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Was Anyone Here Actually There?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Tony Bones, May 8, 2005.

  1. fuel pump
    Joined: Nov 4, 2001
    Posts: 3,620

    fuel pump
    from Caro,MI

    I started high school in 59 but started reading every hot rod magazine I could find in the mid-fifties. Growing up in upstate New York there weren't a lot of hot rods or customs around but dirt track racing (flathead coupes) and road racing (Watkins Glen) were big. I went to my first road race at the Glen in 1950 and I remember it like it was yesterdsay. Started going to the local dirt tracks in 56. One of brothers draged me around to every race track we could find and we had a ball. I worked in a Mobil gas station all through junior high and high school. Learned a lot about cars that way. It really was a great time in so many ways. I'm glad I got to experience it. The hot rods and customs I liked then I still like today. Some things never change..... and I hope they never will.
  2. old beet
    Joined: Sep 25, 2002
    Posts: 5,750

    old beet

    Tony, I was there!. To learn more, check out Albert Drakes book "Where Were You In 52" I think thats the title. He remembers better than I........OLDBEET
  3. oldandkrusty
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,089


    Wow, another trip back in time! I love all these remembrances as it gives me time to jump in the "way back machine" (who could forget Mr. Peabody!) to the time my older brother brought home a pocket-sized copy of "Rodding and Restyling" circa 1956. I just about lost it over a black chopped '51 Merc that was on the cover. I was 13 and that was the beginning for me. I had been kinda into cars but, that little mag just popped me into the world of cars, all kinds of cars. It was really funny why my brother brought a car book home as he really didn't give a rat's patoot about modified cars and, to this day, neither of us can figure out why he did buy the mag. I really don't care as it was and is, the beginning for me.

    My first "old" car was my 1940 Ford Deluxe Tudor sedan which I bought in 1961 and which still sits in my garage awaiting a rebuild. When I bought the '40 it had a V-8 60 in it. It was woefully underpowered but, it had dual Smitties which, as far as I was concerned, more than made up for the car's inadequecies by sounding oh so perfect. I picked my girlfriend (now my wife of 41 years) up in that car the night I got it. She was not impressed to say the least. I smooth-talked her, and she could tell by my huge smile that this car was VERY important to me so she eased up on the insults. But, it wasn't long before the V-8 60 bit the dust due to a busted tranny (no speed shifts allowed) and in went a 296" flattie that I got from I guy who took it out of a dragster! What did I know, other than it sounded good. It had a four deuce manifold, Edelbrock I think, with 97s'. It never really ran right. Too much of a good thing, I think. The flattie gave way to a 283" SB hooked to the sock Ford drivetrain. That thing ran strong compared to the flattie! The SB then gave way to a 425" nailhead with dual quads. I got the engine and 4-speed trans from a wrecked '65 Buick Riviera GS. That was a lot of fun but, I was getting tired of shifting and so I extracted the 4-speed and put in a TH400. I drove the car everywhere. To the drags at Niagara Dragstrip, to the roundy-rounds out at Spencer, to the 2nd NHRA Nats in Memphis (to this day I regret not going to the first Nats in Peoria), to meet up with other street rodders from Buffalo and Ontario when we gathered at Shirkston Beach along Lake Erie. Damn, what a time we had!

    And then things got really organised and, to me, it seems as though much of the fun things stopped being fun. Don't get me wrong, I'm still having the time of my life with my old cars, it just doesn't seem to be same. I guess old age and memory have a way of doing that to us all. Anyway, thanks for kindling old flames.
  4. CherryBlossom
    Joined: May 25, 2003
    Posts: 1,390


    If you guys have any pictures of you back in that time period - It would be fun to see them :)

  5. A32Flathead
    Joined: Feb 16, 2004
    Posts: 9,498


    This thread is great, keep em coming guy's..... :D


  6. Not me, but my best friend CK.
    Pic taken summer of 1958.

    He moved to Kingman one month after I did and we're still running around doing hot rod stuff in our roadsters.

    Here's a pic of CK's roadster taken from my roadster.
    Runnin PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) or Hwy 101, headed south for a Malibu seafood joint and just across from Point Mugu Naval Air Weapons Station south of Oxnard.
    Pic taken July 05, 2002.

    You'll be pleased to know that his roadster is now painted flat black.
    That Baby S### yellow was beginning to wear....:D
  7. Bluto
    Joined: Feb 15, 2005
    Posts: 5,114

    Member Emeritus

    There are no 'Biker' photos of the backround of a book ob the H.A.
    you can see me pretty f'd up behind a campfire.... boy those guys could party!

    I managed to elude capture so no mug shots but I'm sure there are some in an FBI folder somewhere

    Lucky I got smart or I'd be writting this from the 'Graybar' :eek:

    Working on stuff saved my life....couldn't build the things I wanted to loaded!
  8. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,901


    Come back when you have some credentials kid.......;)
  9. I brought up this subject with an alterior motive: I wanted to show that the majority of us young guys don't know shit.

    Magazines and books are great, but they only show the tip of the iceberg. You guys are what's below the water.

  10. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,327


    Hey Rocky
    Daniel Webster School on Portrero Hill. I think that year the Ol' Man put a Schiefer clutch in the shops racecar. Hung a tag on it and told mom to drive it.

    She picked me up at school for a doctor visit, tried to do a u-turn in the street by the school and we ended up doing 360s. Several I think. Then we motored to the doctor, the ol man was already there when we pulled in (the principal called) to see if we were all right. That was when he told mom he changed the clutch.

    Damn I liked being a little kid.:D

    Of course that was the '60s and I'm still trying to remember.

    Something to remember about books about the good old days. They aren't wrong just not exactly right. None of those writters have talked to everyone from everywhere. I know that because non of 'em have talked to me :rolleyes:
    And we all remember things the way we want to, have you noticed that non of us have ever lost a race or owned a stone?
  11. gregga
    Joined: Feb 10, 2005
    Posts: 380


    hmentsBought the coupe I drove to work today in 1960. Had a 1955 Chevy wagon and a 1957 Chevy wagon and then a 1955 Del Ray using the 327 and 4-speed from the 1957. I didn't know the road and was distracted by my date. I have a 1934 Ford pickup I got in 1964 and sold the 1955 to make the down payment on a 1968 Z-28 which I barrel-rolled after hitting black ice. My 6 volt Pontiac radio would pick up WFAA in Dallas, KSL in Salt Lake, KOMA in Oklahoma City and I think the letters were CKAA in Canada, all after dark in South Dakota. Two friends had '40 tudors, one had a '37 Chevy coupe, one school teacher had a '30 roadster with a smallblock and stock rearend, my gradeschool janitor drove a '29 roadster pickup. I worked part-time in a gas station and pumped gas full service at 17.9 cents a gallon.
  12. blown49
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 2,213

    Member Emeritus

    Had a buddy with a '40 tudor cdan that replaced 18 tranmissions in his senior year of high school; woulda been in 1955. You could drag race from light to light downtown without being bothered by the cops. Drive in resturatnt didn't have drive-up windows then, had car hops, some on roller skates. Cost 'bout 25 cents for a gallon of gas and the same for a large, thick chocolate malt. Frequented a drive-in called the "Toot" in New Lebanon, OH. alot back then along with Frisches, Parkmoor and the "Hasty Tasty". Also didn't pump your own gas back then at all. Went to get gas one night, rainin' like hell, and when I told the guy 50 cents he went beserk. Had a spinner on my steering wheel, crusin' with my girl. Picked up her mother at work, turned a corner and the spinner caught in my coat! Almost did a 180 and I think her mother 'bout s*** herself.

    Damn those were the "Good ol' days."
  13. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,932


    My first car was a '56 Chevy, bought for $15 in 1961 when I was 15. It was in primer when I got it and had a 235 / 3 speed with a floor shift mounted backwards. I had to put in new brake lines and four used tires from the local junkyard (no "salvage" yards back then) and I thought I was a real mechanic. :rolleyes:

    I never did get used to the shifter being set up backwards and didn't know enough to fix it right. One time, I lined up for a Main St. drag and had it in reverse instead of first. I damn near hit the poor SOB in back of me. Drove that car for a year & a half and sold it for $25. One of my big regrets is never taking a picture of it. I guess I was too ashamed of driving a primered car when all my pals had shiny cars.

    Our big thing was "running Main St." back then. Back & forth looking for chicks and checking our testosterone level. Everybody in the car (as many as you could jamb in) would pitch in 15¢, a quarter or a half a buck, if you were lucky, and we rode for several hours, just enjoying the freedom of having your own wheels and being on your own. No drugs to worry about - hell, we didn't even know pot existed, except in our mom's kitchen. Worst we could do was to get an older guy to buy beer (in quarts, of course) and smokes (unfiltered was "manly"). White t-shirts with the sleeve rolled up, riding "shotgun" with your arm out the window and pressed against the car to make your biceps look bigger. Hair combed straight back and greased up with Brylcream ("A little dab'll do ya") and, of course, a foozle smack dab in the middle of your forehead.
    Yeah, we were cool or so we thought. It was a good time to be a kid.............
    dirty old man likes this.
  14. denis4x4
    Joined: Apr 23, 2005
    Posts: 3,326

    from Colorado

    Watched the Bean Bandits and the Speed Sport Special grudge races at Paradise Mesa.....Cyr & Hopper held the national record along with Cook & Bedwell.....Jesse Vandeventer was a national altered champ....Bruce Crower made U-Fab manifolds before he set records at Bonneville with a Hudson.....Paul Schiefer ran us off after we rode our bikes five miles to check out the cars at his shop....Don Vesco always had a project going behind the motorcycle shop...Bob Hardy photos were in every car book for years....Bob McCoy's '40 Ford still sets the standard....Thompson Tires sold Goodyear Blue Streaks via mail order and Ronnie Hurst sold dirt track tires at Cajon Speedway.....Bob Greene followed Wally Parks as HOT ROD editor....Eric "Rick" Rickman shot lots of tech stuff at Crower Cams....Jim Nelson & Dode Martin Dragmaster roadster frames have yet to be duplicated in quality and inovation.....The "Snake" had a '64 Chrysler wagon to tow his rail on a flatbed trailer to Carlsbad Raceway.....

    Yeah, I was there 50 years ago and still building bangers and paying through the nose for DP90! My cars have been built to please me, not to conform to an era, style or look.

    San Diego was a close second to LA for hot rod action. I think it's great that the 20 somethings have adopted the style of the 50's. However, I wouldn't have been caught dead wearing Dickies with cuffs to school. Watching "West Side Story" too many times can be hazardous to your health!
    dirty old man likes this.
  15. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,327


    I personally don't remember too many tough guys danceing and singing at each other. But I do remember when if you had a beef with someone getting cut or clubbed was about the worse that could happen.

    Of course the east coast is an entirely different world. :D
  16. 2002p51
    Joined: Oct 27, 2004
    Posts: 1,354


    I grew up in NJ in the '50s and '60s. Bought my first copy of Hot Rod in '61 and still have it. Got my first driver's license in '64 driving a '54 Chevy cheapo sedan. My best friend had a '50 Ford rag top with a flatty. We earned gas money working in a car wash and went to Island Dragway whenever we could. The '54 was always the slowest car there but we didn't care 'cause we were having a great time.
  17. Dreamweaver
    Joined: Feb 26, 2003
    Posts: 1,015


    Seems I'm younger than some and older than others. I lived next to Las Vegas and graduated from HS in 1970 so my perspective is a bit different.

    Never saw a pre-war hot rod in those days in Henderson/Las Vegas. Mostly tri 5 Chevys and Fords and lots of 60's muscle cars.

    I guess I was corrupted by my older brother who messed with old cars, mostly junkyard scores. He had a 57 Stude 2 door that he put a Stude V8 in on the side yard, seems he was always tossing driveshafts outa that one. He graduated to a 57 4door Chevy that he took to TJ to have a white tuck n roll job done on it.

    High school for me was all about mid to lates 60's muscle. One guy in HS bought a 66 Nova SS, 375horse 327 and a 4 speed, that was top dog in Henderson in the 60's. My senior year I was driving a 59 Renault cost me $50. I remember going to Thunderbird Raceway in Henderson with my brother, saw Art Afrons in the green monster blow the asphalt off the starting line one Friday night. Stardust Raceway was open then, went and saw the beginnings of the Can-Am series there, those Chaparall cars were awesome, injected BBCs!

    The cruise scene was mostly cruising Fremont Street, yes you could drive up and down Fremont street back then. We would start at 5th street and cruise up Fremont, turn around in the Union Pacific Railroad Station turnaround at the top of the street(where the Union Plaza is today) and then head back down the street. It was full of kids and cars every Friday and Saturday night.

    The early 70's saw me move up in the car world, bought a 59 Vette for $600, 283, WCBF, and a 4 speed. Thats when my street racing carrer started, good thing we didn't run for pinks or $$ or I would have been broker than dirt. My best buddy had a chrome yellow 62 vette with a full race 327 (hehe we actually called em that) he pretty much ruled the roost in Henderson tho some young guys tried to take the Chevy guys with a 70 440 GTX.

    I missed the whole early hot rod scene, weren't too many pre-war hot rods out here in the Vegas area.
  18. I'm newly impressed about the caliber of people that are here. It sure would have been great to be in the thick of it back then, however in some parts of the country even being there during the right time period didn't gaurantee there was hot rod action, it's a time AND location thing.

    Another thought, looks like some of the real hot rod guys have a low number of posts here, which means nothing other than "some" people better quit judging a person by the amount of posts they've made, which happens a lot here. I'm glad I've never been one of the ones that jumped in some 50yo guys' face for having only 22 posts who has more real life experience/knowledge in his little fingernail than they'll ever have. :)
  19. zorch
    Joined: Dec 7, 2005
    Posts: 217


    I'm 57, which means I was born in '51. Where I lived in the west SFV (San Fernando Valley, LA), the Con surf shop was just down the street, as was the Ekins Bros motorcycle shop. Von Dutch's Calabasas shop was basically in the neighborhood too. Gary Bang's chopper shop was in Canoga Park. We did some surfing, and ran all over LA and the whole state, really, in all kinds of great cars and bikes. We had guys in all the big motorcycle clubs around. I was riding an Indian Chief in 1971--not many around then. I got a hundred years of stories starting about 1964 and running thru I guess until I left LA in a '62 Chevy panel truck (former Helms bakery) in 1977. We got into hot and cold running beach bunnies in Venice, cruising Van Nuys Blvd. and sometimes down to Whittier Blvd., the Pacoima swap meet, blasting around Hollywood. It was a different world then--The Doors played Birmingham High School, for example. At 18 I took a job as a Cushman mechanic in Glendale--it was year-round work and paid okay.

    I drove that 62 Chevy panel truck, btw, from LA to Key West, up to Canada, spent a winter in Vermont, back to LA, back to Vermont and back to LA again before it finally cracked a block. It and my butt were way too familiar by then and I sold it.

    I could roll on this forever. But I guess it qualifies me as having been there, no?
  20. Doc Squat
    Joined: Apr 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,375

    Doc Squat
    from tulsa, ok

    Was there in 1958 with a 35 Ford pick-up. Got it from a farmer. Was covered with mostly chicken shit and very little paint. They would call it patima now, back then we just called it shitty paint.
    Like I told the kid, "Your music's not too loud, it just sucks and so does OKC!"
    dirty old man likes this.
  21. HRK-hotrods
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 922


    I agree... Some guys on here would be better off shutting up and listening instead of, well, you know what they do...

    My dad grew up in the late 50's/early 60's. I used to listen to him tell me stories of the local guys and thier cars and I can pretty much tell you thier names and what cars they drove and the names of the cars too. I've learned a lot from my dad and I still have a lot to learn. He is the FIRST person I go to for "traditional" advice...;)
    dirty old man likes this.
  22. Man... I haven't seen this in a while... Where are you guys finding these "old threads"...?:cool:
  23. HRK-hotrods
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 922


    LOL! I thought the same thing... I didn't do it though ;)
  24. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 4,872

    Deuce Daddy Don

    I'm only 76 & still love driving my 32 roadster! YEP, born in the good year----1932 in Inglewood, Ca.---Late forties produced a multitude of "gear heads"----Inglewood was kinda the "hub" of not only fast cars (Pierson), but lots of customs as well (McKinnley), of course those of us drooled over all these beauties, & would try to make our own cars a little bit "customized" as my first car shows my feeble attempts on my 1941 Chevy in 1949.-----------------Don
  25. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 4,872

    Deuce Daddy Don

    After Korea, my love for hot rods continued to present!!:D
  26. I got my drivers license in '66 and was reading all the car magazines way before that. It was so big back then and it was all that mattered to most guys my age. The muscle cars and drag racing were hitting it big then around here. My first car was a '51 Ford that I got from my brother and then I had a '57 Chevy all through high school that I spent every cent I had on. Worked at the local grocery store and then at a couple of gas stations (before the self-service stations). Cruising the loop, looking for street races and girls. Those were the days!
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
  27. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,559


    You bet your ass I was there. I got my first car in 1954 at the age of 13, it was a '39 Ford pickup, traded that for a Chopped Model A pickup with a flathead in it. In 1957 I traded the Model A for a '32 3 Window that I drove all through High School. Like a idiot, I sold the 3 window & bought a 50 Chevy coupe. Went big time in '61 with a '58 Biscaynne, hurst shifter, with a 283 SBC. I used to race that at Lions and still have a few of the trophies. A string of cars came along with the others I mentioned, some were traded & some were built. It was a great time that will never be repeated and I am thankful that I got to live it. Your car defined who you were back then and it was a close knit fraternity. Crusin', street racing and picking up chicks. American Graffiti was pretty much on the money, things be3gan to change about '62. It was a great time to be alive.

    Im 42, so I LOVE hearing these stories from the guys who created what we call OUR hobby. Nothing could be further from the truth !!

    I have a new respect for you guys....let's keep these stories coming. Its great to be able to drink in every word and feel lke you were there and these are the tales we need to hear to help us keep the flame alive.

    Its getting harder to find the kinda guys who will tell you about their experiences, (much like the WWII generation that is leaving us too) so this thread is absolute GOLD for someone like me.

    So lets hear some more stories....keep em comin and THANK YOU !!

  29. I've posted on similar threads like this one,but here goes again.Graduated high school in 1951..Had a '30 roadster that I put a v8-60 in..Have owned about every kind of hot rod that I would kill for to have today...I'm 75 today and still have a 32 5-window,3 1/2 chop.full fenders,Red Ram powered.that will probably be my last one.Rather than go into a bunch of personal stories,the BEST depiction of the fifties is "American Grafitti"..They couldn't have hit the nail on the head any better.Right down to us getting some older guy to go in and get us a six pack...These young guys of today should listen a little more to the older guys.Maybe they could learn some respect,knowledge and how to accept some good advice.wouldn't hurt from them to learn a little grammer and spelling also. enough from this old fart!!!!!!!!!!
    I edit this post as I am now 83,,,was 75 when posted 8 years ago
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
    bowie likes this.
  30. [QUOTEThese young guys of today should listen a little more to the older guys.Maybe they could learn some respect,knowledge and how to accept some good advice.wouldn't hurt from them to learn a little grammer and spelling also. enough from this old fart!!!!!!!!!![/QUOTE]

    Could'nt agree more, well said !!


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