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Art & Inspiration Earliest influences that got you into hot rodding / v8s

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Phil Hargreaves, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. Phil Hargreaves
    Joined: Sep 6, 2020
    Posts: 3

    Phil Hargreaves

    Just want to share my earliest influences and hear what others experienced growing up and getting them into hot rodding.
    I was about 10 years old (1968) when I was bitten by this life long affliction to V8s and old American cars. I didn't know I had been bitten at the time I just knew what I liked. My Uncle had a 1946(?) Ford V8 coupe. There were more holes in the exhaust than proper exhaust pipe but it sounded real good. You could hear it climbing the the two hills to our place, so from half a mile away I knew he was on his way. When he showed me the engine all that I remembered for the next few years was the two rows of spark plugs. But the sound was cool. Very different from all the 4 cylinder and small 6 cylinder cars about.
    The next year a friend of my Dad dropped off a couple of 1968 US Hot Rod magazines. I read them over and over not really understanding what half the stuff meant.... especially when reading drag racing times :) I still have them stored in my garage.
    Then the local breakfast cereal company started putting Collectors Card in their cereal box...Hot Rods. cooool . Another thing to keep the infection active. I had now started drawing hot rods with flames down the sides, fat tyres, and anything else that looked cool.
    The last thing that sealed my fate was attending a Hot Rod show (early 1970s New Zealand). I was past the point of no return. No regrets and the older I get the broader my interests get in hot rodding. After owning a couple of 57 Be Airs and numerous V8 engines of different performance levels, the 1928- 30 roadsters and early 30's Ford and Chev coupes are in my sights.. :)
    OahuEli and Sonofabob like this.
  2. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,454


    Not long after moving to SoCal my friends neighbour had a boyfriend with a '29 Tudor Hot Rod.
    I was hooked!
  3. bonneville bones
    Joined: May 17, 2006
    Posts: 149

    bonneville bones

    I’ve always been into all things mechanical. As a kid it was dirt bikes, go carts, chainsaws.. but when I was 15 I had a job at a convenience store in town and a dude named Garry used to come in driving a 55’ Chevy with a dual carb tunnel ram. It totally blew my mind. I immediately knew where all my money was going for life.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  4. Sonofabob
    Joined: Jan 28, 2020
    Posts: 104


    I'd have to say it was the man I called Dad. He entered my life at 13 years old and was a huge influence in my life. Ever since the first time I rode in one of his cars, I was hooked. Now at 51 I still have the same passion for old sprint cars and hotrods. He's since passed to the big high banked oval in the sky, but passing on the hobby to the younger generation. 20141127_115020.jpeg
    alanp561, 302GMC, nochop and 10 others like this.

  5. knucklenutz
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 76


    While staying with my Aunt & Uncle at their farm farm we took a load of corn into be ground at a grainery in Galesville ,Wisconsin. While passing thru the town square , I spied a fenderless roadster. being a curious boy of 6 years, I asked my older cousin why the car had no fenders. He answered by giving me a copy of Hop-Up magazine. That was 1955. The fire still burns brightly.
  6. knucklenutz
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 76


    Sonofabob, I'm curious about the tow car. Tail lights and 4 bar spinners tell me Mercury ?
    Sonofabob likes this.
  7. Sonofabob
    Joined: Jan 28, 2020
    Posts: 104


    Correct 55 Mercury to be exact. That particular car started life as a Montclair hardtop, it lives in Arizona now. 20190927_180041.jpeg
  8. 26hotrod
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 925

    from landis n c

    Moonshiner cars, then there was mild customs and hot rods. I was hooked..............
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  9. Dusty roads
    Joined: Nov 29, 2016
    Posts: 168

    Dusty roads

    My older brother was 16 years old in 1958. He purchased a 37 Chevy and started fixing it up. I was 14 and got hooked on the old cars by helping him.
    26hotrod likes this.
  10. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,149

    from Indiana

    A Visible V8 for my 10th Christmas, 1960.
  11. bobscogin
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,761


    Can't recall when I didn't have an interest in internal combustion. When I was about 10, we had a new '60 Buick with a 401. I'd open the hood, take the air cleaner off, and just stare at all the parts. Used my allowance money to buy Hot Rod, Popular Hot Rodding, and Car Craft magazines every month and memorized them cover to cover. At 71, I've no less interest in cars than I had then.

  12. exterminator
    Joined: Apr 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,536


    My dad who had a 39 olds when i was young and my best friend's brother who had a 40 ford coupe and cruise with his buddies in a old ford touring. Both of these cars were hot rods and this was in the late 50s. Aw, they were the good times!:cool:
    26hotrod and Montana1 like this.
  13. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 395

    Bob Lowry

    Went to see quarter midgets racing when I was 8yrs. old. The bug bit me and is still with me. Started tearing apart lawn mower engines, moved to mini-bikes, then go carts, then a '37 Chev. 2dr. sedan at 14yrs old that I bought for $5.
    Hot rods kept me out of drugs, alcohol addiction and jail. Invested all my spare time and what little money I had into anything that produced exhaust. Nitro methane is the best...
    Phil Hargreaves likes this.
  14. First it was model cars, then discovering Car craft, and Rod and Custom on the rack at the local drug store. I subscribed to both magazines when I was 15 years old before moving to Citrus Heights, California in April 1956 where I saw a real in the flesh channeled 1932 ford roadster for sale at a local gas station for $ 200. It was way out of my allowance budget, but it started me on my way. I am now 79 years old, and still take my roadster out for a ride occasionally.
    hfh and Phil Hargreaves like this.
  15. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 634


    Friction motored toy roadster with 2 card flatty....wore out my jeans & the toy......
    Then when i was 14 my older cousin got a Model A with a "built" 60 in it.......
    Phil Hargreaves likes this.
  16. rusty rocket
    Joined: Oct 30, 2011
    Posts: 4,073

    rusty rocket

    My folks brought me home from the hospital January of 1967 in a 1929 model a pickup. It started then!
  17. Growing up in the rural South in the 50's we didn't have a lot but my mom encourage reading and one Saturday morning she saw me looking at a hot rod magazine at Bryant's Pharmacy and she bought me that magazine, the issue was January 1962 and had a cool red roadster pickup on the cover.


    The pickup on that Hot Rod Magazine belonged to Dean Lowe and then more then 40 years later I found that Dean was also a Hamber, I would have to say that he influenced me at the age of 12 and that image inspired me to want to be involved with hot rods, now a life long obsession. HRP
  18. WalkerMD
    Joined: Apr 24, 2020
    Posts: 7


    When I was first feeding after being born my mother said a dump truck in the alley revved it’s engine to lift the dumpster. I stopped feeding and perked my ears up til it idled down. She knew then she was in trouble!
  19. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,033


    1948. My stepdad had a 41 Ford convert that had sat during the war while he was off flying with the 8th. It had duals and sounded really neat to a 5 yr old-was our main car too but they traded it off for a 49 Buick Roadmaster convert--I liked the Ford better. Then going to Madera speedway and listening to jalopies racing-Blackie was one of the main guys. Then about 51-52 going cruising with my cousins in their loud 49 Fords and and occasional stoplight race.
  20. I must be reincarnated from an old car guy because my dad was not a car guy. No one in my family that I can think of was a car guy. But I loved old cars for as long as I can remember, even a 6 years old I remember getting the new plastic toy cars out of cereal boxes. I remember one was a 54 Ford so I must have been 6. Just was always inherently in my blood I suppose.
    Phil Hargreaves and Sonofabob like this.
  21. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,347

    Atwater Mike

    It was my bud, Mike Shannon in Santa Clara that opened the doors for me...
    1950, 8 yrs. old, 3rd grade...Shannon was drawing a 'hot rod', unbeknown to me, a '29 Highboy roadster.
    "Why the big wheels in back?" (me, in my embryonic state)
    Shannon: "Gotta have the big tires (not 'wheels') to dig out faster! My cousin Harry has a car like this. It's a hot rod..."
    He said we'd go to Harry's store after school...Harry drove his hot rod everywhere.
    We walked at 2:30, downtown to 'Harry's store'...Heck, I knew this store...Angelo's Market!
    A light came on...My Mom had been reading the Journal, (Santa Clara paper) and read aloud: "Hot Rod Harry caught speeding on the Santa Cruz Highway"
    Mom said Harry Angelo was a wild one...he was 20, and just married...Well!

    Mike and I went in the store, Harry greeted us. (I had talked to Harry in the store, but had NO idea he was a hot rod guy...those guys were hoodlums, yesiree, I read it in the paper!)
    Harry took us out back, and there it was...he called it a 'heap'. I was fenders, looked like a 'race car'...windshield leaned back, dark brown upholstery, large head rest across the seat. 'Open Motor'...there were finned heads, Shannon called 'em...
    Looked like 'shoe scrapers', and two pots on top. (got THAT one right..)
    Harry showed us some cool things, 'headers', 'dual pipes'...The spark plugs were pink, (later learned they were Lodge, of England)
    Many details, I tried to take it all in. But my first closeup look at a 'Hop Up', or 'heap'?
    I had many questions, and Shannon and Harry answered 'em all. The 'heap' would do a hundred, and it could dig out fast!
    It would be the next year before I got a ride in the coolest rod in town...

    I started building model cars about then, the little 1/32 scale 'Highway Pioneers'. Classic cars that Shannon and I cut, fit, sanded, and switched kit parts around to make hot rods...Revell released the 69 cent 'Hot Rod, and I bought a slew of 'em...
    got my first 'car' at 12, 1954. '33 Plymouth roadster, I put it on a Model A frame.
    Still have Roadster flu, after all these years...
    Thankful for the HAMB, you guys are it.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  22. My brother was a manager for the milwaukee journal. A guy called in sick and they needed a kid to deliver papers. I got a ride to the address then ran the paper to the door. The car I rode in was a 68 hemi four speed charger. Because the deliveries were already late to say we were in a hurry isxa understatement. We hauled ass. I was ruined at 12 years old.
    Fast forward to my sophomore year in high school. A kid had just moved to town during the second semester. He had a beautiful 67 gto four speed. We became friends quickly. He gave me a ride in it and I thought I was going to die. I had to have a fun car after that. I got a 66 chevelle that I still own 36 years later.
    Phil Hargreaves and Sonofabob like this.
  23. This man right here was my inspiration, teacher, and hero.
  24. I was not yet 4 years old in this photo. The bug was biting me as this photo was being taken. Dad had already set the hook. I never had a chance.

  25. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,270

    from oregon

    You should like this Dean.
    I had recently been introduced to cars by my friends' older brother, actually it was his magazines, dont know which one but probably Hot Rod.
    The first hot rod I ever saw in person though was a 28/29 hiboy roadster pickup, saw it about 1963 while visiting my aunt and uncle in La Mesa (San Diego), I was nine or ten.
    I got tired of listening to everyone doing their catchup talk so I went for a walk around the neighborhood, I heard it coming a block away , I knew there was something neat about to happen to me but the thing went by me so fast I don’t recall any details about it.
    I sure remember the trouble I got in because I said I wouldnt be gone long, I must have walked up and down the street for nearly an hour waiting for it to come back, it never did though.
    After I got back home I talked my friends' brother into giving me some of his old magazines, I nearly wore them out looking to see if that car was in one of them.
    I actually found them last year when I sent my fifty year collection of magazines to the recycler, some of them were even missing their covers.
    Phil Hargreaves and Sonofabob like this.
  26. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 768


    Soap box derby racing when I was a cub scout gave me the bug. Later, playing cards in the spokes of my bicycle jazzed it up some. Then I got an old lawnmower engine to play with...I was hooked!:rolleyes::D
    Phil Hargreaves likes this.
  27. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 449

    bill gruendeman

    The guy that got me in to cars was a grade school teacher, for sicence class he took the class out to see the new tachometer in his roadrunner and had to rev it up to see how it worked. That’s all it took, hot rods come later on
    Phil Hargreaves likes this.
  28. justjeoux
    Joined: Mar 21, 2018
    Posts: 22


    There was a tv show called the munsters that most everyone knows. The episode was called hot rod herman where he and grandpa built the dragula coffin car. and ran it at the dragstrip. I was about 9 or 10 years old and asked my father to take me to the local funeral home to buy a coffin!!!! My father actually said over my dead body. So instead I found an old riding mower in the trash and put a Harley knuckel head on it, that I had stolen from a tool shed. I bolted it on the mowers stripped down chassis and hooked the chain up direct drive. The mo fo actually started up as my older cousin pushed me down the drive. rest is history. I truly do not know how I did'nt kill myself and unfortunately every word of this story is true.
  29. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,331


    Prolly about 1957 my cousin took me-for-a-spin in his army buddy's Corvette. I remember him tellin me it was real noisy(I was like 8-9 years old) because it had "straight pipes".....(what ever that meant ) I think his whole plan was to scare the living shit out of me but it only made me grin bigger!! I can still remember how that engine (283?) wound up until it almost exploded (I thought!) Nice looking Vette with the hardtop removed.
    I still love a noisy car.........
  30. Dapper Dan
    Joined: Apr 19, 2009
    Posts: 19

    Dapper Dan
    from Australia

    Monogram, AMT, MPC, Lindbergh, and Revell ...................
    Tony Martino and Phil Hargreaves like this.

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