The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by bobg1951chevy, Dec 1, 2016.
And I was trying to figure what all the hoopla was about chocolate milk. Yoohoo....smh
So my buddies and I were tossing a football around in the front yard one day, and this blond divorcee that I'd done some work on an off topic Trans Am came by and asked me if I wanted to hang out at her house and I said no (f'ing idiot that I was at 18)! Yes, this is a true story; Yes, she was pretty damn good loooking; Yes, my dad was also outside and heard this; and Yes, He's STILL giving me shit about it 35 years later! I'd go back and say yes!
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LOL, when you get finally get that car that you like, it's like finding a good pair of shoes or slippers, that just feel right.
Somehow, when you find that "match" with that special car, paying out for repairs doesn't feel as painful.
What would you guys have done differently, if you could go back ?
WEDDLE NICHOLS late edition green hot rod for St. Patrick’s Day.
Great premise for a topic. If we could go back to 1959, we had the knowledge that is available today, what an improvement in our society. But, not all would be as clear for information recovery. There would be people that would take advantage of that situation to give themselves information that would do harm to others for profit. Money would then be the root of all evil.
But, just for this short story line, if we could go back to that timeline place, I would have jotted down the names of people who build, raced and drove those classic hot rods. I probably jotted down their names and race cars. Sometimes, those little things get lost in the long history of growing up and moving many times. I can see that in my early drag racing movies, my brother and I were avid readers of Drag News every week and knew each of the top racers in the categories as we saw most at Lions Dragstrip weekly. We knew those racers that we saw every week.
So, the leap to having written down the names would be a natural thing to do for anyone. When we used to see the developed 16 mm color movies a week later at home on the big roll down screen and the 16 mm projector, all time stopped and we were in awe. It was Lions Dragstrip in our own room, where we did tons of homework, shown in living color. Those days certainly livened up our household. With a bunch of teenagers yelling out the names and classes of race cars we saw on the screen.
Our first drag race/street legal car for the Gas Coupe and Sedan Class was the 1940 Willys with a 283, LaSalle and a 4:11 rear end gears. It was supposed to be a street legal hot rod that could also be used to cruise all around Bixby Knolls. It was going to be my brother’s teenage hot rod, as he wanted to be the fastest in his local HS group. So, the 58 Impala would one day fall into my possession as my first car.
Our history with the Willys Coupe was varied as we found out that it was a two person hot rod with no room for taking other friends. Actually, to be comfortable, it really was a single person hot rod as the aluminum moon gas tank and pump system took up the floor space in front of the passenger seat. (after our first go round with the 283, I found out that my teenage legs had to be cramped up or squeezed over to the side to clear the Moon Tank on our local street cruising sojourns.)
We were having so much fun with the Willys Coupe and were proud of what we had done so far. The thought of getting a 4 door Willys sedan was fading and the idea of our friends sitting in the back seat during our cruises became a memory. So, we would not have a Gas Coupe/Sedan like Jr. Thompson’s 4 door or the 2 door sedan like the Al Hirshfield/Doug Cook/Howard Cam Studebaker.
Those had enough room for cruising around with our friends and go fast at the same time… So our thoughts wandered.
But, as the years and memories go by at a rapid rate, things just get misplaced and questions arise. Who was this 1941 Willys sedan that was at the same historic drag racing event and looked like a class champion? We even saw the record holder (green 4 door Willys sedan) sitting in the pits on the same day. Should we have built a sedan for our street legal class at Lions Dragstrip and the Bixby Knolls cruising scene?
Every time we look at the old films that I took back then, there was the fleeting thought that maybe we should have built a sedan and not a coupe. When we see sedans race and sound good doing that, it made us wonder. In late 1959, we saw a sedan that brought that idea back to our discussion table. So, does anyone have a clue as to who built, managed, owned and drove this powerful, red primered Willys sedan? It sure looked like a record setter all day of drag racing.
red primer Willys sedan
Despite all of the notoriety of the Weddle, Nichol, Peters Willys Sedan, this similar 4 door Willys sedan was front and center in the Gas Coupe/Sedan Classes all day. It was powerful, very fast and impressive.
1959 Riverside Raceway Willy Sedan, big shift!
you can look back, but it's best not to stare..........
My regret centers on my '39 Fargo. Should have never attempted stuffing in a Ford 300 six into it. Just because the intake and exhaust are on the same side as the old flathead doesn't make it a good idea. In retrospect, the old six made enough power and the 3 speed non-synchro trans were the neatest things going for it. Should have just lowered it and called it good.
I would not hit a field driveway and roll the car.........
I would have finished it.
If I could go back. To hell with the cars, I would buy all the Microsoft stock with every dime I had.LOL
It’s fun to look back at 1965, senior in high school, a ‘55 Chevy 210 2dr.Sedan w/348 and hurst shifted 3 spd. manual transmission. Those were great carefree times. Graduation in June,1966. Plan was get it painted, which I did and purchase a new Muncie 4spd. From local Chevy Dealer, $250.00, as best I remember. Worked all summer to get that transmission. Drafted December,1966. Never got it,damn...................I miss that car!
Wish I still had this one...37 Chevy coupe I had in highschool....
I woulda sprung for a gallon of anti freeze instead of draining the water every night!!!
.................sweet little 2 door coupe 54 Ford with a 312 Y-block.........
(You know it came a HARD freeze and popped the freeze plugs out......and I broke one of the rings cranking it!!..you know that, don't you?!!)
How much was antifreeze in 1964?! 50 cent?!
Recently speaking with a good friend from back in the Long Beach hot rod/drag racing days, I was told about a cool story that ended with some hilarity. My brother was always quite about what took place with his teenage days in high school and cruising. I have to find his old school mates and pry out a story or two.
Jotting them down will one day go into a short story for his two grown sons, that know very little to none, about my brother’s escapades. It would have been a classic moment to be there, to see my brother sitting there with a flashlight shining in his eyes… Even his own brother, me, did not hear of this classic Bixby Knolls Cherry Avenue story until recently.
The real location and feeling…
I was three school years behind my brother and that was enough for him to have his own high school experiences different than mine. He had already graduated by the time I rolled into the sophomore year at our high school. The Long Beach school system had the 9th grade classes at what was then called Junior High School. Even though, the school records for the 9th grade were lumped into the whole high school curriculum grading system for future use. There were plusses and minuses for that scenario.
One, we were the top echelon status at the junior high school. But then, the lowest level as sophomores at the real high school campus. Two, other So Cal schools had the 9th grade classes on the high school campus, allowing those freshmen to participate in a 4 year on campus high school experience. That included sports and all activities. Although we were technically high school freshmen, we were given the low status as just Junior High School kids.
So, as my friend and I were discussing the high school shenanigans, up pops this story about his 1934 Ford 5 window coupe with the big Oldsmobile motor. (this 1934 Ford 5 window was a trophy winning coupe at Lions Dragstrip in the A/Gas class, and it was a daily driver to high school/jobs.) We also, included the Bixby Knolls scene that almost played out every week for many years.
It happened to many teenagers as their time in the cruising/hot rod era came to pass, then moved on with their post high school years. From 1960 to 64, our teenage high school group escaped the dreaded stink eye of the law during the experiences there.
"Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent."
“Don de don, don… don de don, don…DONNNNN…”
There is always the classic: “Just the facts, ma’am…” (Dragnet from 1955-70)
“Once at Grissinger’s, James, Leo, and myself were there in my '34 in the last space in the back row. Some guy in a Vette came thru and chose everyone off and when he got to me, he said, "Want to go or are you chicken shit like the rest of these guys". The race was on.
We went over to Cherry and Leo climbed from the seat, over the back, into the trunk. We raced and I beat him. I then made a U turn and did a tach run, going North on Cherry, and got in the left turn lane to go back to the start. I looked over at the start and everyone was scattering. Just then the sheriff lit me up and pulled me over. Your brother and I got out of the car and they frisked us, sat us down and were lecturing us when Leo hopped out of the car. The cops had their backs to him and Leo scared them. As they turned, they each went for their guns. Leo was just shortly out of surgery and was limping, they accused him of being drunk and he said, "No, just crippled".
Then the cops started going over my car, no front bumper, front license plate wired on not bolted, no emergency brake, brake lights not working.... They said I was going over a 100 mph, I said, "no way, its geared for the quarter mile and tops out at “88," of course not true. After more lectures he said that I had between $400 and $450 in fines. I had just turned 18 and had no idea where I would get that kind of money. Then he said he would let me off with a 60 in a 35. I was relieved but realized it was a 45 zone and pointed it out, he went ballistic and told the one cop to watch us while he checked out the sign. He was mad as a hornet and told me he would see me again and I better have everything fixed. I was quite lucky. I never raced there again. I always think about it when Grissinger’s is mentioned.”
Despite being fairly close to my brother in age and in favorite things to do, this story never came out back then. He was known as a quiet guy that got things done, so maybe that was his persona. At home he did talk, but not about Grissinger’s Drive-In or Cherry Avenue racing. But, whenever he went to Reath Automotive and listened to the ideas and facts given to him, he did come home and tell me what was said. Facts and ideas from Joe Reath were like gold.
Note: Despite the age differences, I became friends with my brother's good friend, (the owner of the 34 Coupe) later on after high school. We all started racing desert motorcycles and started hanging out together. When my brother went back to graduate school, his close friend and I even went to Baja to race in a few beach/sand/water/hillsides racing events together. Then, by all coincidences, I knew his future wife in college.
I have no regrets about my first old car. My 57 Bel Air was a beater 4 door, which was a perfect car for a high school kid to cut his teeth on the old car hobby. At that time, just figuring out how to do a job was a major hurdle, since I had no experience working on cars of any type and had no family with experience to help. So it was a big help to not have to hunt for parts, too, and anything I needed for the 283 was readily available and low priced.
I got my 57 Ford when I was 18, and my regret with that car was not keeping the Y block. It was a lot more work to shoehorn a different engine package in, even though I have been very happy with that drivetrain over the last 17 years. In hindsight, I could have sourced, or even built, a nice Y block, put a better carb and ignition on, and swapped it to a 5 speed, and had as much fun or more for much less money.
49 Chevy moredoor with no brakes. If I had to do it all again, I'd find a better starting point.
Yeah, in retrospect, if I could go back I would have worked harder to get what I really wanted the first time.
I paid $75 for a 47 Ford coupe. What did I have to lose?
Separate names with a comma.