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Folks Of Interest Family Tradition... A rerun of sorts...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 20,266

    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    Family Tradition... A rerun of sorts...


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    dana barlow, -Brent- and 63fdsnr like this.
  2. A timely post. I went to Iowa over the weekend for my Grandpa's funeral. He was a mechanic, drag racer, hot rodder, gas station owner etc etc.... As we told stories we realized that he passed on a passion to us.

    In 1948 he was riding his Harley to work and a truck pulled out in front of him. After the accident his leg became infected which resulted in an amputation above the knee. All the great things he did, he did them with wooden leg. He didn't let a little thing like that slow him down. Here's a pic of Grandpa and his Harley AFTER the accident. You can see the tank caved in. My great grandmother went ballistic when she saw him riding it down the street after the accident, with my uncle Jim riding on the back holding it up for him.

    wicarnut, Old-Soul, Squablow and 5 others like this.
  3. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 5,557


    Nothing wrong with reruns, now get out there and infect the next
    Cochran generation (if you haven't already)!
  4. Damn right it's a "blood thing" Ryan. Here's a shot of my Dad, in the white T shirt, working on his Kurtis V8-60 in front of Eddie Meyer's shop in 1946. I was 1 year old. 9 years later I would win the first 1/4 midget National Championship. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Hot Rod Dad's are the best!!
    wicarnut, OL 55, flamingokid and 5 others like this.

  5. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,907


    I got the car bug from my Dad, and so did my two brothers. And now a nephew has it too. It is genetic.
  6. Bluedot
    Joined: Oct 26, 2011
    Posts: 326


    I guess many/most hotrodders got the bug from previous generations and or friends of same, and I envy that. My bug started differently- with the just curious picking up of a "little book" car magazine off a drugstore rack at age 12 or 13 in 1958. Instantly addicted. No one, and I mean no one, in my earlier family had car interests or ever understood mine. Bunch of PhDs several generations back. (I broke that trend!) They all wondered where in the world my interest came from, thought I'd outgrew it. (HA! 71 and still jamming gears in a chopped coupe.)
    I was pretty much limited to models and magazines until age 20. Off to a military high school and a military college, no resources to work on cars. Didn't even own my first until almost 21. Half a century later, just as hooked as I was then. BUT, our son (46) is also addicted, and together with his son (14) we are all three working on cars together. So far, that little book in 1958 has sparked three current generations.
  7. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,271


    It was a natural thing to follow my Dad's footsteps, a car guy forever. I will never be the wrench he was, but have the bug installed by his life. I feel blessed to have had such a great life with my Dad at races since I can remember. He even drag raced the family sedan 55 Olds 88 to a few stock class trophies. Thanx Cecil.
  8. AV8 Dave
    Joined: Jan 3, 2003
    Posts: 680

    AV8 Dave

    My Dad wasn't a dyed-in-the-wool gearhead while I was growing up although he did religiously do his own oil, filter and spark plug changes plus some parts replacements. And he was right there to help out in any way he could when the hotrod and auto racing bug bit me. I did have an uncle who had been an "A" class fitter (mechanic) during WW2 and did all his own vehicle maintenance and his eldest son (my cousin) became a gearhead like me and was a pretty good local drag racer. Regards, Dave.
  9. silverdome
    Joined: Aug 23, 2007
    Posts: 553


    Look at my avatar. Both cars were my dads before he died. I'm driving the '48 and my little brother's driving the '33 and we're getting ready to race each other at MoKan. I'd say he passed it on and he got it from his dad. I remember riding in grandpas Pontiac and grandma saying Roy 90 is fastest enough. To boot my mother has always liked drivng fast and still does to this day. She's almost 80 so it scares me to think of her doing it but as long as she's happy and doesn't hurt someone or herself I'm okay with it.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  10. My Dad was an electrical engineer, collage man, but he was also a Depression era teen and a WWII vet so it was in him to do most anything himself. I do remember him rebuilding the engine in his '59 VW and having all the parts blown across the garage floor when I was about 11 or so, this definitely struck my interest. I build my first engine at 12 for my 1970 SL 100 Honda (still have that one) and have been messing with cars, motorcycles and airplanes ever since. My dad wanted me to go to UCLA as he did and said he would pay for it if my grades were up. I went to tech school instead and got a job in a machine shop when I was 19. My dad always seemed proud of me in whatever I did and I sure hope he was as I loved that old man, just didn't follow in his footsteps. Life's been good to me so far.
    catdad49 likes this.
  11. porkshop
    Joined: Jan 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,705

    from Clovis Ca

    speaking of reruns..... how about the 38??????
  12. cory88
    Joined: Aug 1, 2010
    Posts: 15

    from Buffalo,NY

    Awesome post. My old man was never a Hot Rod kinda guy but when I was a kid I always caught him tinkering with his old Harley. I sat and watched him for hours ( he never knew what the hell he was doing). He always loved cars but never really knew the inner workings. I went on to become a mechanic and actually figured out how to build em and fix em. Pop still rides Harley's today and now I find myself doing his maintenance and even built him a shop truck to cruise. It' something i'm appreciative for as I probably wouldn't have the friends I have today without the rods.
  13. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 20,266

    Staff Member

    I know... I know... Getting ready to start a massive wood working project and Tardel is in the middle of a shop move, so... Eventually!
    kidcampbell71 and porkshop like this.
  14. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414


    My dad was a mechanic and hated hot rods. So that was all I wanted to do is build hotrods.
    We never did get along too good.
  15. Yes, it is in the blood. My dad had a shop and a dragster when I was tiny. One day I was in his shop helping him bang on something when I smashed my finger. The asshole laughed a little until he saw the blood and me crying. He cleaned it up some and took me home to mommy. Later, I got a real high fever and they had to take me to the emergency room. The Dr. checked out everything and then asked me what had happened. I told him that I was helping my dad on his dragster and smashed my finger. He laughed and said "well that's it then, you caught it and its a bad case too". I said caught what? LOL, he said hot rod fever. He then said son, it ain't never going to go away either.
  16. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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  17. frank spittle
    Joined: Jan 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,672

    frank spittle

    My father is responsible for my love of hot rodding. He took me to several dirt track races before my teens. I absolutely loved the noise and the smell.......and of course the excitement of watching rubbing fenders. He was at the very first NASCAR Strictly Stock race in Charlotte in 1949 when I was only 5. But after taking me with him those times he lost his interest I guess. He never attended any kind of race after my pre-teens. I drag raced motorcycles for over 20 years without him ever seeing me. At first I didn't want him to know but after I had been at it awhile I hoped to see him turn up unexpectedly. Not once did he discourage it though......not after getting married.....not after two sons came along. Late in my career I asked him why he had not come to a race and he told me I had done fine without him. I really regret he felt that way. But it could be he just didn't want to take a chance on seeing me get hurt.
    wicarnut likes this.
  18. Raiman1959
    Joined: May 2, 2014
    Posts: 1,427


    I was ALWAYS hanging out in my grandfathers garage/shop since I can remember....seems like every time I think of the past (which is often),....that old garage was where I was at! My grandpa owned, and drove his own log trucks in Oregon, and worked on his own vehicles, and my grandmothers sedans...he was always working on a car or truck late into the night after a long day of work, and I can remember how many times I peeked out from the upstairs bedroom window looking at the light echoing from the open doors before going to bed...clanging and shadows moving at the odd time from within.

    My dad also drove log trucks for living, but always had a hot rod which he drove when not working ....those beat-up old log trucks and my dads spiffy waxed hot rods were such an incredible contrast of size, metal, and rubber, yet from my young eyes, they fit perfectly well in my mind. My dad was always working on his cars in the ''repair stall'' truck space of the old garage, and when my grandpa needed that space for the work next were moved, and car moved while the truck waited outside to pull was a 'natural' rhythm of how mechanical things worked in my mind, and I still remember the smells, old coveralls, and that one big crack in the concrete floor that was always upsetting the creeper from underneath. 019.jpg

    I do think a tremendous amount of this stuff is passed on....the haze of time formulate memories filled my reasoning, and learning what rattles are in a car and what reminders dad told me to take care of...SOON, or what in the electrical system was faltering ....then stranded along a road working up a good story to tell grandpa about what had happened, when I should have fixed it ...."shoulda, coulda'' came up a lot!!!....and hearing the stories over a coveted 1/2 cup of coffee in a 10 year old's hands filled with milk, standing next to grandpa and dad in the garage smelling of oil and sawdust, and simply looking at an engine with the hood up with a knowing nod of approval, as if the problem was already dad learned from my grandpa, and I learned from both of them....I am what I am today because of the sacrifices they made for me, and what I learned by simply listening ...and running as fast as I could to get the coffee pot to re-fill their cups before they asked...valuable lessons were learned because I ''earned'' the appreciation of both of them every time I swept up the sawdust and scrubbed the floors for the next repair, with smiles of appreciation at my deeds for a clean work space. Good memories indeed....though they are both gone now, I still have the same, exact yes, they do indeed continue on in my humble opinion! 002.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  19. circlek454
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 20


    My Dad was an Electrician by trade but a mechanic at heart. When I was about 8 in 56 he bought a 53 Dodge Cornet with a Hemi and a three on the tree. He had dual glasspacks put on it.
    He worked 3rd shift at International Harvester and left for work about 9:30. When I heard him wind up that little Hemi, leaving from the corner, I could go to sleep then.
    I loved those pipes then and still love them today !
    He still had to play it cool when I was trying to be a gear head in my teens, but when I pulled the rocker studs out of my 409 heads and had to send them out to be pinned, he admitted that he had to repair the rear end on his 37 Ford Flatback several times from 'dumping' the clutch.
    So the nut definitely did not fall far from the tree in our family , like everyone in these posts.
    circle K
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  20. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 28,552

    Jalopy Joker

    great story - but, there are those of us, like me, that had no one in the family or family friends that did anything with cars except drive them. some how, some way it was in my blood from very young age the love of cars - especially modified ones. did the bike/model car stuff - had a car before had a drivers license - Mom always complaining that I took over the garage with my low buck projects. but, "bloodline" stopped with me. My sons have no interest in cars, except to drive. No relatives, except my wife, have an interest in old cars. guess that I am just a mutant in the family tree.
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  21. my grandpa - Scan2_0002.jpg Lawrence Brocchini.....pretty sure I gots some of his gene's
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,577


    I told the story of how I drove this thing a city block in Dad's lap at 8 years old in an entry from Joey. That's Dad at the back, my uncle Tony at the front who was the driver (Mom forbid Dad driving because he rolled one once). If it's not in the blood it surely is a product of environment. I couldn't imagine a better one.
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  23. I spent most of my life eating in chow halls and sleeping in a dorm. I graduated 1n 1958 from father Flanagan's Boys Town. I returned to Great Falls , Montana . Understand there were no cars , girls or beer at the home. I met some guys who were as some would call "hoodlums". I bought a 36 Ford 5 window without engine. They taught me how to install an olds V8 and it's been down hill ever since.
    They also showed me welding leading and basic car stuff.
    wicarnut likes this.
  24. They get on me, they want to know, "Hank, why do you drink..."
    Actually, I am the one handing down the sickness to my son, feels great that we both have something so in common that we both enjoy so much and spend time together doing it. Whether working on maintenance, installing a speed part, or going to the drags, we enjoy our time together and I can ask for nothing more.
    wicarnut likes this.
  25. typo41
    Joined: Jul 8, 2011
    Posts: 2,572

    Member Emeritus

    My Father is still with me, he's 84. All his life he was a mechanic and a tinkerer. I say he was a mechanic all his life but that is not true, for a time he was TV repair man when he got out of the Marines in 1961. But TV was in its infancy and very few had them, so he went back to motors but instead of American Iron it was the weird foreign stuff, Sunbeams, Austin Martins, Fiats the ones that went fast.
    But like having a plumber for a father and the home plumbing is always in need, our home vehicles were always needing work, needing. But on occasion we, my older brother Pat and I got to go to the shop on a Saturday ( I think to get us out of my Mothers hair). So along with cleaning all the wrenches we got to see and learn a little.
    Later my Father went back into the military, Viet Nam, and he worked on Big Shit like power generating plants for an Island (Midway). As he career wound down, and I got older he started to show me a few things like how to rebuild my Jeep wagon trans and later a motor swap. And he was always available for our friends that needed car help.
    I didn't become a car person until after I left home, but I remember a bunch that he had shown me and he was always a phone call away. I wasn't the son that was to become the car person, I was the one to go to school because I wanted to be a photographer.
    Now he has finally slowed down, he is selling off his last mechanical hobby of hit and miss motors. He was dragging those heavy pieces of iron, four different ones, to farm shows to show the 'young' kids how they pumped water, washed clothes, and cut wood in the early days of South Dakota.
    I am glad the apple doesn't fall far from the tree......
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  26. longhorizon
    Joined: Sep 25, 2011
    Posts: 57


    Fathers and sons. Thanks Ryan.
    I surely got my love of cars from my dad. My Hot Rod Fever's gone undiagnosed so far but I have been told I have Wheels and Keels Disease...
    My dad wasn't a mechanic (which in fact is an understatement). He was on the sales end. Covered all of Africa and the Middle East when the biggest engine (Audi) offered was a 3 cylinder two-stroke. He came home from his trips with boxes of promotional models, packed 10 to a box, all the same color. That's when it started for me...
    For him cars were business though, a way to make money and support the family. We moved to the States when I was ten and he built up a Volvo dealership, then Porsche. He taught me to shift gears, double clutch, and spin to no end on ice-covered parking lots. He didn't beat me when the cop brought me home one evening and he bailed me out in the middle of the night when I called from a North Carolina jail cell, the radar having read 126 MPH.
    No. We were never close but he was always there when it counted. Always.
    As for my son, my love of cars is plain for him to see. Not sure what I could have done differently but he's not afflicted. He's got three pedals in his car; at least I accomplished that. He's a phenomenal kid, I love him to death but I feel like I've failed in some way. I wish we shared something. I wish we shared a love of cars.
    Maybe I'll invite him to join me at TROG this year. Yeah, that's it. Thanks guys - what a great idea...
    catdad49 likes this.
  27. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,857


    I guess I inherited it too. Wish I also would have inherited this building though!

  28. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,838


    My dad was not a true hot rod or car builder. But, he must have given me a ton of subtle ideas towards having a nice car for daily drives. Besides, he chose me to meet him at the end of the block to let me steer his huge 49 Buick Roadmaster to the parking area in front of our Craftsman Style house, every day from 1950-52. (yea! I started steering a car at age 6. I think my dad allowed me to steer his 41 Buick Coupe around the trailer park in Long Beach when I was 4, but he took a lot of %$^#& for that move from my mom, so that episode is rekindled, but a little hazy.) My wife likes what my dad has given me because, she drives knowing that the cars are reliable, powerful, cool, and that she helped pick out the cars.

    But, my dad’s idea about cars went to my brother, too. He took care of this cars like no other. Maybe it got to me a little stronger as I continued with a few more hot rods/cruisers than he did. But, he had more 900-1100 cc custom street bikes before he left all of us at age 51. My dad always told us that “…if you don’t have a reliable car, you can’t get to where you are going.” He never had a side road breakdown in any of his cars. It was nice that his best friend in Los Angeles owned a garage and was an expert mechanic, with ties to Vic Edlebrock. But, his friend always helped my dad keep the Buicks in tip top shape.
    upload_2017-2-8_5-1-35.png 1939: Dad with 36 Dodge sedan
    Before the two brothers came along, he was an adventurist. As a teenager, he used to swim across the San Pedro Channel from downtown San Pedro to Terminal Island with his friends, play all day at Brighton Beach, and then swim back across. (that stretch of water is so impacted with traffic, today, that it would be impossible !)
    He also played semi pro baseball after college and with his left hand pitching/batting, he stood out like a sore thumb. But, we feel this photo shows him with his “real” first car. He kept that for a couple of years.

    But what stood out in all of our family’s memories is his string of Buick cars, starting with a 1941 2-door coupe. He would tell us that cars should be driven about 4 years and then it is time to get another one. From 46 to 49, he owned a 41 coupe, So starting in 1949 with his big black 4 door Roadmaster, every 4 years, we saw a new Buick roll into the garage. Mostly 4 doors until 1957. His last Buick was in 1982 with a sporty Regal. He died just before the Olympics came to L.A. in 84.

    (41 Buick coupe, 49 Roadmaster 4 door, 53 Roadmaster 4 door, 57 Roadmaster 2 door, 63 Riviera, 68 Riviera, 73 Regal, 78 Regal, 82 Regal)

    The only odd ball car he mentioned to all of us at dinner one night was the chance to drive for free, a new Turbine Car by Chrysler. Somehow, he got on a list of car owners that had the chance to drive one of the new Turbine Cars on the street and turn in an evaluation at the end of the time period. This was in 1962. He was excited, but my mom nixed that idea saying that we would not own that car, but would be “renting” it and that it looked awful. Actually, it was to be a loan for so many months, just for evaluation. He sat in the car in Los Angeles, but we never saw it except in magazines. It was weird looking, like a “Jetson’s” style, Thunderbird.

    Maybe not a true influence about hot rods, but he sure loved his Buicks. So, yes, a true car guy.

    Me to my son? He had every available “car” influence: (wooden cars, plastic cars, Hot Wheels, models, Tonkas, pedal cars, R/C cars, scooters, bikes…)
    He even loved turning two steering wheels I bolted to my garage cabinet doors to pretend driving while I was working in the garage. A small 3 spoke mini wheel ($4 garage sale) and a larger 4 spoke wheel I had from back in the early days.
    upload_2017-2-8_5-21-16.png upload_2017-2-8_5-21-31.png But his generation as teens and college age must have skipped getting involved in cars. He does confer with me when his family is looking for another family car. To this day, he still remembers those two steering wheels in the garage. Well, that is something.

    Our grand daughter? She loves driving around with us and when we pickup her and her friends from school, they all love the sound of a powerful motor/exhaust coming from Grandma’s car. Oooh... But, to that youngest generation, cars get you where you want to go, they want a cool looking car, but it is just something rolling on wheels that is better than taking a city bus somewhere. Geeez…passed on from her dad.

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  29. Schwanke Engines
    Joined: Jun 12, 2014
    Posts: 784

    Schwanke Engines

    Here is a recent one of me and my dad outside our shop with our Fleetlines. you can see we have different tastes Im a more Traditional guy he is a Chrome fanatic.

    Attached Files:

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  30. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,838


    Despite the lack of a "hot rod car nut" in her generation, our grand daughter names all of the cars that her family has owned. (Bessie, Herman, etc.) So, at least she has some connection to the cars and what they do for her. But, when that neighbor's bright red, Ford Falcon convertible comes rumbling down her street with the top down, she immediately whips around to notice the rump rump sound. Obviously, she notices what is making that sound. Then, without me coaxing her about the car, she says..."cool." The red convertible has a high performance motor that sounds so racy that it is hard not to notice. Even my wife will look at that cool custom hot rod convertible.
    So, there is still some hope for that "youngest generation." But, any good looking hot rod with a big motor that sounds like a drag race car draws attention anywhere it goes. It is the hot rod that does it for people.
    wicarnut and catdad49 like this.

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