The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by J.Ukrop, Feb 26, 2021.
J.Ukrop submitted a new blog post:
Continue reading the Original Blog Post
Due to my Dad I'd been to races while still a baby, so my parents tell me. The first car emblazoned on my memory though was an orange '55 Chevy 210 that was a few houses down from ours. This was about 1974-1975 when the street freak craze was going strong. It had a straight axle, white fender well headers, radiused rear fender lips, and a cam that loped really hard. Man that thing was cool.
When I became old enough, probably 5 or 6, I spent some time with relatives in Ticonderoga, N.Y. Aunt Bess/Uncle Charlie lived in town and one day I saw a flash of yellow drive by. Wow, a Hot Rod, (probably didn't know that term yet), but I knew it was something special. Soon, I was able to fill in the details. Besides being yellow with black fenders, it was a Deuce Roadster with glasspacks, ashcan tips, www's and Fast (at least to me). It belonged to someone up the street, but he was probably a hoodlum, so I never got to meet him. That memory will Never Fade and the car was always known as The BumbleBee (see above), at least by Me! Good Times.
Yep, my experience was exactly the same...only different.
In the most unlikely of places - a narrow, tree-lined dirt access road to a tiny local swimming hole in semi-rural Maine - I saw - and spoke with the owner of - a car I recognized from a magazine cover! This would have been in about 1963. He didn't seem to think much of it, but that image has remained with me for almost 60 years!
The car had been on the cover of Cars Illustrated, an east coast little book, as I remember and one that I had in my collection at that time. It was a red, customized and scalloped '40 Chevy that was of very high quality for those days. It was low, so low I was surprised to see it able to navigate the heavily rutted dirt road to our swimming hole.
The most memorable part of the car, however, were the front hubcaps. They were Moon discs with a very well done picture of Alfred E. Neuman of Mad Magazine painted on them...AND THEY DIDN'T TURN! The owner had some sort of device connected to the spindle which kept the hubcaps stationary when the wheels turned. Other than learning that the owner was stationed at a nearby US Navy airfield I never saw or heard of the car or the owner again.
Now perhaps you understand why this was so amazing to a 14-year-old country boy who was even then obsessed with custom cars and hot rods! Perhaps some HAMBer has that magazine and can post the cover photo I remember so well.
EDIT: Did a Google search - not easy when 'most all of the details of my recollection were wrong! - but did come up with the cover and the car I remember. This photo was taken before the amazing hubcaps were added, but is absolutely the right car and owner. Maybe somebody has some later ones with the unique hubcaps...?
Great thread, Joey!
I was looking at houses in 2014, I'm standing on the front porch of one of the houses on a very rural quiet street and a red deuce roadster drives by. I knew it was the sign I was looking for. I wound up making some good car buddies living here, but I never did find out who the roadster I saw belongs to, and none of my car neighbors seem to know the car either. I guess that makes it a ghost sighting also.
I was only 4 or 5 years old when my dad decided to park his '64 Mercury Comet Cyclone at my grandparent's farm. That would've been around 1983 or so.
BUT that car left an impression on me very early in life. It had a hopped up 289 + 4-speed and was somewhat loud, from what I recall. The main memory that has stuck with me is riding in it the last time it was driven. There's approx. 5 miles of curvy gravel road from the highway to the farm. Dad had driven that car since a teen on that road and always gassed it around the curves, sliding the rear end to the side and throwing gravel behind him. MAN was that fun! Mom was following us to drop the car off and I'll never forget how pissed she was that he was driving like that with me in the car. I guess that 'ruined' me for life.
Reminiscent of one of my still vivid 4th grade car memories. A rite of spring in the small town I went to school in was to tar the side streets and then spread pea gravel onto the hot tar. While we were playing in the school yard before the morning bell, a local hoodlum in a beat white 64-65 Comet Cyclone, sporting rusty chrome slots gunned it 'round the block, spraying still hot tar and pea gravel.
Can still hear the 289 growl. Saw it a few more times at my sister's gas station, it was rough. I'm sure that car was in the scrapyard within a year, but it surely led me to drive a couple Cyclones and put a hot 289 in my Fairlane.
When I was 5 yrs old ... 1956, My Dad and I were riding in a 1936 Plymouth coupe ,which belonged to the brother of my Dads best man. There was nothing special about that coupe ,it was all stock with the exception of the Glasspack. The sound of that muffler , I believe was the seed that developed into a life long passion for Hot Rods for me. I can still hear it and I bet if you listen real hard you can hear it too! Bill
Joey, I remember a tan 40 coupe around but don’t know who owned it. I’ll Have to look through my photos.
Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
When I was a kid there was a guy about 8 blocks from my house that had a chopped dark blue 40-41 Willys pickup in his garage. It was an old drag car. One time as I rode my bike past the house he had his garage door open and I got up the nerve to stop. He was happy to show it to me. That was the last time I saw it. Whenever I drive by there now I wonder whatever happened to that PU.
My cousin and I were driving through a subdivision (70’s era houses) in Michigan about 1983-4, and seen the back of a channeled Model A coupe in a garage. It was an old Rod, looked like it had been sitting quite a while, had what I think were 58 Chevy tail lights, If I remember right it had old primer on it. We stopped and backed up. A guy was working on another car in the garage. We asked about the story on the coupe, he wasn’t very unreceptive to our inquiry. When we pulled away he immediately shut the garage door. I drove through there a number of times but never seen the door open again.
Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
Riding my bicycle around the neighborhood in the 60’s I would always go real slow past the houses with shimmed 8 lug Pontiac’s, a primered orange windowed 56 Chevy, and sometimes stop to look at a hot rod waiting for it’s owner to come back from Nam. I was all in however when I would see a yellow fender less A parked at the local slot car track. Never looked back..
Growing up I knew where most of the cool old cars were stashed in the neighborhood as I would ride around on my bicycle in the summers and look for it. I would then actually keep a record of where I found what as my grandpa was still flipping stuff at that time.
One memory that sticks out in my mind though was in my early 20's. Went with my parents and sister on a vacation to Disneyland and for my sister to do some college visits as she was getting ready to start applying to schools. Went to Chapman and as soon as we pull into the parking garage there was a 58 Chevy Del Ray 2 door. Dumped on the ground, nosed, decked and door handles shaved thing just looked cool. Did the campus tour and then got back in the car and we decided to drive around the neighborhood around the school. First street we pull onto, guy is in his driveway tinkering a chopped 30/31 Model A coupe, highboy, 4-71 blown small block just thumping away in the driveway. We pass it and I just look at my sister and tell I should apply with her if it meant being around cool cars all the time, lol. She was not very happy with that.
Back in the late 40's, early 50's my family lived in a small rural village just off the highway. A neighbor had a flathead powered model A. Frequently we would see him speeding through town with a state cop in a buff colored 4 door Plymouth with a bubble gum machine close behind. The quest was to get to the unpaved road so the dust would end the pursuit.
You ran after it. That's great.
Whenever any cars that had a rumble came down our street, I'd run out there and yell...
"Lay a patch!"
Sometimes they would.
My obsession started in the late 50s. Growing up in a once rural township in North Jersey I didn't have any interaction till one night I went with my parents into town shopping at the local IGA market. Parked along the street were the (hoods) with 3 55-56 primered Chevy's. Never forget the names scrolled on them. The red oxide primered one the Red Rat, black primered-black rat and of course gray primer the gray rat. From that night I was hooked. 1st car was a $50 52 Studebaker conv. that I actually installed a new top, pulled the front bumper and grilles out to make a custom and installed the Almquist floor shift conversion. Been through so many cars since, coupes, roadsters, muscle cars. I've lost count. Love when I pull into a family get together with rumbling exhaust the kids get a kick out of it. Some of me rubbed off on the nephews with their toys. Always a kid.
Was standing in a gas station waiting for my dad to finish pumping gas an this beautiful green 3 window 32 comes rumbling down the street an I was hooked. I was 9 an it was the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. Never saw it again and never found out who owned it but it created a love of loud cars
My first interaction with a real hotrod was in the early 60s ,and I was 11or 12. There in all is shiny glory was a 32 coupe ,fenderless,www,Olds Rocket engine,beautiful metalic blue. I stopped my bike to look and the guy actually got out to talk to me. He had just got it and it was a true California hotdrod ,a big thing for us in Toronto. It had chrome headers with caps so I asked if it was loud with the caps off. He said I dont know,lets find out. He spun the caps off and fired it up. I was hooked!
Born in 1951, I grew up in smalltown Montana, which never had a real hot rod. As such, my love of hot rods has always been a wonder to me as I can't remember not being into them. One of my earliest memories is a baby blue 32-34 coupe being parked on Main Street...all we did was drive by it one night but I'll never forget it. That could well have been in a dream as I never saw that car again and our town wasn't a place where hot rods would pass through. Perhaps the most impressionable item that fired my enthusiasm was a magazine my brother brought home...it was one of those periodicals that featured mostly salt and drag race cars. I was mesmerized by the cars and knowledge that went into them, and I would page thru that magazine repeatedly. I still have it. In kindegarten, a '34 Chevy coupe was parked across from our recess field. It was a hot rod as it was flat black, had dish wheels and the bumpers were moved. I couldn't keep my eyes off that car. When I was around 10 or 12, a guy in our town had a '34 Ford tudor that was parked alongside his house. It was flat black, dish wheels and a lowered front end. I had my grandmother drive me by that car every time we got in her car. In every case, there was a sense of mystery involved.
Kids riding around on bicycles drooling over cool old hot rods seems to be a common theme here.
So I'll join the crowd. One of the memories I have is sitting with my bicycle buddies on the lawn in front of our county courthouse. Small town, big building, main street, summer: I heard loud pipes echoing off the walls and a black and primered Model "A" sedan came bounding past. Black steel wheels, whitewalls, and a V-8 between the fenders marked it as unmistakably hot rod. But what I remember to this day is this: Tied tightly around the passenger side door post was a rag, loose end flapping in the breeze, presumably holding the door shut on what must have been a maiden voyage.
The cool part was that years later, I met and am now a good friend of the original builder of that car. It had a 371 Olds engine, hydramatic, Olds rear end and not much else. He said once that he could tell quite a few stories involving that car but he's not real sure the statute of limitations has expired...
And of course I've reminded him that his actions that summer day in the '60's will bear at least part of the responsibility for corrupting me for life.
Back in about 1963 or 1964 I saw a chopped and channeled fenderless T coupe with a hemi sitting in the back lot of a gas station just by my dad's coffee shop. Years later, the older car guys told me that it was a project done by the Guvnor's car club. I took a picture of this T at a rod run about 40 years ago and was told that it was the same car.
Mine had to start with the original Batmobile and the Monkeemobile on tv, at two/ three years of age! Even that Pink Panther Toronado limo from the cartoon blew my tiny mind! We moved from Cleveland Ohio to NC in early '70...aside from older family members leaving RnC or Hot Rod laying around( and Penthouse!), I remember a '53 Chevy painted day glow green, really fluorescent, and a hearse with " Padded Cell" painted on back door and a blue paint job, a '65-'67 model at that!
In our early pre-teen years, a long time ago, that 56 Ford custom truck influenced me to what someone could do, to finish off a plain old truck that we used to see always driving in the neighborhood. They were work trucks, with gardening tools, saw horses, tool boxes and a lot of spare tires stacked in the back. The only custom truck was that cool chopped truck. My ride in that truck was very cool, but it just seemed the right way to cruise down the main street.
Jump up to early teen years and my introduction to my brother’s friend’s 34 Ford 5 window coupe. I could hear the 34 Ford with the big Oldsmobile Motor rumbling up our street. He lived about 4 blocks away. When he parked in the driveway, the rumble was always noticeable inside of our house. We knew that our friend had just arrived. It was just something that happened almost weekly as our house was a gathering spot for my brother and his friends.
In reality, they liked coming over to our house because our mom always gave them outstanding lunches and snacks, as well as an endless supply of soft drinks. It helped that before my brother and I tore down a wall and doors to the backyard Rumpus Room, it was the private/semi-private teenage hang out.
If the friends knew my brother just had a huge family event at our house, the days after would always have left overs and that is when those teenagers came over as fast as they could. Our mom was well known to always have more than enough food and drinks for the big crowd, then planned on the left overs for the hungry teenagers that arrived.
For me, it was cool as I got to see the high school teenagers and their hot rods almost on a weekly basis. The camaraderie was evident and that was something to look forward to for my high school days.
1958-59… My friend’s black 5 window Ford coupe running in A/Gas class with the big Oldsmobile motor, but still, a daily driver to high school and an after school job. (1ST Photo a copy from the web) The closest thing to my friend’s 5 window Ford coupe was sitting just a few spaces away in the pit area.
My first encounter with a 34 Ford 5 window coupe was when it rolled up in our driveway one day. Out pops my brother’s friend with a big smile on his face. I could see why he was smiling. That 34 coupe looked cool and sounded like a real race car. While my brother and his friend were talking, I was able to walk around the 34 coupe and get a good idea of what a real hot rod coupe looked like.
It was a frequent visitor to our small Westside of Long Beach house many times. I was lucky enough to be able to get a couple of rides in that coupe. It was outstanding and had the power to feel like a rocket blasting off… Say, a modified Oldsmobile motor? Rocket symbol? Coincidence? But, it was the sheer acceleration of the full throttle Oldsmobile motor sounding off as we were flying down the road. Talk about a smile on my face, it was a giant, ear to ear grin. That instant power gave me an introduction and I was locked in for good. More power was a good thing.
It looked like the one with the red wheels, except the motor was a big Oldsmobile V8 that was very powerful and fast. It was a competitor in the A/Gas class at Lions Dragstrip and won many trophies. It was also a daily driver to high school.
Your account of seeing your first hot rod reminds me of seeing my first hot rod.
I grew up and still live in a very small town in upstate NY a population of about 800. There were a handful of old cars, a few street rods, and 10-15 oval track stockcars. (Yes, 10-15 stockcars in a town of 800.)
My dad worked on many of those racecars and built several stockcar chassis.
By the mid 90's dad was burned out on working on everyone else's racecars, and I was becoming interested in period correct hot rods.
About that time I started seeing a cream and red scalloped chopped and channeled 30 A coupe, white walls and period correct small block Chevy it would drive through town about 2 or 3 times a year
It was often traveling with a chopped and channeled early 60 style 30/31 A truck purple with flames multiple carbureted Nailhead.
There were no cars like that is this area, after about 4 or 5 years I was finally able to catch up with the car and the owner/builder Doug Anderson.
That was the first period correct hot rod I ever saw in person! Doug lived about an hour away he and I got to be friends
Being born and growing up in New Mexico I've come to understand why we are 49 or 50 on the bottom of most lists.
It was hanging out in Junior High school first...I got to ride my bicycle to school where they had a fenced in area for bicycles, scooters and motorcycles...the highlight of the day was when I went to leave, so were all the guys on their motorized rides. Cushmans' abounded and a Mustang or two along with Hondas and one fellow had a big old one lung Jawa... lots of ringggdinnnngggg two stroke Yamahas a few BSA's and a Triumph or two mufflers were optional....the fuse was lit as I watched them peel out.
Then came High School and a bus ride. One of the upper classmen had a '57 Willow Green and White Ford, mufflers optional, 2 dr Fairlane with a 312. He would always come by the bus stop to taunt us and yell something like 'loosers' Then he would rev the motor and dump the clutch for the take off, leaving a trail of rubber from one tire....until one morning the drive shaft wanted no more of that action. Immediately following the clutch dump BAM there was noise and sparks emitting as the driveshaft spun against the pavement, the car going nowhere. The driver door opened as he hung from the steering wheel as he peered under the car....'damn, I broke a driveshaft'
'you loosers come push me out of the street'....
Thanks for the memory Joey....
About 1960. I've told how when I was 3-4 years old, I idolized the greaser neighbor boys and their old Ford Coupe. And how I'd sit on the porch steps on Sunday mornings and watch all the cars pull up for church.
So I was already tuned in to whatever cool cars might come around.
I have a very clear memory from that time frame of a light gray primered late 30s GM Business Coupe rumbling and lumbering very slowly past our house. Michigan has always had bad roads. Even the side streets sometimes get patched over and over and they can get bumpy. We lived on a corner, and the side street was pretty bad. This old Coupe had a loud exhaust, so it caught my attention, but also because it was rattling like crazy LOL... with every bump. I think that's partly why he was going so slow. I remember being interested to see what might be so loose. I think I could see the rear fender shaking.
My thoughts about that car at the time we're basically the same exact thoughts I or any of us would have now...
"But still....... COOOOL!"
Separate names with a comma.