Family Tradition… A rerun of sorts…
Ten years ago today, I sat down and wrote a quick piece that explored how I became a car guy and just how this thing of ours gets into your blood. And since it’s the Aluminum Anniversary and all, I figured I would repost it. Enjoy:
My first memory of speed is picture perfect. My pops had a ’75 Corvette that was heavily warmed over and out-fitted with twin turbos. He would sit my little ass on the console, pop in a tape of “Dead Man’s Curve”, sync his revs with the music, and tell me when to shift. It took a mean double grip on my part and I only had the stones to find second, but the memory hasn’t faded a bit.
A few years later, I decided I wanted to take my turn at steering. Without warning, I grabbed the wheel as my pops and I were picking up an influenced buddy at a bar in Altus, Oklahoma. No matter how presidential my intentions were, the results were doomed – totaled Vette, broken back, broken neck, etc… It was the first of many of my dad’s cars that I would tear up in one way or another. The list reads like a Robb Report: 2 Cadillacs, 1 Corvette, 2 S/C Camaros, and maybe a few more here and there.
Amazingly, my old man never gave up on me. By the time I was 15, I was one of the youngest S/G drivers in Texas and probably had more sub 10 second 1/4-mile blasts under my belt that 80% of the old farts I was racing. I guess more than anything what my pops taught me through race cars and hot rods was that persistence pays dividends.
I’m not sure where the hell he got it. My grandfather (pictured above in white) left the world early in my pop’s life and he was left to learn life on his own. The only real common denominator that I can think of between the three of us is cars.
And that brings me to my point… As cliche as it has become in the “editorial” masses of this industry, I truly believe hot rodding is a blood thing. It’s either in there or it’s not… And I’m so grateful to a man a never I knew and another whom is my best pal for ensuring that I got it.