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Hot Rods Do you remember when the Hot Rod bug bit

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by statesblue, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. statesblue
    Joined: Mar 5, 2008
    Posts: 262

    from Luzerne Pa

    For me it was spring 1965. My neighbor bought a new 65 GTO. Of course he had to take the pain in the ass neighbor kids for a ride. At the time I guess I was 12. I got to ride shot gun with the window down and my arm resting on the window opening. Man I was cool.
    Passed through a couple streets in town and that 389 three deuce motor purred.
    Finally made a right hand turn onto what's known as the back road and as he straightened out buried the go pedal. All I remember was that feeling of being pinned in the seat, the growl of the motor, the screaming tires and the smell of burnt rubber wafting through the car.
    I can actually think about that ride and I get the same grin on my face and giddy feeling inside as I did that day....Frickin Awesome.
    That's the day another motor head came to be. Thanks Sambo
  2. I was 14 years old, walking up the street with my friend. We were interested in fishing, sports, girls, model building not cars. I heard this rumbling noise coming up the street behind us and I turned to look. I stared at a roman red 5 window deuce coupe, full fendered, lowered right to the ground with open hood sides and a corvette engine struggling to go that slow. It sounded like it wanted to be released to run. It had a shape to it that was just stunning. That was the day I lost my hot rod virginity and I have been stuck in the '60s ever since. Now I am 68 and everytime I look at my own model A coupe I get the same feeling.
    56cadillackid and LOU WELLS like this.
  3. I'll play.
    My dad and everyone else, all my relatives, were not car guys and I was following along in their footsteps. I was never "bit by the bug" in the classic sense. I was more like infected by accidental contact. In the early 60's I was 18 or 19 and although I had owned a couple of beaters, I was car-less at the moment and loose in the city with a couple of buddies. On a spur of the moment thing we were checking out the trade in cars at a big time car dealer and I put $50 deposit on a cherry VW Karmann Ghia soft top with the intention of asking my dad to co-sign the note. Well, wrong! He wouldn't. I guess he had a case of the guilts because without asking me, he started scanning the classifieds and found a seller with a '55 Chevy Bel-Air convertible with a '57 283cid 4-barrel engine transplant. He invited the seller over to blindside me. I was a push over for just about anything with wheels and a little flummoxed by my dads changing mood, plus the Chevy was about a fifth the price of the VW so it didn't take long to do the deal.

    This was a fork in the road for me developemental-wise. Like I said, my dad was clueless about cars but I'm sure he had to have wondered why Richie Cunningham moved out of my bedroom and Fonzie moved right in to take over.
    2many projects likes this.
  4. i think it was shortly after i realized peddling sucked.

  5. I had several awakenings, the best being the local neighborhood delinquent that rode in his gray primer Olds 303 powered '37 Ford 5w coupe.
    It was sooo low, loud, nasty, just bad to the bone.
    Made a huge impression on my 11 year old mind.
    Next was a local kid, a high school age boy, that took the time to explain to me the finer points of nosing and decking his black and yellow '57 Failane 500.
    A few weeks later I pedaled my bike over to his house to watch him pull off the hood.
    I asked him why he was removing it and he proceeded to school me on louvers.
    I didn't know what louvers were so he and his buddy sat me down on the curb and patiently educated me on the fine art of "late model" customizing.
    His freaking Ford was only 2 months old.
    It snowballed from there.
    Neighbors popped up in modified C1 Corvettes, primer Shoe Box Fords, Tri 5 Chevys.
    Next came all the 406's and 409's floating into town.
    A guy near me showed me his dad's 426 Super Stocker Dodge black 2 door post dealer demonstrator, that overwhelmed me.
    Coming out of school one day a kid I knew was sitting in his newly acquired red channeled Model A roadster with a heavily chromed flathead.
    I'd never seen a more beautiful ride.

    Like I say.... A lot of early influences for a young boy.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  6. Ghost28
    Joined: Nov 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,188


    About 52 years ago, I was 12. My older brother did it to me with his 55 chevy 150 sedan.
  7. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 4,088


    Born in '76, my dad had multiple mid year vettes until about '84. Solid lifter rumbling was present since day 1.
    Sold all the vettes and bought real estate.
  8. I was 12 (1965) and found a box of carburetors and old car mags with George Barris customizing cars circa 1950's (yes I still have a few)

  9. Like many other baby boomers I was afflicted with the hot rod disease at 12 years old,even bought my first car which is another story. HRP
  10. RDE
    Joined: Mar 23, 2017
    Posts: 88


    Went to a teen dance at NAS Alameda when I was 13 (1957). One of the older guys had a chopped and channeled '32 three window parked in front. He could have any girl he wanted it seemed........I still remember the little decal on the back of the drivers window: "Made in Africa by Apes".
  11. FrankenRodz
    Joined: Dec 20, 2007
    Posts: 892


    Boston AutoRama at the Hynes Auditorium, 1968? (I would've been 8-years old).
    We were all dressed in sports coats and ties, and here was this Freak, Ed Roth, signing autographs and giving out little Rat Fink figurines. I had never met anyone so Fantastic!
    I let my clip-on tie fly out the car window on the way home!
    2many projects likes this.
  12. Check my avatar. That's me on the right with a little car in my hands. Probably was already hooked by then, circa 1952. By 1955 or so, the rural highway at the edge of town where I lived began to change from farms to commercial development, and right across the street they built Ed's Drive-in restaurant. Also about that time, the Air Force built an airbase less than a mile away, and all these young, enlisted jet mechanics would come to Ed's in their hotrods and hang out with the local guys and gals, who were small town and rural kids. Peel outs from the drive-in, rumbling exhausts, late night laughter and the smell of hamburger and French fry grease wafted across the highway and into my second-story bedroom window. How could I not be hooked?
  13. joeycarpunk
    Joined: Jun 21, 2004
    Posts: 4,445

    from MN,USA

    Probably about 11 or 12, girls were still a mystery and my dad had several cars and I wanted to be cool. Had a project of my own shortly thereafter.
  14. SEAAIRE354
    Joined: Sep 7, 2015
    Posts: 244


    I think it was 1980 I was 12 and American Graffiti had made it to TV and I was watching it with my dad. Then Millners yellow coupe came on scene "Dad what kind of car is that " so I got an education in hot rodding. Shortly after that Hot Rod magazine featured a T Bucket on the cover , I bought it and peddled it home on my bike and asked mom for a check so I could subscribe. I haven't been the same since.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    LOU WELLS likes this.
  15. High5
    Joined: Jul 2, 2012
    Posts: 185


    I was 4 years old. My mom took me to the grocery store. Just inside the doors was the magazine rack. My eye caught an issue of Hot Rod magazine (September of 1955). So I grabbed it. Just then my mom turns around and says "I thought I told you not to touch anything. Now look what you've done. I guess we'll have to buy it." Lucky for me she did. The magazine title pulled me in hook, line, and sinker. I may not have understood any of the verbal stuff. But the pictures were fantastic. After that I was on the lookout for any car that resembled what I had seen. Special time indeed.
    robracer1 likes this.
  16. I really can't say when the hot rod bug hit. I have been around hot cars and bikes all my life. I just never considered owning anything that was stock was an option.

    I can tell you when I actually got serious about going fast. Spring of '69. I had a 272 powered '55 Ford and got spanked by a yellow "265"powered '56 post car. 2 weeks later I had a genuine '57 Thunderbird 312 in my '55 and went looking for the five six. ;)
  17. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,028

    from California

    I was 7 years old in 1967 when HOT WHEELS came out. suddenly stock cars were no longer interesting. I used to draw a lot, cars, choppers, and chopper bicycles. after seeing Easy Rider at age 9 I was headed towards the chopper side of things. I asked for a subscription to "Street Chopper" for my 12th birthday, my Mom got me Street Rodder instead. the rest is history.
  18. My ol man told me once that a T bucket was just a bike with 4 wheels. I never really got it until my first T build.

    I used to draw Ford GTs and that shaped car a lot when I was a little kid. I progressed to cartoons by the time I was in Junior high and bikes with big fat slicks street racing with jalopies.
  19. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,794

    from Zoar, Ohio

    I was 10. My brother 7 yrs older than me picked us up in his 57 Chevy. Silver with the caps removed. Never replaced them from the night before. This car still had the numbers on the glass. Hot little 283 4 speed.
    Scared the bejesus out of me in that thing.
    I never looked back.

  20. 3340
    Joined: Jun 4, 2010
    Posts: 576


    I remember looking at the hot rod magazines at the drug store probably when I about 14 years old, we had a couple of Rods in the neighborhood and became friends with the builders.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  21. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,157


    The first time I saw Ed Burns car on 77 Sunset strip.
  22. metalman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,280


    My older brothers (one 12, the other 10 years older) did me in when I was old enough to think they were the coolest, probably I was around 6. The older was into street racing, had a 58 Bel Air with glass packs and a floor shift. Taught me what power pack meant and what a tune up was. Younger one wasn't into going fast but looking cool, had a 57 Chevy PU he decked out with a chrome grill and bumpers, white walls, custom upholstery and a tonnue cover and spent weekend washing and waxing it. Their high school buddies coming by the house with their cool cars didn't help like when one of them from a family with $$$ showed up with his high school graduation present, a brand new 62 Impala SS, 409, 4 speed.
    My Grandfather didn't help, showed me how much power his big Chrysler had, first time I saw a speedometer go to 100 and then some. My Mother wasn't very happy about that.
    Funny thing, the older brother, now 72 just bought a new Mustang GT and already racking up some tickets, the younger at 70 still spends his time washing and waxing his car, a BMW. Guess age doesn't change things much.
    And I still think they're cool.
  23. My dad owned a Lincoln - Mercury Dealership for many years and he also owned a couple of used car dealerships in the same town, Waltham, Mass.
    He worked mostly at his used car lot. He loved the used car end of the business, new cars were just to bring people in the door. Added legitimacy to his operation.
    One night after supper he came to me while I was studying and wanted to show me a car he took in trade earlier that day.
    I figured this had to be something interesting. Maybe an XK 120, maybe a big opulent Fleetwood Brougham? Maybe even a Turnpike Cruiser, an Avanti possibly a cool Lincoln maybe??
    He always had something up his sleeve to tease me.
    In the driveway sat a light metallic orchard 57 Bel Air Convertible. White convertible roof with an amazing white and silver vinyl interior.
    Up on top the dash was a black face SW tachometer and I spied a Hurst chrome shifter with a big white shift ball.
    I was mesmerized by this thing of teenage dreams.
    He then popped the hood and explained the previous owner just one month earlier installed a brand new crate Chevrolet 327" 365 HP ENGINE!
    This thing was amazing.
    I was raised on Fords, Mercurys and all sorts of British and German imports he played with.
    I wasn't really fluent in Chevrolet yet. Spoke mostly Ford.
    I took it around town that night and lost my mind.
    On the weekend he let me use it some more.
    The hook and bait were cast and he hooked me in good.
    That week I became fully addicted to solid lifters, AFB carburetors, SBC engines, and Chevrolets in particular.
    Yup, that thing sealed my fate for at least another 60 years.
    Still playing with cars, all kinds now. This hobby is highly addictive. I can't stop.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  24. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,260


    1956, I was 14 and an older guy, who worked at the local Cheveron station, ask if I wanted to go with him in his candy apple blue 55 Desoto to Busch's drive in in Tacoma, WA. It was right out of American Graffiti and I was hooked. Except for a period in the mid-70's to mid-80's, when my four kids led me to build custom Vans, I came back to it via the influence of MoJunk here on Hamb
  25. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,935

    from DFW USA

    No, I don't remember when I was "bitten" by the hot rod bug.

    My dad saw to it that I was born that way...

    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  26. I obviously don't really remember but I came home from the hospital in a Willys Pickup with a 322 in it. I have built a lot of cars and bikes over the years, but to this day when I hear a Baby Nail Head blowing through a pair of Smithy's my brain says, "Hot Rod!!!!!".

    Some of us have been around hot rods all of our life, we are rodders born and bread. We just don't know any better. :D
    chryslerfan55, tb33anda3rd and Gotgas like this.
  27. J D Coop
    Joined: Nov 16, 2015
    Posts: 70

    J D Coop

    Wow, Beaner!
    Spring of '62. I had a 259 powered '55 Studebaker Speedster and got spanked by my buddy's 55 Chev, 3 deuce, 265 hardtop. I went away for the summer to work on a ranch, saved my money. That fall my pop and I dropped a 58 Caddy 365 in the Stude (3 speed overdrive with 4.56 gears) and I looked up my buddy. I had his lunch 3 out of 3 before I popped the hood and showed him why he lost.
  28. LOL I had a buddy named Helms. His mom was an alcoholic but she had money. She was in the habit of buying high end cars and when she crashed 'em she just put 'em behind the barn. She gave me the engine out of her Thunderhawk. Pretty good old gal actually, just had a drinking problem. When we were tuning the 312 a couple of other buddies showed up with 3 deuces on weiand. So that was how it was set up when I found the '56. We hooked 'em up a couple of times before I popped the hood. I told him I just put the 3 deuces and rocker covers on my 272. We all used to lie about what we were running. LOL
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
    olscrounger likes this.
  29. 48jeep
    Joined: Apr 3, 2009
    Posts: 66


    I was in 3rd grade at Valley View Elementary school when one of the girls in my class was dropped off by her brother in a 53 Stude Commander. The hood was off and he had open pipes.Man I thought that thing was cool. Or maybe it was my dad putting a Stude V8 in his 48 jeep station wagon. Good time to grow up in.
  30. When I was 12, about 1975, we had a neighbor that was into cars.
    He had a Heavy Chevy & a GTO Judge.
    I would wait on my front step for him to get home from work, just so I could hear his cars run.
    My older brother had a few friends with hot rods/ muscle cars.
    American Graffiti was also a huge influence.
    I couldn't watch the street race scene enough times.
    SEAAIRE354 likes this.

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