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Old 07-18-2012, 06:34 PM
Northstar T's Avatar
62 Vette L-98 TPI & ZF 6 speed
 
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When gas was 29 cents and I was good looking

For those of us who were born in the late 40s and early 50s.
when in your high school era, where did you work and for how much? what did you drive, and how much did you spend buying and working on it?

1965: I was 15, but had a part time job at a hardware store after school, working on lawn mowers. I walked the 2 miles to get there, and home after work because I couldn't drive yet. made $1.45 an hour as I recall. I saved up enough from the job to buy a 56 Chevy 2dr post with a 6 that had just be completely rebuilt and 3 speed on the column for $225.00. the body was really good, but I sanded down the faded green/white paint and painted it a light brown with my dads spray gun that he painted houses with. it actually came out pretty good for a first time project. Then I traded the 6 cyl engine for a complete 56 Convertible with 265 auto in rough (for the time) shape. pulled the engine and stripped off what I wanted from the car and scrapped the rest (it needed a top. + who ever heard of a convertible hot rod. pfffft. that would be just stupid). I still couldn't drive yet, so I spent a couple months tearing the 265 engine apart and cleaning every part within an inch of it's life. I remember I even cleaned out the inside of each pushrod and shined the outside of them with steel wool. you could eat off of every single nut and bolt of that engine when I got through with it 2 months later. as I could afford them I slowly bought new rings and bearings, new timing chain and gears. lapped the valves, and eventually put everything back together again. I think it was like $60.00 for the new parts I used.
That thing ran like a top (although stock) and I ended up driving that car for about a year and a half before the HP bug bit me hard. but that's another chapter.
So what was your first car?

Russ

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Old 07-18-2012, 06:40 PM
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I started cutting grass for my dad at age 10.....50 cents/hr...Got to drive this though


When I was 16, worked at the A&W slinging burgers and fries....Saved up $300 and bought this.


Gas was $0.49/gallon.....Life was good....I miss those days
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:51 PM
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1951 Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe 4 door with Powerglide and the 235 6 cyl. A coach at my high school gave it to me if I'd "put new tires on it and pay the insurance". I was 15. Worked all summer with my Dad at a blue jeans factory in a different city for $2 or so an hour and came home with 4 new tires and "fixing" money. Covered the seats with denim scraps from the plant. Bought a 6 volt battery at Sears. Got my license a week after coming home, got the car inspected and took off. Went to visit a girl friend. The car stalled backing out of her driveway. Dejected, I walked towards home. Stopped at 7-11 for a Coke and mentioned my predicament to the clerk, who said "uh, think it has gas?" Duh.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:40 AM
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Worked as a draftsman while in college, 68-69-70 starting at $1.75/hr. When graduating from engineering school was hired by the same company for $9000/yr. Ordered a brand new 1972 Camaro. Gas was $0.35, then a yr later it jumped to $0.50 and speed limits went to 55. I got upset with gas prices since I was driving 50,000 mi per year for my job and traded the Camaro for a new 74 Vega. What in the world was I thinking? However, I also bought a new 72 motorcycle, and starting building a T-bucket, while still putting money in the bank. Some days you just wish you could time travel back
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:58 AM
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Born in '48, I started working early, mowing, shoveling snow, delivering papers, then a bagger at a grocery store, and pumped gas at a Deep Rock station at 29 cents a gallon.

By age 13, I started going to the U.S. Nationals, built models, and read hot rod magazines, turning me into an obsessed gear-head!

at 15, my dad loaned me $75 to buy a '53 Chevy two door post. I rebuilt the 216, then painted it at age 16.

Many cars followed, including the '57 Bel Air 2-door H.T. with no engine, that I paid $75 dollars for in '67. :-)

I went on to work in Chevrolet parts (At which time I bought my first '57 Vette for $800!)... then eventually ran printers... and later became a machinist at $5 an hour!!! I thought I was RICH!!! After that came heavy equipment, and railroad crew.

During those years I rebuilt a FLEET of early Vettes, 409s, and many more... then in '86 I finally left the world of good-paying "real jobs" to custom paint full time.

No regrets. :-)

Here is a friend of mine telling me what he thought of my '53...

a street rod that I spent 3 years helping a friend build, starting in high school...

and my first '57 Vette (with the seats removed at the time of the photo.)

Great memories!
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:49 PM
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62 Vette L-98 TPI & ZF 6 speed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TucsonJay View Post
I went on to work in Chevrolet parts (At which time I bought my first '57 Vette for $800!) <snip>
During those years I rebuilt a FLEET of early Vettes,
Man those early Vettes have really been my nemesis for over 45 years now. I never missed an episode of Rt66 back then, and that show really gave me the bug to buy one, but I've always been about 10% behind on the dollar curve. in 67 I had a chance to buy a nice 62 for $600.00 but I only had $450.00. a few years later it was another 62, but by then they had gone up to $1,000.00 and I only had $700.00. when they went to 10K I only had 8. this pattern has gone on for over 45 years now, and I still can't afford one. A 61 or 62 Vett is quite literally the LAST vehicle which hasn't been checked off of my bucket list. unless one comes my way soon, I'm pretty sure I've built my last car. the old body just can't do it much longer.
Great stories guys! How lucky are we to have been in our prime during the perfect time and place in automotive history?
Russ
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:49 PM
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Over about 13-14 years, I actually bought and sold 17 or 18 early Vettes... '56 through '65. Some were keepers that I built, then sold to start another one... some were just for profit.

Don't feel too bad. I couldn't afford it now. {:-(
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:27 PM
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More bucks, go faster!
 
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First job mowing lawns which with a partner turned into a mowing service all through high school. We covered the San Fernando Valley. I repaired neighbors lawn mowers and bicycles. One of my first paying bicycle repairs was for Don Ameche nieces and nephews. From about age13, on Saturdays I went to work with my father, a mechanic at at Ford dealership for free. First car 1955 Buick Super 2 DHor hardtop.
hardtop. First real job, I hired on at the old mans Ford dealership. I didn't tell him I was going to ask the service manager for a job. The manager told me to wait a few minutes and went down to ask my father if he knew I was in the office asking for a job. His reply was " if you hire him don't put him in my dept." I went to work doing warrenty repairs on new Fords. $450 a month. Gas was $0.23-0.25 per gallon and when there was a gas war I remember seeing it as little as $0.19 /gal and if you bought Shell you got a drinking glass with a fill up! Yep $8.00 filled that old Buick up. A McDonald's hamburger was $0.12, fries or a coke were $0.19. And they sold Hires Rootbeer. The sign below th Arches said " Over 100,000 sold"
That old Buick is the one I wished I still had.

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