You know every now and again you hear someone say, "yea, I had one of them back in the day". Well I did to. For about three years or so.
Back in 76 I did take out my first loan. It was $2g to build a hot rod.
I had good intentions, but of the $2g $1800 was spent in a week on a 69 Charger. The other $200 bought a months rent ,a ounce of weed and a couple packs of smokes. I do remember.
A 1969 Dodge Charger, vinyl roof, blue on blue, 383 4bbl, 727 automatic. Something about being young and having fun, with this car I did. Some where along the way I was able to install headers and dual exhaust, shift kit was popular in the day as well who could forget traction bars. Single car garage, floor jack, couple of stands and hand tools.
After a couple of years and a drivers fender bender from following to close, my buddy Darcy, aspiring apprentice taking autobody, offered to rework what I had done with the White Lightening Bondo and give it a repaint for $250.
Complete with a R/T stripe, she was a beauty.
Now a moot point of interest is that a can of the original paint for touch up I still had 35+ years later.
Painted two tanks and one helmet with it a few year back, go figure eh?
The car ended up with some N50-15's on back looking very Hot Wheels when $4500 was offered and it was gone forever.
Anyways, I like Mopar because they looked good with hood scoops.
1984...$250 for a TR7, $650 for a motor/tranny from a S-10 Chev. I had an idea?
Only thing to allow a TR7 hood to close and fit over a Chevy V-6 was big hole cut in it and a scoop from a Mopar lol... That paint job cost $400. I did the body repairs on the Triumph and the scoop install, Tig welded in a Ford Taurus sunroof as well. But the scoop for me was the bomb. Learned about installing a motor/trans, shifter and electrical. Over drive in the 200r4 actually was a lock up, and I got it to lock? I can't believe it either.
I'm telling you, a fella learned a lot from car magazines in the days before the internet.
After that I stopped paying for most things automotive. To those doing something instead of nothing, even if it ain't what the rest might be doing, I salute you.
But after all those year and all those cars, I still have my original Coupe and it's coming along slowly. I might yet, one day drive it? But it sure doesn't appear I'm in any rush to do so?
Show off your work! Anything from final results to full start-to-finish project journals.
It was your post that brought out the memories. Your recent back story as well seems proof Dodge/Mopar lit the flame for many. We many not be able to relive those days, but we sure can remember them.
I can relate to your post as well but who Cant relive it?
I have to admit I been more than a little bit Lazy on my weekends as of the last few years my Satellite should have been done long ago as should have my Pontiac project.
But My kid Calvin keeps the shop busy and a mess lately while my stuff keeps getting pushed to the side, I know excuses!!!
I really did have plan's on going to Vegas this morning and buying the steel I need to get the Pontiac on the rotisserie though.
Oh and I need to stop by the Machinist and Give him some money something about if I want my Parts back and Corvette to ever run again? He has to do the work on the Plymouth's engine so I have to keep him happy, but I keep putting off buying the Stroker kit for the Plymouth and I still need to finish Porting those heads for the silly Vett engine.
Back in the day I had a 72 Charger with a built 440 I picked up with a bad crank I rebuilt it and drove the heck out of it till It was time to go off to school and it was sold.
It was fast very fast. Took me 30 Years to Find another one just like it 72 Charger H and U codes they made a bunch of 400 cars in the H code but very few U coded. my original was a 400 car but I wanted a true U code To this day I have only ever seen 2, I own one of them! It sits in the back waiting for rebuild as does my 57 Two door New Yorker with it's Original 392 Hemi! It still runs and drives but she does smoke a bit from sitting stuck rings I think? and I need to go through the brakes she wont stop at all! Not to mention I need to find this guy Garry Goers to buy all the new seals I need for it.
The Problem with this hobby is the incredible amount of time and MONEY it takes to do it right! even doing everything your self, I only farm out Machine work I try to do everything else myself still Parts and supply's are stupid expensive! and there is NO return on your money if you try to sell. Its a money looser every time.
Not to mention now everyone wants the Old car but they want the newest LS engine in it!
Why People want to ruin a car with an engine swap I have no Idea? They think the Older stuff isnt reliable but yet it was driven daily back in the day! they think the newer engines make more power and yet Nope! I can make any of my engines make as much power as I can afford and they will live!
I'm Building my 71 TA with a True Pontiac 455 4speed just to kick some LS and Coyote Butts! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv4qouMwhj8
My Plymouth is just to teach my kid some respect for Mopars! Hes been Bad mouthing my Mopars for far to long! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Z75_Ids7AE
His lill Ford Fox body aint got Nothin on what Im putting together for the Sattylite
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.
I sometimes know I'm doing it wrong. But I know I could be doing it worse.
I've never played big dollar so seeing it gives me the oggle factor. Came close a couple of times but money always held me back. I'm a SBC carb guy who has enough fuel injection understanding to be mildly dangerous, and as you mention LS is the rage.
I've stopped trying to catch up. One day it will all be electric. Like Disney Land.
Not crying the blues or anything but if LS was more available for cheap around here, I'd probably jump on board just because. Mind you, I'd also have to buy another project to put it in and I'm at max capacity, it's my only excuse not to and I'm sticking to it.
All said and done, I still have dreams and visions. That and a 6-71 in the basement. A guy has to start some where right?
You guys with that stuff, racing, smoke shows, high tech in sunny climates... the rest of us wish. I felt like I was driving the TA
I am not Rich I'm Blue collar through and through its about eating Hamburger and Brown bag lunches robbing Peter to pay Paul buying a new Tool hear and their used even. Buying Parts when they can be snapped up Cheap used reusing what others are discarding, Working the overtime or doing the side job.
All one piece at a time!
I have Hi po Parts I have been collecting for over 30 years and still have yet to use.
And then once its built its taking care of it NOT Breaking it and NOT SELLING IT!
Every time I get something done it gets sold.
My Plymouth has been in the works for over 10 years now, its not like I am just writing checks to get er done or maxing out my credit cards to get it done. kids Mortgages divorce surgery's and life in general gets in the way easily and the toys always take a back seat to all of it but I never give up on my dreams its always been one part at a time.
SOOOO Now that you have started a Thread in the project section lets see your Project?
What you started with and where your at now???? I have been following your posts looks like a cool project from what you've shown so far it deserves its own thread right here let it rip post up the pics!
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:40 pm
Oh do I know that feeling. If I had only kept those cars . . .
1968 Coronet R/T
My mother had a saying, "Don't judge another until you've eaten from the same slice of bread".
I apologize if I implied an easier road traveled to get to where we are in the present. I do understand, willingly acknowledge, the difficulties, struggles, sacrifices one has to make, to face and take ownership of in getting further along in life.
If I've learned anything from my time, it's that the struggle continues. Building a car, restoring a car, fixing or repairing, that's like life. It's work. It takes time. Some we have the skills to accomplish and others we have to learn as we go.
My old man would say, "if you want something bad enough you should be prepared to work for it".
I can't post a project thread because life for me is a project. Like a savings account slowly being added into, I dribble a bit in now and again watching a very slow growth to my savings. I see spending my free time the same way. I either save some and do something, or I spend it foolishly doing nothing at all of value with it.
You guys encourage that savings. Reading your posts, seeing your efforts, it keeps me and I'm sure many others, pushing forward. Striving for perfection, as real or imagined as our reality allows us to perceive it to be.
But I like being a part of the group that encourages, helps out where possible, provides incentive to push forward over coming adversity, seeing past notions of limits and boundries. You guys do just that, and if times allows, I'm willing to contribute to that effort.
With that in mind, I'm not sure if a project thread is my thing? Admittedly I'm invested heavy in car stuff. Poor man's heavy. Like so many out there, didn't start with much but slowly added more.
So while I'm not committing to a project thread, I will slowly regroup my ambishions, my thoughts on the life long affair, and use that for the basis to what started it, "Back in the day".
Being poor. That's what started it. I didn't say it was too blame, just that's where it started. Remember when Mustang bikes came out? When mine broke, I didn't get a new one. Lol...How many times does a chain pop off before someone learns about a wrench?
I'm soon to be 63. Back in the day I had no clue living the dream cost money or put a strain on life and living. I can look back and say however, it was fun while it lasted. BB guns for Christmas and no one lost an eye.
I stole a car once. My mothers. Lol... I'm not really that hardened of a criminal, but it seemed like I just had to do it? Opportunity maybe?
One night after another long walk home, I just grabbed the keys from the table as she slept and went for a drive. Just to see if I could because I don't recall much thought being given before doing so. Ok...maybe with an older brother recently driving I figured maybe I should be allowed as well, but I was 15. How much thinking do 15 year old's actually do?
I had no place to go and didn't actually go very far before turning around and going home to park. A used silver 63 Chev Nova wagon. If memory serves, it just one day was gone, sold just before Christmas? Getting groceries it seemed just got a little harder.
A few years later with a part time job I bought my first car, a 4 door 61 Pontiac from my boss. Bump started three times into the building befor it was explained to me about three on the tree? No damaged done, I bought the car and was almost driving.
Best $250 ever spent. Followed by registration and insurance my dad paid, not that I thought far enough ahead thinking I'd require it? Which at the time meant my $3.10 an hour wage was gone fairly quickly. But I was driving and the poor boy was going places.
For all of about three weeks. Being a big brother meant passing along the experience. My younger brother's efforts in learning to drive resulted in some frontend damage. I had no experience in fixing and repairing but my father jumped in and like fathers do, took a money hit in the wallet for his kid and bought me another ride making payments to him. With some guilt and shame, my record of repayment wasn't the best.
A 72 GMC 1/2 ton. Living large. Yea, I added some custom touches and I've got a few memories around that truck. I learned I need to change oil with it. How to check the filter to be sure it fits when you do, and what friends do for friends in trouble when they don't.
Just the way it was back in the day.
On with the project that is my life. In giving credit to where it's due, I want to thank my Mother, Father, Dad, brothers, a few friends, people I've worked with, those I talked to who in offering advice, support and encouragement, allowed me to do better. That includes an ex wife I'll affectionately refer to as "R", and three kids who paid for my faults and passions.
A special shout out to those that said I couldn't. Said I didn't have the talent, smarts, effort to give or ability to learn how. You were wrong.
From a 1 bed room apartment and tinkering on the street, I went to a two bedroom and more street. But soon enough it was a house with more bed rooms and two single garages.
Slow start with the tool collection. Hand me downs, spares, but it was a start on the cheap. Picked up a 240Z car and practiced with some fiberglass. Remember, this was back in the days of learning stuff from books and asking those that new more then you. The tool of choice was a 7" disc sander and sand paper. I was just getting into spraying with a little 1 hp compressor. One qt of laquer primer surfacer and a gallon of laquer thinner. I had fun. It was about the time I stepped away from rattle can primer.
The garage in the picture never got used. Lived there three years the door was opened twice. The property had two singles, I used the other one.
Oh yea, wanna be me built some stands to hold the car up. They are still holding a car up lol. Just a different car.
A point of mention was this was before the days of everyone owning a Mig. You'll notice the patch panel was flanged and brazed. The other side not shown was gas fusion welded with a butt joint and hammer/dollied to relieve contraction. Hammer welding was the popular term. Pleased to report both sides stood the test of time. And what I learned was both were do able.
Sorry if I'm boring you, but for average Joe, that's how it was done back in the day.
Tis the season to be jolly...
Not looking to be a Debbie downer but I don't think so. Baby it's cold out side is right. There is a reason the car scene is a hard push come fall and winter is the reason. Not like most don't face adversity to keep the dream alive at the best of time, add in cold weather and things slow down and eventually stop cold.
I'm not saying a fella doesn't try, but it gets harder to push that rock after shovelling snow and seeing all that hard work covered again the next day.
Sold this car in the winter. My first of a few Chevelle's. Learned a bit of stuff with this one as well. A couple of modern buckets, the ex wife with a sewing machine, custom door panels and a valour head lines made the car pop right? Made it unique at the very least.
Came down to rent and Christmas money. Priorities? Anyways, $900, $850 cash and fifty by a check that bounced. Story was, car end up in the ditch on the drive home, followed by we'll resend a check that never came.
I want you all to know, I don't make this stuff up.
Years later, what became the family Chevelle ends up taking a passenger side hit, broad sided when the old lady was out grabbing pizza. I call a fella in Whitecourt Alberta on some parts. Turns out he's building a race car from a wrecked Chevelle 2 door sedan he bought out of the wreckers.
We get talking and the unique interior comes up, lol.
Hard to believe but this was my old car. By this time I was driving a 79 rally sport nova and after a two hour drive on the assumption it was and to have a look at what he's done to it, confirmed it. It had become a tube chassis car with big block power added.
He also had a wolf puppy, but that's another story.
He showed me his spare parts, basically a couple of hard top doors but they were painted with some heavy blue metallic so I at the time passed on buying them. However, a week later not finding better, we did a deal over the phone to meet half way if I bought both doors which I did. One to fix the car and another because it saved an hours drive as he was willing to meet in the middle.
The two doors complete in the trunk of the Nova, trunk lid held down with a single bungie cord, on the drive home stereo blasting, we hit a bump in the road. That fast, what the heck happened? A quick look in the rear view mirror said no reason to stop. Getting home however prove the door I need was missing? I drove the highway and couldn't find it. Next day I called the country radio station ,told my story and asked if they put it out there on the air waves.
**** thing flew out skidded into a drive way, they called the government clean up road crew, they took it to the storage yard, buddy there heard the radio and called them to get my number. Turns out he knew my uncle who farmed out that way, his wife who worked at our big mall brought it in for me to pickup. Didn't even brake the glass, just scratches on the blue metallic skin.
The spare door in the picture is a reminder of the time, and the story, and thinking how it all worked out. Thinking about it again, it adds some brightness to my lack of Christmas sprit. People helping people. How they did things back in the day.
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