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Art & Inspiration How far back do your Hot Rod memories go?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,527


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    How far back do your Hot Rod memories go?


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. I grew up in a rural area of the South so not too many hot rods around..A young guy that lived next door to my grandparents had a 47 Chevy Convertible that was a mild hot rod and he and the car made a impression on me.

    I never road in the car but watched him tinker with it over the years until he got married and moved away

    We struck up a friendship that faded away in the 60's but struck it back up a few years ago when he got in touch with me because he knew I had been building hot rods since the early 70's.

    He had just purchased a 40 Chevy and was getting back into hot rods after a long absence..It was a pleasure to help the guy that inspired me! HRP
    osidebarrel likes this.
  3. Wally K
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2

    Wally K

    1961. Upstate NY small town, Byron NY. My old man's buddy showed up with a '55 Chev with dual quads. Hurst shifter kit on the floor. I was 10. Been cars and cars and trucks ever since.
  4. dudley32
    Joined: Jan 2, 2008
    Posts: 2,143


    me and my dad went to look at a '36 Ford Cabriolet (could have been a Phaeton)...the windshield was chopped and chromed and I remember how short it was in the middle...when we left my Dad said it had been " hot-rodded"...I must have been 5 or 6...(1956)
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014

  5. 2002p51
    Joined: Oct 27, 2004
    Posts: 1,362


    Not too many hot rods where I grew up in northern New Jersey but the pages of the April 1961 issue of Hot Rod Magazine are what really started it for me. Not long after that I got to go to Island Dragway and I was hooked for good.
  6. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,800

    Atwater Mike

    Holy crap...Honk magazine, the Igniters car club, all the hot rods that hung out at Johnny Freitas's cas station, and Sim Clark's Signal station 2 blocks up our street...(Sim kept and maintained 3 Midget race cars, 2 V8 60s and 1 Offy)
    One of the main guys, Al, had a '32 Hiboy...first real hot rod I ever rode in. Al ("Boof" to his pals) was a lifelong friend.

    This was around 1949, (I was 7) I knew all the hot rod guys, they NEVER said 'Get outa the way, Kid'.
    Chic Cannon (NHRA Safari member, NHRA advisor) moved his speed shop up from L.A. in 1954, 6 blocks from my house. I practically lived there... older 'family friend' Eric Bracher drove Chic's Drag roadster, a '29 Hiboy that was Olds powered with Chic's trademark: a fat little cannon discharging: "Noise by Cannon". Remember that one?
    Santa Clara was good...and I was blessed.
  7. Timely post with father's day upcoming...
    I don't know that I could narrow it down to a single time/event; hot rods have kinda always been there. I recall being highly entertained by stories of my gramps & his brothers terrorizing the streets of Port Arthur in stripped-down T's...Dad had a couple of old Chevys when I was comin' up; a '39 pickup and '37 2-door. I think the first car-related memory I have is going with him to pick up the '37 (must have been around 1980 or so) or the little Chevy II that he would pull the keys out of while going down the road (I was so amazed by that!). I still recall my 4 or 5 year old legs cramping from mashing the "whoa pedal" in the '39 while dad bled the brakes; hurt like hell but I was hooked! Thanks dad!!

    39 pickup.jpg
    I'm pretty stoked that the younger generation has kept up the family tradition...both of my male cousins have traditionally-styled hot rods of their own.

    Attached Files:

    HEMI32 likes this.
  8. olcurmdgeon
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 2,303


    1955, junior high in Rhinebeck, NY, a little upstate farming village (at that time). Not a lot of hot rods around either but somehow reading my first little car magazine from Coles Cigar Store hooked me! Welding shop up the street from my father's store had a '37 NASCAR coupe they hauled to Agawam, MA every Saturday night and the owner Gordon Ross was always willing to let me poke around. Kid from Statsburg had a shoebox "el camino" which were the rage back then, 303 olds with hydromatic. Later in the 50s local guy who worked at welding shop had a lowered Hondouras Maroon '57 Ranchero with a MEL 430, Lee tailights with ace of spades, and white tuck and roll tonneau cover with large ace of spades in black. Man that made an impression on me! In '59 went to Connecticut Dragway and saw some of the Conn cars and knew I had to have one. Conn always had great cars, always good jobs there in industry that paid well. Saw my first real life candy paint jobs and chorme. Later in '61 I bought the '47 Ford tudor that was the "mule" for the race car engines and rebuilt a '57 283, with advice from older guys and had myself my first " built it myself" hot rod. Man those were the days.
  9. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,229

    from California

    my Dad took me and my brother to the Oakland Roadster show about 1967-68. he was not a car guy at all, I guess he just thought we would like it since we were building models and I was always playing with Hot Wheels. the thing I remember most from that show was a custom green metalflake chromed out wheel barrow with a motor in it. I remember he pointed out a 51 Mercury because he had one in about 1955. other than that I can't remember anything about the show. I should have paid more attention. that would have been my first experience with real Hot rods.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  10. JackdaRabbit
    Joined: Jul 15, 2008
    Posts: 498

    from WNC

    I read Felsen's novel Hot Rod in 6th grade 1961. In `63 the "older boy" that lived across the street was working on, what I always called a Deuce coupe, but was maybe a Model A. It had a `55 T-Bird Y block and cycle front fenders. He offered to sell it for $200 and my buddy and I were all hot to buy it but the folks shot us down. Neither of us knew the 1st thing about working on cars and our dads weren't wrenchers. This was in central NJ.
  11. typo41
    Joined: Jul 8, 2011
    Posts: 2,572

    Member Emeritus

    In 1959 my Dad got out of the Marines down in San Diego and worked as a mechanic for a sport car dealier, that raced, I wont go OT here but we did get to ride around in a Fiat Jolly. In 62 we moved to South Dakota and my family took in a troubled teenager that worked in the same shop as my Dad. He had just lost his driver in an accident but had a picture of a it,, a yellow chopped 50 or so Merc, he later showed up with a Model A that his high school buddies hopped up in our driveway. At the same time the shop buit a 1955 chevy into a hard top racer for the local dirt track, bright yellow paint and the crew all wore white overalls at the track. Some more OT Alfa's, Lola's, Tigers, Jags. Then in 68 a move back to Southern California and there on the way to evening of hot dogs and a Big Slide,,, a totally jacked up red Nomad, aircraft springs, chrome,,, yea.......
  12. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    Member Emeritus

    About 1958. I got a subscription to Hotrod for Christmas in 1960 and every year there after. My cousin in Pa drove 46 Ford coupe with a nail head Buick in it. 39 floor shift box. I don't think that he built it but he certainly worked on it. His buddy drove a chopped 40 convertible that came form California. A hemi with multiple 97s. Yeah I got infected a long time ago. over 50 years now. I tell everyone that it is fatal...I will die with this disease.
  13. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,876

    from Nebraska

    Great topic, @Jive-Bomber !

    My first 'hot rod' memory is riding in my dad's old '64 Mercury Comet Cyclone (his first car!). I was around 4-5 years old, in the '83-'84 time frame. It had a hopped up 289/4-speed and ran pretty good, from what I'm told. The last ride in it (same time frame) was out to my grandparents' farm to be parked. Dad drove it faster than he should have through the rolling gravel hills on the way to the farm --- what a blast! I remember my mom being pissed when we got there :D .
    The Comet was getting rusty and needing more and more work, so dad decided to park it. It still sits out on the farm and is barely a parts car anymore - very rusty and a tree has fallen on it.
    He now has a nice rust free replacement project car, another real '64 Cyclone. I can't wait until he makes time to start working on it....

    HEMI32 likes this.
    Joined: Sep 27, 2008
    Posts: 83
    from USA

    As a kid, I lived on Air Forces bases all of my life and at each base there was a Auto Hobby Shop, where guys would work on their cars. My Father who was always on Alert (SAC) would be at the shop all of the time working on his Nash or some other low interested car (in my eyes at that time). I would go over and help him. One day an Airman from CA, was there with a orange 55 Chevy with a small block with a blower and could not get it to run right. My Father went over and in 1/2 hours had the thing running like a clock and took it for a quick spin (smoke those tires and the thing started to go sidewides) out on the parking lot. My Father came back and the Airman asked what was the problem, Sir (my Father was a officer and a KC-135 Navigator), my Father replied, that he had the hood open to much. That was the start for me.
    Atwater Mike and kidcampbell71 like this.
  15. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 10,000


    Riding with my uncle on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood circa 1950, I was 10 or less. Two young men in a fenderless roadster came tearing around a corner in the opposite direction on Sunset, the passenger waving his arms in the air -- squirrels, really. I was VERY impressed; my uncle was not.

    Growing up in L.A., hot rods and customs were a pretty common sight. I didn't know anybody who owned one until junior high school, though.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  16. SlamIam
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 457


    1951- Dad and Mom brought me home from the hospital in Dad's 37 Ford business coupe. Don't remember it. But I do remember Dad's black on black 49 Plymouth, and a black & white 56 Buick Special with a nailhead Dad had to have in 1961. Watched Dad and Uncle Bob build a beautiful maroon 39 Ford Coupe in the barn in 62 or 63. But I think what really did it to me as a youngster was one night at the back of Uncle Wayne's blue and white 57 Ford with the Y-Block. It made a life-long impression on me when he revved it and sparks shot out of his straight pipes. It's been all downhill since then...
  17. ronzmtrwrx
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 808


    My dad and another guy had a salvage yard through the sixties, and they always had a dirt track car they ran at the area tracks, but my first really memorable experience with hot rodding would have to be from the 67-68 time frame. My dad had a 55 Ford pickup that he had put a 421 Pontiac and 4 speed in from a wreck they brought in. He initially left the six banger geared rear in the truck and right after he got it running, we went out on a new stretch of road that was not open yet. He roasted the right rear tire while I was hangin my head out the window lookin back. No seat belt, of course. :) It was on then and there. Those were fun times.
  18. wlspdshop
    Joined: Jun 15, 2005
    Posts: 1,585

    from Missouri

    Brought home in a 67 Fairlane 500XL. I grew up with my dad building mostly Fairlanes and Mustangs, but they are great memories. Just smelling paint takes me back or walking in any shop. Starting reading Rod & Custom and have not stopped loving hot rods. Went for a ride in a blown 55 Chevy in high school and rides in a lot of other fun hot rods as a kid. Those are my best memories....Now taking my kiddos and building those memories for with them.
  19. toml24
    Joined: Sep 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,620


    1958. I was 2 years old and my earliest memories of life was watching the Sunday afternoon jalopy races from Gardena Stadium on local TV in Southern California. I found watching those races to be better than the kiddie cartoons. I can remember using all my strength from two hands to twist the TV changer to the races when they were on. Gosh, I miss those days.
  20. glrbird
    Joined: Dec 20, 2010
    Posts: 574


    My Dad raced befour I was born and into the late 50's, Mom even said i was almost born at the track. Went straight to the hospital after the feature race. but my first real ride in a hot rod was when a young man that worked for my Dad went to get parts and asked if I wanted to go along. 32 ford five window with a olds engine and 3x2's, 1957 age 8. Seems like yesterday.
  21. I'm not too different from a lot of you,growing up our family didn't have much but my mother impressed on me at a young age to read.

    Henry Gregor Felsen was my favorite author and I got lost in the Story's. HRP
    40fordtudor and gwhite like this.
  22. Probably the late '50s. I could no doubt come up with some neat story or two about my family being hot rodders or something but why bother you with it.
  23. 911 steve
    Joined: Nov 29, 2012
    Posts: 659

    911 steve
    from nebraska

    Hi, Malcolm. I saw you guys in Blair Sunday PM. My 40 is almost on the road, albeit semi-done. I plan starting it Friday for the 1st time after re-wiring it. it goes to the glass shop on Monday, then finish wiring, & upholstery. My 1st memory was 1960. My brother-in-law had a stock 54 Ford. then he bought the Ford FE engine some local racers (Burdick Brothers) had run at Daytona in 1959 and put it in his 54. WHAT A SLEEPER!!
  24. Tom davison
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 5,654

    Tom davison
    from Phoenix AZ

    I remember being about six in 1950 when my dad got a new Chevy fastback. I tried to talk him into putting skirts on it! He wasn't into cars in the least bit and I have no idea where my passion for modifications came from. I even offered up my allowance to help finance the skirts, to no avail. When I got to be 15, I showed him!!
  25. Guys passing around a copy of "Hot Rod"magazine in study hall 1951..I was driving a Banger highboy coupe to school..after several months of reading Hot Rod I cut the top off my old coupe.channelled it and installed a V8-60..that led to many hotrodded cars..I got a job in a Mobil sta in 1958 and was driving a full fender 32 5 window.pleated,rolled,full SW dash.The man that owned the local speed shop traded with us and he offed me a job ..was with him for many years.that was in the days of owners of
    speed mfg companys would make calls on us.Met many of the founders of the industry, Paul Schiefer,Fred Offenhauser.Mr Edelbrock,Els Lohn(EELCO)Joe Hrudka(Mr Gasket)Aaron Fenton.Harry Weber, As we became a large Warehouse dist.met many more at the first SEMA show and years since,,I finally accepted a job as a Mfg Rep for several companies(Mallory,Hedman,Moroso,MSD,Sig Erson,Weiand and some lesser ones) stayed at that until my retirement..still a trad Hot Rodder at 81 later this fall and still spend several hours a day here on the HAMB,,,THANKS RYAN
  26. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,788


    Late 50's, around 5 or 6 years old, north Miami (Norland), older teenage neighborhood hoodlum had an early 50's shoebox that was loud and bad . . . white with black primer spots all over it, and a Mr. Horsepower decal. Coolest car I had ever seen.
  27. jadeidol
    Joined: Jul 21, 2007
    Posts: 263

    from spokane

    Here's a couple of pics of my sister and I growing up. ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1402422755.376769.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1402422772.120048.jpg

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
    Old-Soul likes this.
  28. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,287


    :D One of the things that got me started with hot rods was a series of books called "T model Tommy".Do you older folks remember those?Also my Father had a really sanitary 1929 model A rumble seat roadster that I really loved.Green body with black fenders.The whole neighbor hood was infested with Fords,Chevys,Mopars and who knows what from the early 30`s into the 50`s.A great time to be around.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
  29. James Curl
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 370

    James Curl

    In 1948 I had a paper route that went by a body shop and they had a 32 5 window coupe in the front show room that was being built by a high school boy. He was doing all of the work himself after they closed for the day. He was five years older than I am and we became great friends in the late fifties when I got back from the army. I pit crewed that same car at the drags in and around San Antonio Texas until 1962 when we started to race Go Karts. It was a chopped and channeled no fenders hot rod powered by a bored and stroked 59AB flat head V8.
  30. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,730


    1958 my sisters boyfriend and his buddy both had '50 Merc convertibles with mild custom touches.
    I was fortunate enough to go for a ride in one of them. Great fun at that age.
    Like to know where those cars are today!

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