Around 8 years ago I started to build this A roadster in a 19th century carriage house garage behind a little cottage my wife and I rented when we first got married. Armed with basic, low grade hand tools, a borrowed 110 mig welder, and the Bishop Tardel classic “How to Build a Tradition A-V8”, I embarked on a learning process in building a hot rod. Along the way, HAMB pals like SamIyam, Yorgatron, Baron Von Mike and countless other great friends came over and helped me get the car together and running. My loving and supportive spouse provided the hot chocolate and her unwavering support. It wasn’t built to be a 100 point show car, or race-engineered marvel, I was simply trying to have a tasteful, traditional roadster safely on the road within my meager budget (under $7,000), and that required some serious scrounging of used parts, and a liberal serving of home-built ingenuity.
Plenty of grumpy ‘car guys’ (usually with no running car of their own) told me how I did this or that wrong, that the roadster wouldn’t hold up, or that it was a dangerous pile of crap that could blow up at any minute. And you know what? They were sorta right- My car is a rattle trap, there are some shady welds, it leaks a little oil, and random loose pieces do fall off occasionally. But for these past 8 years, she’s been to countless local shows, Paso Robles, Bonneville (1500 miles round trip), old car runs, Hot Rod Revolution, and even to Tardel’s ranch. Same car as it was originally built, same parts, same tired Caddy 331 engine… I keep talking about rebuilding the car “right”, maybe putting it on deuce rails, cleaning everything up, but I just have no excuse to do it. The darn thing won’t die!
This weekend I’ve been invited to the 11th annual Pasadena Reliability Run for the first time, and I’m stoked. Even asked a special guest navigator to ride shotgun with me on the 130 mile journey through winding roads of the LA County Hills. Guess it’s just one more chance to blow her up and prove those grumpy guys right.