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Hot Rods What was your closest call to disaster while driving vintage car

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Darin Younce, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. Darin Younce
    Joined: May 8, 2019
    Posts: 576

    Darin Younce

    I was just thinking back ,in 1976 my dad had a nice 40 ford coupe, really nice black enamel paint , rolled and pleated interior , 327 , 3 speed. Me and my buddies took it out one night when dad was out of town, went down some dirt roads, it had been raining and if you ever been on a Saluda County SC red clay dirt road when wet, you will understand . I about lost control on a curve, well I did lose it but kept it on road somehow. I fishtailed 5 or 6 times . I can still have nightmares about how I was going to explain that to dad. Funny thing , I always was a pretty safe driver and under normal circumstances would never have taken that car on any dirt road but that night I was being purty stupid.
  2. MO54Frank
    Joined: Apr 1, 2019
    Posts: 384


    “Me and my buddies...” seems to explain your loss of good judgment. :cool:
  3. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,354


    May we assume that an "Adult Beverage" may have been involved??
  4. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,826

    from norcal

    Doing a break stand, my big ass foot kept my accelerator peddle from releasing.....break slid into a 4x4.........bent axel and hair pin....didn’t think to TURN IT OFF

  5. chopped
    Joined: Dec 9, 2004
    Posts: 1,977


    Tampa quite a few years ago. Guy cuts off my 36, I hit the breaks and wife screams ---- you and shoots the bird. He pulls a gun and points it at us. Spoiled my day.
    chryslerfan55, Boden, nochop and 4 others like this.
  6. Fordors
    Joined: Sep 22, 2016
    Posts: 3,137


    Driving my ‘32 5W to Memphis for the SR Nats back in the ‘80’s we got caught in a fierce thunderstorm. This was the days of Goodyear N-50 x 15 tires (wide and not good in the rain) and I was trying to keep up with a friend in his Model A so I changed lanes at speed. My wife immediately said “We’re hydroplaning aren’t we?” I eased out of the throttle, let the car settle down and rode it out with nothing more than dirty shorts.
  7. brianf31
    Joined: Aug 11, 2003
    Posts: 616


    Back around '99, right after I built my coupe the first time. I had an axle bearing on the Ford 8" go out. The exhaust was so loud that I couldn't hear the bearing start it's death song. It finally generated enough heat that the bearing
    retention collar worked it's way loose.

    After a curve or two, the axle walked right out of the housing. I felt the car sit down and looked in the rearview to see a rooster tail of sparks. With no fenders to stop it's exit, the axle and wheel passed me as I slid to a halt.

    My oldest son, who was 4 years old at the time, was riding with me. He looks up and simply says "Great, now we'll never get home!
    G and Me.jpg
  8. Darin Younce
    Joined: May 8, 2019
    Posts: 576

    Darin Younce

    Funny thing, my buddies all drank and I was always the designated driver not that I never drank but very little.
    ffr1222k likes this.
  9. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,988

    Bandit Billy

    Just last Friday on our way to the local cruise-in, my wife said she was disappointed with herself that she had gained a few pounds during COVID and I told her that she was never that thin to begin with. That was a close one.
  10. Darin Younce
    Joined: May 8, 2019
    Posts: 576

    Darin Younce

    Man , this is crazy, no need for folks to get that upset over traffic issues.
  11. Darin Younce
    Joined: May 8, 2019
    Posts: 576

    Darin Younce

    Wow, I never hydroplaned , my bro did , wrecked , flipped in median. Described it as most useless feeling had absolutely no control.
    chryslerfan55, Boden and VANDENPLAS like this.
  12. Darin Younce
    Joined: May 8, 2019
    Posts: 576

    Darin Younce

    Ha, sorry but love your sons reply.
  13. Darin Younce
    Joined: May 8, 2019
    Posts: 576

    Darin Younce

    You get the medal of honor for bravery.
  14. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,739


    Back in early 2012 in my '37 Chevy pickup - On sunday morning, I was almost t-boned by a little econobox on the way to the breakfast cruise-in. Stop signs must be optional in this fella's country. I was in the right hand lane doing between thirty and thirty-five when I saw he was going to pull into the same lane from a side street without slowin' down. I was only about sixty feet away. Even if the Deerslayer's brakes were "good, the tires fair", getting stopped was not an option. I got a horn blast off before I veered into the center lane. I was only about three-quarters there when I passed him. In that split-second, I held my breath, waiting for the impact from the shitbox on the right or the ford exploder one car length back in the center lane I was tryin' to get into, or both. Didn't happen and I got back into the right lane before lookin' into the rear view mirror. The shitbox was stopped halfway into my lane behind me and the exploder had moved to the far left lane. I waved my thanks at the ford's driver before making my right turn onto the street that would take me on to the breakfast group. At no time were the brakes touched during this incident.
  15. Three come to mind:
    - 1n 1966 I had a 1957 Ford retractable that needed parts so I bought a 57 mordoor for parts. My Father towed it home with a rope on the freeway. We got pretty big surprise when drivers rear wheel came off and took rusty quarter panel with it. Put spare on a robbed lug nuts from each of other wheels to limp home.
    In early eighties I bought my wife a right hand drive 1948 MGTC. I was showing it to my friend on highway and just as I was turning left a real car past on the left. Quite a view from down low n Close on his side. Close call and pretty sure my friend had to change his shorts.
    Lastly involved a collision. I had a careless mechanic do a brake job on my 1956 Chevrolet Sport Sedan (4 door hardtop) Bel Air. The front right brake hose rubbed until a hole let all the brake fluid out. Going down hill to stop sign put foot down to NO BRAKES. Too quick too pull parking brake. Nailed rear of foreign car which leaped ahead to another foreign car at stop sign. Everyone ok except foreign cars. I drove home needing bumper, grille and fender. I still use that mechanic (me) but more respectful of brake hose placement. Live n learn.

    1 more car I promise, Rex Winter
    Dry n windy Lubbock TX
  16. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,008


    A few years ago bringing back a fresh 40 coupe from the upholstery shop. It was in 5 o'clock rush hour traffic in town! Lost the brakes. Was sure glad the emergency brakes worked well. Drove it in the traffic VERY CAREFULLY all the way home-scary as hell-I had a guy with me--he was petrified. One of the new front braided hoses let go! Got rid of those and never used them again.
    Many years ago we were going home from the circle track races. It was about midnight and we were coming up on stop sign at a highway in her black 55. Hit the brakes-NONE! Blew thru the stop sign onto the main highway and almost went into an orchard but got it straightened out and slowly went to a little gas station and parked it. He had a wrecker and took us and the car to Ukiah where we got a ride home. Broken front brake hose.Damn scary.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  17. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,409


    Happened just last weekend. Went for a little shakedown ride. Car crosses centerline, half of her car in my lane. Finally, she looks up from cell phone and swerves back into her lane at the last second. Not fond of cell phone use while driving!!!
  18. Darin Younce
    Joined: May 8, 2019
    Posts: 576

    Darin Younce

    I bet breakfast was hard to enjoy after that, well actually it was probably damn good.
    LAROKE likes this.
  19. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 277


    Ha, I had a gun pointed at me driving in Madison Wisconsin once. Nothing came of it.

    My closest hot rod almost was when some lady pulled right out in front of my c10, sans power brakes, steering, etc. I stomped the brake, and had no other choice. The rear end came around and next thing I was going backwards along a ditch at 40 mph. Lady took off. After I stopped shaking I pulled out and got it home, no damage. Got lucky. That truck was still in project mode at the time and I was working on the drums. I was driving around the block checking out something, only a couple hundred yards from home...
  20. Darin Younce
    Joined: May 8, 2019
    Posts: 576

    Darin Younce

    Love your honesty
  21. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 25,484

    Jalopy Joker

    High School: My '55 Chevy was totaled by a drunk hitting from the rear ; Wife totaled her Mom's '65 GTO hydroplaning in rain with cheater slicks that her Brother had just put on car - later: in My Chevy II in Texas hit black ice on highway and slid off road but, keep foot in it and was able to drive back up embankment onto highway - same Chevy II hit Texas Armadillo that put a hole in gas tank
    chryslerfan55 and brianf31 like this.
  22. Darin Younce
    Joined: May 8, 2019
    Posts: 576

    Darin Younce

    agree, folks are just stupid.
  23. Driving my 1955 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer through San Diego once, I went to make a left turn and the steering shaft broke. I pulled into an intersection and waited for traffic to clear in order to make a left turn. I went ahead and started making my left turn and the car kept turning left after I tried to straighten it out. Damn near ran into oncoming traffic, but ended up on some guy's lawn. The steering knuckle under the hood snapped and there went my steering control. Scary stuff. I had just gotten off of the freeway. Picture 26042.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  24. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,221


    I was stopped in my ‘37 waiting for oncoming traffic to pass so I could make a left turn, suddenly I heard tires squealing. Fortunately the driver of the speeding 3/4 ton Dodge Ram swerved right at the last second to avoid smoking me from behind. He jumped the curb and ended up in the ditch, I made my turn then got out to check on him. He started to blame me for his wreck, I shut him down saying WTF and pointing to my still blinking turn signal. I can’t say for certain but I suspect he was texting...
  25. Darin Younce
    Joined: May 8, 2019
    Posts: 576

    Darin Younce

    When I was about 14 , dad had a 47 ford coupe( my son has it now) it was my first car I really did any work on. I decided to take it for a spin around a dirt road right next to shop. I didn't have steering wheel, so I clamped some vise grips on the shaft and had no seat, so I sat on a drywall bucket and off I went . Never thought about checking brakes , fluid or hoses . Got near end of dirt road where in intersected highway, pressed brakes, poosh, pedal went to floor, just so happened to be a soybean field on my right( nothing planted there at time) so I made a big circle with all the furrows in the field I ended up on floor still holding on to those vise grips and came to a stop . Shook the shit out of me and car but no damage. Poor ole dad and his coupes.
  26. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,643

    from Zoar, Ohio

    50 Chevy pickup. Trial run right out of the garage after restoration.
    Doing 55, my hood decided to open on a two way busy road. I about shit.

    Another. Leaving a Notre Dane game at night. Setting in a line waiting to turn into a four lane entrance. Kids in the back seat.
    Looked in my mirror to see a set of headlights heading for my rear at 60mph.
    Couldn’t do a thing but watch it happen.
    The very last second the driver turned left and missed my side by inches.
    Don’t ever want to be in that position again.
  27. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,826

    from norcal

  28. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,724

    from PNW

    Not driving, but towing. Mid 80's, flat towing an Anglia drag car I'd just bought through Neb. on I80. Having covered that same stretch for many years I set the cruise control and assumed my normal driving position. Feet and legs stretched out on the front seat, head resting on drivers window, book propped up on the steering wheel. Settled in for the mind numbing trip home. Cruising along about 70, looking up between pages and all is well. Look up again and see all lanes full, a bit crowded, but I don't see brake lights so I go back to my book. Look up again and realize that nobody's moving. I hit the brakes, the Anglia decides it doesn't like stopping and lifts the back of my truck just enough to get my attention. I pump the brakes again and head straight for the emergency lane. Get the whole thing stopped with my front bumper even with the windshield of the car I'd just missed. Driver of the car peeks his head out over the passenger door (I think he had hit the floor) and the look on his face was priceless. Seems there was an accident up ahead, and that was the cause for the stopped traffic. I learned an important lesson that day. I switched to 'large print' books.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  29. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,423


    Fordor's hydroplaning incident reminds me of mine. I was driving my buddy Bill's '40 Dodge coupe with the guys in the car club to meet with another club from Montana at Logan's Pass which is full of hairpin curves. It was raining and foggy the whole time. Every time I hit a patch of water, the car would just go snakey on me. It was good that we were going slow due to the foggy conditions but it was a white knuckle ride the whole way. We had built the car a few years before this and I had driven it before in the rain with no problems. A week later, Bill was driving the car and the left front spindle collapses on him but the brake caliper held the car together. We had done a Nova subframe graft on the car and it had drum brakes. When Bill located a disc brake setup, he didn't want to bother me and had another friend help with the swap. He must have got the wheel bearings too tight and the wheels would just seize enough when I hit a patch of water to cause the wild ride.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  30. About 20 something years ago, I was driving my 1955 Chevrolet two door post sedan, I had just bought a dozen box of donuts. I was on my way to see a honey. I was following a buddy of mine in his 1955 Chevrolet. both of us were moving right along, when I remembered he like to give people a brake test. Luckily, I remembered just in time. He hit the brakes hard, so did I. Fortunately I had excellent tires, and excellent brakes. I damn near stood my two door on it's front bumper. Today, I still find it hard to believe, but both doors flew open, and I had donuts all over the place. After I cleaned my shorts, I continued on my way to the go to see the honey. I just brushed the flotsam and jetsam off of the donuts, she never knew the difference.
    seb fontana and chryslerfan55 like this.

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