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first exposure to hot rods

  
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first exposure to hot rods

 
bairdto bairdto
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 04/13
Posted: 04/27/13
01:35 PM

In answer to Rob's request, I was first exposed to hot rodding in 1956 at the age of 11 when my brother was taking off the hood chrome strip on his first car, a 1949 Ford shoe box.  We lived in Woodland Hills at the end of Natoma Drive and one day a sky blue 48 Ford vintage car came up our driveway with no hood.  It was a friend of my brother named Regis, a stocky tough looking dude with bad acne scars.  He was showing his car to my dad and my brother and telling them all about the flathead v-8 in it.  I was barely able to peer over the top of the fender to see the glittering chrome of the acorn nuts, water tubes, air cleaners, etc.  In school during the borring class lectures, I began to teach myself how to draw the side view of a flathead.  I new about the fins on the heads, the radiator tubes, the generator, the air cleaners and that last thing behind the last carb closest to the firewall (fuel pump).  I knew nothing of how any of this stuff worked, just where it went on my drawings.
   Our family relocated to Los Altos and my in-class doodling progressed.  I learned how to change a straight side view of a tire into an elipse and then place the rest of the car into perspective.  I quickly learned to draw 32 duece coupes from the rear only showing the right rear fender, running boards, a little bit of the engine, the radiator, headlamp and the front fender.  I always turned the right front fender more to the right to show the lug nuts.  These were always pencil drawings and somehow I learned how to make chrome.  Wow, that was big time.  Flatheads turned into OHV engines with finned valve covers with "T-bolts".  6-71 polished blowers found their way into my drawings along with the T-bucket from 77 Sunset Strip.  A few trips to Fremont Drag Strip and the full bodied front engine dragster with a blown Chrysler engine became part of my reputaure.  
   The doodling continued throughout high school, but the hot rod seed got planted when a high school buddy and I started building "his" 28 Ford roadster pickup.  My parents would not allow me to have a hot rod, so I worked with my friend on his.  We used an Olds v-8 with a Hydromatic.  It never made it to the street but we did drive it around the culdesac where he lived.  Then he discovered girls, his dad bought him a 49 Olds convertible, he filled it up with ladies and I retreated back home to my dad's garage where he let me build a mini bike with a Clinton engine.
    To end this story, somehow I graduated high school, started life with dirt bikes and v-drive boats and finally in 1982 bought 31 Chev 1-1/2 flatbed truck with the hopes of building my first hot rod.  Two divorces later and finally finding the love of my life, I am building her a hot rod.  It is her 65 Mustang which she used as a single mom raising two kids.  It finally died in the early 90's, but she managed to keep it asleep untill I came along.  I re-built it first as a typical 200 six 3spd and we used it a lot from 1998 until 2009.  But it was just another Mustang.  Now I am 3/4 thru the second rebuild and it has a 302-C4 drivetrain, PS, PB, 10" wide tires front and rear, 6" wider track front and rear, 3" deep fender flares, real side exhaust, very low to the ground, and a front spoiler.  The theme of it is an SCCA road race car.
     Did the old 31 Chev survive?  Yes, although I have not touched it in 12 years, it sits up on a hoist in it's 1st mock up stage; 427 BBC, BDS blower, THM400, Jag rear, Mustang II front.  Will it get finished?  It is #4 on the list (finish the Mustang, finish the house, restore the Stevens v-drive, then the roadster pick-up).  It is good to be retired finally!