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History Remember the first car you worked on?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by e z i, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. e z i
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 584

    e z i

    I do. I was about 12 years old on a sunny Idaho morning, when I came out of the house to see my mom's 64 Catalina jacked up in the driveway, and my dad and my uncle sitting there in lawn chairs, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee.
    "What ya doing Dad" I asked?"
    He says, "it's not what I'm doing, but what you're doing, you're putting brakes on your mother's car"
    He handed me some brake pliers, and sat there and guided me through the whole thing.
    He didn't even get his hands dirty.
    What a great day that was with my Dad, one I'll never forget.
    I've been working on cars every since.
    Lost him a few years ago, and I miss him every day...thanks Dad!
    WQ59B, rad34, low budget and 28 others like this.
  2. Donuts & Peelouts
    Joined: Dec 12, 2016
    Posts: 1,192

    Donuts & Peelouts
    from , CA

    The first cars I worked on was around 9 with my Grandpa. Grandpa was a Body man and always had Buick and Cadillac Hurses in his shop. Grandpa gave me my first swig a beer around the same time.

    Sent from my SM-J727T1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  3. topher5150
    Joined: Feb 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,740


    I'm sure the first car that I "helped" work on was my dad's 56 F-100.
    rad34 and Ron Funkhouser like this.
  4. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 495


    This is going to be embarrassing. My first car when I was 16 was a 1951 Plymouth Cranbrook 4 dr.6 cyl flathead,3 speed on the column Talk about ugly..But I really thought I was hot stuff with it. Took all the chrome off ,filled the holes, lowered it,full length lake pipes, spinner wheel covers,even fuzz around the rear view mirror. Put new rings in with 15 thousands taper on the cyl. Didn,t take long and it was burning oil again.Pulling a long hill the car would fill with oil fumes. Girls didn't like that....

    Would buzz main street in our little town looking for girls.
    I had spotted a 55 Chev with a V-8,dual exhaust Red with a pink interior for 250 bucks Dad said no " No Son of Mine will ever have a V-8" Gene

  5. Bursonaw
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 172


    Mine was a 1955 Oldsmobile. I was 14 and my grandfather had passed the car to me. This was the car I learned to work on and drive. It was a great car, after we rebuilt the motor the car was a real screamer. It would give a 57 Chevy a run for its money.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    rad34, 47ragtop, LOU WELLS and 2 others like this.
  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,245


    1972, my brother and I putting the new front clip on the $25 volvo my dad bought from a friend, after he wrecked it.

    rad34, low budget, lewk and 9 others like this.
  7. I was 4 when I started working on cars with my dad. 49 Plymouth coupe, then when I was 7, I began working on the first of many Model T's.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  8. JimSibley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2004
    Posts: 3,525


    my first car wasn't even a car. I started prepping airplanes for paint in my dads shop when I was 6. He would pay me a couple of bucks to sand, scuff and clean all day.
    rad34, warbird1, Denns1989 and 2 others like this.
  9. I was in 7th grade in 1957 when my father bought a '50 Chevy station wagon as a "father & son" project. The car had suffered a hard life from previous owners so we had to do quite a bit of work on it. When it was finished, it did look pretty good in the two tone paint job we put on it. My father put it on the road, hated the way it drove, and promptly sold it. That was the last car project that we did together.
  10. CME1
    Joined: Aug 10, 2010
    Posts: 238


    My dad gave me a 1948 Studebaker Champion 4dr (our family car) that my older sister had driven and blown the engine. He said , fix it and it is yours. So at the age of 14 and a year and a half later, the car was better then new! It was the ugliest car, but it was good transportation. Sold that car about 6 mo. later and the fun begins. Still playing with old cars after all these years!
    rad34, Denns1989, 32Rules and 3 others like this.
  11. Johnny Gee
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 9,999

    Johnny Gee
    from Downey, Ca

    It was a few years newer than the cut off for here but a Chevelle non the less. I didn't know anything about working on it. Come to think of it. I still don't anything about cars today. The more I know the more trouble I get myself into. It's all trap I tell ya.
  12. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,069


    I followed my dad around when I was little but the first vehicle I actually worked was my step Father's 54 Chevy pickup right out here where my Model A body sits now when I took my grandfather's bottle jack and pushed out the dent in the rear fender that my stepfather had dinged up with the help of a few too many bottles of Ranier. I spent most of a day getting it pretty straight when I was about 13. Second rig was my grandfather's 48 Chevy 1 ton flatbed that he rolled about 2 miles from the house a year later. I took that same bottle jack and some pipe and pushed the door opening back into shape and beat the roof out in pretty decent shape. Then we installed a new to the truck door and built a new flatbed for it. From the time I was ten until I was about 17 he had a project that the two of us did during the summer and I still use what I learned from those projects 55 years later.
    rad34, Denns1989, dana barlow and 2 others like this.
  13. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 2,000

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    mom's 1963 Ford Fairlane Station Wagon. Been a chevy guy ever since.
  14. 1949! Dad's 1932 Buick came home on a hook. I helped ,[ handing tools ] , replace a broken axle with an unbroken one.
    3 1/2 years later, replacing the transmission in MY 1940 Chevrolet .

  15. Clay Belt
    Joined: Jun 9, 2017
    Posts: 381

    Clay Belt

    My Thunderbird. First ride I did anything on.
  16. 390.jpg {My first} I was a lot better at taking them apart, and I still am.:rolleyes: I bought this 31 Chevy for $30. when I was 14. Ron... 446.jpg
  17. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 2,532

    from ohio

    Got greasy on the farm stuff with my cousin as long as I can remember. When I was in 8th grade (1964) Dad bought a 54 Buick Special that had a new set of tires and a slipping trans. He wanted the tires for one of our other Buicks so I took over the 54 as mine. Turned out Dynaflow was 3 qts low and was fine when it had enough ATF in it. I cleaned, scraped grease, polished and had a ball tinkering with it. Learned how to break down tires with a bumper jack and worked my ass off hand mounting worn out whitewalls. Remember Black Magic? That was my body work go to, a couple rattle cans of primer, spinner wheelcovers, no mufflers with flex pipe duals and I was the coolest kid in 8th grade. Dad would even take me out on the back roads and let me drive it sometimes. A year later Dad was trading up to a 63 Buick and told me they offered him a hundred bucks for the 54 or the 55 Special he had bought new and I could keep which ever one I wanted. I took the 55 as I had grown up with it and it was in way better shape than the 54. Drove the 55 until 69 when I bought my first 65 Skylark. Always wondered what happened to the 54 but will never know. I have never been without a Buick of some kind since 1964, now I have a bunch of them and my son also has a growing hoard of Buicks too. I told him when iIkick off I want a pack of smokes and a bottle of Jack in the casket and a Buick Tri-Shield engraved on my head stone.
    rad34, Hnstray, Denns1989 and 3 others like this.
  18. putz
    Joined: Jan 22, 2007
    Posts: 611

    from wisc.

    55 chevy removing 6 cyl ,changing over to 283 , hot switch back in the day !!!!
    rad34 likes this.
  19. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,025


    My first car, a 1959 Ford Custom that we called "the tomato can" had a 223 ci inline six and three-on-the-tree. My maternal grandparents bought it for me as a high school graduation gift. They gave it to me at the end of my junior year so I would have it for my senior year. It was pretty worn out and I learned how to wrench on it with my Dad's help.[​IMG]
  20. Cosmo50
    Joined: Sep 8, 2011
    Posts: 226

    from California

    Wow, all you guys had some cool first cars. My dad had a 1960 Bug that I would "help" him when he did tune ups and brake work. Help in the sense of holding the light for him. That was when I was around 6-8. Then at 16 I bought my first car, a 1971 Datsun 510. That was when I started to actually do work on a car. I installed springs to lower it, did tune ups and oil changes. I also rewired the entire car. I kept it for a few years. Then the first car I did the most work on was my 41 Mercury. I pulled the flathead and had all the machine work done. I put it back together myself. Replaced all the front suspension with lowered axle, disc brakes and a 4 bar setup. Never got it running though, had to sell it before I could finish it.
    1941 Mercury 01.jpg
    Flathead Engine.jpg
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  21. The first car I actually worked on was my dad's 55 Ford Ranch Wagon. Nothing mechanical, that would have to wait until I got my 56 Ford a couple of years later. But he let me remove the garnish moldings and paint them that brand new color paint I ordered from J.C. Whitney....Candy Lime Gold, just like Barris painted one of his cars. Probably looked awful in a seafoam colored car, but that was my first attempt at customizing and I loved it. My life was never the same again.
    After I got my 56 Fairlane, I put bucket seats in it and changed the old slushbox automatic over to a 3 speed in the floor. Then I thought I had a hot rod. I loved working on that old car, sometimes I would try to break stuff so I could fix it.
    rad34 and dana barlow like this.
  22. 1956 Ford my drivers license when I was 15, got this when I was 16 and bought a set of Craftsman tools at Sears for $29.95 so I could work on it when needed.

  23. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,465

    seb fontana
    from ct

    I remember every car I worked on; even ones that weren't mine..How ever I seem to have lost a few parts that I "saved"...
    rad34 likes this.
  24. Fabulous50's
    Joined: Nov 18, 2017
    Posts: 470

    from Maine

    20171203_082742.jpg I'm too young for this site...... First car was 1983 VW Quantum. I was 14 when my dad had a plow truck run into it, so they saved it for my first car. It was in 1999 I got my licence so a family friend and I did the body work on it. My I completely restored that car in 2002.

    Put a 5cyl, Audi engine in it and it was a tire fryer, went over 140mph in that FWD. Kept the car until 5 years ago.

    The car on the left I bought totaled and rebuilt it for the family. I like green!
    rad34 and dan c like this.
  25. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 6,120


    I have something in common with the O/P. His dad and mine must have been friends. He was changing the oil on his '55 Oldsmobile, when he crawled out from under and said something like : "You're 14, it's about time you learned to work on cars." He handed me the filter wrench, and under the car I went. It turns out that whoever had put the filter on previously must have tightened it with a 2 foot breaker bar. I was under there for about an hour, but I finally got it off using a large screwdriver driven through the body of the filter for extra leverage. I shudder when I think of what would have happened to me if I had failed to get the (by then) shredded filter off his new car. Looking back, it was a valuable lesson. I learned that everything doesn't work exactly like it says it should in the manual, which is a lesson better learned early on.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  26. Probably the earliest memory was helping my dad when I was 8 years old,I was able to get my small arm up inside the passenger door to hold a wrench while he removed the latch on his sedan delivery.

    Dad wasn't a car guy and couldn't afford to pay someone to fix the problem but he was resourceful and ask questions, he was able to get a latch from the junk yard and he and I removed the old one & installed the replacement. HRP
  27. J D Coop
    Joined: Nov 16, 2015
    Posts: 70

    J D Coop

    I started helping my dad work on the family sedan when I was 13. It was a 1951 Chevy 4 dr. First car I worked on, car I learned to drive and first car I ever wrecked. Pop taught me a lot of valuable things about working on a car. Like, if someone asks you for a wrench, make sure they aren't holding the plug wire on a running engine before you hand it to them.
  28. When I was in the 4th grade, the family car was a '57 Chevy 2 door 210 with a 6 cylinder. My dad did not know a lot about working on cars but his buddy Joe did. Problem was, Joe weighed 350+ and couldn't get up under the hood too well. At 10 years old, I was changing fuel pumps, water pumps and such. Joe and Dad would sit in lawn chairs in the driveway and Joe would give me instructions. Learned a lot that way.
    rad34, Denns1989, Clay Belt and 2 others like this.
  29. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,742

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    1940-chevrolet-special-deluxe-car.jpg Hope a funny story fits;
    My Dad always said the first car I worked on,was almost turned to junk. I always say,I don't remeber! He was rebuilding his 1940 Chevy coupe engine in 1947,I was 5 with my sandpail an sandbox under the crab apple tree next to our barn. Dad was at work, an left the barn door a jar,with the Chevy hood off just inside. So trying to help Dad out?,I go in and crewl up on the front fender too see some still open holes on the almost new motor. My pail of sand n raisin mix seemed just the thing to fill those holes up an smooth off nice. Turns out he didn't want sand n raisins filling the intake with out the carb on it. Mom happened to find me,just as I finished smoothing off the hole. She said something like holyshit? Anyway she took me ,right a way to the babysiters house down at the other end of the block,told her she may need to keep me there a few days. Its life or death thing! Not sure how it want,when Dad did get home an saw how I had completed his rebuild on the 6cly. LOL
    I did get to hear about my engine skills, nearly every year,tell Dad passed on in 1985. Thanks Dad,I do build them a little cleaner now!
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017

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