces the IMS Motel, it’ll have a hard time matching the history and lore of what stood before it.


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