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Jim Kurten Interview/Secret Wrecking Yard

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Michelley, Sep 23, 2011.

    Joined: Aug 7, 2009
    Posts: 2,069


    San Gabriel Valley todo Hot Rod
  2. Old&Low
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 410


    Hey Jim!
    When I mentioned to Michelley to wish you a Happy Bithday when she saw you next, she wisely suggested I put it in a post. So here it is Buddy, and many more.
    Have a great 97th on Veteran's Day from just another Vet honoring one of his personal 'heroes.'
    John (Old & Low) from Alamogordo, NM.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  3. Michelley
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 104


    Hello Brucie (cuznbrucie)~
    You are so beneficently blessed to have known this Gentleman.
    I hope his traditional style deuce chassis, done in the time honored way,
    with stock K-member, 40 Ford side shifter trans, unsplit wishbones,
    and Firestone ribbed racing tires,
    gets back on the road.
    I also noticed the Holley and 97 Stromberg style carbs
    and an intriguing collection of manifolds.
    He appeared in his natural element at the salt flats
    as at a mineral spa in the Greek mountains over the sea.
    He must have been lots-o-fun. We can only wish we met him.
    Nick Christos possesses the fierce Greek spirit that when properly charioteered results
    in the lamb white curly hair, prismatic eyes, compassionate hearth, gallant smile,
    and clock inventiveness of a Philosopher.
    Another Prince of the “Greatest Generation” has passed leaving behind the embers
    that will touch young torches to carry on.
    We will remember to learn from you, will you remember to watch over us?
    Above and Beyond Grateful, cuznbrucie!
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  4. cuznbrucie
    Joined: May 1, 2005
    Posts: 2,567


    MichelleY.........your words have truly touched me.....I thank you for your spiritual expressions in your appreciation of Nick.......he was simply one of the best human beings I have ever had the good fortune to befriend....he will live forever in my heart....

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  5. Slim Pickens
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 3,342

    Slim Pickens

    So good. Thanks.
  6. LB+1
    Joined: Sep 28, 2006
    Posts: 581

    from 71291

    Moving, in the way you present the fullness of ones life
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  7. Michelley
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 104


    Yikes, I meant to put this reference material in from one of our vintage catalogs!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  8. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,324


    great story michelley

    next time you see him could ask a little more of his boyscout history
    2012 is the on hundreth anniversery of eagle boy scouts and guys like him are what its all about
  9. msdeg
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 3


    Michelle--great, great article. Pics are fantastic.
    I run a Kurten and wouldn't have it any other way...

    Attached Files:

  10. Michelley
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 104


    Your engine is meticulously correct & correctly meticulous!
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  11. sodbuster
    Joined: Oct 15, 2001
    Posts: 4,957

    from Kansas

  12. red grees
    Joined: Nov 16, 2011
    Posts: 35

    red grees
    from bridger mt

    Thank you! This is exactly why i joined,red
  13. ZZ-IRON
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,964

    from Minnesota

    a good read, it was fun touring thru the iron the 57 Pontiac's brought back memories
  14. cuznbrucie
    Joined: May 1, 2005
    Posts: 2,567



    I have a good friend here in South Jersey, named Sam Baker......he has several Deuces and several ARDUN cars....he saw your article with Jim Kurten and called to tell me that he has Kurten Ignition #147, Model 1........he was wondering if Jim kept any kind of records as to whom he originally sold his units to.......maybe he would know who the original purchaser was of this particular ignition?

    Any help would be appreciated........THX........

  15. I have a car with an Ardun that has a Kurten distributor. It's running on 4x2's all the time, should flood easy but it starts right up. When it first starts up, it may miss a little until fuel press comes up. Points set at .015 with 2 coils.
    Ardun heads are old front water outlets with original rockers and oil system. Car is only used for exhibition, not for speed.


    Here are some pictures of the Kurten distributor in my car - hard to take a good photo with so much in the way. Also dirt and corrosion.





    Here are 2 Bell catalogs that came with the car, showing 2 Kurten ads from 1947 & 1948


  16. great story and great photos... thx
  17. zoomma
    Joined: Apr 30, 2006
    Posts: 272


    This story is unreal. Glad that you posted it.
  18. Michelly - we met at Ray Nelson's garage in Las Vegas and I looked forward to your work - thanks for this story.
  19. Michelley,

    Re. post # 70

    I think we all agree that you have probably slipped up here by self definition:


    Your engine is meticulously correct & correctly meticulous!:p

  20. Great and enjoyed the story and photos.
  21. Michelley,
    I hope someday to see books written by you about this and the many other historical threads you have blessed us with. You have such a way of "wordsmithing" that bring vivid pictures to mind!
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  22. ss34coupe
    Joined: May 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,177


    Very cool story and pics! Thanks!
  23. Dusters swe
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 150

    Dusters swe
    from Sweden

    Great story Thanks!
  24. Waiting to see who "SHE" is.:confused::)
  25. Studebricker
    Joined: Mar 5, 2013
    Posts: 57

    from TX

    Interesting story, but it must be sad to be the only one left, as he said...
  26. Michelley
    Joined: May 6, 2011
    Posts: 104


    Secret Wrecking Yard
    Part 9

    by Michelle M. Yiatras
    Timechanic ™

    Last year, Jim and Zereta moved to an upscale assisted living home in Duarte. His health is better than most 98 year olds. Annoyed only by a seventy year old accidental .45 G.I. gunshot wound through the knee (repairing guns at Santa Paula Airport) acting up now and then. No free time, a little bit of housekeeping, and meals are social occasions that last a couple hours. Jim’s the hit of the party. These days Jim primarily works on vintage electric toy trains. He built one of the bedrooms into a train room with extensive tracks weaving amongst customized tables, shelves, and cabinets. He modifies them, and restores them. Lionel, American Flyer, and Ives, from the 19teens, 20’s, and 30’s. Tinplate (sheet steel tin plated) for O, standard, and wide gauge tracks. The original companies all went out of business. He makes the parts that can’t be reacquired or reproduced. Over fifty train sets, including engines and cars. He’s the godfather of a couple local chapters of national train groups that he helped found since the mid-1950’s-60’s; “Train Collectors Association” and “Toy Train Operating Society”. His “Little Train Group” meets once a month at Jim’s open house and are served pie and soft drinks. His friend, Hollis, who bought Jim’s garage shop equipment when he moved, picks Jim up twice a week and brings Jim to his relocated shop in Van Nuys, just to accommodate him and his trains, so they can work on his own old machinery building the trains. Over 50 years of trains, 50 coaches long…
    The new Chinese owners of the Arcadia homestead razed everything, the house and both of the ancestral 100 year old trees, and modernized it. Zereta (Little Sara, after a Spanish canción “Sarita”) says the trees are a bourgeoisie symbol to the communists.
    Jim’s the eldest of the train guys, too. “Still a dandy dancer, and a gandy dancer, laying railroad tracks!” He plans to make it to a hundred, and then some. Doesn’t smoke nor drink nor dope. All his former friends died earlier because they did. He spends a lot of time fixing trains for folks. Bingo is not his game. He reminisces to Frank Sinatra and Harry James, “All or Nothing At All”, on his Sony phonograph.
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  27. Feo
    Joined: Oct 1, 2008
    Posts: 121


    Love the interview awesome story. Thanks

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  28. Wow......razed everything ?? The cars ? ? I'm wailing for my mommy right now...........

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