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Old 03-31-2006, 06:35 PM
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Do you remember your hot rod hero?

Back in the mid-70's when I was cruising Main in Pleasanton, California, their was this guy who drove a 34 Chevy Coupe with a big block and Crower injection.
He was almost mythical to most of us teenage bean heads, and as such, many rumors about him circulated amoungst us.
We only knew him as Rocco, but his coupe was the coolest and just like John Milner, he was the coolest. And according to legend, that coupe was the fastest ride in old P-town.
Actually, I believe that coupe made the Oakland Roadster show and won a trophy of some sort, but the years maybe adding to the legend again.
Anyway, one night we were hangin at J-box when Rocco drove up and grabbed himself a bag-o-food. When he got back into his coupe, I nervously stumbled my 17 year butt over to the coolest coupe alive to see if I could put some reality to some of the myths.
So I said, "hey Rocco, I hear a lot of rumors about your car and stuff and was wondering about it". Well, amazingly this bigger than life hot rodder starts talking to me like I'm one of the cool guys! Yikes, I flipped! Well, he tells me all about his coupe and how he built it and everything. He even told me stories about some of the rumors and how some know-it-alls would tell him about his own car! Bozos!!
So after an amazing 15 minutes, he fires up the beast and motors away.
Wholly crap, I was 4 miles above the earth!! So I walked, actually, I swaggered back to the guys, and they were totally blown away I was talking to the man himself. Then some weeks later, I was leaning against my car on Main, and Rocco pulls up, gets out of his coupe and leans against my old clunker and starts talking to me!! Wholly crap again! Well, after he left, everybody was totally shock. But I just played it off like, "yeah, sure, me and Rocco are buds! Ha, ha on them!

Anyway, who was your hot rod hero?

And by the way, has anybody ever heard of this mythical guy named Rocco from Pleasanton. I think is first name was John.

Decho

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Old 03-31-2006, 06:55 PM
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I was probably 12, I was at a gas station in Greene Ny, when a guy pulled up in a grape purple, 1932 Vickey, fendered, chopped, had a healthy engine ( don't know what it was ), that is what got me hooked, I'v seen what I belive to be the same car at a couple shows, but never cought up with the owner. that car is part of the signifacance of why I'm painting my '51 Chevy Grape purple, it's my first hot rod/ resto project. I'm only 17 , but it's almost done. I will have it done for graduation next year.
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Old 03-31-2006, 08:39 PM
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A 51 chev eh? Got pics?I have a 50 chev coupe we're hoping to finish this next year. Actually, if you look at my avator pic you can see the 50 under a cover behind my 57.

Hey, maybe someday you'll be a hero to some young kid!!
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Old 03-31-2006, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decho
A 51 chev eh? Got pics?I have a 50 chev coupe we're hoping to finish this next year. Actually, if you look at my avator pic you can see the 50 under a cover behind my 57.

Hey, maybe someday you'll be a hero to some young kid!!
My website has all the pics of my car that I have taken so far. www.angelfire.com/ak6/matt1951.

It's a Fleetline 4dr Deluxe, with the 235/ Powerglide.
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Old 03-31-2006, 09:27 PM
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well I don't know if Scum Bag Gary can be considered a hero but he got me started into hot rods.

I was on my skateboard heading to the local derelict hang out when I watch this guy trying to keep his car running from the drivers seat to run around the door to the carb before it stalls out!

Finally the fun of the show worn off I approached him & tell him I Can start it for him & keep it going so he can do what ever he needs to do.
well after that he took me for a ride @ this point in my life a car was a car!

1969 Chevelle 396/402 6 PACK solid lifter cam,Muncie 4 speed side ways "H" shift pattern{with the double pull ring} 4:10 welded ladder bars & "L" 60's {thats how we used to measure tires back in the stone age}Royal blue metal flake awesome ride


He takes me out into the boon docks
I'm all of 12 years old
hes drinking a beer & smoking a butt AND I ASK...

IS this car fast?

well I dont know he replies I never really speed in it.
trows out the butt finished the beer & busts that B B rat motor off stuffs it in 1st about a 5 grand side step on the clutch & the next thing I know the road is coming up at me from the passenger door!!

HOLY CRAP!! 2nd gear he swings the rear into a left side fish tail then back to the right for 3rd . . . you know what happened into 4th NEVER LETTING OFF THE GAS! hauling *** sh*tin' & a gittin, pedal to the metal ,clipping his toe nails on the fan blade

Then he turned around & showed me the rubber on the road see there is 1st & 2nd. . .

ever since then Ive never looked at a motor vehicle the same again

from there I worked in his autobody shop in the summer & after school then on to various mechanics jobs & a bunch of years in the bone yards .

If it has a motor/engine wheels & brakes ...let me at it!

scum bag gary .. he's a plumber now making a lot more money than in the auto buisness

DAMN SCUMMER!


R
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Old 03-31-2006, 10:34 PM
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My hot rod hero was my best friend Gary. He had a 65 fastback that was awesome. stroked 302 with 2 4's on a weiand tunnel that stuck way too far out of the hood. Four speed, 4.86 locker, ladderbars, BIG cam 12.5 :1 "mountain" pistons, sounded scary. On a good night that car would pick up the front wheels. Not far, but off the ground nonetheless. Gary used to run at fremont on wed nites, uncapped and the slicks on. I think it was turning 12's. (I know that wasn't fast , but it was fast to us) We were 18. You might remember that car in Fremont, Decho. It was burgundy. 78 through 82 or so. used to do livermore and fremont blvd. Did pretty good at little fremont too. Someone stole it in 82 and the movie was over. I still want to build a car like that. later, mikey
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Old 04-01-2006, 10:29 AM
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matt167, that is gonna be one nice fleetline good luck on the rest of it. BTW the gas is too high for me to have a hot rod hero around town, other than one of my friends that goes to ETSU he has a 06 GTO. Borla Exhaust and headers for now..........Black on Black. One mean ride almost got caught triplin the speed limit on a 40 mph road next to my house. There were also 2 long black stripes on the road before they redid the roads here.
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Old 04-01-2006, 01:32 PM
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Had a few, all neighbors when I was a kid. The next door neighbor was a paint rep, and painted some cars at home. He later opened a bodyshop, and I worked for him part time for a short time when I started tech school at 20. Found out he made a much better neighbor then a boss. He went through a lot of workers and had to attend anger management and classes to deal better with employees I heard. He built a nice black 34 chevy sedan. He would be much lower on my hero list then the other two neighbors on my block. Another guy, ken had a son a few years younger then me that me and my brother hung around with. He also had two daughters a bit older then me. He fixed up cars at his house and painted them all with centari, and they all were really cool to me. First was a elcamino for himself, then his oldest daughter got a roadrunner fixed up for her when she was old enough to drive, his next daughter got I believe 65 mustang, and his son got a huggar orange with black stripes 69 Camaro. Real nice guy who didn't mind us hanging around or helping if we had questions. Then there was another cool neighbor, Gary. My mom babysat his kids, and when we got older me and my brother would babysit for them sometimes. I would look through his hot rod magazines after the kids went to sleep. He built 30-40's hot rods out of a shop behind his house. Would go over there to see what was happening from time to time, and he would weld up broken go kart frames or bicycles when called upon for us. A few rods he built were in shows in the area. When I was in tech school and painted a 68 cougar at the end of the year for someone, I brought it by his place and showed it to him. Another real nice cool guy. I heard from my pops that he has now gotten out of building rods and went to work for someone else, something about insurance getting too high. What a bummer.
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Old 04-01-2006, 02:42 PM
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Mikey,
The 65 of your hero sound familiar but on wednesday nights at Fremont I was either helping my buddy with his V8 Vega or screwin with my Pontiac trying to get one my run in, so he probably was right next to me and didn't know it.
I'll never forget racing my girlfriends Datsun B-210 in a bracket race against a blow Ranchero. I was damn near to end when that beast launched, front wheels spinning wildly in the air! I watched him closing at an unbelieveable rate, and found myself cheering him on to win! And just as I reached the finish line, he ripped past me like I was a spectator! He nailed his dial-in and I was off a couple - his win.

And as far as little Fremont, I don't recall seeing you buddy, but some nights that road was packed with every imaginable muscle car around. I saw a 55 chevy wheelie and everybody was all fired up after that!!

I dig these stories of hot rod history.

Always wonder what became of those hot rod heros. But if they got out of hot rods to do insurance like Kenseth's hero, then I guess I don't want to know. Guess I just want to think they went on to bigger hot rod things.

Just me I guess.
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Old 04-01-2006, 04:08 PM
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NO decho, I haven't seen the guy for many years, but think he is still working on cars some way, just not on his own anymore. Heard something about the insurance on the shop was getting too high, you know how insurance costs have gone so high. Hard for me to imagine him the type that would take an office job. But not too far fetched, after years of low pay, hard work, and ruining your lungs in body, some not being able to go around paint anymore. Many do get into the insurance side of things and office jobs, or go on to do something else. I wish some of the guys where I work actually did some of the work so they knew how to write an estimate, One guy in particular gives away the farm every sheet he writes and doesn't really have a clue. Many of his estimates say simply bodywork, not where, what piece and have way too low of hours, plus a lot of things missed. Everyone in the shop complains about it often. Ohh well, as long as he still gets his commission. During christmas he and another one of the office guys had to put on a bumper. Everyone was punched out for the day and enjoying frosty beverages and pizza, so two of the guys that had to write estimates and one of the guys watched over them and let them use tools. I didn't see this, but heard the story. I guess it was quite a funny thing to witness. The term like two monkeys *&*@@ a football came up. The guy that restored the cars for his kids did some other job for a living, and worked on cars for his own enjoyment and hobby. That may just be the ticket.
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Old 04-02-2006, 10:58 PM
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I started working in a body shop at 14, the owner had built a few dirt track cars. His kid was in Vietnam, we started building a 442 for him when he was a few months from getting back. Wally, his dad, bought a 442 hit hard in the back. Then found a Cutlass hit hard in the front, cut both cars in half and mated them, a 65, I believe. We had them mated together, no windows, interior, mufflers, just enough to run it in and out of the shop. The youngest brother was about 16, came to the shop and we took it for a ride, sitting on 5 gallon buckets. Nothing but tire smoke and engine screaming, it was nuts, burned about half the tires off just about the time Wally showed up with his older brother, he got back a month early and dad just had to show him his new ride. He saw the last burnout and tire marks everywhere. The fight was on! Dan
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Old 04-03-2006, 05:05 PM
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My buddy Steve worked at his dad's Sunoco station every Saturday and all summer. His dad, Denny, was a pretty cool dude too. Steve saved enough to buy a Shelby 500 Mustang in that green color when he turned 18 and even let me drive it once in awhile!

One evening Steve and I decided to go fishing off the Mitiwanga pier. Denny was sure we were going out cruising and partying, so he waited a few minutes and followed us. We had the poles out and baited and the Indians game on the radio. He felt so bad for not believing us he went and bought us a six pack!
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Old 04-03-2006, 05:37 PM
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Hot rod hero

Well, it wasn't a person. It was a drive in restaurant. Skips Fiesta Drive in. What a great place!! Before McDonalds was popular. Every kind of car imaginable pulled though there. Muscle cars, street rods, customs even an occasional dragster would come through. Drag racing along North Ave. We would park in the Polk Bros parking lot and watch match races all evening long. Great burgers also. Started my interest in cars. Took my first car, a 50 Chevy green coupe with a Hurst 3 speed on the floor there. Mildly built six. Rarely won a race but never was arrested either. Went back a with my next car, a 58 Chey convert. 348. Still didn't win much, but great fun and memories.
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