The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Pacorro, Jul 2, 2019.
Your hard work and ingenuity is an inspiration!
LSJUNIPER. Mallet, drill press, hacshaw, ruler, hammer and pure muscle to make that unique piece! And as I said: What can go wrong?
Yes, a very beautiful car of your el Presidente Avila Camacho. I found these photos of him on a state visit to the naval air station at Corpus Christi, Texas in 1940. From my readings, I understand that the July, 1940 general elections in Mexico were hotly contested between the candidates Avila Camacho and Andreu Almazan.
On close examination of the photos, I believe the car he and President Roosevelt are seated in to be one of the US President's government transportation fleet rather then either of their personal Packards. You can see the body guard and the naval officer are seated in the fold down jump seats whilst the two Presidents are seated side by side in the rear seat. The naval officer is wearing his summer white uniform, so this photo must have been taken in late Spring or Summer of 1940......
As an aside, my Grandson grew up in El Paso, Texas. Recently he sent me this information concerning what may be one of Pancho Villa's cars, in the old tunnels beneath Ciudad Juarez on the Mexican side of the Rio Bravo (Rio Grande).
There are old tunnels beneath the city dating from the 1600's and during the Mexican Revolution in the early 1900's these were extended to El Paso Del Norte on the American side of the river. Much of the guns and ammunition used by Villa's army were taken through these tunnels to the Mexican side of the river.
The car is a 1914 Mitchell. This car was powered by an inline 6-cylinder engine displacing 660 cu. in. No way to tell whether it was in fact one of Villa's cars, but he is said to have favoured these large, fast touring cars of the time......
1923 Obituary of Pancho Villa (El Paso Times newspaper)......
Best regards and yes, please post more here of the Paco Azul,
Thanks Harry, a lot of history in your possession, a lot of water has already run under the bridge since then amigo
I must admit that I like history very much, Pacorro. When you are old as I am, you have many memories of the times past. And history is the thread that weaves together the tapestry of life.
I heard about the unusual hail storm, localized at several areas in Guadalajara on the last day of June this year......
I hope it did not damage your car nor property there. Around this same time of year at the sub pier in San Diego, California...... It was 1976 or 1977...... I remember that it hailed during the middle of the day and not a cloud in the sky. Middle of summer, typical California day. No storm, no thunder, no rain...... Just blue skies and sunshine but for a few minutes, a thick white layer of hail fell, covering the topsides of the black submarines and sending their topside watches ducking for cover. One of the oddest things I have ever seen.
I regret that when I was younger, I did not visit Guadalajara. I have visited Acapulco once and Mazatlan twice in the 1970s when our ship anchored off the Pacific coast of Mexico. My other visits were by auto across the border from my home state of Texas.
On the visits to Mazatlan and Acapulco, we were not permitted to come into the harbour because our ship carried nuclear weapons. So we anchored out in international waters and came ashore in small open boats from several miles offshore.
And because there was no military agreement between our countries in those years, we came ashore in civilian clothes as turistas with the understanding that we had better not get into any trouble because if we got locked up and missed ships movement, we would be considered absent without leave or deserters and face court martial if we survived our time in the Mexican prison and made our way back to the US.
On our stop at Acapulco, some of the officers flew their wives down to join them ashore for the 3 days we were there. What a beautiful place it was in those years. It was as my mind envisioned the French Riviera to be.
White sand beaches, blue water, beautiful ladies, large hotels and very hot for January. The main street where we were was the Avenida Miguel Aleman. Beyond the hotels there were palm trees between the avenida and the beach with small stands with roofs made of palm fronds where we could refresh in the shade with a coco loco. There were coconuts stacked next to the stands and the man would reach out and split one with his machete and pour the rum.
The hotels were beyond our means, but 3 of us were fortunate to find a room at a small motel next to the hotels and directly across the street from the Banco National and above it was the most wonderful restaurant with a sign, 'Carne y Vino'. Our room was on the upper (2nd) floor and we had a balcony overlooking the street below. To the rear of our motel was the beach. I had a wonderful time there swimming and parasailing above the horseshoe shaped bay.
Now our job was primarily to work aboard the submarines and so we were not considered 'ships company'. We were only along for the ride and to do emergency repairs. So we were told that as long as we managed to arrive at the sub pier in San Diego when our ship did, we could fly home rather than return aboard ship.
Of course, we had not enough money to fly back, so my 2 friends and myself were going to put our money together and buy the beat up 1956 Ford taxi from the driver who took us around Acapulco. He wanted $75 American dollars for it and that's all we had. So with a leaky radiator and no shock absorbers and bald tires, we were going to drive it nearly 2,000 miles through the Baja all the way to California (or at least to Tijuana or San Ysidro if we had to leave the car in Mexico and walk across the border).
These are the kinds of adventures young men have when they have met the worm at the bottom of too many bottles of Mezcal. Fortunately, my friends drank up their share of the money and I was unable to make the trip by car. Which is likely why I am still alive at this old age.
Amazing story Harry! As you put it well, in youth, the best and reckless adventures are taken, we appeal to our testosterone to solve all the incidents that appear as an endless rosary when we decide to live on our own. Too bad you don't know Guadalajara, I hope you can do it someday. Mazatlan and Acapulco in those days and until today are some excellent places, and what to say about Puerto Vallarta, Vahía de Banderas, Nuevo Vallarta and Rivera Nayarit, a lot of paradise to enjoy in these coasts of western Mexico.
What an exciting job you had man! Very exclusive work and that few like you have the privilege of doing. And the hailstorm told you that it was extraordinary but far from home.
Thank you for allowing me to look out the window of your past stories, that thread with which you weave every day the magnificent carpet of your life. I wish you health and long life Harry, thank you for your generocity amigo¡
These days the merc is in the workshop making adjustments to the doors, some broken sheet, set time and carburetion and all those things that seem to never end.
As you noticed the radio is not in place, it is because it is with a wizard of electronics that removed the old entrails to turn it into a modern digital sound equipment, 100% respecting its old structure and beauty. Soon I will have more pics to share with you.
De nada, my friend! I am happy to share these memories. All the best to you as you continue the adventure of building your Merc. I believe you have taken the wise path in preserving your car's original character. So many cars now of days end up as little more than caricatures of the original. It is good that you have kept yours true to the original.
Your radio should have the good sounds when it is completed. My tube type radio is still working, so I will keep it
I would love to visit Guadalajara one day, but I do not get around so well at my age. Just like an old car...... The parts wear out. Back, knees......
I looked at your weather report just now. 20 degrees cooler in Guadalajara than here. Good excuse for a road trip.
The good weather news for us here along the Texas Gulf coast is that the hurricane Dorian may turn Northward rather than come into the Gulf of Mexico. The not so good news is that we will have more hot weather this coming week. Every day above 100 degrees F.
Asi es la vida......
Felicidades en el exhibicion exitoso, Pacorro! The blue looks maravilloso under the lights, and the Chicago theme was a cool surprise.
I've been to Guadalajara only briefly, passing through on our way to and from el DF para bailar para la Virgen in December '81. Quite a beautiful city at night. I still have a lot of wonderful memories of the friends I made among the danzantes, and visiting the old temples - my favorite was the Temple of the Eagles and Jaguars in Malinalco. We drove there in my rusty '74 Coupe deVille and a friend's Dodge camper; on the way home we stopped for the night in Queretaro and the next day jammed eleven of us in the Caddy to go to a water park... fun times.
Harry, what a heat in your city! In Guadalajara the weather is very kindly.
40 km from here in Ajijic is the largest colony of Americans in the world, I would say that it is a small city with a perfect climate for retired citizens from the USA, it is celebrated July 4 as much as independence day on September 16!
Spare parts for humans are still not what for cars, hopefully soon, I'm sorry your back and knees require service.
The merc is still in the workshop with small and fine adjustments, when you turn right the tire rubs against the internal body, things to solve like that, and as you say: I will never finish but I am eager to go rolling in it. Here in this thread I will post photos of the events and upcoming events. My best wishes to you Harry.
Chrisbcritter how good that you liked the "Paco blue" merc, it has actually caused a great astonishment in the lovers of old cars, since it presents about seven different tones depending on the origin of the light and the angle in which it is reflected, a madness
The devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe (La morenita) is very deep in our culture, it is an act of fundamental syncretism in our country and the dancers strive every year on October 12 to make that day their maximum religious offering by vaulting all the day (it takes months of preparation) as you already know.
Fortunately, meeting friends to go rolling on the roads is still an activity that rust lovers enjoy every weekend at least.
Yes, our temperatures along the Texas Gulf coast can be quite hot this time of year, Pacorro. In recent weeks, we have averaged 20 degrees hotter than yours in Guadalajara. I believe your temperatures are cooler because of your 5,000 ft. elevation and the cooling effect from being close to the Pacific Ocean. Here, we are 70 miles inland, but our elevation is only 150 ft. above sea level. The water temperature in the nearby Gulf of Mexico is around 87 degrees, so no cooling from there.
Monday and several days priour, we had a high of 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Every day for the past couple weeks was 100 degrees or higher. Yesterday, we had some rain which helped a bit and we are expecting more of the same today. The thunderstorms dropped between 3" and 4" of rain in one hour. Some areas nearby received 6" to 8" over a 24 hour period. Such rainfall amounts are not unusual here.
Thank you for your mention of Ajijic. I will look into it. One thing that I must also consider is that I might wish to live in a place where there are fewer Americans. This may sound strange, but I recall during my priour visits to Mexico whilst in military service...... On occasions when our ship was amongst others which disembarked a day or more before we came ashore...... The fellows who preceded us had been at sea for many months, so they had more money than common sense and pretty well spoiled things for those of us who came after them. A great many of them went straight to the Holiday Inn in Acapulco to eat and drink.
Me...... I could see a Holiday Inn back in the U.S. if I chose to. So I hiked alone through the mercado, saw the historic church and other sites in old Acapulco, watched a spirited game of futbol played by the young people in the dry moat along the side of the old Fort San Diego. Had some great food at a little out of the way taqueria and then I took a bus ride up into the hills overlooking Acapulco. We were told not to do this, as the Federales only controlled the city and beyond that, places were under control of the local caciques.
This was in the 1970s. Open trucks with Federales carrying their guns drove up and down the Avenida Miguel Aleman. Outside the Banco Nacional across the street from our motel, a uniformed guard with a submachine gun stood outside the door and another was in the lobby. I took the caution seriously, but my curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see the villages up in the hills. So I got onto what turned out to be the last bus leaving Acapulco for the day and rode to the village. As it happened, there was only the one village at the end of the ride, though we passed though a colonia with homes built of corrugated metal and plywood on the hillside.
This bus was stopped twice as the road must have crossed from territory under one group's control to that of another. The first time, the driver stopped and I saw several armed men standing outside. One of them stepped into the bus and looked around. Before he walked past where I was seated, I pulled the brim of my straw hat down over my eyes and pretended to be sleeping. The lady sitting next to me was holding a chicken and I winked and quietly asked her if I could hold it for her. So he came by us with his pistol in his hand and then he left and motioned the driver to continue up the hill. The 2nd time we were stopped, the driver opened the door and spoke to a man, but he did not come into the bus.
It was nearly dark when we reached the village. I rode back down the hill with him and we were not stopped. So once back in Acapulco, I hiked back to the room I shared with friends and got some sleep. Really enjoyed seeing these things. We were ashore for 3 days in all, so the next day I spent at the beach. Our little motel was right next to one of the big hotels. and there were gates on the beach side, so we would slip in and watch the show and mingle with the rich people next door. When we first arrived, we found that the fellows who arrived the day before had rented all the hotel rooms and we were told there were none to rent but if there were, they were charging $300 a day...... Per person. Of course, we had only a little money, so we went to the little motel next door and were able to rent it for 2 days for $27 each. After we checked out of our room the morning of our 3rd day, we took our things with us and had fun on the beach before returning to our ship.
Regarding your front tire rubbing when you turn the wheels all the way to the right...... There should be on each side, a 'stop' consisting of a place on each front spindle (or steering arm) which contacts a corresponding piece of metal fastened to your lower control arm. You can add (weld) a thin piece of metal to the piece that is on your control arm in order to limit how far the wheel will turn. On a Toyota I had many years ago, there was an adjustable 'stop' for each wheel (threaded metal with a bolt and jam nut). But I have not seen one like it on an American car.
I will write more later, Pacorro. Today marks 18 years since our nation was attacked by the terrorists and I always reflect on that and remember those who died on this day...... And those who have died or have been wounded fighting them in the years following.
Just checking in. Hope all is well with you and your family there. We were without electric power for some while and were not able to access the internet, but power has been restored here now. This was due to the Tropical Storm 'Imelda'. We had 43 inches of rain in just a few days, at times as much as 6 inches per hour.
Our family were fortunate, as our homes did not flood, but many were not so fortunate. Here, the water flooded the streets and Friday, we saw some people paddling boats down our street. But thanks to G-d no water came in our homes.
More rain here over the weekend. Floodwaters are still receding for the most part, albeit at a slower rate (in addition to the rain that fell on us here, the rain that fell upstream of us must flow through here as both make their way downstream to the Gulf of Mexico)......
The Interstate Highway bridge over the San Jacinto River (East side of Houston) was damaged by barges that broke away from their moorings and there will be ongoing repairs and detours in that area for some months. This is just upstream of where the San Jacinto River converges with the Houston Ship Channel. I-10 is the major highway 2,500 miles long that runs East and West across the Southern USA connecting East (Atlantic) coast and West (Pacific) coast. Ours is a large state and I-10 is nearly 900 miles in length when crossing Texas......
Separate names with a comma.