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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. SicSpeed
    Joined: Apr 23, 2014
    Posts: 653

    from Idaho

    That Merchero is awesome

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  2. SicSpeed
    Joined: Apr 23, 2014
    Posts: 653

    from Idaho

    Hahahahaha, exactly

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  3. SicSpeed
    Joined: Apr 23, 2014
    Posts: 653

    from Idaho

    The one car that got my attention, I seen driving through Castro Valley IMG_1190.JPG

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  4. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,329


    Yep, my Dad too. He had 3 cars before his 1st bicycle! He started circle track racing when I was little. He had always had fast street cars. I was helping on his '51 Ford Crestliner stock car when I was 8 and sitting in the stands at the track by myself at 9.
    He always said he would buy us kids our 1st car but the upkeep and insurance was our responsibility. My uncle gave me a junk '61 Falcon Futura so Dad asked if I wanted to build it as a hot rod. Well yeah! So we shoehorned a '57 312 Y-block in it and a 9" 4:11 rear end. Heck of a car in so many ways.

  5. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,783


    upload_2020-10-1_4-35-17.png 1957

    It was 1956 and my brother told me that he was going to buy a car with the money he had saved up from everywhere, jobs and gifts. So, I laughed at him because he was only 15 at the time. But, he was a determined teenager. It might have something to do with his other teenage friends being 16-17 and they already owned their hot rods for cruising to high school and the night time teen adventures in Bixby Knolls.

    He told our dad that he found the car he wanted to buy. He did have enough money and just needed my dad’s ok and signature. So, in the driveway of our Westside of Long Beach house, there sat a Pale Yellow 1951 2 door Oldsmobile sedan.

    It was a cool looking sedan with stock white wall tires and hubcaps. It was plain looking, but it was a first-time car and was going to be very nice driving in that sedan.

    After driving it around for a while, he decided to turn the whitewalls inward and make the sedan a little more “racy.” He had me paint the rims different colors to see which one looked the best with blackwalls. It was about 2-3 weeks of driving to get the white walls covered with road grime and disappear altogether.


    Over the next two years, he had me install the Moon Discs, after trying the standard cool flipper style hubcaps… his idea was no car that is fast or races at Lion’s Dragstrip uses flipper style hubcaps. So, he purchased those cool Moon Discs. At least it looked fast. Then the "speed" and chrome accessories started showing up, too.

    From this point on as a 12-13 year old kid, everything I did on that 1951 Olds was a precursor to learning everything I could from my brother’s skills and ideas. Then the mechanics progression started with the string of hot rods and cruisers until I got my own 1941 Ford Sedan Delivery in high school. So, thank you, James.
    No, he did not teach me to surf, although he was a good surfer. I learned on my own going with him and several other friends. But, he was influential in our traveling, surf road trips all over the So Cal coastline North and South into Baja California. It took me two years of almost daily surfing when we could go to the beach. In the summers, every single day, all day, until I could actually surf better than he could. It was a proud moment when the older brother comes over and says… “great rides on those waves”… yes!
  6. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 572

    Bob Lowry

    My older brother's high school buddies were rodding '55 and '57 Chevys in 1959 and I got hooked
    early on. Started with lawn mower engines, then minibikes, then go karts. Always wanting to go
    faster and louder. Bought my first car, a '37 Chevy 2dr. sedan for $5. Had to pull it out of a guys
    back yard and my brother helped tow it home. Found a free 265" small block and figured out along
    the way how to do it, make it work and make it fit. Still doing the same thing today.
    Rickybop likes this.
  7. Building model kits from age 9, watching dirt track racing in East Tennessee got me hooked. 07032014.jpg 03132019.jpg 333348-1318885076-636a4451195be7a4f6b3a17ae8548a61.jpg L. D. (2).jpg 2013-10-22 13.06.45.jpg
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  8. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,147

    from Burton, MI

    When I was a kid, the neighbor a block over had a red '39 Chevy coupe. Small block Chevy with 3 carbs, 4 speed, glasspacks...Come to think of it... I think that car owes me a lot of $$ for starting my obsession!
  9. The Model cars for sure.
    I must have built 10 1932 Fords before I was 10!
    Then came the 1940 Fords.
    '66 got license , borrowed Dad's '62 Catalina
    drove 350 miles first day! Learned to peel out!
    He got pissed so....
    Then first car, don't laugh 1961 Renault Dauphine!
    Hard car to Hot Rod.
    Air cleaner and muffler in the garbage,
    must have gotten me 2 more HP at least!
    Bigger tires in back. That was hard because they were metric size!
    Before I could get the bumpers off, (save weight go faster!) I sold it
    for $300, more than double what I paid!
    Then I inherited Grandpa's '61 Olds F-85!
    My first V-8 with 150 HP! WOW! Made an air filter out
    of Table Talk pie plates. Made more HP!
    Bought a Hollywood Melo- tone muffler for $6.50
    plus shipping from JC Whitney! More HP!
    Drove a while then Dad found a '54 Dodge Royal
    at the Pontiac garage back row! Hemi!
    Had to have it, traded the Olds and $85 for it.
    Little old lady car 35,000 miles!
    4 door yuck but HEMI!
    Power-flyte yuck, but 55 MPH in first!
    Sleeper! Bought L-78-15 Cadillac tires and got 65 MPH
    in first gear! HOT ROD sleeper.
    I think I did some modification to every car I ever owned.
    I've got 55 years of stories to go!
    I better quit talking now!
    But I'll never quit Hot Rodding.
  10. Great story, Tony.
    Tony Martino likes this.
  11. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,106


    My dad raced for Dr Olds. in NHRA Div. 5 in 1970 then moved onto sprint cars. One of my earliest memories was sitting in an Offy powered midget while running at about 4 years old. Wrecked me for life. I too am 51
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  12. I forgot one more short story. I was about 9 yrs old.
    I got this gigantic 1/8 scale model '53 Corvette that was battery powered.
    Didn't go fast enough for me.
    I wired it up to my American Flyer train transformer!
    I couldn't run it very far because of the wires......
    But it would "lay rubber!"
  13. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,037

    from Michigan

    Great stories, guys.

    I'm so glad to have found this picture on the internet just the other day. It means a lot to me. This is the location of my earliest car and hot rod memories.

    1960 1961, I was 3, 4 years old.

    This was the big old beautiful Saint Andrew's Church, one block off of Main Street, kitty corner across the street from where we lived in Rochester, Michigan.

    I used to enjoy sitting on the steps of our porch on nice Sunday mornings so that I could watch all the cool cars pull up and line the streets. My mother would laugh. I think she was taken by the fact that I actually made a point to do this. I remember cars from the early '60s, '50s, '40s... even a couple from the late '30s. I remember shiny Buicks with portholes... Chryslers with fins...

    And everybody dressed up so nice. Hats, gloves, even veils back then. We attended that church. Man... I can still remember the smell of incense and cologne and perfume.

    Sad for me to say, they tore down Old Saint Andrews in 1969. I returned years later to be greeted by only a parking lot.

    Anyway, this was my EXACT view back then from our porch... minus the cars. I haven't had the privilege of seeing it for so long. Only in my memory. "It takes me back." is an understatement.

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  14. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,037

    from Michigan

    And... The teenaged boys who lived on the other side of our duplex were greasers. I remember them revving the flathead V8 in their black, late 40s Ford Coupe.
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  15. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 2,081

    from norcal

    This guy....(Dad) and the guy who built the roadsters in the Philippines (my uncle) after WWII.....oh and my avatar has been in the family as long as I can remember

    Attached Files:

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  16. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,610


    upload_2020-10-1_10-4-24.jpeg [​IMG]
    Joe Bailon Miss Elegance
    10/11 years old, saw it in Seattle auto show, hook line and sinker. That was 71 years ago this month, still holding my own...................wife says no (lol)
    Rickybop and Tony Martino like this.
  17. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,037

    from Michigan

    Note to self.
    Takes two to three weeks of driving to cover whitewalls turned inward with dirt and grime so they disappear.
    That's in California.
    Maybe less in Michigan.
    Thanks, @jnaki
    Tony Martino and jnaki like this.

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