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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. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 2,546

    Speed Gems
    Member

    The first car (Truck) i ever worked on was probably my '49 Chevy pickup i tore down the summer after high school to start rebuilding.
    315559_176590109085075_1619958136_n - Copy (2).jpg
     
  2. 03GMCSonoma
    Joined: Jan 15, 2011
    Posts: 210

    03GMCSonoma
    Member

    The first car I worked on was my dad's 1950 Packard when I was about 12. He wanted me to replace the spark plugs. I took out the old ones. As I was tightening down the new plugs I twisted off 3 or 4 of them. Obviously, he was not pleased but didn't say anything. He got an easy out to proceeded to remove them. He trusted me to replace these with more new plugs. Lesson learned. I often think of my dad in times like this. I just didn't know how great a dad he was until years after his passing.
     
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  3. VTjunk
    Joined: Jul 5, 2013
    Posts: 286

    VTjunk
    Member

    When I was 14 my cousin, also 14, who lived next door to us bought a 64 Chevy C10 that had been someone's custom at one time. It had a non running 327 and a Muncie. We got it running and swapped a set of headers onto it and started tearing up the back roads.

    At 15 I bought my first car. I had been saving my lawn mowing and paper route money to buy it. I really wanted the 63 Falcon hardtop in my avatar. But dad said no, it was more money than I had to spend and it had a well known reputation. Not the kind of car you hand to a young driver. I ended up with a clean 60 2 door with 24k original miles that served me well through high school and years after. I learned the basics on it, doing a tuneup, brakes, shocks, tires, exhaust, water and fuel pumps, carb rebuild, and even took the generator apart and put new brushes in it.
    60falcon1.jpg
    Doing a resto on it as I have time between other stuff. No hurry, it's not going anywhere. Getting a 200 6cyl with a bunch of vintage speed parts, lowering, 14 chrome steel wheels.
    1960Falcon014.jpg
     
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  4. 1988, I was 13 years old & I helped my older cousin to get my Grandfathers 34 Dodge Dump truck running after sitting under the cedar hedge for many years - I was toast after that, here is photo evidence of when my obsession began lol. Truck is now parked in an old barn, I oiled the cylinders a couple years ago, on my "list" to get it out for a hot lap one summer in the near future.

    Screenshot_2017-12-08-07-50-23.png
     
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  5. Crankhole
    Joined: Apr 7, 2005
    Posts: 2,611

    Crankhole
    Member

    Off topic for this forum but it was a '64 Beetle. Cheap and easy to fix it. I actually miss that little car.
     
  6. When I was 15 my dad let me overhaul the '53 Willys Aero Ace hardtop. It had a 161-cubic-inch F-head six with a Borg-Warner overdrive. I took the engine apart, put in .010 oversize rings and standard bearings, did a valve job and put it back together. Ran like a top, and I was hoping he would let me have it for my first car. No, said my mom. Didn't have seat belts and therefore too dangerous. They sold the car. Four years later I bought a '29 Model A standard coupe that was far more dangerous, just to piss her off. A year later they loaned me money to buy a '64 Barracuda that a neighbor had owned for five years. Made up for the raw deal on the Willys.
     

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  7. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,082

    dan c
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    when the maverick first came out ('69, i think) it was supposed to be a return to a car that anyone could work on...
     
  8. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,652

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    do I remember it? I hope so, I just saw it 2 hours ago when I left for work. still working on it 40 years later. 1949 Chevrolet coupe.

    first big project was a clutch in my OT GTO, I had no idea how a clutch even worked at the time. read an article in HOT ROD or Car Craft and went to it in the parking lot of the apartment where I lived with my Mom and my brother. much easier than I thought it was going to be.

    had no one to help me and had to figure these things out on my own.
     
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  9. A 34 Ford roadster. I bought it for $45 it was siting on a side street less than a mile from where I lived. I mostly took it apart. I was like 13/14. Ended up selling it for $65 I think. :confused: My Dad wanted the garage back.:oops: That was the beginning!:cool:
     
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  10. Bearing Burner
    Joined: Mar 2, 2009
    Posts: 866

    Bearing Burner
    Member
    from W. MA

    '33 Ford 2 door sedan with rebuilt '46 engine. Put on hydralic brakes,3carb manifold($25),aluminum heads($5) got crack TIGed for free,headers($5) this was all in 1960
     
    e z i likes this.
  11. I used to work on my Tonka trucks with Snap-on wrenches (I got my first set of Snap-on wrenches for my first birthday 1982). I used to put the trucks on coffee cans a pretend to work on them. I was banned from the garage when I was two for throwing a wrench and yelling "GOD DAMN IT!"

    I have never seen my dad throw tools so I have no idea who I picked that up from.
     
  12. hemiboy
    Joined: Apr 21, 2005
    Posts: 249

    hemiboy
    Member

    1959! I help my dad wash the ‘50 Olds coupe with the export “kit” on the engine. He wasn’t real pleased with my 4 year self filling the gas tank with hose......
     
  13. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,441

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    62 Valiant bodywork.
    Uglier than sin and a push button shifter. 14 yrs old

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Model A Vette
    Joined: Mar 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,066

    Model A Vette
    Member

    I helped my friend change a bad lifter on his '56 Chrysler. I knew more about the job from reading my Motors manual than he did. About a year later I discovered on the morning of my driver's test that my mom's '63 Dodge Dart had lunched the fuel pump.
    I biked to the parts store, bought a new pump and had the car running in time for the test.
     
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  15. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,247

    drtrcrV-8
    Member

    Helped my dad do a tune-up & oil change on his '54 Lincoln (plugs, points, condenser, cartridge oil filter, drain/refill the oil, check the radiator & brake fluid) about 1958(I was 13 & could get into places that were hard for him) After I set the points, tune-ups were my job for the next several years.
     
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  16. deucendude
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 562

    deucendude
    Member
    from norcal

    I was helping my dad working on his model A. I guess I was about 10 or 12. He asked me to hold the spark plug wire to see if there was any spark. I had no clue then. I held it and he turned it over and believe me I said it has SPARK ! That was around 1955 and I won't forget that.
     
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  17. I worked on a lot of cars, learned that not all Ford COMs fit every model (bellhousing thing). Learned from a neighbor that plastic steel is not good for fixing a block where a blown piston took an exit. I'd pass wrenches, help lift and hold things, my little brother (age 11) was sharper than most adults. Next door neighbors with a '58 Ford tossed him out when he suggested their distributor was 180* out. It was cold and all we heard was that telltale pop..pop.. through the carb.

    The best one we still talk about is 2 guys down the block with a straight axle Falcon with a rebuilt 283 with dual quads. Newly rebuilt, 12v wouldn't spin it. Then they upped it to 24v... same thing. My brother asked them about the ring end gap.... crickets. We left when they were going to apply 36v to it. The cables smoked at 24v...
     
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  18. triman62
    Joined: Sep 2, 2013
    Posts: 276

    triman62
    Member

    I come from a car guy family, dad was a backyard mechanic and I had 5 older brothers so there was years of, (can I help), (no your too little). Finally at 8 years old I got my chance and I'll never forget it, after watching dad and some of my brothers pull the engine out of his 55 Chrysler Imperial, I asked again, this time to my surprise dad said go get that number 5 washtub and bring it over here, he poured some gas in it and handed me an old paintbrush, then put a valve cover in the tub and told me to clean it inside and out. As they tore the engine down my pile of parts got bigger. I quickly graduated up to a putty knife and started scraping heavy deposits off before washing with gas and the paint brush. We put the parts on an old tarp laid over the picnic table. Then came the hard part, we had to sand Indian Head gasket cement off some of the gasket surface's, boy was that stuff tough to get off. Dad and the brothers got the engine reassembled, painted and back in the car. As a reward I got to drive the car part of the way to the boat house for a weekend of fishing and camping. With that many boys driving dads car was something that rarely happened for any of us, the next time I drove one of dads cars I was eighteen working as a mechanic, and he needed some help with tie rod ends on his 70 Chevelle, I'll never forget that day either.
     
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  19. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 2,792

    Dick Stevens
    Member

    My dad wasn't into cars so I didn't get a chance to work on one until I was 15 and bought a 49 Olds out of a junk yard with the trans out, they included a used hydramatic that I changed in the drive along with a couple of friends to help lift that heavy monster out and back into place!
     
  20. My father drove a 1949 Morris Minor in the year 1956. We were living in the country of Panama at the time. I remember peering over his shoulder while he removed the distributor and replaced the points. Getting it all back together and starting it. I was 5 at the time.
     

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  21. Danny Brown
    Joined: Apr 26, 2016
    Posts: 154

    Danny Brown

    I probably did some repair work on the '64 Valiant I was given in '71, but the first car that I really tore into was the bone stock '29 Ford that my friend's dad gave him on his 16th birthday. His dad said he would pay for anything we needed as long as we kept the car stock. Every weekend we did something to the car. It was in nearly drivable shape when we started, but it had been in storage for many years. We learned many valuable lessons like going ahead and putting in a throw out bearing when you put in a new clutch plate. Installing a new throw out bearing will require dropping the rear axle and solid drive shaft tube, so do both while everything is dis-assembled for putting in a clutch disc. We even built a transmission from parts after the original locked-up and busted to bits. We found a rusted original case, had it sandblasted and then were able to buy all new gears and internals. I was pretty surprised and proud of the fact that two 16 year-old guys could build a transmission from parts! We drove that car everywhere and learned a lot.
     
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  22. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,931

    The37Kid
    Member

    Friend down the street had a 1940 Ford Fordor, I was 10, maybe 11 and I took the Ford script off the right side of the hood, still have it. Same kid I swapped the floor mats out of Dad's brand new 1961 Ford for the '32 Ford grille insert that has been hanging on my wall for 56 years. Bob

    DSCF5877.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  23. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,885

    Boneyard51
    Member

    My first was a Cushman Eagle, in 1961, my dad showed me how to overhaul it and told me he would show me one time. I paid attention, learned all I could, and was soon working on all the other scooters in the neighborhood. We went on to work together on 312s 430s, 289s 428 CJs, for the next fifty years. He’s the one that told me about my signature statement. I lost him 5 years ago, miss him every day. Bones
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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  24. My Grandmother was fond of telling everyone that she had to drag me out from under a car parked on the street when I was 3 or 4. Claimed I said that I was looking for the oil leak... I can't remember that one. I first started working on John Deeres and a Maytag washing machine engine in the '50's. First car I really worked on was the '47 Dodge pickup on our farm.
     
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  25. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,885

    Boneyard51
    Member

    What transmission are you going to put in it?
     
  26. VTjunk
    Joined: Jul 5, 2013
    Posts: 286

    VTjunk
    Member

    I'm using a 3 speed out of a 63 Falcon. I know their limits, I blew up the original trans my junior year in HS (1990) If I run across a later fully synchronized unit I might go that route, they're stronger.

    The 200 isn't stock, decked block, milled head, 3 angle valve job, adjustable rockers, mild cam, Edelbrock 3 carb intake with Holley 1904s, header, Mallory YC distributor.
     
  27. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,885

    Boneyard51
    Member

    I put a 200 in 60s Econoline van with 4:11 gears, installed a 3speed top loader with overdrive. That combo was wonderful. Had power, could easily cruise at 80 mph, and you can shift without the clutch. That’s not really an advantage, just a quirk to the overdrive that kinda fun. It’s a bolt in conversion, everything fits but the driveshaft, has to be shorten. A friend of mine has one for sale for $175, but lives in Michigan and really doesn’t want to ship, if interested I could give you his email. The top loader is very strong, there are others that would work, with overdrive. Best bang for your bucks, the overdrive transmission. Bones
     
  28. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 3,885

    Boneyard51
    Member

    Just reread your post, could you post a pic of that manifold? I thought the 200 Ford had the intake manifold cast into the head. With that kinda of power the top loader of would be great. Bones
     
  29. The first one for me was the 29 Ford cabriolet I still have. I got it in the late 1950’s before I was even a teen. My dad had bought it new and it had stayed in the family and was passed down to me. I was told I couldn’t drive it until I had put hydraulic brakes on it, so that was the first step.
    [​IMG]
    It looks a lot nicer now that it ever did back in the sixties.
     
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  30. COCONUTS
    Joined: May 5, 2015
    Posts: 613

    COCONUTS

    My Father was station at OAFB near Bellivue, Nebr and the guy next store had two 57 Chevy's one a hardtop and the other a conv. He was taking off the chrome and filling in the holes then applying some filler over the welded up holes. It was in the middle of winter and it was pretty cold out behind the garage. Well to speed things up a little he handled me the torch to warm up the filler so that he could file it smooth. Remember I was around 10 years old and as a 10 year old I was getting pretty tired of this. In a moment of looking around, I place the torch head to close to the filler and it started on fire. No damage done and later he redid everything in lead. I learn much from that guy and often wonder where he is today and the two 57 Chevys.
     

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