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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 03-11-2013, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by boothboy View Post
So what your story and how did you get involved with automobles?

BB
Sorry BB for the flip answer, after reading everyone else's history here is my condensed version.

Growing up in the 50's, I had every AMT model car that came out. And as someone said I had the wooden push cart with rope. Took red paint and painted flames on my bike fenders, put playing cards with close pins on the bike to make the cool sound. Decided I was going to be an automotive engineer and design cool cars in Detroit.

I was not very focused in school, but barely got into Purdue Mechanical School, and barely graduated, and this was why.

After my soph year at Purdue, I became friends from my summer job with the local hot rod Fonsy. He and a friend were building a blown, rat motor T bucket, I came over one night and was hooked. His friend had also started a T-bucket but decided it was not for him. I immediately emptied my savings account and bought his engine, corvette IRE, and invoice slip for a body. Never told my Dad who was always harping on me to stay away from the local hoodlum and hit the books.

For the rest of my college days, I sneaked around at nights and weekends to work on my T, (and barely getting thru school). My Dad was not mechanical, was pretty much a mean SOB, hated anything to do with my "hobby". By the time I graduated, like now, no jobs were available, but I did get a job as an engineer at a civil engineering company that had hired me summers as a draftsman. So I never made it to design cars at Detroit. I worked at that firm for twenty years, moved on to a contracting company, worked for them 6 years and then, as the original flip answer, I got laid off. I immediately started my own consulting engineering company and have been designing air conditioning and plumbing for commercial buildings for the last 20yr (I really should be working on a high school plumbing job right now rather than writing this!!)

Now the rest of the story on the T. . .I graduated from PU in 1971, finished my T-bucket in 1972 and drove it from Indy to Tulsa NSRA nationals. My father finally warmed up to my hobby somewhat, to the point I took him for one ride in the T around the block. He died on my 30th birthday from too much booze and smokes, never knowing that I finally had my own engineering company (he always harped at me that the only way I was going to get real $$ was to work for myself, guess he was right on that count), and never knowing I turned into a 65yr old hot rodder,

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:36 AM
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You sound like me in that you just "make it happen". What ever it takes you are going to have a job, if it takes learning a new thing, that's what you do, and they all bring new challenges that are welcomed.

Brian
Brian,I forgot to add there was a time sandwiched in there where formal training came into play as a ASE and at UB@Buffalo.It's not common to find a partner like I have.We are very much alike and yet different enough to counterbalance we other.Most partnerships don't make it,but ours is going on I think 40 yrs and still going strong.I do think we bring a level of professionalism under the radar to "sportsman" racing.We don't go out hoping to win,we expect to win everytime.
I agree it is disheartening to see young guys hang a fa*t can muffler off their car and solely because it sounds different call it a race car.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 03-11-2013, 01:40 PM
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The internet holy crap has this changed things! My mom drove me over to a town about 25 miles away to go to a guys house who was a friend of my neighbor (who gave me my first job at his rod shop) who was chopping a top using an old Rod & Custom magazine where they chopped the Dream Truck. I looked over what he was doing and went home and chopped the top on my truck, this was 1974. It will still stop me in my tracks when I think of how easy it is to get rare parts, how easy it is go do things I never thought possible with the access to the net. It really is amazing.

Brian
It sure has! Its funny to look at your old car magazines and notice no web addresses. Brian you obviously had a natrual knack for what you do and some strong mechanical skills. I know I do and that helps me a lot. Its the only way ive done as much as I have. Wish I got more formal training and could do this for a living.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 03-11-2013, 02:10 PM
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Dad was a car salesman for a few years back in the day. He would bring home new demo cars in the muscle machine hay day, I remeber looking at a 70 GTO judge endura bumper (about eye level I was 6, this is a burning image of mine to this day!) and going for rides at lunch time, he would drop me off at school and sometimes do smoke shows. Talk about a good influence! Big block vettes, chevelles haha I think some of the teachers bought cars from him later. Man times have changed, I think a guy would be arrested for doing a smoke show in a school zone these days, and rightly so.

At any rate good or bad influence I was never the same,,,
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 03-11-2013, 08:23 PM
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Growing up my family never had a lot of money so we generally had old clunkers for cars and unlike so many others my dad taught me about engines, trannies, rear ends and even some bodywork. He was instrumental in my getting my mechanics license and being top in my class. He would always say" Any job worth doing is worth doing right!" He passed away in '93 and even though it's been over 20 years I still miss working with him.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 03-11-2013, 08:40 PM
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Growing up my family never had a lot of money so we generally had old clunkers for cars and unlike so many others my dad taught me about engines, trannies, rear ends and even some bodywork. He was instrumental in my getting my mechanics license and being top in my class. He would always say" Any job worth doing is worth doing right!" He passed away in '93 and even though it's been over 20 years I still miss working with him.
I had posted earlier on the site Bruce that my dad and I were not close when I was young. As the years went by we grew much closer. He eventually realized that I had matured and did a good job of taking care of my family and finances. Earning his respect meant a lot and even though I wish things had been different when I was young I too miss him. It has been about 15 years since Dad passed. Life sure goes by quick. I am so thankful my daughter and I have always been close.

John L
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 03-11-2013, 08:48 PM
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I had posted earlier on the site Bruce that my dad and I were not close when I was young. As the years went by we grew much closer. He eventually realized that I had matured and did a good job of taking care of my family and finances. Earning his respect meant a lot and even though I wish things had been different when I was young I too miss him. It has been about 15 years since Dad passed. Life sure goes by quick. I am so thankful my daughter and I have always been close.

John L
I wish I had the chance to have children (cancer when I was 17 took that away from me) so I married a fine lady (my 3rd ) with 2 grown daughters and am happy that my granddaughter from her youngest is my little princess and I wish we were living closer to them so I could watch her grow up.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 03-11-2013, 08:53 PM
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I wish I had the chance to have children (cancer when I was 17 took that away from me) so I married a fine lady (my 3rd ) with 2 grown daughters and am happy that my granddaughter from her youngest is my little princess and I wish we were living closer to them so I could watch her grow up.
My wife and I will be looking at real estate in the Nashville area later on this month for that very reason.

John L
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 03-11-2013, 08:56 PM
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All I can say is; Good for you!!!
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 03-11-2013, 10:04 PM
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I had posted earlier on the site Bruce that my dad and I were not close when I was young. As the years went by we grew much closer. He eventually realized that I had matured and did a good job of taking care of my family and finances. Earning his respect meant a lot and even though I wish things had been different when I was young I too miss him. It has been about 15 years since Dad passed. Life sure goes by quick. I am so thankful my daughter and I have always been close.

John L
Yep and you won't make the same mistake your dad did will you! Me too, my kids will be coming by here Sunday with my grand daughter and I can't wait!

Brian
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 03-11-2013, 11:14 PM
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Back in the late 60's and early 70's Me and all my friends at the time were into dirt track racing in a big way. None of us had much money but we sure did have fun. A lot of you talk about your Dad's influence on you. My dad raced stock cars well into his 50's and had some very strange ideas, One of those ideas was "you could learn more about driving a car in 20 min. on a race track than half a lifetime on the street." I don't know about that but at the ripe old age of 15 Both me and my brother found ourself in a stock car on a dirt track. When your budget is -0- you learn a lot about wrenching. When I graduated from school I got the the break of a lifetime in that I went to work for GE in their marine propulsion division. Working on large gas turbines in ships, Mostly Navy ships. I did that for 4 years and then went back into the family business so to speak. The building of cross country pipelines, I worked as a mechanic on heavy equipment off and on for 30+ years in that business. And in the off times I worked in the oil field both inshore and offshore. And I worked in so many places it would be easier to tell you where I haven't worked. I worked as a mechanic for 2 Caterpillar dealers during those years and have owned 2 shops. and currently have a fabrication shop that is pretty idle right now. I am waiting until I retire to really kick it up. It's a little hard right now as I am the Master Mechanic for a very large oil field service company. But the one constant through all these years has been hotrod's and Bike's. I am currently working on a 27 C cab T pick up that will have a turbo 2.3L ford when done, And be all sheet metal. And Yes when I really get started I will start posting pict's in the build section My plans for after I get the 27 done was to start on a 32 3 window coupe. But that's changed. After doing my research I have decided to build a Factory 5 33 coupe. But with a twist. One thing that is absolutely important to me is that a car handle and handle well. It comes from My dirt track and SCCA racing background. My 33 build will have a factory 5 frame and a blown 5.0L coyote engine and a tko 6 spd. Sounds normal enough right. I want to build a 33 sedan delivery body for it from aluminum. With full fenders. It would be the most difficult thing I have ever tried and will probably fail. But I won't know until I try. My back up plan is to go with the stock body from Factory 5. The only things that would hold me back are time and my health. Thanks Bill
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 09:15 AM
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My great grandad was an auto and aviation mechanic in the infancy of both. He was born in 1900 and worked for both Moyer Automobiles and Franklin Motors. He moved over to Franklin Aircooled (flat engines based on the Franklin I6 and V12. He was a test pilot for Bell Helicopters and worked on the Tucker project as well. His daughter was my Dads mom. SHE had a pilots license as well. Her husband was a farmer and a welder for Carrier. He taught courses at Carrier for the military during Korea, and Vietnam and did a lot of their hand finish welding. He worked on the chillers for the Astrodome, Superdome and Silverdome; along with the Carrier Dome here in Syracuse. After he retired, he was brought in to hand weld and inspect 4 chillers going to Saudi Arabia and a special climate controlled sarcophagus-thingy for the Smithsonian to hold some frozen caveman.
My Dad grew up under all these folks and also was an industrial arts teacher; with a BA in I believe 'Automotive Systems repair and design' from Pittsburg KS (Go Gorillas!)

Due to my cerebral palsy; I couldn't go out and play baseball with the neighborhood kids, so I spent my days in the shop with my family listed above. During High School I graduated with honors and had a 2yr technical certificate in Culinary Arts. I also took AutoBody and Small Engine Repair for a semester each. I went to Culinary School (Culinary Institute of America - Hyde Park) but had to turn down my scholarship the 2nd semester due to a torn ACL MCL and PCL. I ended up in Community College with an Associates in 'Humanities' which is a superbly useless liberal arts degree. Ive worked on farms, my moms pre-school, several restaurants, unarmed and armed security / VIP escort. My first real paying job was at a boatyard that restored vintage boats along with general marine repairs. Now I handle all the High Performance Sales and Service for Auto Gear. This is mostly for the Muncie-based 'Syracuse' 4speed stuff; although we do custom transfercases and transaxle designs. I do a lot of application engineering for street car, road race and even some land speed guys.

At home I restore furniture, read a lot, and my girlfriend and I are a foster home for abandoned pitbulls/ bull terriers etc.
Im also lucky enough to help out you guys with manual transmission questions. My boss is one of the few guys in the world who can design every part of a gearbox from the casting to the shift mechanism. He is quite literally a gearbox historian; so if you guys need to know about T5s or Daggenhams or if you have a T44 in your GT-40, we can probably help you in some way.

Awesome thread, thanks for the stories guys
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 10:06 AM
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how did you get your start

Awesome story AutoGear! I love to hear these storys! I wish I had listened more to the life storys of my father and grandfather. Sadly, they've passed, but I love to tell all the storys I can remember from them. Thanks for sharing yours with us.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 10:33 AM
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Yes Autogear awesome story, but I have a question, what the heck is a "chiller"?

Brian
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 03-15-2013, 10:55 AM
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My great grandad was an auto and aviation mechanic in the infancy of both. He was born in 1900 and worked for both Moyer Automobiles and Franklin Motors. He moved over to Franklin Aircooled (flat engines based on the Franklin I6 and V12. He was a test pilot for Bell Helicopters and worked on the Tucker project as well. His daughter was my Dads mom. SHE had a pilots license as well. Her husband was a farmer and a welder for Carrier. He taught courses at Carrier for the military during Korea, and Vietnam and did a lot of their hand finish welding. He worked on the chillers for the Astrodome, Superdome and Silverdome; along with the Carrier Dome here in Syracuse. After he retired, he was brought in to hand weld and inspect 4 chillers going to Saudi Arabia and a special climate controlled sarcophagus-thingy for the Smithsonian to hold some frozen caveman.
My Dad grew up under all these folks and also was an industrial arts teacher; with a BA in I believe 'Automotive Systems repair and design' from Pittsburg KS (Go Gorillas!)

Due to my cerebral palsy; I couldn't go out and play baseball with the neighborhood kids, so I spent my days in the shop with my family listed above. During High School I graduated with honors and had a 2yr technical certificate in Culinary Arts. I also took AutoBody and Small Engine Repair for a semester each. I went to Culinary School (Culinary Institute of America - Hyde Park) but had to turn down my scholarship the 2nd semester due to a torn ACL MCL and PCL. I ended up in Community College with an Associates in 'Humanities' which is a superbly useless liberal arts degree. Ive worked on farms, my moms pre-school, several restaurants, unarmed and armed security / VIP escort. My first real paying job was at a boatyard that restored vintage boats along with general marine repairs. Now I handle all the High Performance Sales and Service for Auto Gear. This is mostly for the Muncie-based 'Syracuse' 4speed stuff; although we do custom transfercases and transaxle designs. I do a lot of application engineering for street car, road race and even some land speed guys.

At home I restore furniture, read a lot, and my girlfriend and I are a foster home for abandoned pitbulls/ bull terriers etc.
Im also lucky enough to help out you guys with manual transmission questions. My boss is one of the few guys in the world who can design every part of a gearbox from the casting to the shift mechanism. He is quite literally a gearbox historian; so if you guys need to know about T5s or Daggenhams or if you have a T44 in your GT-40, we can probably help you in some way.

Awesome thread, thanks for the stories guys
Excellent history! I'm finding all these stories delightful. We all have a rich history. Saying that, my Grandfather was a pig farmer.

BB
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