The musings of a cantankerous over the hill greasemonkey who, though already old, is rather old for his age. I'll bust greasy knuckles out in the garage or argue politics with anyone who will stand for it....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Where it all started...

In 1974 I was just a normal gawky nerd kid who played in the Junior high band, got good grades and delivered my newspapers every afternoon after school. Yeah.. that's right. I was the kid people were standing in line to beat up for no particular reason. I was just the perfect target. Along with the normal things 13 year old kids think about, I had an unhealthy obsession with old cars. I would dream of owning and doing a ground up restoration on an old Ford... preferably a Model A.

That summer, while I was away at band camp (I know... now you're thinking about beating me up too....) my folks, who were very tolerant of my geek nature, schemed a surprise for me. When I returned home from camp, I found in the garage a ratted out 1930 Model A pickup. I was absolutely beside myself with joy over this thing. I am sure the only person happier that day than me was the wife of the guy that sold that rattletrap to my Dad for a song and got it out of HER garage.

This was to be a Father/son project, but due to my obsession with the car, I had the old rig stripped to the bare frame before my Dad knew what hit him. You see, I was already sure I knew what to do. Prior to getting the 'A' I spent much of my spare time reading restoration guides and shop manuals. I swear I knew what was behind every inspection cover and in every corner of that machine before I ever touched it.

We got the chassis back together and running good that next summer. I would start that thing up and back it up and down our driveway dreaming of the day I get to drive it out on the open road. I recall a few visits from the local police scolding me to keep it in the yard. While I didn't have the guts to venture too far, I was often out in the road in front of our house. They never bothered me too bad... I think I just had a geriatric neighbor or two that were convinced I was up to no good and the cops felt obliged to at least be seen talking to me.

I wish I had saved more pictures of the car, but while a number were taken,there are only a few to be found anymore. Someday when my kids are cleaning out my attic for the estate sale they may find a few more.

That old Ford was the start of a lifelong obsession with internal combustion. Cars, 4x4s, motorcycles, snowmobiles, boat motors, you name it. I could care less. If it would get me greasy and smelling like stale gas, I was up for it. I'm 48 now and it has only gotten worse...

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