The Car, "Seno" 

Going in the snow: January 2002

The car is a bit of a mystery.  Cars are notoriously forgetful; if someone doesn't write their history down, it's forgotten.

What we do know...
Alyce bought the car in May 1997 from Matthews Memory Lane Motors in Portland, Oregon.  They acquired it from a guy who said he was Tanya Tucker's uncle, headed back to Oklahoma.

The car was a bit rough but certainly a good ride.  It made two parade appearances in Oregon, carrying the Grand Marshal in one and winning a "best" ribbon in another.

Originally blue, the car was painted neon purple in August 2001 after the fenders were reshaped.  The wheels were dingy silver; they were powder-coated fire engine red in August 2001.  The tires had tread but were so old, they had cracks wide enough to insert a fingernail.  These were replaced with new Nankang 600 14's.

The engine, capable of outrunning lawn mowers on a good day, was replaced in October 2000 with a 1600 single port, 57 horsepower rebuilt mill.  Brakes, clutch and battery replaced or restored. 

The first drive in the rain
Our first rally

Car's name:  A Seno Scoperto (that's Italian for "topless"), or "Seno" for short.  Seno resembles a 1927 Bugatti and to honor that adopted heritage, the Italian was chosen. 

 Seno is 13 feet long and weighs about 2200 pounds...wet.
Seno takes regular gas and has a 10 gallon tank.
Dashboard and steering wheel are wood. 

There are no doors, no top--AT ALL-- no heater, no windshield wipers, and no radio.  With a 6 volt system, this isn't likely to change. 

A clear glass oval, about the size of dinner plate, is the "windshield." 

You get into and out of the car by giving up any semblance of grace.

Although resembling an old race car, Seno and Alyce are not particularly competitive and don't race.  How fast will it go? is a standard question.  And the standard answer is:  "a hundred miles an hour if it's dropped out of an airplane."

Most frequently asked question: "What do you do when it rains?"

When Seno led the Hawthorne Street Parade in 1998 he was decorated with the sponsorship of local Edward Jones agent, Bruce Kent.   As part of the decoration, eyeballs were drawn on the headlights and a pair of big red lips were anchored at the grill.  The 3-D lips are still there.  Chrome script has been added to the grill and it reads: "Haulin A" (for Alyce, of course, since that's what the car does).

Alyce's other cars:

1937 Packard 4-door sedan with its original engine, maroon, named "Eleanor"

1973 Cadillac hearse, Superior body, black, named "L'Chaim" ("To Life!")

1951 MGTD Kit roadster, white, named "Miss Marple"

1940 Ford coupe, painted 1957 Chev Dusk Pearl, named "Franklin" This is Alyce's first car, purchased also from Matthews in 1979--she still has it, still drives it.  In 1995 Alyce drove this Ford to the Bonneville Salt Flats for an event called "Hot Salt" and won the People's Choice Award.  The next year Franklin was featured on the event poster, T-shirt, etc.

Alyce was named "Most Unlikely Streetrodder" by StreetScene Magazine in 1983.  Until she purchased her first car, the '40 Ford, she thought that "small block" meant a short neighborhood street.

Matthews Memory Lane Motors is located at S. E. 26th and Holgate in Portland, Oregon (www.memorylaneclassiccars.com)
-- where Alyce buys her cars.  It is also the site of the "World's Largest Faux Postage Stamp" with a graphic of Alyce's face and the saying, "If my car were a hat, I'd wear it."

(Seno shown at right before paint.)

In September 2001 Alyce and Seno made an 800-mile journey to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and back for a speaking engagement with the Soroptimist conference.  Alyce's banquet speech was:  "Everything I Know About Life, I Probably Learned From My Car" and featured a surprise appearance of Seno in an adjoining banquet hall. 

To have Alyce speak at your next conference:503-232-0433 or Email: justalyce@usa.net
Speaker's Packet sent on request
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Alyce Cornyn-Selby
1928 S. E. Ladd Avenue
Portland OR 97214
(503) 232-0433