The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Sep 6, 2017.
Ryan submitted a new blog post:
Past The Tube Redux
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Interesting observation. I'm convinced that age and maturity have a lot to do with these feelings.
Very well put Ryan. I've always felt that if you are doing something you should be doing it because you want to. When I was getting my pilots license in 1985, my flight instructor said "if you aren't having fun, why are you doing this". The best attitude adjusters in the world are the times we go solo for the grins. Second best times are shared with a special person. The best memories are from running down back roads with nobody else in sight.
The "middle of nowhere"? ... Or "knowhere"?
I do agree that it's hard to put into words just exactly what drives us to build these old cars and put endless (s)miles on them.
I can identify with your desire to express to others just how the love you have for the old cars is so deep rooted you can't find the words to express it,I have a few years on you and I have devoted untold hours thinking & dreaming of that ride and the moment sensory overload kicked in,the sights,the smell and the feel of the steering wheel with the crack pinched my finger while rolling down the road that has been forever ingrained as a monumental memory and I am constantly grasping for the right words to express to others just how euphoric it made me feel,better than any drug!
The closest thing I can share with others is that we all have had that very first ride in a hot rod or the first time we drive a car that we built with our two hands,but that still falls short of what I can convey with my limited vocabulary..there are no words!
I am glad I am not alone in my thoughts. HRP
People have asked if I go to shows with it, I usually respond with,
"no, I don't really like people that much, I built it to drive"
and that I do.
Of all the ones that approach me when i'm in it, the ones who "get it" Really "get it"
Those are my people.
Taking others for a ride to let them experience what an old truck is like
is one of the best aspects to it as well.
Some get it, others don't.
Kids reactions are always priceless.
You got it right Danny.
I've used this for many years when trying to put the whole car thing in perspective to those that don't get it.
"Drugs are for people who haven't discovered hot rods".
Growing up in Canada.....at age 8 the car bug hit.........would ride my bike a few miles to an old junk yard just to sit in the 20's and 30's tin that had gone there to die.........the smell of the old oil, grease and mohair interior..........there is no explaining it and I don't bother.........then the move to SoCal and my High School surfing years.......there's no explaining it either......I just enjoy!
This past weekend was a good example of how an old car can transcend you back in time. We had a family camp out and some of us have old cars. The youngest owner had the oldest car, but it was one his dad had owned before he died and the kid went and bought it back. I was driving my '48 that dad left me. The other two were ones that had been bought along the way.
We had several family members ride along with us and it brought me back to when I was younger and this was commonplace for our family. Just a nice 30 minute drive on some old gravel roads with lots of smiles.
i bought a new, well new to me, truck over a year ago. i have put fuel in it 3 times, and never a fill up. i spend most my time in my old trucks, they feel better or maybe it is just the fact the new truck doesn't "feel" like anything except formal, like wearing a tux.........in the old truck i feel the road and the steering, a solid feel of the gas pedal, i feel the wind coming in the window because i can drive with it down without the pounding pulse of air like the new truck, i feel the bumps and the bank of a turn and can hear what the pavement texture is and the tune of the motor. it squeaks rattles and clunks and i get wet in a torrential rain storm because the windshield leaks a little, till it takes a set. have to help defrost with a rag and the lights could be brighter..............new vehicles don't feel different than sitting on a couch, that's why a drive in an old car is something special......
I had the same experience. In the 50's and 60's my dad had a small time paving and grading business where all he had was old (WWII surplus Jimmys and Internationals etc). I would go down to the yard and pick the oldest truck and pretend to drive. They had that old truck smell that brings me back to that time when I smell it now. I remember getting my hands dirty because the old steering wheels were all dried out and left my hands black afterwards. My dad wasn't an "old car guy", he had old trucks because that's all he could afford, not because they were cool. I can trace my old car bug back to that time. No cure.
I used to drive my old T Bucket every day. I'd get off work, change clothes and just drive. To no where. Having wanted one for so long and thinking I never would, was probably the reason. So I'd say to myself. Days I didn't get a drive in, actually made me depressed. On any given weekend, I'd put 400+ miles on her. Sometimes I had a destination, usually I didn't. I got pulled over by a cop, one day, and he asked me where I was headed in such a hurry. I told him, "No where, sir. I'm just driving." I stopped going to shows because I couldn't stay long enough to make it worth $20 and I didn't like paying, so people could look at my car. I got that thrill on the road. I hung around some guys who only drove their cars, if they were going to a show and they considered that being a daily driver. I'd just smile inside, when I heard that boast.
When the one I'm building now is done, I'll do it all again. Nothing else does it for me anymore. Went to see a movie last month and it had been 5 years, since I'd done that. I don't really relate well to people who aren't into cars. Sometimes, I'll just sit and stare at my build. Usually about an hour. Yea, maybe I'm a hermit, but I like it that way.
The feeling I have is.....peace.
Haven't been to a show now for many years. Been around long enough that I've seen about every vehicle in the 6 county circumference. Don't like to go to the big shows anymore. Would rather spend that time on a weekend trip in the old car with my wife. Yes its nice to see some car buddies to talk about new builds. But not a priority.
Driving them gives me satisfaction when things are running like a fine tuned clock.
It brings back emotions that I've experienced in my youth.
It was really more fun looking forward instead of looking back. Now its satisfaction, before it was a internal drive to achieve my dream.
I guess now I am in that dream mode. Kinda like the end of that "tube"
Just wish I could go back to setting on that board waiting for the next wave.
I remember vividly sitting in the cab of my model A pickup truck while it was perched on top of 4 concrete blocks and imagining how cool it would be driving down the highway in my hot rod,my arm propped strategically where my elbow hung out the window,I put a lot of miles on that truck daydreaming when I didn't have two extra dimes to rub together and I still smile when I think about it! HRP
I've driven hot rods since high school, mostly no fender-sometimes-roadster, but sometimes coupes.
Some early girlfriends didn't get it, a few did. Had more of them than I needed, so was into cruising downtown San Jose, lots of other rods running around down there...(1958-1962)
Then 'graduated' to 'gasser' types, had some Rapid Fords, street raced a lot.
Lived in Santa Cruz off and on, had relatives there. Surfed every morning I was there in the '60s, then in '72.
Got a little 'guff' from some local surfer punks, one knew me...Respect, then.
Surfed every morning from 7:AM to 8:30, when I had Porsche/BMW appointments. Management tolerated my hours, hoped I'd 'grow out' of them.
I did, one Thursday morning...Sitting on my 9 ft. Hobie board, something 'scuffed' my fingers on the right rail...Looked down, and saw a SUBMARINE??? a foot below...then the fin...BIG shark! My Hobie laid 20 feet of rubber to the beach!
In that time, 2 surfers lost limbs at Steamers' Cove, and the Lighthouse...I never saw a shark that close in before, and haven't seen one since.
Gave my Hobie away right there on Seacliff Beach that day.
Started work at 8:AM from then on. Kinda wondered if my boss didn't rent that damned shark...
30 years ago I used to jump in the 48 or my 51 Merc and take off and just drive like that. No destination (at least to begin with) no gonna stop here or there or see them or those or eat here or there. Just drive for the enjoyment of driving.
Wife and I had a bit of that on the way back from Pismo Beach last October. Absolutely no itinerary except to stop and see what ever we felt like stopping and seeing and take lots of photos along the California Coast between Moro Bay and Monterrey.
I saw that guy who rode it to the end of the tube that day
I'm still doing it.....
I have, since I got my license many years ago, enjoyed getting in whatever car I had at the time and just take off solo and drive out in the countryside. Usually as much over the speed limit as I thought I could get away with. That's when I thought my best thoughts. It was rarely with the kind of cars and trucks we see here, but whatever I happened to have at the time. Early on it was sports cars, a Sprite, an Elva Courier and a TR-3. Later other things, VW vans, Saabs and nowadays its one of my Studebakers. Still, driving at speed seems to clear my thinking and give me a better perspective on life in general. I had let my spontaneous drives through the countryside go by the wayside for one reason or another, but having moved out into the country those solo drives have returned and I am all the better for them and I think that somehow the Studebaker loves it as much as I do.
Well written words hold up over time. I'm a changed man after my near-death experience this summer. I plan to enjoy my time here. That includes driving, with no particular place to go.
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Sounds like some of the lads here have a Zen thing going on.
Inner peace, however you find it, is a good thing. Carry on.
Someone told me a long time ago; "If you have to explain it, they won't understand it"
Out there on the road, with an old car or motorcycle, is like being at one with the world. At least it is for me.
I suck at surfing... but I did more last night...
More next week...
Your thoughts brought back memories of me in my youth, touring around in my old car down back roads all by myself. Back then traffic was light and you hardly ever saw many other cars and the ones that you did see weren't riding your bumper to get somewhere.
Just me, in my old car, cruising on a Saturday, trying to get lost, looking for old cars sitting and rotting on farms.
I am not a people person either, I love old cars because I just love old cars. I couldn't care less if anyone around me does or not. I am the only one in my friend circle who has one and I have no desire to change that. I have about quit going to car shows because my head is not in group acceptance but in my pleasure of my personal car/truck.
The reason I like hot rods and not street rods is the primitive factor of the old cars. How can you enjoy a drive if you have power windows, air conditioning, stereo , power brakes, etc? Thats not driving, thats riding.
Yeah, I know.
"Magazine Rack" ....(Muttley sniggers)....Wazzat???? A lot can change in ten years.
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56Don got me to thinking about how many Saturdays I drove the backroads for hours on end in Central Texas when I was first married and hunting for a project car. Sometimes I didn't know where I was exactly but If I kept driving in the same direction long enough I could get to a main road that I recognized or that would take me towards home. That was in probably a 75 mile radius of McGregor where we lived then. Then I had to teach my wife to drive the 59 El Camino with a three speed and we wondered the back roads a least one day a weekend with her driving. Had bucket seats in it and stuck our baby on a bed made out of blankets behind the seats unless my inlaws kept him.
I didn't get into hot rods as a competition back in the late 50s. I just liked 'em. I didn't even think about being more cool than Gilbert Shepard with his gold 27 chevy sedan with small block/3 speed. My thinking hasn't changed in the last 60 years.
I used to drive my parent's 55 olds to Malic's Auto Wrecking to buy parts for my '50 ford. While I was there, I'd sit in this 37 Buick Century tudor and just soak it in. Some say the 37 Century was America's first production super car because it had the big straight 8 [320 cu in] in the smaller Buick Special body. This one was a silver tudor sedan and I loved the smell of the sun baked, dusty mohair interior...the way the black bakelite floor shift knob felt in my hand. I wasn't a little kid........hell, I was a junior in high school!
I found a cherry, black 41 ford tudor [$24] with a bad motor and yanked the 53 Merc motor out of my 50 crestliner and put in the 41... Because the 50 crestlinler was too new. I wasn't trying to impress anyone. I just like old cars. Been in that same rut with most of you guys ever since. It's no big deal.
Thank you! It's good to know I'm not alone with how I feel about my old cars AND enjoying them by myself. I agree that what we feel and do is difficult to explain to those who don't and have always said the same thing as mentioned earlier in this thread...if I have to explain, you won't understand. In this current wave of reality shows and social networks, everyone can show off their cars and skills. It still amazes me to find the old school skills found in the few that stay out of the spotlight. We don't do it for anyone but us. That's bitchin and those of you I'm talking about ( you know who are) should be proud of what you do and of who you are! Long live the true Love of cars and craftsmanship. Thank you again for this. Hope to see some of you out on those back roads to no where soon...
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