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How old's the oldest H.A.M.B. member?60+?Tell us a cool story

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jalopy junkie, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. leon renaud
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,935

    leon renaud
    from N.E. Ct.

    Doodle bugs were different things in different parts of the country .Out here in New England a doodlebug is most often referring to a home made tractor or farm implement built from salvaged truck or auto parts Doodlebug pulls were a standard part of out agricultural fairs for many years before tractor pulls came on the scene.They used the same track and stone boats as the horse an ox pullers did.In other parts of the country a doodle bug was a form of race car used in stock car type racing a car stripped to the chassis and just the cowl with maybe a hoop over the drivers seat and a grab bar on the drivers side for him to hang on to nothing else as far as body or safety gear!
  2. drifters cc
    Joined: Feb 16, 2010
    Posts: 178

    drifters cc

    63, In 1964 I painted my grandmothers 3 story & 2 1/2 car garage for 125.00. took me 2 weeks. When I got paid ,stuffed the cash in my pocket and had my friend pick me up at grannys house( I didnt have a license). On the way home I saw this 56 ford in a gas station. Wouldn't you just know it the guy wanted 125.00. Well I went home with no money in my pocket but a shit-eating grin on my face. Well I never got to drive that ford. While I was learning how to drive(using the parents car) my dad put the 56 in the road and used it for his daily ride. that lasted about 2mos. Driving home from work on the NYS thruway at about 60 the a-frame let loose.Car was in the junk yard a day later(dads idea)about a year later he bought me a 4dr.57 cement mixer gray chevy. That's my first car story.
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,297

    from Lampe,Mo.

    >>>>>,My First Car; came home from school one day ,,there ,,sittin' in the drivaway was a real nice '47 Chevy Fleetline ,,went in the house & my Dad handed me the keys ,,,and also said i had to pay him back the $100 bucks he paid for the Chevy ,,
    Well,,fast forward a year later ,,i came home from school and told my Dad the oil pressure guage was almost at zero ,and there was a strange vibration coming from the motor ,,he said ,"well,if the motor goes bad ,we'll put a new motor in it" ,,oh boy ,,,i had visions of sugar plumbs and Chevy V-8's,,a 293 like my Dad had in his '57 ,,
    a few days later ,on the way home from school,,the motor started really vibratin' ,so ,,i pulled into a gas station parking lot ,,thinking how neet it would be to get a new motor ,,i put it in neutral,,and stick the gas pedal to the floor ,,a dew minutes later ,,,Boom!!!,,i got out n looked under the car ,,there was a couple rods stickin' outa the oil pan and a real big puddle of oil on the concrete ,,i couldn't stop laffin' ,,
    i hitched a ride home ,,told my Dad about the problem ,,he just shock his head ans said he'd take care of it ,,after school the next day ,,i went by the gas station to clean up the mess ,,and tow the car home ,,well,,it wasn't there ,,and the oil mess was all cleaned up ,,got home and my Dad said he'd had it towed ,,,,to the junk yard ,,
    that summer ,,i got a job at Darrell Creeses Custom Body Shop ,,there was a custom '51 Vickie sittin' out front ,,for sale ,,i asked darrell what the story was ,,the owner had joined the Army and needed to sell it ,,wanted $450 for it ,,it was Caddy Alpine White ,,Frenched headlites ,,nosed n decked ,,Flathead w' two dueces,,mild cam ,,dual smitty's ,,a three speed overdrive ,,i HAD TO HAVE IT !!!
    Went home and asked my Dad to loan me the $450,,,he had a FIT ,,No Way ,,he said ,,
    so,,i told Darrell the problem ,,BUT ,,if he bought it for me ,,i'd werk all summer for FREE ,,he bought it for me ,,,
    my Dad came home from werk ,,the '51 Vickie was sittin' out front ,,curbside ,,he asked "Who's piece of junk is that ?" i said it was mine ,,he asked where i got the money ?? and how was i gonna pay for the insurance ?? i told him Darrell bought it for me and the insurance was paid thru the Body Shop ,,
    my Dad n I didn't talk for a long time ,,that was the beginning of our bad relationship ,,,his graduation present to me was ,,,a pair of matching Samsonite suit cases,,,,so,,since he'd been in the Navy during WW II ,,i figured i'd REALLY piss him off ,,and Joined the Air Force in '61 ,,,,
    vtx1800 likes this.
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,297

    from Lampe,Mo.

    >>>>>,The '51 Vickie ,,sittin' in my folks' drivway ,,
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,297

    from Lampe,Mo.

    >>>>,After that pic was taken ,,it got Appleton Spots ,,shaved door handles ,,a louvered hood ,,AND lowered to within a half inch between the cross member under the radiator and the ground ,,,great for crossing rail road tracks ,,lol,,lol,,
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,297

    from Lampe,Mo.

    >>>>>,Now the Sad part ,,,when i joined the Air Force ,,the Recruiter told me i wouldn't be able to have a car for at least two years ,,,so,,,i sold the Vickie ,,for $500 bucks ,,then ,,after 6 weeks of Basic training ,,then going to Jet Mechanics Tech School in Amarillo,,,i found out the Recruiter was WRONG ,,i could have a car in Tech School ,,Son Of A ,,,,Gun ,,!!
  7. 58prostreet
    Joined: Dec 14, 2005
    Posts: 64


    1966 Iwas 20. We just had our 1st child . I was a student at Univ. of Tenn. and was working at a Texaco station on Cumberland Ave. for $1 per hour.All gas was full serve, you know- wash windows, check oil etc. One night this old man came in with a brand new Olds. It was raining its ass off and he asked me to check oil, trans., and tires. Well everything was fine, but I told him he needed some air in the right rear. I had him back over to the air machine and proceeded to put about 75 lbs. of air in the tire. Told him he was good to go, he paid me and pulled out the drive spinning the hell out of the tires..
  8. neon charly
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 63

    neon charly

    soooo, you un-subscribe to this thread, then you re-subscribe by posting into it, saying you unsubscribed to it?? im confused,,,,if you unsubscribed, why post? or even read it for that matter?
  9. mrspeedyt
    Joined: Sep 26, 2009
    Posts: 609


    Dad's 85. He still plays with his 240z and has done some custom tricks to his HHR chev. Dad has a friend 92 that is modifying a '32 'B' coupe 4cyl. I'm 59 with one early '70s story... I bought a '56 vette with no engine/trans for $200. (with pink!) bought a '56 bel air 2DHT with built 301 and t10 for $250. yanked eng/trans and gave the body to my neighbor! got the vette driving nice and sold it for $650..... oh well...back then that stuff was cheap and we never (at least i didn't) think it would change....:rolleyes:
  10. This is exactly why I DO NOT eat doughnut holes!!! :)

  11. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,630


    Gentlemen please, restrain yourselves, let's not ruin jalopy junkie's great thread.

    I'm 57 and have a lot of stories (don't all us geezers). Here's one:

    1972, my Dad borrowed my '66 F-100 (352, 3 on tree) for the weekend, so I'm driving his '67 Plymouth Fury. I lived in the country north of Atlanta (Birmingham, GA), trying to keep the Fury off the shoulder due to the crowned road, the 2" drop from asphalt to gravel, and the 8" of play that damn steering had (you know, 4 ft. diameter steering wheel, turn it 6" and nothing happens). Drinking a long neck Michelob, had 5 left in the 6-pack, had had 3 or 4 beers that night, it's around 11 PM. Coming north out of Roswell, GA I'm followed by Roswell's finest and the red lights flash, they are not impressed with my driving skills. Open container law, they are right on my bumper, so I pour the rest of the beer on the passenger floor board.

    Think I smelled like beer when I rolled the window down? The 2 cops administer the state road test for DUI (it's DWI most everywhere, it was driving under the influence in GA), you know, walk the line, touch your nose, etc. Last part of the test is "say your ABC's". You're kidding, right? No sir, say your ABC's. . . . . OPQRXYZ. . .wait that's not right . . . QRXYZ. . . . damn ya'll, can I give you the multiplication tables? . . .No sir, your ABC's . . . QRXYZ . . . raised eyebrows, I'm obviously not drunk although I reek beer . . . . wait, can I sing the song ?. . . they look at each other, shrug, say OK, I guess so . . .

    So I'll never forget standing in the middle of the deserted road with Roswell's finest, singing my ABC's . . . QRS (ha-ha !!)TUV . . .One of them is laughing out loud, they hand me my license and say "get the hell out of here" :D:D:D

    Times sure were different.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
  12. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    Cool stories by/about old men please, not juvinile whinin'.............
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,623

    Alliance Vendor

  14. I will soon be 72 and I was a product of the teeny bopping fifties. I had a '39 Ford coupe and me and a friend bolted on a manifold that housed 3 Stromberg 97's atop that wonderful old flathead V-8 engine. The thing soon became the 'king' of the late night drag races and the idol of the local drive in restaurants. We would sit at the drive in with the tray attached to the drivers door and listen to Elvis on the radio and seek anybody who wanted to drag race with us. All of our drag races were on a state highway west of town that had a stretch of over five miles that was a straight line. We spent many a night on that stretch and won more than we lost. One night some guy in a BRAND NEW '55 Chevrolet accepted our challenge. We beat him off the line as the flathead had torque to spare but that damn Chevvie soon caught us and we ran side by side for a short distance until the flathead blew. It sounded like a bomb exploded under the hood and oil splattered all over the windshield. The fellow who helped me put the manifold on and was riding with me that night is now 74 and every once in a while we meet for coffee. We still laugh about that night yet today.
  15. 1960sDallasDevilsBowl
    Joined: Feb 27, 2010
    Posts: 4


    Not the oldest, but old enough to qualify! I spent my Friday nights as a kid at the local 3/8 mile dirt track watching modifieds slidin' sideways and showering us with dirt as we stood next to the chicken wire keeping us from wandering on the track.
    The best stories always came from the pits after the feature race was run. How many first timers have been talked into touching tires that had not cooled and headers that still glowed red? Kids can be cruel. Still, to look at these great cars up close, especially the cockpits, was a thrill. Any new car to the track always drew attention. Was it a Chevy, a Ford or a "Red Ram" Dodge? Three deuces or two four barrels? Halibrand quick change rear end?
    Yeah, I suffer from "Oldtimers" disease, but racing got in my blood and the transfusions came at the Devils Bowl.
  16. tbenvie
    Joined: Sep 21, 2009
    Posts: 52


    I'm 57 and didn't even think that would be "old".

    In 1969 I got my license at age 16 and promptly bought a 1964 Chrysler 300K with the two 4bbl carbs. Wasn't making a whole lot of money at the ice cream shop and the owner of the local gas station told me I would get much better mileage if I took one of those carbs off. So I did-literally unbolted the carb and left the linkage, fuel line, etc. Yep, caught the car on fire when the gas came out of the fuel line. Thought the owner of the gas station was the dumbest guy ever for telling me that.

    I was stationed at Ft. Lewis in Washington and had a 59 Edsel Villager 9 passenger wagon. It became the "company car". If anyone was headed on leave to the Seattle-Tacoma airport as many as would fit would pack into the car for the ride as the guy going on leave paid for the gas. We would spend the day in town. When I left I gave the car to another guy from Massachusetts and it was the company car until he left. I wonder whatever happened to it-yellow with white side inserts and a pink interior.
  17. rocknrollratfink
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 191

    from LA

    Awesome Story!

  18. Toner283
    Joined: Feb 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,327


    Cool stuff.

    Keep 'em coming.
  19. 5CHERO8
    Joined: Feb 22, 2013
    Posts: 71


    Here's a story excerpted from one of my books.



    Tom Piantanida

    It was Saturday, and Kenny awoke with a strong desire to go hunting. He pulled on his jeans and wearing his best – that is, his cleanest – T-shirt. He snagged a ratty long-sleeved shirt from his closet before going to the garage to pick up some hand cleaner and rags. After using one of the clean rags to wipe the dew off the Merc’, he threw the stuff into the trunk.
    His ’49 Merc’ was nosed and decked, and had Frenched headlights. A ’55 Olds’ grille floated in the Merc’s grille shell. The lowered coupe sported fender skirts, baby spotlights, and twelve coats of Biscaye Blue Metallic lacquer – hand rubbed.
    Kenny wasn’t really hunting for anything in particular; he’d know what he was looking for when he saw it. He thought of going to Dave Spector’s Junk Yard, which was right there in Nanuet, but opted instead for Frenchy’s in Spring Valley. Frenchy had no back fence on his yard; the yard ended at the spur track that the Erie had lain west of town.
    Frenchy – so named because he always wore a beret – ran a loose ship. The yard was never closed because Frenchy lived there. But, it was not always open, either, because Frenchy liked to tip a few. On any given day, a “buyer” could peruse Frenchy’s stock for any new items that may have arrived overnight. Deposited items were welcome any time.
    Kenny knew most of the old stuff that slowly sank into the well-oiled dirt of Frenchy’s yard – the rusted-out Divco milk trucks, a couple of Peter Brega school busses, a ’40 Ford pickup that Kenny coveted – so he just wanted to wander around looking for newly arrived treasures. He parked the Merc’ a block away and walked the tracks to Frenchy’s. No need to advertise that he’d spent more than a few bucks on his car.
    There wasn’t much new at Frenchy’s since the last time that Kenny had visited. Frenchy didn’t pay much for his stock, so he rarely had any late-model cars. It was said that some people even paid Frenchy to let them dump their rust-bucket Fords and Plymouths on his lot. Kenny poked around, all the time keeping one eye out for Frenchy.
    As he was picking though a pile of freshly deposited engine parts, Kenny spied the distinctive finned surface of a high-compression cylinder head. He could only see about ten square inches of the head, peeking out through a gap made by a radiator shroud and a cluster of bumperettes. In a few minutes, he had unearthed a right-hand aluminum Offenhauser head for a ’49-’53 Ford engine. It would fit nicely on his Merc’.
    The sealing surface of the head was in good shape, and Kenny guessed from the size and shape of the combustion chamber that the compression ratio was at least 8 to 1. His ’49 Merc’ had come from the factory with 6.8 to 1 cylinder heads – 9CM, the factory called them – but he’d replaced them with 7.2 to 1 factory ECM heads. The 7.2 heads had made a noticeable difference in the Merc’s performance, so Kenny just had to have the 8 to 1 Offy heads.
    Kenny carried the Offy head to one of the old school busses and stashed it under the hood where he thought that nobody would ever look. Then he returned to the “new” pile and pored over it for half an hour, finding some useful items like an aluminum cam gear to replace the fiber one in his Merc’. But, he couldn’t find the left Offy head, it would be impossible to find a mate for the right head, so, in frustration, Kenny decided to abandon his find and drive to another junk yard, probably Keehon’s.
    As he was walking toward the train tracks, he pushed aside a decrepit Thor wringer-type washing machine, and there, underneath, was the left Offy head. Somebody had probably found the head and stashed it under the washing machine, like he had stashed his in the bus.
    He pulled it out, and found that it was in even better shape than the one from the “bone pile.” Toting the head, Kenny walked back to the school bus, where his other treasure lay hidden. As he passed Frenchy’s office/home, a newly arisen Frenchy called out,” Whatcha got there?”
    Startled, Kenny answered, “I found this old cylinder head that might fit my car.”
    “Not unless you got half a Ford V-8, it won’t”
    “Well, can I buy it, anyway? I might be able to find another one.”
    “You’ll never find another one, kid,” Frenchy shouted, and then started hacking from the exertion.
    “I’ll take my changes.” Kenny answered, knowing just where to find a mate.
    “If you wanna buy just that one head, I’ll have to charge you for a pair, ‘cause the other one’s around here somewhere, and I can’t sell it by itself.”
    Kenny walked into the unlit office. Old fan belts, hoses, water pumps, and other assorted “treasures” festooned the walls, each bearing a faded price tag.
    “How much do you want for it?” Kenny asked, already calculating that a pair of Offy high-compression heads was worth about $30. He’d paid $20 for his ’53 Merc’ EAC heads.
    “Forty bucks is the best I can do, kid.”
    “A new set is only fifty,” Kenny countered, not knowing if that was even close to the real price. “I’ll give you twenty.”
    “Make it thirty and you’ve got a deal.
    “Okay, kid, take it for twenty-five.”
    Kenny fished in his pocket and peeled twenty-five dollars off his roll, which was mostly “ones.” He’d come back later and get the other head from the school bus. Not a bad deal, Kenny thought. A pair of Offy heads for twenty-five dollars.
    He put the aluminum head in his trunk and cruised to Spector’s Junk Yard. As he tooled down Route 59, he scoped out the Frostop, one of his favorite cruising spots. There were a few cars in front, but they were mostly of the four-door Plymouth and Rambler variety that were so popular among his father’s generation, so he didn’t stop. He’d check it out later in the afternoon, when the place would by occupied by scalloped Jimmy pickups, deuce coupes, and Studillacs.
    When he reached Spector’s, there were already several cars in the small parking lot, including Fritzie Fenton’s Jimmy-powered Chevy pickup. Fritzie was a “Chevy Man,” so he wouldn’t be competing with Kenny for parts. Kenny was a “Ford Man”, but the code allowed him to drive Mercs, since they were Ford products, just like Jimmys were Chevy products, or vice versa.
    Parking next to Fritzie’s white ’51 Chevy with its red and black scallops, Kenny immediately walked to the yard instead of going into the office. Dave Spector wanted everyone to come to the office before going into the yard so that he could screen out the worst thieves. The uninitiated always stopped at the office to get Dave’s permission to search the yard for some treasure, but Kenny and his friends only did so when Dave caught them.
    Kenny loved to hunt in Spector’s, frequently challenging himself to identify some discarded item as a ’39 Ford Deluxe headlight bezel, or a ’48 Lincoln Continental push-button door opener. He was constantly on the alert for the latter, as it was a bolt-on custom fit for his ’49 Merc’. He’d acquired one at the Quaker Road Junk Yard in Mount Ivy, and needed another to add that custom touch to the Merc’.
    Years of scrounging experience were condensed into Kenny’s plan of attack. He started his search on the rearmost of the yard’s single-lane dirt paths, packed concrete-hard by a binder of motor oil, antifreeze, chassis grease, and the compression of a constant stream of traffic. Experience had taught him that the front path was visible from Dave’s office and wanderers thereupon might be challenged by Dave if his hemorrhoids were flaring up.
    Although Kenny could not have listed the cars in Spector’s stock – except for a few that were special to him – he immediately recognized new arrivals and was drawn to them. The first newcomer to attract Kenny’s attention was a ’51 Ford woodie that had succumbed to an engine fire. The interior had been completely gutted by the flames, so there was not a single item that Kenny could use. The situation was no better under the hood, but Kenny did note that the stainless steel trim around the grille has survived the fire. His friend, Hal Paxton, might be able to use it on his ’49 Ford coupe if he decided to put on the ’51 hood that he had in his garage.
    Further along the line, Kenny spied a newly arrived ’50 Merc’ rollover. At first he thought it was a ’49, but then he saw that the one-piece back window had been shattered, and he knew that ’49s had a three-piece back window. Checking over the body, Kenny concluded that the taillight bezels were better than the ones on his Merc’, and decide to ask Dave what he wanted for them.
    It took a while for Kenny to get the hood open on the ’50 Merc’ because the release cable had been broken in the accident, and when he finally got it open, Kenny was surprise to find that there were no exhaust manifolds on the engine. He checked the position of the exhaust pipes, noting that there were dual pipes, and concluded that the car probably had had headers. The intake manifold was also missing, so Kenny could look right into the valve chest of the V-8. It had Johnson adjustable lifters, just like his own Merc’, suggesting that it, too, had a hot cam. Kenny cursed himself for not having visited Spector’s for a month.
    He checked the odometer, and found that it had 56,000 miles, so the engine had probably been rebuilt when the hot cam was installed. He’d let Hal know about his find.
    Kenny went to look in the trunk, but it was locked. He thought about prying it open, but he hated the idea of damaging the deck lid, which was one of the few salvageable panels on the car. Crawling into the back of the car, Kenny forced the rear seat-bottom down and back, disengaging it from the clips on the floor. After removing the seat bottom, he lifted the seatback free of the car. Now the only thing keeping him out of the trunk was the cardboard trunk liner, which he sacrificed.
    With the trunk liner out of the way, Kenny could see that the speed equipment was stored in the trunk. He crawled through the bracing that separated the trunk from the passenger compartment. There was just enough light for him to see the flat shaft that engaged the trunk lock, and when Kenny turned it, light poured in through the now open trunk. In the sunlight, he could see a pair of headers, a two-deuce intake manifold with a pair of Stromberg 97s, and a Mallory dual-point distributor.
    Climbing out of the trunk, Kenny surveyed the yard to see if anyone had witnessed his activities. After a quick assessment, he removed the headers and shut the trunk lid, locking it. His Merc’ already had a three-deuce manifold and Mallory ignition, so he didn’t need those. He sure wanted those headers, though.
    Walking further from Dave’s office, and carefully avoiding contact with any other customers, Kenny eventually made his way to the corrugated steel fence that kept Spector’s from spilling onto Demarest Avenue. Sidling between an olive-drab ’49 Packard and a chalky blue ’50 DeSoto, Kenny listened intently for any cars that might be on Demarest Avenue. When he was satisfied that there were no witnesses, Kenny tossed the headers over the fence, noting their distance from a telephone pole. The pole would be an important landmark when he returned to Demarest Avenue that night to retrieve the headers.
    He walked back to the office and asked Dave about the taillight bezels from the ’50 Merc’, thinking about how neat his blue-dot taillights would look surrounded by them. After agreeing to pay eight dollars for the bezels, Kenny told Dave that he’d come back for them tomorrow because he hadn’t brought his tools with him.
    Leaving Spector’s, Kenny drove west on Old 59 and made a hard right onto Demarest. Spotting the pole that was his landmark, he looked for the headers as he drove by. Good! The headers couldn’t be seen in the tall grass, so it was unlikely that anyone would claim them before he returned after dark.
    Kenny spent most of the afternoon accumulating parts that he would need for installing the headers and the rest of a dual exhaust system on the Merc’. He couldn’t afford a complete exhaust system, so he would have to fashion one from flex-pipe, a segmented pipe that could be bent as needed to fit through the Merc’s frame and over the axle. The Merc’ already had a glass pack muffler, so Kenny decided in the interest of time and effort – and money – to run a straight pipe as the other half of his duals.
    When he had all the clamps, hangers, and gaskets that he thought he would need, he spent his last few dollars at Western Auto buying echo cans – chromed exhaust extensions that would peek out from under the lowered Merc’s rear bumper. Then, after stopping at home to drop off all the parts in the garage and to borrow two dollars from his grandmother, Kenny split for the Frostop.
    This time, the place was packed, but Kenny found a vacant spot next to Clint Whiteman’s Deuce coupe. Clint was showing off the warmed-over ’52 Olds’ mill with a four-barrel Carter AFB and a Vertex mag that he’d stuffed under the Deuce’s hood, which was more often off than on. Dickie Franz was parked on the other side of Clint’s 3-window Deuce in his cherry ’39 Ford roadster – really a convertible coupe, but everybody called it a roadster – and on the other side of Dickie, Duane Rivera had parked his ’48 Merc’ convertible.
    Kenny ordered a root beer and walked over to Duane’s Merc. “Don’t you have a ’51 Merc’ flathead in your ragtop?”
    “Yeah, why?”
    “How’d you like to have two deuces and a Mallory for it?” Kenny asked rhetorically.
    “Does Howdy Doody have a wooden…leg?” Duane replied.
    “Dave Spector’s got them on a ’50 Merc’ and I’m going there tomorrow to buy some other stuff.”
    “How much does he want for them?”
    “I don’t know,” Kenny answered, “but they’re in a ’50 Merc’ with a hot cam. It had EAB heads from a ’53 Ford, and I bet they’re milled.
    Duane was definitely interested. “How many miles on it?”
    “Fifty-six thou’ on the chassis. I don’t know about the engine.”
    “Are there headers on it?” Duane asked.
    Kenny chuckled. “Not any more.”
    Jack Fink wandered over from his ’49 Ford coupe, two-tone green with the colors separated by ’53 Buick side chrome. “Hey, Kenny.”
    “Hi, Jack. How’s the Ford running? I was just telling Duane about a flathead mill with some carbs and ignition that Dave Spector has.”
    “Has it got Offy heads on it?”
    “Funny you should ask,” Kenny answered. “It doesn’t, but I just bought a pair from Frenchy for twenty-five bucks.”
    “No way!” Duane responded.
    “I still have to pick up the other one,” Kenny admitted.
    “So you bought one head for twenty-five bucks?” Duane asked.
    “Yeah…well, sorta,” Kenny said. “I just have to get the other one from Frenchy. I stashed it in his yard.”
    “Why didn’t you buy both of them?” Jack asked.
    “He would have wanted forty bucks for a pair, so I just bought one, and I’ll get the other one later.”
    The conversation continued on about things that wore skirts – cars and girls – and after a burger and another root beer, Kenny took off for Spector’s, or at least for Demarest Avenue.
    Unlike Frenchy, Dave Spector had a life outside of his junkyard, so he didn’t live on the grounds, a factor that figured heavily in Kenny’s assessment of the relative risks involved in acquiring “Midnight Auto” parts from the two yards. Demarest Avenue was dark by this time, but Kenny was quickly able to find his landmark. He retrieved the headers and was home before ten o’clock.
    He awoke early on Sunday morning and slipped out of the quiet household in his grubby clothes. Hitting the garage first, he carried some cinder blocks and his dad’s scissor jack out to the driveway. Before jacking up the Merc’, Kenny unbolted everything that he could reach under the hood, removing the crossover pipe that ran in front of the engine, and unbolting the exhaust manifolds from the block.
    When he had done all that he could by hanging over a fender, Kenny jacked up the Merc’ and put it on cinder blocks. The left side was easy. All he had to do was test fit the header and form the flexpipe, but on the right side, he had to cut the exhaust pipe so that he could connect it to the header with a length of flexpipe. That took several attempts, but ultimately, an acceptable fit was achieved.
    The Merc’ was, at this point, without any functional exhaust system, having neither the headers nor the stock exhaust manifolds attached to the engine. Kenny wondered what the engine would sound like if he ran it this way, and he guessed that it would sound a lot like the stockcars at Victory Speedway. He needed to know.
    Brushing off his clothes, he climbed up into the Merc’ and fired it up. The flatmotor started with a series of hollow “whumps,” like it was running inside an oil drum, and Kenny let it run while he piled up a couple of cinder blocks to stand on. Hanging over the fender, he jazzed the throttle, and the engine came alive with powerful sounds. As the engine returned to idle, it emitted one loud “crack” while spitting a tongue of blue flame from the center exhaust port.
    The sound encouraged Kenny to continue. He revved the engine higher and then let the throttle close. It sounded great, and this time, as the engine returned to idle, it barked as it shot a flame out of each exhaust port. Kenny revved the engine a few more times, each time a little higher, and each time he was saluted by the engine with sounds and flames. He was still revving the engine when his father came running out of the house, shouting, “I think you’ve got those on wrong!”
    Kenny nearly fell on the grounds laughing. His father was remembering the time, years earlier, when Kenny had tried to rebuild his first engine – in the front yard. His father had pulled the pan to find out why the engine wouldn’t turn over, and found grass in some of the bearings. Despite Kenny’s having learned a great deal since that episode, his father still thought that his son was at the “grass-in-the-bearings” stage.
    “Okay, Dad, I’ll put them on right after the engine cools down.”
    After another cup of coffee, Kenny completed the job, and this time when he started the engine, it didn’t sound like a stockcar. It was still a little raucous, what with the straight pipe, but Kenny thought that he could live with it. If, after a couple of weeks the Merc’ was still too raw sounding, he’d buy another muffler, probably a glass pack, but maybe a steel pack like the pair that sounded so good on Fritzie’s Jimmy motor.
    Kenny let the Merc’ heat up the entire exhaust system, and for a few minutes, the headers, and especially the flexpipe emitted escalating amounts of smoke as motor oil and preservative burned off. At about the point where Kenny – and his dad – began to worry about the smoke, it started to dissipate, and in just a few more minutes, it had completely stopped smoking. Both he and his dad were relieved.
    The last step in the installation was to cut off both tail pipes to the right length and clamp on the echo cans. When Kenny had installed the three-inch chrome exhaust extensions, not only the look of the Merc’, but its sound were perfect. He let the car down and blipped the throttle a few times just to savor the exhaust note.
    Now what he needed was a pair of Offenhauser high-compression heads. He had one, and he knew where to find the other.
    Late in the afternoon, he drove to Spring Valley and went straight to the train tracks that flanked Frenchy’s Junk Yard. He was on a roll and he wanted that feeling to continue. Parking down the tracks from Frenchy’s, Kenny walked cautiously into the yard, and seeing no one around, made straight for the school bus. He opened the hood of the bus and peered in. No cylinder head! Perhaps it had fallen to the ground. Looking under the bus, Kenny was growing increasingly concerned by the absence of the head. He eyed the other busses, thinking that perhaps he had stashed the head in one of them instead of this one, but after a moment’s reflection, he was certain that this was the bus where he’d put the head yesterday.
    Finally, in disgust, he slammed the hood on the school bus and started back towards his car. As he passed the office/home, Frenchy called out to him. “Hey, kid, I found the other head.”
    Startled, Kenny turned to see Frenchy watching him from the darkened shack. Kenny walked into the office, and the first thing that confronted him was a left Offenhauser high-compression aluminum head for a ’49-’53 Ford or Mercury suspended from the wall right next to the cluttered counter. Attached to the head was a large price tag that said “$50.”
    “See, kid, I told you I had the other head.”
    “Okay,” Kenny sputtered. “I’ll just take it then,”
    Frenchy was smiling; Kenny could never remember Frenchy ever smiling. “What do you mean ‘You’ll take it then’? Do you have the fifty bucks?”
    “But I already paid you for a pair of heads,” Kenny protested.
    “That’s not quite right, kid. You paid me the price of a pair of heads for just one head. Remember, you told me you’d take your chances on finding another one?”
    “Yeah, but fifty bucks is way too much for just one head.”
    “Maybe so,” Frenchy’s smile broadened even further, revealing rat-like yellow teeth, “But it doesn’t matter what I ask for it because I already got the price of a pair of heads for the one that I sold you.”
    Kenny turned to go, knowing that he’d been had. Frenchy, with his smile completely filling his face, called after him, “It’ll be here whenever you’ve got fifty bucks.”
    dana barlow likes this.
  20. Well after that story all I can say is I am 73 and still doing HOT RODS in Nebraska.
  21. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,495

    Rusty O'Toole

    My oldest car related memory. When I was a toddler the family stopped for a picnic beside the road someplace. My dad sat on the running board and smoked his pipe. He laid the pipe down on the running board and forgot it when we drove off. When we got home he found the pipe, still on the running board. He was pleased and surprised it hadn't fallen off.

    I must have been 3 or 4 years old at the time. This would put it about 1955. The car was a green 38 Dodge sedan.
  22. roddin-shack
    Joined: Apr 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,422


    After reading these threads I just realized I will be 70 in Sept. I thought I wa the only idiot that bought and sold cars at give away prices in the past.
    I recall a few that for some reason stand out in my mind:
    Around 1964, I had a chopped and channeled 32 Ford 5-W coupe, while driving I hit a raised manhole cover (remember them) and bent the axle. My solution to this was to buy a complete 32 Ford roadster less the driveline for $85. I then removed the complete front axle assembly for the 5-W and sold the rest of the roadster for $125. Man was I a wheeler and a dealer.
    Shortly after that I layed out $15. for a 47 Ford ford coupe, which would not run. I pulled the fuelpump pushrod which was worn on one end. I then braised the end of it and got the car running and sold it for $75. I was hooked and have been buying and selling ever since,
    I was fortunate enough to have been able to hang around the ORIGINAL
    HARVEYS Drive In Hamburger Joint in Richmond Hill Ont. This was home of all the local Hot Rods & Kustoms in the area, one night around 1:00 a.m. one of the the local Drag Racers brings out his sling shot dragster and does a pass right on Yonge St. pulling the chute on the driveby. Something you dont witness these days.
    That is all for now, I must go out and wax my shoebox.

    Enclosed is a picture of an old 32 Ford I used to show as well as my first shoe box. Oh! the memories.

    Attached Files:

  23. stacks1938
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 165


    I am the luckiest guy in the world, period. I am 75 and grew up in West Texas, around and in Lubbock. I got my first car when I was 14, attended high school with Buddy Holley, had a souped up Chevy while in college, spent 20 years in the Air Force doing computer work, married to a wonderful gal for 52 years now, and have restored many old cars over the years.

    One of my favorite memories was when this farm kid taught me how to change gears in my car without using the clutch. Simply a matter of matching the engine speed to the gear ... easier said than done, but I finally got it down pat.

    In '58 or so we had lots of rain and everything low got filled with water. All of the roads out of the town I lived in at the time (Petersburg) were covered with water but we still drove through them. My Chevy had side pipes on it and made the greatest burbling noise when I drove through the water. I bet I am the only guy that remembers that time.

    There was a rarely used train track running through Petersburg (pop 1400) that we would occasionally put our cars on the tracks at night and let them run. I don't know what we would have done if a train had appeared. but it was a smooth ride for sure.

    Lubbock had the HI-DE-HO drive-in restaurant that I spent many hours cruising around. Our cars weren't the best but we were proud of them. Kids came from all the little towns around just to cruise the HI-DE-HO.

    Jack Redman
  24. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,606


    74 last april.
    Was in the Air Force in '60 married w/ new baby girl. lived off base in Wichita. Needed a p/t job to buy formula. Hit the guy up at the local Standard station for a job pumping gas, doing lube jobs, stuff like that. He says sure, start now. I took the bride back to the apartment and went to work, (it was about 4 in the afternoon). He shows me the ropes, says I'm his closer from then on. I ask him," How much you pay'n me"?
    "Buck twenty five a hour and all you can steal from he says". "huh". says I. "Yup" he says," the first week your here you'll have your oil changed, car lubed, all bulbs replaced, maybe new battery if you need one, so help your self". "Just let me know what you take so I can inventory and if you fill your tank let me know how much you take" Worked for him two year after base hours, never bought a gallon of gas in all that time. Even worked for him the day I was discharged, filled my sweetest little red and white '54 Chev. Bel Air and headed down Route 66 for home.

    Edit to add: Forgot to mention gas was between 17 and 24 cents a gallon.
    The Wichita East Side Rod Club would hang out there once in a while as the hired guy on days, Brian, was a member. Drove a sweet 59 Bel-Air, lowered, gray and white. We were just down the street from Darrel Starbirds shop. Dave Stucky who worked for Starbird drove his Chopped, lowered duce sedan every day, which was under constant customizing. You might know this car as the "Lil Coffin" which it eventually became owned then by Larry Farmer.
    Brian's girlfriend would at times pull in and offer her favors for a tank of gas. I never let him know this, and being married I acted dumb to her proposals. (call that just a little tid-bit added to the story) LOL

    Never forget the guy, Howard.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  25. 33sporttruck
    Joined: Jun 5, 2012
    Posts: 532


    I will be 66 in August but for this story we go back to 1967 just before I turned 20.

    I had been working on my 39 Chevy 2-dr (beam axle)in my Grandmothers yard. I had just installed my rebuilt radiator and was really itching to get things going. With the help of an older friend, the old 6 had been replaced with a 283, Power Glide and 55 Chevy rear. The only wiring in the car was the ignition and engine harness. I had NO LIGHTS. The only way to shift the transmission was to lean over and reach through the hole where the transmission tunnel mounted (no shifter and no neutral safety switch) The floor shifter had not been purchased and the throttle linkage was not installed. To make things worse the exhaust system stopped at the dump on my Rams Horns. To work the throttle I decided to tie a piece of heavy string to my carb then run the string through a hole in the firewall and loop the loose end around a dash knob. Everything seemed to be working good so far and the car though loud moved under its own power.

    I decided it was time for a test drive and bolted in my drivers side seat in with a pair of 1/4-20 hardware store bolts. My goal was to get the car to my parents house where I could continue to work on my project in the carport. I knew that I would be on the highway just a few blocks and could then drive through subdivision streets to reach my destination and avoid traffic.

    As I pulled onto the highway with my string throttle in hand I could not resist wanting to pull that string hard enough to hear the 4-bbl open up. You guessed it, I pulled like Hell on that String. That is when "The Shit Hit The Fan !!!"

    The two hardware store bolts mentioned above pulled through my floor board sending my drivers seat back against the rear seat. My first thought was "Let Go of the Damn String, Dumb Ass !!!" The car began to slow as I approached the traffic light and I was able to get the car stopped without incident or accident.

    Thinking all was well I straightened up my seat the best I could and took a deep breath. All I could see was a bright red light flashing in my rear view mirror. (yes, what we referred to as bubble gum machines were red back then.) I knew my day had gone to Hell !!!

    The officer that had pulled me walked up to the car laughing his head off. Luckily it was Lt. Charles Stamey who owned a very sharp 39 Ford 2-dr. Officer Stamey's Ford had a Real Candy-Cane interior and a Chromed Out Flattie and I had graduated high school with his son Gene.

    After a little discussion and a good ass chewing, Officer Stamey volunteered to give me a police escort to my parents home to park my car. The deal was that the car would not be on the street until everything was passable with state safety inspection. In exchange Officer Stamey promised to never tell my parents what a "Dumb Ass" I was. Trust me, he was a man of his word and my parents never knew..........

    Hope this has brought a smile to a few of you other "Old Farts" Jeff
  26. I'm almost 67.

    Back in the 60's I was in the Fla. Army Nat'l Guard, and we were at Camp Blanding for summer camp. We were a signal outfit and were in the woods stringing wire. I see these 6 guys moving through camp, surrounding a small skunk, and moving him along. :eek:

    They got to a tent where some guys, who had been up all night running wire, were sound asleep. Well they shooed that little skunk in the tent and zipped up the flap. All Hell broke loose, the four asleep got sprayed and tore that tent down trying to get out. :D

    Had to burn all their uniforms, clean all the gear, and wash in tomato juice.
    We laughed about that for days; not so funny for the victims, nor the perpetrators, who got pulled before the Bn CO.
  27. 40fordtudor
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,503


    I'm 71. Back in 57 my buddy and I used to cut out of school at the last period and run to his Dad's garage and take the 39 Ford sedan out toward the lake and cruise around. The road around the lake was higher than the access road---one afternoon we rolled off the high road and landed with the wheels down on the low road with just a small dent in the top of the 39. He freaked. Knew he was gonna die. I pushed it out with my foot and it didn't show. He lived--we graduated and were in the service at the same time .
  28. jalopy junkie
    Joined: Feb 19, 2008
    Posts: 4,708

    jalopy junkie

    ALL of these stories are GREAT....big thanks for sharing,keep 'em coming !
  29. captmullette
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,929


    im 63, grew up in Decatur ga. worked at an Amoco gas station when I was 16, drove a 53 ford mainliner 6 cyl, I made a1.25 an hour. once when my car was broke down the owner let me use the service truck a 49 dodge to take my girl to the drivein movie, a lot of my friends drove muscle cars, ive about got my 31 sedan ready to go racing, also got it ready to drive on the street........ good thread

    Attached Files:

  30. TOMMAY
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 81

    from MOBILE,AL

    My Dad was born in 22 and was pretty good at working on old cars,like me, mostly learned out of neccessity because of lack of money and a burning desire to get to town on a Saturday nite with a broke car.

    We share-cropped some tobacco from this old Doctor who liked Model A's so we worked a lot on his cars when the farming was kinda caught up. The Doctor ended up with an old non-running Model A Dump Truck which he offered to my Dad for fifty bucks. You know the kind of truck I'm talking about,right? Pretty good sized truck with a little bed that you hand cranked to dump.Dad said if I'd help him work on it we'd sell it and split the money.

    Well,I'll tell you,there wasn't money around back in the fifties where I grew up so I was eager to help for that money. We had the old truck running in a few days and after a good cleaning we sold the truck for a hundred bucks and thought we had made a fortune. My share was twenty five bucks and I thought I was rich. Yep,life was good.

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