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History OUR history

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by loudbang, Mar 1, 2017.

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  1. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 14,837

    loudbang
    Member

    Awhile back I was in a conversation with member Speedwrench here on the HAMB about my thread about the history of Mr. Gasket. Turns out he had some more to add and it hit me we have so many members with great past histories including our fearless leader Ryan and a LOT of you guys enjoy history stories as much as I do.

    Ryan popped up in the corvette thread with a simple "I used to drive this DRAG RACING corvette". I mean WHO KNEW he was a lurking drag racer?

    There is a program that is interviewing surviving WWII members to get their stories preserved before they are all gone. People go out and interview these heroes and the tapes will be collected and saved by The Smithsonian Museum so history will not be lost.

    While not saying anything we do in our work on vehicles of all kinds compares with what they did but I still think we have a bunch of members with histories that should be saved.

    That would be a hell of a job going out and interviewing our members "That were there" in the beginning and all through our history there has got to be some GREAT STORIES that will be lost if we don't get them saved.

    I mean some little tidbits pop out in threads like rooman in a bunch of threads "you know back when I was working on ....team" How many top fuel cars and others has he worked on LOL and that is the problem NO ONE KNOWS.

    We have "famous" (to us car people) members like Gary Glover, Dean Lowe, Brian Racer-x Marty Strode, Pat Ghanal, Gabe Fernanado, Larry T, Hotroddon, 296 ardun, Jim Dillon, Moriarity D.N.D don Norwell? speedwrench, Jeff Norwell, Al Consoli and many many more that you get hints about but never really know their stories.

    Some have written books or have had books written about them but how many members know that or their stories?

    So since my physical location and job prevents me from meeting and interviewing these members I think this would be a great place for them to tell their stories themselves so they are preserved.

    While we probably won't get them saved at the Smithsonian at least they will be here on the HAMB for future historians to study LOL.

    I know some men are reluctant to talk about themselves but here we are ASKING you to tell us it won't be "bragging" if our members WANT to hear your stories.

    Yea Yea I know you are thinking who wants to hear about how it was working for Hot Rod, Car Craft, Popular Hot Rodding, or any of the other car mags I only did copy or photo captions? Guys we would love to hear those stories. Maybe you were a kid that was at the track the day Eddie Hill did his famous "Blow over" or the day the Magic Muffler fiat blew it's engine all over the track anything about history would make good reading. Maybe George Barris painted your car or chopped your car top those kinds of stories would be great.

    We have some famous photographers on here how about some stories from back in the day when you were shooting some of the greats, maybe you worked in the same dealership as "The Grump", or Dyno Don, or Earl Wade there has to be some story's out there.

    I know some of us older guys aren't comfortable using the computer but if you have a story to tell write it up and send them to me in a conversation and I will "clean them up" good for posting and post them for you.

    For you guys that have written books or have had books about you written here is the place to let other members know, who knows you may pick up some sales LOL.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
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  2. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,468

    jimdillon
    Member

    Loudbang I agree there are some great guys on the HAMB that could surely tell some great stories and I appreciate even being mentioned. The HAMB is a great resource and I believe does add to the history of automobiliana but maybe the best service that some of us can do is to attempt to get history correct. I do not contribute as much as maybe I am capable but try to add when I feel it is somewhat beneficial. If I had to admit as to the many great people I have met and the great experiences I have had, drag racing during the mid to late 60s is something that captures my interest and memories more than anything else. In the late 60s, my grandfather saw an old Corvette drag car I was associated with and it had stack injection sticking out of the hood. He casually mentioned to me that he worked on racecars when he worked in the Packard experimental department back in the teens, prior to WWI. It floored me and I became obsessed with this and we had many conversations which led me to finally finding the remains of one of the Packard racers in 1981, sadly not long after he died. When I got the engine and had it in my shop I could see the similarity of the Packard raised intake to stack injection in a sense and knew then why it struck a chord with my grandfather.

    When I joined the HAMB ten years ago or whatever, it was because of a thread that dealt with early auto racing. The Packard racing engine I own is a V-12 OHC engine that led the Indy 500 in 1919 and it sparked an interest in me to find out everything I could on racing during the teens. It led to me doing hundreds if not thousands of hours of research on the 300 cubic inch era of 1915-1919. It has also led to me assisting other historians in their published works, which I surely do not mind in that I believe it is important to get history as correct as possible. I have tried to contribute to the Early Auto Racing thread on the HAMB when appropriate and over the years I have written a couple of articles when I felt the present history was not really accurate. Some of my articles are a bit lengthy and do not translate well into including them into different threads. I have thought maybe I will see if my computer tech that helps me with business computer issues can help me with trying to maybe put them on a blog or whatever and then include them in my signature.

    After reading a number of Mercer articles years ago with some measure of disappointment, I wrote a three part article on Mercer in racing back in the 80s for the magazine Bulb Horn, and more recently wrote a four part article on the SOHC Miller of the teens (the first Miller engine for auto racing in essence) for the AACA publication. Actually the AACA for a few years had asked that I write an article on my grandfather who was a notable car collector (Barney Pollard) and I wrote a ten part article on him and his collection. This article led to my Miller piece which I wrote a few months after the piece on my grandfather. I just was not happy with early Miller history and hopefully my article will help generate some attempt to get history, let’s say more correct. I also wrote a one part article for the Horseless Carriage Gazette a few years ago on the formation of Cadillac and the early cars. Once again I wrote this to attempt to correct present history. I own an early Cadillac and when I tried to research it I found the history to be let’s say what I believe to be incorrect-long story short.

    History though is a funny thing. Once something has been written over and over, fantasy and falsehood seem to become reality. Even though I have attempted to correct the record so to speak, I believe many “historians” will continue to take the easy path and regurgitate inaccuracies. When you “google” certain topics it is not unusual for the HAMB to pop up and this can be a good thing. If we can try and get history somewhat correct here then we are really doing a good service to those that want a dose of reality as to what really occurred.

    It is hard for me to put memories into words at times as many things that happened at the drag strips was standard fare for the times. Spectacular for sure, but so many things happened that I thought were so cool that it almost became commonplace. Sometimes it does not translate to story telling as you had to be there, I suppose. I have thought that I would like to write something on drag racing but the truth is that I am not sure I actually have enough in the way of material to make a real contribution. I concentrated so much on early Vette drag cars as I became obsessed with them that I did not pay as much attention as I wish I had to other great classes and drag cars. I continue to drag home old junk associated with Corvette drag racing and hopefully my wallet and time will afford me the ability to bring them back to how they looked and sounded during that great era. Easier said than done at times in let’s say semi-retirement. In the mean time I will try and add semi useless comments here and there when I can. I have a decent library on early auto racing and have a number of books on drag racing and still see negative comments on some of these works which is a shame. Writing is more difficult than most can imagine and it is extremely time consuming; especially if you try and get it right. With work and time spent in my shop to finish my projects it is quite difficult to say the least.

    Loudbang I know you go through a lot of work to add some really great content to the HAMB and I do what I can especially with the Corvette threads to try and add what I can and will continue to do so. Keep up the good work.

    Uploading a picture of the Packard race motor to show how it kind of resembles stack injection in a sense 029_19A.JPG 19start.jpg and the car on the front row of Indy in 1919 (car #4 driven by Ralph De Palma).
     
  3. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,468

    jimdillon
    Member

    It can be difficult to write some things on the HAMB without trying to sound self centered. I have had a great time over the years with cars and have met a number of really good car guys for lack of a better term. I have been fortunate to say the least.

    An example of being fortunate is I had worked in my grandfather’s restoration shop since I was 13 and I learned a great deal. My family though leaned a bit more towards the law profession than auto repair and so I followed that path and became a lawyer. My dad was a lawyer and was not a fan of trial work and his brother was a judge and so it seemed every time I walked into a courtroom, the judges who knew my uncle assigned me a new criminal case for another indigent. That combined with doing trial work for my dad and trial work for one of the semi-retired attorneys in the firm and my own cases, retained and assigned, I ended up averaging 4 days a week in court for six years. I burned out and walked away from the active practice of law and decided I would open my own shop and restore cars. Before opening my shop though, I was fortunate that my first project was working with the great fabricator Ron Fournier on a restoration of a 1935 Packard. It needed extensive metal work as well as everything else-it had been retrieved from a junkyard. Ron and I worked side by side for 5 months (total project took a bit over 12 months) and it was a great time working with Ron and probably one of the greatest things I learned was to take pride in your work and do it right. I had worked with so many guys that did it wrong that it was refreshing to finally do things right every day. Loved going to work every day for the first time in years.

    A funny story at least to me was one day Ron made a mistake in making a part (I do not even remember what it was-no difference anyways), which was somewhat rare and I told Ron jokingly that I was shocked he made a mistake. He knew I was joking and I cannot remember his exact words but his response was that everyone can make a mistake but a true professional knows how to correct the mistake. He then went over what had to be done in a very methodical manner to make it right. His simple response made an impression on me more than he could have imagined, as I have made my share of mistakes for sure. But it always made me search for the most professional way to correct the mistake and to be more analytical in that regard.

    I used to try and get Ron to tell me stories on his time working with Foyt and Penske (and Mark Donahue) and one of my favorite AJ stories was when they were running one of the dirt tracks. AJ flipped the car on the back stretch and ran the whole length of the back stretch on his helmet and Ron could see the helmet was a mess and AJ was sitting on the tailgate of the ambulance. AJ was not a good patient and was pretty agitated and was yelling “where is Ron-get Ron over here”. Ron figured he must have screwed something up that led to the crash and made his way slowly to the ambulance asking “Hey AJ what’s up?”. AJ then asked Ron “can you get this car ready for tomorrow?” and Ron said he felt a sigh of relief and got to work to make it right.

    I still run into Ron on occasion and I still am grateful for the great memories. It seems one of my most valuable commodities are the memories from meeting great people and working on cars all these years. Wouldn’t trade the memories for anything.

    Here are a couple of pictures of the car Ron and I restored; a 1935 Packard V12 Dietrich bodied Convertible Sedan.

    File0064.jpg File0065.jpg File0067.jpg File0068.jpg
     
  4. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,738

    tfeverfred
    Member

    I wish Ken Burn's would get on the case. The History of Hot Rodding would be a week long documentary.
     
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  5. I thought the same thing a while back. If it was half as good as his Civil War Documentary it would be worth watching.
     
  6. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,360

    porknbeaner
    Member

    My history is probably not that important and I can't imagine that if someone decided to write a book about me that anyone would read it.LOL

    The short story is that my Ol' Man owned an engine/race shop in NorCal when I was a little kid. He was also a member of a motorcycle club of ill repute and was one of the major players at Hollister in in '47. So I grew up around some real characters, hotrodders, racers and scooter bums alike. I also ground my first crank at about age 6 or 7.

    I have been on my own since age 14, built my first car that year as well. I have worked a lot of places since then. My first engine/mechanic job was at a Chrysler Plymouth dealership in Hillsboro Oregon. I was 15 and cleaning up the machine shop nights. I had a key and the boss came in early one Saturday morning and caught me grinding a crank. He promoted me, that job lasted all of a month, I was too young according to the state. Had lots of jobs like that in high school. Only the sosch kids got the jobs that were legal to have.

    I screwed a lower end together for a land speed racer in the '70s. he broke a record and to this day I am not sure why I worked on the motor, he is a very accomplished automotive machinist. I think he was throwing me a bone. That has happened for me more than once. I didn't get much recognition but if you know where to look there is a pic of me with the car in Wendover. I also did some welding on a motorcycle for a fella named Arlen in the '70s. He was throwing me a bone no guessing about it, he didn't need me but I was broke. I built a couple of lower ends for a man named Granetelli, I got paid and he was happy enough I guess.

    I tuned pro stock for a fella named Netz in the '70s too. He was just starting out and once he got some real sponsors he could hire a real wrench/team and I went on about my business. We won some and lost some but it kept me mobile which was what I was after back then. I didn't own a thing other than an old beat up motorcycle and that was good for me.

    I have spent the bulk of my adult life beating around, I spent some time living out of the country. I have been married to my high school sweet heart twice, 20 years this last time. Home has always been where I am living today. I don't really have a hometown, I have always considered the San Francisco Bay Area to be home but I have lived anyplace else as much as there.

    I have a few degrees, but still prefer to work mechanical trades.

    History? The truth is that I am the least important person that any of you know. my history is just living. Like I said if someone wrote a book about me no one would read it.
     
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  7. midroad
    Joined: Mar 8, 2013
    Posts: 253

    midroad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm only a relative newcomer here from the other side of the world so I love this stuff.
    So many of you guys have vast experience and knowledge so we should read ANY books about all of you.
    I hope all the experienced Hambers contribute.
     
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  8. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,360

    porknbeaner
    Member

    You must be hard up for books on your side of the world.:D

    Up here if you are not considered to be important already no one would buy or read the book.
     
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  9. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 14,837

    loudbang
    Member

    GREAT STUFF that is exactly the kind of stories I knew the guys would like. There has to be more of you guys lurking like the guy that wiped off the slicks for Big Daddy or the snake or mixed the fuel for some nitro burning cars but just think that was the small stuff. But to US they are the kind of behind the scenes back in the day stories that fire our memories to the good times.

    Short ones are ok too like if a thread makes you say "yea I remember when that happened" are just fine even big fish in a small pond stories like you owned or worked on a Modified Production car or junior stocker or whatever at a small local strip and had some success winning a few times and were "famous" at your local track stories would be welcome too as that is also part of our history.

    Keep them coming!!
     
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  10. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,360

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Well I'll always be famous in my own mind. o_O

    I have been lucky more than famous, I have happened to be places where things were happening. Hell I got into the pits Road Atlanta once because I was bold enough to say I knew someone famous, well and he turned out to be a nice guy. ;)
     
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  11. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 2,872

    slowmotion
    Member

    Come to think of it, at the Springs in Columbus once. Glidden asked me to occupy his BIG ole chocolate Doberman. Dog wouldn't leave him alone while he was wrenchin' (I believe it was on the brief Arrow campaign). Sweetheart of a dog, Bob was pretty cool too.:D
     
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  12. I think if more would support and spread the word on the American Hot Rod Foundation it would work towards a common goal here. This is a great resource for OUR story
    https://ahrf.com/
     
  13. AHRF has some great info
     
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  14. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,360

    porknbeaner
    Member

    Truth is that if someone were to fact check my life they would probably find things that they really didn't want to know. Hell some of the stuff I wish I didn't know.

    I think that people fall into two categories those who have left their mark on the world and those who are forgotten when they pass. Most of us will fall into the second category.
     
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  15. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,738

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Hey, Porknbeaner....... you just wrote your history, man. See, guys..... probably the reason that there isn't a concrete or solid history of Hot Rodding is because Hot Rodding is a basically grass roots thing. Wally Parks got it organized, but the REAL history has been and is made in drive ways, small shops, etc.

    Hot Rodding is a tree with a hundred branches and a million leaves.
     
  16. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 8,237

    Larry T
    Member

    You've got me mixed up with someone else. I'm just happy to be here.
     
  17. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 40,360

    porknbeaner
    Member

    LOL that is abridged. :D

    I am not sure that if anyone asked that I could prove anything that has ever happen in my own life is true. Unfortunately it is like my fact checking statement, if anyone decided to try and prove things they may not like what they find out. And a lot of the things that most of us have done simply can't be proven. There are just a lot of people in the world that seem to think that finding someone stating alternative facts is their life's work.
     
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  18. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 14,837

    loudbang
    Member


    Great place and kinda what this thread is about. I learned something today, I never even heard of that site or group but man the list of "pioneers" is awesome reads like a who's who in the good old days.
     
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  19. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,738

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Proved my point.;)
     
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  20. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,738

    tfeverfred
    Member

    "Just because it wasn't recorded, doesn't mean it didn't happen." Lake Speed
     
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  21. My history is all over the HAMB. No need to type it all again.
     
  22. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,738

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Hello! McFLY!!? WAKE UP! When you go out to your garage, or shop, or field car or fuckin' barn... and decide to bring something back..... Or build something new....... you made history. THAT...is history.

    Now......if you want to go back in time..... PM me with the data you have. I'll give you 10 to 1 it's not as good as mine.:)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
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  23. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,738

    tfeverfred
    Member

    That's it! How can something so simple, be made so complicated?

    Every post......every thread....... every freakin' pic.
     
  24. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,738

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Oh........ by tha fucking WAY...........

     
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  25. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,738

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Great story...... filmed well... and smooth production values!? WTF! You....... WE.... make history every freaking day! Take a gawd damn pic or vid and SOMEBODY........... put it all together.
     
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  26. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,738

    tfeverfred
    Member

    More.........? Are you kidding me..HISTORY!



    And there's a fucking thread about..... HOMOGEIZED? Give me a gawd damn break.
     
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  27. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 14,837

    loudbang
    Member

    TFEVERFRED reminded me that I was remiss a bit by forgetting to include our Bonneville members and the oval and other track racers, we like them all and I'm sure we have a couple 200 MPH record folks and maybe even a 300 MPH record holder on the HAMB and stories from them are more than welcome. Any record holder in any class in the bunch of sanctioning bodies would have stories that would make some good reading.
     
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  28. My "history" consists of mainly hanging around with historic people occasionally. Bob K introduced me to Tex Smith out at Bonneville speed week one year. Bob, Tex and I were standing on the balcony at Motel 6 in Wendover laughing at and jeering Ron Ceridono who couldn't get out of the pool because he had a cramp in his foot!
    My brother introduced me to Lance Sorchik and we convoyed to Lincoln Nebraska for Americruise one year. We met up with Jack Chizenhall there and drove out to the air port after dinner [Jack INSISTED on buying] and we all 4 sat in lawn chairs and graded passing hotrods/customs for hours. Was fun....
    Garlits pulled a handle on a one armed bandit at the Golden Nugget for me one night in Wendover. We lost.
    Pete Chaporis almost ran over me in the alley behind pete and jakes in the California Kid on our way to Americruise.
    Boyd Coddington creeped up behind me while I was running my video camera in Lincoln one night at Americruise. He idled up in his 51 Vicky about 2 inches from my legs and he turned on his cooling fans...scared the shit outta me and he and his passenger laughed their asses off when I jumped.
    Saw Jack Chizenhall at a later Americruise in Madison, Wisconsin while walking the isles with a friend. Jack came idling past in his black 39 sedan and slammed on the brakes...backed up and called me by name...had a little reunion like we'd been best friends and my buddy was completely blown away...
    And I know Pork'nbeaner ! Benno came up to Omaha and I sold him a ratty ass red 65 chevy pickup.
    No, I've never done anything to make a mark in the history books but it's fun to know some of the guys who may go down in history as kinda famous "car guys" .
    Oh yeah....Brocks 53 Buick in the post above? I interviewed him on the salt while my brother photographed the Buick back in '11 or '12. My brother was putting a feature together for Hot Rod Deluxe. Brock actually found that buick in a saw mill! Had a helluva time getting it out.
    Scotty and I left Bonneville that year to go out to Pebble Beach Concours 'de elegance and photograph another car for a guy Scotty knew...got to see Jay Leno walking around but didn't meet him.......yet.
     
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  29. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,038

    denis4x4
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Colorado

    The week after I graduated from high school in 1959, I had an interview with Dick Day for the editors job at R&C. Didn't get the job, but made a lot of good contacts at Petersen. As a free lance writer, I specialized in the business side of the high performance industry and wrote for Hot Rod Industry News and several Chilton books. Ended up writing ads for an ad agency specializing in the high performance industry. Opened my own shop and my client list included Crower Cams, JE Pistons, Jardine Headers, Weber, Offenhauser and Husqvarna motorcycles. Started a marketing company that created ads and products for magazine branded items for Road & Track, Cycle World, Four Wheeler and others.

    when I joined the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA), Dean Moon, a founding member, was the SEMA president. Making money and having fun was a dream come true!
     
  30. das858
    Joined: Jul 28, 2010
    Posts: 572

    das858
    Member

    I will try and write my Dads hot rod story, which is the reason for my story too. My Dad will be 85 this June to give you an idea of the time frame, his first hot rod was in high school in the late'40s, a 1937 Ford two door slant back sedan with a warmed over mercury v-8. The korean war broke out when he was 17 and he got his parents to sign the paperwork to allow him to join early. He was in the Navy, a machinest mate, working in the engine room of an aircraft carrier. After the service he had a '49 Pontiac that he built a early 331 Cadillac for as his next hot rod. That car was eventually totaled, but he saved the 331 for future use and it ended up years later in a'49 GMC pick-up that he used as his shop truck. That GMC was the first vehicle I ever steered going down the road sitting on his lap, also the first vehicle I ever started, probably in 1962 when I was four years old. His next cool shop truck was a '53 International with roll and pleated interior, a much bigger 6 cylinder out of a modern international, and he even put air conditioning on it.
    In '55-57 time frame he worked part time for John Kingston in Kansas City as a mechanic. Kingston owned a '38 Ford standard coupe with a bored and stroked 331 Cadillac that they ran in A/gas. During this time he got aquainted with Rod Stuckey who was Kingstons nefew. Dad used to tell many stories about Stuckeys racing adventures, and since joinng the HAMB, thes stories have been confirmed, word for word.
    Back in 1957, he bought his first of very few new cars a '57 210 Chevy station wagon, with 283 220 horse, 3 speed manual trans. It was our family car first, but he raced it in legal Nhra stock class against two door sedans and hard tops and won! He still has the trophy too.
    By 1966 he was ready to try something different, so he bought a 1966 Plymouth fury four door with 383 4 barrel, and a factory 4-speed! My sister and I both learned how to drive and street race on this car, a hell of a sleeper.
    By 1977 I was ready to start legal NHRA drag racing, and Dad let me, and two friends borrow his truck and camper to tow my buddies o/t '70 GTX 440 6-pack 140 miles to our closest track for a two day race, none of my other friends dads would have done that. By 1979 I was ready to build and race a dedicated race only car, and Dad was there for nearly every race for the next twelve years.
    This August I'm hoping to take Dad to Bonneville for the first time, he mentioned a few weeks ago he would like to see it before his time runs out. Doug.
     

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