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Old 12-05-2008, 07:49 AM   #1
Ryan
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Default Past The Tube

I've spent the better part of my life trying to communicate what it is about old cars that just makes me feel right. Not for anyone else, but for myself. I've written about the feeling before and I've tried to air my thoughts, but with limited suc...

To read the rest of this blog entry from The Jalopy Journal, click here.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:53 AM   #2
Kiwi Kev
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Default Re: Past The Tube

Sounds like the ramblings of a madman......but I can totally relate.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Past The Tube

That was great. I think you nailed it better than anyone. You all alone with your car and an open country road. That the car pleases you, and that the feel from the road gives you comfort. Nothing to show off, just how that ride makes you feel. There's nothing like it. Those are the moments that make all of the late nights worth while.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: Past The Tube

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi Kev View Post
Sounds like the ramblings of a madman......but I can totally relate.
Me too. I wrote the following a couple of years ago:

The Drive.
It was hot today. Thatís not unusual for this time of year in Southern California, but none the less, it was hot. Thankfully the sun was setting now and it was beginning to cool off. It was still warm, mind you, but much more comfortable. I unlocked the garage. The hot rod was there; itís creamy off-white flanks shining in the half-light coming through the windows. It seemed ready, eager even. I could almost hear it saying, "Come on, letís go."

With a turn of the key the flathead burbled to life. Unsteady at first, then more smoothly, more confident. Its exhaust note soft yet loud at the same time in the confines of the garage. A quick check of the gauges showed that all was well. I slid the gear lever into reverse, and slowly backed out of the garage and onto the street. We eased down the street letting the heat build gradually in the engine. There would be time for speed. The car felt good and as the temperature continued to climb I flipped the switch that started the electric fan. Now it was time to go.

The road began to rush under the wheels and I could hear the rear tires, with their large tread blocks, starting to hum the faster we went. The warm night air flowing around the windshield was buttery soft and brushed against my arms and face like the touch of a feather. I could see the glow from the headlights shining on the sides of the front tires as they spun ever faster. The car was bouncing slightly with the undulations in the pavement but the steering felt positive and the car would go precisely where I wanted. Faster.

As the road opened up, the flathead was now singing loudly, sweetly, melodically. I drove on, almost delirious with the rush of air and the sound of the engine, no, not just the engine but the sounds of the entire car. The suspension working up and down, the tires on the road. It was as if the car was alive, breathing, feeling, enjoying this rare event as much as I was. With no top to obscure the view, I could see that the evening sky still held the pale glow of the sun now far over the horizon. The first stars of the night were scudding in between the few high clouds and a sliver of a moon was there to catch any that fell through. It was wonderful.

I felt sorry for the people driving their dismal mini-vans and SUVs around me. Their windows tightly closed against the warm and fragrant night air, their cell phones and stereos blocking out all other sounds. Completely isolated from any sensation that they are actually traveling through the magic of the twilight. What a terrible waste. Here they are frantically scurrying about, rushing to complete some errand or another, without giving the slightest thought to the pleasure of the trip. Perhaps not even realizing that pleasure can be derived from any sort of driving. Sad.

There is, I am very happy to say no such agenda for us on this night. This magnificent hot rod and I have no place to go and no set time to be there. We merely want to enjoy this journey to nowhere that we have set ourselves on. For there is much to enjoy. And so we drive on, taking our liberties with the speed limits when we can, behaving ourselves when we must. This car and I are one, simpatico. It is a deliciously intoxicating experience. We could drive like this forever. But unfortunately we cannot.

And so, somewhat reluctantly, we turn back down our very own street. The engine is still singing beautifully, the night air is still warm and sweet, and all is well with the world. I turn the car into the garage, and slowly bring it to a stop. I let the engine idle for a moment, enjoying the mellow burbling of the exhaust. Once again I turn the key only this time there is silence. Silence but for the soft ticking of warm metal. Ah, that was perfect!
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: Past The Tube

I'd say you put it to words about as well as you can. To me trying to explain it, well you just can't find the words that fit. Kind of like when a beautiful woman walks by and only thing you can think is "....damn!"
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: Past The Tube

word.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Past The Tube

this is very true

I also own a harley and this is what has already happened. The fad is over
the people who are gonna keep their bikes are still in it and the others are out already
I had to sell my bike when i got married had a kid and bought a house
the guy that bought it from me dumped it once, and was over it. the bike went up for sale.

I couldnt afford it but I HAD to have my bike back.

I have never gone on a 300 bike ride or been to a rally but I have taken my bike for an all day ride with no one riding with me, no one saw me riding, it is definitly about the machine and ride no matter how many wheels are under you
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: Past The Tube

I dig ya Ryan... for me I can best sum it up as the feeling... when I'm driving alone in my '54 Chevy at dusk, or in the early morning... and drive into a fog bank on a lonely country road, and I can't help but think, hope, dream, that I'll drive out on that other side in 1954...

For that moment when I'm in that fog bank, the modern world is obscured from view, I'm alone in a time capsule from 1954, and for those split seconds, I am there, I am with my car, I am in 1954, I just am... and it feels damn good.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: Past The Tube

I get it, Ryan. My English teacher put it to me this way. In NY, there were a group of well known chefs who, once a week, would gather "after hours" to imbibe on a soup made from ground discarded animal bones. They claimed it was the best thing they had ever tasted. Thing is, they never sold it to the public. They didn't want it to turn into something that was en vogue. Even if someone happened to like it, there would be the "gross factor". That's how I relate.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: Past The Tube

its all about the project for me, bringing back the dead in kind of a Dr Frankenstein way.
It is also a little more about the cars than about people also, Your car doesnt have any hidden agendas, typically wont cheat or steal and is allways there for you, I am not saying all people are bad, just a few bad ones, I think it was Von Dutch who said "machines are cool, people suck"

Dont get me wrong I love going to shows and hangin out with my friends, but theres just something about a project (especially when it is nearing completion) that just makes me smile

All of this is probably why I look forward to getting home from work every night and working in my garage till bedtime or later, Some people say that makes me a social misfit, but I guess they just dont understand....
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: Past The Tube

You are right...I get in my Hot Rod to go for a spin, just to put gas in and then park it..."Why did you do that?...Because I can".
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: Past The Tube

For me it was the memories. It was all about the scavenging for parts that were exactly like the original ones, building the thing to your memories specs, putting it all together and watching it grow into those memories. Then came that first fire up. Wow,,,,,,,,,the memories.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:41 AM   #13
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Default Re: Past The Tube

I get the whole "This is ours, and we want to share it...but not with everyone" thing all too well...I have been building,racing, reparing, cussing and loving cars my entire adult life, along with alot of my childhood...There is room for everyone, but sometimes...You need the silence to appreciate the noise, Ya know?

Wow. it's really easy to ramble on this subject. I will simply say...

I get it.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:46 AM   #14
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Default Re: Past The Tube

The point when I am the most unhappy, is when I don't have a car finished that I can just jump in and thrash around in.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:50 AM   #15
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Default Re: Past The Tube

The good ol days....
there here and we are living it.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:57 AM   #16
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Default Re: Past The Tube

I think Pete Chapouris said it in an interview that when he's in his hot-rod it resorts him back to his youth. I look through the windsheild and I feel 18 years old again. It's like that favorite pair of jeans ,they feel just right. In my mind I think most of us HOT-RODDERS are adrenalin junkies and a good thrash in a hot-rod is our fix !! For me it's about taking the minimum and making the most as in all the glitz and glamour don't ride here but we haul some serious ass >>>>.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:57 AM   #17
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Default Re: Past The Tube

Yep, i know!!~Sololobo
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:12 AM   #18
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Default Re: Past The Tube

As much as I have driven the '50 Burb, it's always either to go somewhere or diagnose some noise, fuel injection, rattle....

I have never taken it out to go past the tube. I'm embarassed to admit I didn't even think about it. No excuses either, not work, kids, cancer. Nothing.

My next drive in it will be past the tube, I promise. Swear.

Thanks Ryan!
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:15 AM   #19
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Default Re: Past The Tube

Congratulations Ryan. You're well down the road to artistic freedom.
Being an artist, and a car guy, I've spent more than enough time trying
to figure out what it is that makes me tick. Sure, we love the cars but
it's always more than that. As humans we want to leave a trail.
We hope that our existence meant something to at least someone.
Our work, our words, the art that we make, are the cave paintings
for future generations. I have found that the truest of artistic expression
is found by those who don't play to the crowd. They go their own way.
On that singular journey you'll take some lumps but also enjoy the
clarity of thought and expression.

There was an artist/sculptor named Don Potts. Don created several
pieces of rolling sculpture that were both exquisite in form and execution.
(See "the Master Chassis" below) These pieces were magnificent.
They toured throughout the U.S. in the spring of 1972. Appearing at prestigious
galleries, they thrilled and amazed everyone who saw them.
Yet, later in Mr. Potts life, he destroyed them.

I suppose that our loss was his gain. He spent the rest of his life on a quest
for spiritual enlightenment. The physical art had come to mean very little to him.
Ultimately, it was his trip through life that had taken on real meaning.

Ride that wave dude.
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:18 AM   #20
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Default Re: Past The Tube

First off Ryan Iím glad that the under the knife ordeal is in a safer phase, I guess. I donít know you personally but your words transcend that and enter a kindred spirit of a mechanized friendship. I have surfed the So Cal for long enough and have seen my fair share of the orange ball melting into the amber ocean and passing up on the next set to be a buoy while taking in its splendor. As the evening glass off continues thatís when I realized that itís not about the destination, itís about the journey. You nailed it dude! I look forward to riding the next wave to shore, if I can get through the kelp bed! Hope all is well and you have a complete recovery
Late Wc
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