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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-01-2013, 10:35 AM
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Bitten by the hot rod bug

I met an interesting guy at a cruise Friday night. Probably in his 60's (I didn't ask), shows up in a Model A Coupe, black hi-boy with flames, nice ride. He parked next to me, introduced himself (Ron), and we chatted for the next hour. He had an interesting story.

He says "It all started with me dying" - that got my attention! He explains that a few years ago he was driving for a delivery company on a divided 4-lane highway when he had a heart attack and lost consciousness. His truck crossed the median, somehow missed the on-coming traffic, down an embankment and smacked into a large tree. The doctors told him that the impact with the tree is what started his heart again! After he recovered from his surgery, he decided the heart attack was a wake-up call, and that he should use his time to pursue something he never had time for - hot rods!

He decided he wanted to build a Model A - met a guy who was building one, offered to help him in return for the experience, so he could build one for himself. Fast forward to the other guys Model A is finished and he starts on his own. One day the other guy shows up at his house, car not running right, and offers to sell it to Ron for half what it's worth. His wife talks him into buying it - his son figures out the cam is bad, so they put a new cam in it and it runs great. He offered it back to the guy and the guy says 'no, I sold it to you, it's yours'. That was the A he showed up in.

He finished the second Model A, and gave it to his son. He bought a mid-50s pickup he fixed up for his wife, and just started working on a '56 Chevy hardtop that will eventually go to his daughter.

He is making up for lost time, and apparently with the support of his entire family.

Pretty interesting guy.

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Old 07-01-2013, 12:06 PM
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Wow thats a cool story. Maybe we should start a thread on how we all c am e to be interested in hotrods . That is if there is not one already.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:07 PM
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ok i will start it off ! born in 1967 so i think i was about 5 or 6 (1972) playing in the front yard. i heard something i never heard before. so i looked up to see a car smoking the tires all the way down the block. i just remember that big wing on the back & 440 six pack on the hood. did not know what kind of car it was till a few more years later. Can we all say Superbird !!!!
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:38 PM
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ok i will start it off ! born in 1967 so i think i was about 5 or 6 (1972) playing in the front yard. i heard something i never heard before. so i looked up to see a car smoking the tires all the way down the block. i just remember that big wing on the back & 440 six pack on the hood. did not know what kind of car it was till a few more years later. Can we all say Superbird !!!!

for me it all started the first time i got to goto the racetrack when i was 5 or 6
i had seen my uncles ( front engine) top alcohol dragster in the shop all the time but had never been to the racetrack or heard/seen it run

i was hooked from the first time they warmed the engine up in the pits

by the time i was 8/9 i would goto everyrace i could , and even had the job of pulling/reinstalling the headers/valvecovers and filling it up with fuel between rounds, which as i got older turned into clutch service and other jobs between rounds
my uncle stoped racing a few years back , about 2-3 years after the injected nitro cars came out , he was going to build one but everytime he was about to order a block or other engine parts they changed the rules on the cars so the parts he was going to get would have been no good. so he finnaly said to hell with it

one of these days i will build my own rail

not the same kind of hotroding that most here are into ut alot of the dragracing stuff carries over into the street cars i build

Last edited by Project89; 07-01-2013 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:16 PM
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Great story SedanBob!
I personally can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in cars, which is funny since nobody in my immediate family was a car guy! From the time I can remember I would find myself distracted by any hotrod that drove down the street, or anywhere near enough to hear it.
We had a couple older guys living close by who worked on cars, and especially one next door. I would go outside to play, and end up leaving my friends if I heard them fire a car up. I was drawn to the sound of a loud car, and the louder the better!
Bought model cars with all the money I could save from pre- teens to driving age. Got my first real car with money I'd earned doing lawns and such, at age 13. I worked on it and got it running before I turned 14, and drove it around the neighborhood every chance I could, when nobody was home to catch me. One of my brother's friends ratted me out one day, and I got the keys taken away, so I learned how to hotwire my car and drove it some more!
Somehow I stayed out of any major trouble, and when I got my license I continued to buy, build, and sell hotrods. I ended up working for the local gas station in school, and then for the Cadillac dealer after graduation.
After getting drafted in 1969 I didn't go back to mechanic work when I got out of the military, and became an electrician, but always built cars for myself and friends. I probably build more after I retired than I ever did when I worked. Just seems to be the best therapy I've ever had, and nothing gives me more pleasure than putting a car together now!
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:16 PM
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Myself, I had been to dirt track races - our neighbor raced, but I didn't connect race cars and street cars then. When I was about 11, a neighbor kid, older brother to one of my friends, bought a '58 Chevy Impala. It was blue and white and had pipes that rumbled, but what caught my eye was the twin power antennas that he had frenched into the rear quarter. Watching those extend and contract down into those frenched tubes was the coolest thing I had ever seen! That was the only custom touch that I knew about, but it made it feel so special when I got chances to ride along! After that I paid attention to all things automotive - I was hooked!
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:22 PM
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[QUOTE=1971BB427;1690244]...so I learned how to hotwire my car and drove it some more!
Somehow I stayed out of any major trouble...QUOTE]

Another great story! Sounds a lot like my own teen years! Glad we both survived without serious injuries or jail time!
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:39 PM
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My brother was a motorhead and was messing with small engines as long as I can remember so I guess that got me going. But next door (this was a farming community) my God parents lived and had a son who was a hot rodder. his friends would come by in hot rods, one of the most memorable to me was a stunning little 29 Model A roadster pickup, full fendered, two tone blue with a 671 blown 327! So it was around all the time, but I believe that led to the defining moment, seeing American Graffiti! I came home after seeing it (my mom dropped me and a friend off at the theater) and I saw the 50 Dodge in my hard that my brother had dragged home as the Pharaoh's Merc. I got some bondo and filled filled the holes in the hood after removing the emblems, I was 15 and HOOKED. Just a short while later a few weeks before my 16th birthday I bought a 48 Chevy pickup with a hot 235 in it with paper route money for $200 and never looked back.

I was delivering newspapers on my bike at the time and hadn't a clue that there were jobs where you got paid to do body work. I had zero exposure to this so it never dawned on me that somewhere people were fixing and painting cars for a living, dads were feeding their families doing it. Then one day I was delivering my papers and a customer of mine got out of his car and he had the local Chevy dealers name on his shirt and it said "BODY SHOP". I asked him about it and he said that was his job. HUH? I could do this for a job! I can go do what I LIKE to do, like my hobby and get paid for it! HUH?

And that is exactly what I have done for my whole working life.

Brian
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1971BB427 View Post
Great story SedanBob!
I personally can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in cars, which is funny since nobody in my immediate family was a car guy! From the time I can remember I would find myself distracted by any hotrod that drove down the street, or anywhere near enough to hear it.
We had a couple older guys living close by who worked on cars, and especially one next door. I would go outside to play, and end up leaving my friends if I heard them fire a car up. I was drawn to the sound of a loud car, and the louder the better!
Bought model cars with all the money I could save from pre- teens to driving age. Got my first real car with money I'd earned doing lawns and such, at age 13. I worked on it and got it running before I turned 14, and drove it around the neighborhood every chance I could, when nobody was home to catch me. One of my brother's friends ratted me out one day, and I got the keys taken away, so I learned how to hotwire my car and drove it some more!
Somehow I stayed out of any major trouble, and when I got my license I continued to buy, build, and sell hotrods. I ended up working for the local gas station in school, and then for the Cadillac dealer after graduation.
After getting drafted in 1969 I didn't go back to mechanic work when I got out of the military, and became an electrician, but always built cars for myself and friends. I probably build more after I retired than I ever did when I worked. Just seems to be the best therapy I've ever had, and nothing gives me more pleasure than putting a car together now!
I can't believe what my parents let me get away with! Now mind you, this was farming country but by the time I had bought this truck things were changing FAST and the large fields at the end of my street was covered with houses. I would hop in my chopped top truck without any windows with a pair of goggles on and drive all over! No license plates no insurance, no hood! I think I put a thousand miles on that thing before I ever got glass in it, insured and legal.

Brian
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:04 PM
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Cool story... I don't think it hit me at any age,,I really think I was born with the bug...... Not really sure at what age it really started but as far as I remember,, It started with drawing cars at a very young age in school... I think that's why I passed school,,, I would get pulled out of class to draw Santa and other things for all the teachers in school,, Might be why I can't spell worth a d*** today,, Good thing I'm good with my hands,,

Then At some point at a young age My mother bought me a Model car..That was the day's,,, Now I was young,,, And built many many model's,, My mother made My dad put shelves all over my room,,, Now building them was fun Until One fell and broke,,,, That's when I think it started..

I took all the good part's and started cutting them up for bigger tires and different Motors.... I started breaking them on purpose...

I had a tackle box FULL of Motors and wheel's and you name it... A box FULL of goodies..My own Junk yard !!!! NOW IT WAS ON !!!!! My mother would buy me a model hot rod and I would do my Magic !!!! The funny thing was she would always want to see it when it's done.... She would always say....

IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE THE ONE ON THE BOX... I would just look at her and smile and say.. I KNOW !!!! It's cooler !!!!...

So I think y'all know the rest of the story....

If you know what's good for you....
DON'T EVER LET THAT BUG BIT YOU !!!!!!
YOU DON'T EVER HEAL !!!!!
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:56 PM
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You guys mentioned models - I built every ship and airplane model I could get my hands on. Somewhere along the way I discovered car models. I built a mess of them. I would add pieces of wire insulation where I wanted hoses, and heavy thread for plug wires to make them more realistic.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:17 PM
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yeah i forgot about models , i had tons of them that i built as a kid
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:38 PM
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For me it was my Dad, he owned a service station and when I was real young, about 5 or 6 my Mom would make me go to my Dad's service station, just to get me out of her hair and my two other brothers had no interest at all. I learned to pump gas for customers, my Dad got me to do oil changes at about 8 or 9 years old and I watched my Dad with great interest.

I graduated to doing drum brakes, tune ups and that type of thing. One day a 1960 Corvette pulled in for a tune up and I got to go for a test drive. I got to replace the plugs, point's condenser etc. He said he wanted it to go faster, I watched my Dad redo a slightly larger carb, rejected it, rebuilt the distributor (before I put the new parts in it) and when it came to timing, he power timed the car (Advanced the timing until it pinged under load and slightly backed off the timing). We then went for another test drive and the performance was night and day...I was hooked and couldn't get enough information.

Hooked, line and sinker.

Ray
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:22 AM
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Myself had a heart valve replacement surgery when i was 23. It was emergency come to find out my dad whom was out of the picture died from this heart disease. After my amazing survival from heart valve rupturing flight from ALaska to Seattle, my brother has since found out he as the disease also. He had surgery 3 years ago, all is well. Just found out my little girl has this she is 3 now but i hope i can leave her my rig when i pass on, being that most who have this issue of mine don't live to long i've been trying to get things done, an not waste time. Be sure to tell your loved ones you care about them, cause we won't always be around to show it.
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Old 07-02-2013, 03:42 AM
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yeah i forgot about models , i had tons of them that i built as a kid
Oh my God did I build a lot of models, still have a number unbuilt and half built up in the attic.

Brian
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