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Old 06-15-2013, 08:54 PM
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A story from my foolish youth.

Summertime 1968. I had a '55 Chevy 2dr post with a 283 and 3-speed stick. It wasn't fast, but it looked and sounded good. A guy I went to high school with (Al) shows up at my house with a '62 Fairlane with a 352, and he wants to race, telling me how fast his Fairlane is. We go out to a local road, and when the stoplight turns green, we hit it. I beat him badly. We got up to the next light where we were going to turn to go back to my house - Al went straight. I didn't hear from him for almost a month. Al shows up at my house again, this time with a '63 Galaxie with a 390. Must have been the doggiest 390 ever produced, because I beat him worse than with the Fairlane. He drove off again, not so much as a wave.

Another month goes by, I sold the '55 and bought a '54 chevy 235 powerglide from my brother - great car, but slower than grass growing. My best friend (Randy) had a '68 Roadrunner 4-speed with a 426 Hemi, and happened to be visiting when Al showed up again, this time with a brand new '68 Chevelle SS396 4-speed, a definitely fast car. As it happens, my '54 is parked at the curb, and Randy's Roadrunner is in the driveway. Al asks where my '55 Chevy is, and I tell him I sold it. He asks if that's my '54 out front. Randy passes me the keys to the Roadrunner and then claims the '54 is his! Then Randy says "Isn't this the guy that always wants to race you? Are you guys going to race? Can I come along?"

The race was on. I wasn't real comfortable driving Randy's Roadrunner, but he was all for it. We trounced the Chevelle.

Al never knew about the switch, and Randy thought it was the best thing ever. I agree with Randy.

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Old 06-15-2013, 11:15 PM
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Now that's a very funny story! Probably scared your old buddy Al for life!
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:38 AM
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I like that story.

One of the somewhat major changes in my life came from an old Ford vs Chevy story..

I was done with uncle sam and bought a 65 Falcon Sprint hardtop in 69. Nice little car. Built a 289, cam, headers, intake, the usual stuf. The car would roast the tires, of course, because of the tiny wheel wells, no big wide rear tires.

Down the street, a soon to be life long friend, was building a 55 chevy. Three small blocks, dumped into a wash tub of gasoline and cleaned with a parts brush. He has now passed on, but I can still see him washing those parts. Cigarette dangling from his lips, setting on a bucket, scrubbing parts in that gasoline tub. The best parts set to the side pile. That produced a 327. Only new parts were gaskets and a set of cast rings.

Long story short. We went out and ran off a Ford-Chevy contest.. I can still see those 55 taillights ,, when I hit second gear.. That race changed my automobile based life.. New COPO 396 Nova was ordered the next week.

Haven't had a (post 48) Ford powered Ford hot rod since.. Tho I wish I had that Falcon now..
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:52 AM
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Love story's like these...Here's one of mine and I hope I haven't told it before.

A lot of you know that I'm a Pontiac fan and in my younger years I had a 67 Firebird that started it's life with a 326. That was upgraded to a strong 400...and won it's fair share of races. I Bob, as your buddy Al, had a friend named Rick, who also had a Firebird, and he was similar to Al because he seemed to spend all of his time trying to beat what I was running.

I remember it was a cool fall evening and my friend Rick pulled me over and told me that he had done some work on his Firebird and he wanted to race...long story short...he lost. I never heard from him all Winter...Spring arrives and he's ready to race...I agreed and we went out to Thornhill Road...(One of our usual racing roads) and I'm waiting for him.

This time he doesn't pull up in his Firebird, he pulled up in a tall T with a Hemi in it...spent all Winter building it...I looked at the car, I knew it was light, it did have a big motor...I thought should be a good race...We get to the starting line...the arms drop and I dump the clutch...first, second...third...fourth...I couldn't believe it...I won...it didn't even look like it was close...I couldn't even see that tall T any where so I head back. As it turns out, when my buddy Rick dumped his clutch, the torque or the engine flipped the tall T over...the importance of frame and suspension work was now not only text book it was visible. The T frame was bent something terrible...why he never tried it before going out and racing or asked question on what might happen or how too, I don't know.

Love going home...that story is still being told to the younger generation.

Ray
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:41 AM
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I was a very foolish youth!



120 miles per hour on ice.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:44 AM
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Yeah, I think Al learned a lesson we all do (or should) - there is always somebody faster!

BOBCRMAN - that's quite a switch, from Falcon to COPO Nova! Regardless of where we all started, I think most of us would be happy switching to that COPO! And we all wish we had some of our old rides back - I know I do!

Ray - that's a great story! Mishaps like that become legend - people might not remember who he was, but everybody will remember what happened when he dropped the hammer!
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:57 AM
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Crashfarmer2 - we are lucky we survived our younger years! Especially if that involved doing 120 on ice!
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:12 AM
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Crashfarmer2 - we are lucky we survived our younger years! Especially if that involved doing 120 on ice!
Some of it was luck but there was a certain amount of skill and common sense involved. I'm not sure I can even count the number of people I rode with at 100+ mph but most of them did it on the open highway during good conditions. The first time I recollect doing 120 was with my Dad riding in the back seat of our 56 Ford. I was standing in the back seat yelling at Dad to go faster! If a person demonstrated they were an idiot behind the wheel, I refused to ride with them again. Some of those on my never ride with list did manage to speed themselves off to and early grave. Most of the other speedy people I knew are still breathing and the ones that are gone that weren't on my list departed from the result of other causes than crashes.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:13 AM
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Yeah, I think Al learned a lesson we all do (or should) - there is always somebody faster!

BOBCRMAN - that's quite a switch, from Falcon to COPO Nova! Regardless of where we all started, I think most of us would be happy switching to that COPO! And we all wish we had some of our old rides back - I know I do!

Ray - that's a great story! Mishaps like that become legend - people might not remember who he was, but everybody will remember what happened when he dropped the hammer!
You know Bob, what I think is kind of neat is exactly what you said...for many years I didn't get home as often as I would have liked, but, even last Summer, I was reintroduced to people that didn't quite remember my name but...the inevitable question, "where you the guy with that Firebird"...and then the question I hate answering "do you still have it"...LOL...The car seemed to be the link as to who I was...and i don't mind one bit.

Ray
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:25 PM
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A reputation hangs on for a long time - aren't you glad yours was a good one!
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:37 PM
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So true Bob, nobody could ever say to me while be reintroduced and shaking hands, "aren't you the guy that raped my sister"?....Sorry Bob...couldn't resist....please forgive me.

But seriously, I was passionate about my car and for people to remember it after all these years, means that it must have, in some small way had an effect on them as well or they wouldn't recall it...and I guess that's pretty important.

Ray
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:13 PM
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A reputation hangs on for a long time - aren't you glad yours was a good one!
How true.. stories of The "Gray Duece" , (the name given my COPO Nova, by someone, back in street racing days) still come up,, most of these guys are much younger and I don't even know them.. Maybe raced their fathers, or ..grandfathers!
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:43 AM
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My Dad and I are both awful with names. Most of the conversations amongst the greybeards go like this "How's Ray?" "Who?" "Ray..." *blank look* "You know Ray." "uhhh" "White firebird with a 400 and black seats." "Oh! He's fine!!"
Odd thing about 'the greybeards'; only their sons have facial hair, and two of us have grey in our goatees...Im not sayin any names LOL

My Dad is locally famous for his 55 with Ansen slots and his old Opel GT that was painted like a pack of lifesavers (apparently there was a corvette funny car that had a similar paintjob with a hookah on it or something. In a fit of artistic genius, my dad saw 7/8th's corvette and thought paint job minus hookah). He also has the dubious distinction of being the only guy to lose to our towns version of Toad (from American Graffiti) in his 55 against this guys 6cyl 3spd falcon 4dr with fender skirts. Apparently when you spit the driveshaft out, it slows you WAY down.

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You know Bob, what I think is kind of neat is exactly what you said...for many years I didn't get home as often as I would have liked, but, even last Summer, I was reintroduced to people that didn't quite remember my name but...the inevitable question, "where you the guy with that Firebird"...and then the question I hate answering "do you still have it"...LOL...The car seemed to be the link as to who I was...and i don't mind one bit.

Ray
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:57 AM
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My Dad and I are both awful with names. Most of the conversations amongst the greybeards go like this "How's Ray?" "Who?" "Ray..." *blank look* "You know Ray." "uhhh" "White firebird with a 400 and black seats." "Oh! He's fine!!"
Odd thing about 'the greybeards'; only their sons have facial hair, and two of us have grey in our goatees...Im not sayin any names LOL

My Dad is locally famous for his 55 with Ansen slots and his old Opel GT that was painted like a pack of lifesavers (apparently there was a corvette funny car that had a similar paintjob with a hookah on it or something. In a fit of artistic genius, my dad saw 7/8th's corvette and thought paint job minus hookah). He also has the dubious distinction of being the only guy to lose to our towns version of Toad (from American Graffiti) in his 55 against this guys 6cyl 3spd falcon 4dr with fender skirts. Apparently when you spit the driveshaft out, it slows you WAY down.
Okay now...I was raised in a Mennonite home and I thought that the whole relating a person to other things than a name was indicative of only the culture I grew up in...I did laugh when I read your post...in my home town it often goes further than cars...I can remember conversations when I do visit, it usually starts off with a person I may have known that died and it goes something like this.

my mom...Ray did you know that Harold Enns died?
me...Who's Harold Enns?
my mom...you know, he married that Heoppner girl that worked at the bakery.
my dad...No, No, your thinking of Howard Enns, he married that girl at the bakery.
my mom...No, Howard Enns married that Heoppner girl that lived on 5th street.
my dad...that Heopnner girl on 5th street married John Toews from Gretna.
my mom...do you mean John Toews that owns the trucking company?
my dad...Those are the same Toews' that had that girl with epilepsy.
my mom...I thought she had Polio.
my dad...The girl with Polio is from the Toews' in Plum Coulee.
me...Who's Harold Enns?

It's great to hear that it isn't just in my small community.

Ray
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:23 AM
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Wow - Ray and Autogear - you guys sound just like me. I'm terrible with names, but remember other connecting information like what car they drive, or they live in a certain neighborhood, or grocery. There is hope for me though - I met a group of car guys at a cruise a couple weeks ago that get together regularly (and invited me to join them), and at least half the group is named Bob!
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