I Was Going To Title This...
by Eddie Buck
I was going to title this, "What kind of Car Guy are you?" But, that's a little exclusive, because I know a fair amount of women who are just as fervent about it. So, in light of that, I'll ask, How bad have you got it? As usual, let's see how long it takes me to jump the curb here.
As long as I can remember, I have been completely immersed in anything to do with speed, racing, customs, hot rods... you get the drift. Even now, at 51, I am as bad as I ever was, maybe worse. I can be scrolling through the menu on TV with about 10 percent interest and will catch "Drag Race" in the title of something that flashed by. I back up only to find it is RuPaul's Drag Race. Ah well, it still is in the blood and in the brain. Who remembers the episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, that began with Drag Racing footage and a title flash on the screen, then cuts to men dressed in drag in a foot race?
Unfortunately, the television offerings now suck. I can recall back in the early days of Speedvison, The Nashville Network... I guess that that was about it. Some of the production values left a lot to be desired. The hosts weren't Oscar caliber, but they were real. Shows like Hot Rod TV, Shadetree Mechanic, the Diamond P drag race broadcasts, all had the key ingredient. CARS... period. Now we have dramatic offerings, catering to those who live vicariously through their screen heroes. The last show, I can recall not being contrived, was Rides. That was close to a decade ago. The only one I can stomach now is Bitchin' Rides. It looks like they are making an effort to leave the drama out of it, we'll see. Seems these shows are like the old Camel cigarette ads I'd see in the magazines. Everyone has to have a gimmick, be it two toned hair, goofy looking facial hair, or look like a human coloring book. Okay, so two out of three fit yours truly.
With that, we establish the first tier, the Casual Observer. This, is the one who watches for a number of reasons. I think actual hands-on is the last on their list. They like the builds, but tune in for drama, or the dopey banter between the hosts. When the show is over, that's it, unless they tune into the next ADD ridden episode in a marathon.Even better, watching millionaires paying exorbitant prices for machines they will likely never wring out. Nothing like spending 24 hours watching, (and I quote an unnamed source) "One percenters and their lackeys" in their personal circuses. Ego driven elite with their trophy women on their arms....BLECH!!! Shoot the TV!
Okay, enough picking on them, Buck, for they know not what they do. The most important aspect is being involved, but I digress, as last month's rant touched on that.
Back to the diseased lot. I have always hated the term "man cave". I hold that term in as much contempt as an International Coffee commercial.... or that smarmy guy on the Trivago commercials... or that worn out term "old school" being used to describe everything someone wants to feel nostalgic about. There's the nostalgia reference, Rob!
I still call it a garage. If you have to give it a title... never mind, I'll stop.
I admire people who can have a clean, well lit, exceptionally decorated garage. My lifelong friend Bob, has that kind of ability. I feel inadequate every time I step in his. Everything has a place and it's spotless. The kind of place I think most of us strive to have. It's nice not having to move piles of wasted parts, cast off boxes, old bubble wrap,etc. But face it, most of us are slobs when we get into a project and no matter how hard you try, it ends up a mess.
Then there's the "other Bob". His place is stuffed to the rafters, literally. Motorcycles, funny cars, CNC, blowers, KB blocks scattered around. Hell, he even has a radial engine from an airplane... and one of my chassis' has been there, almost 4 years. That's just on the first level! People come to his place to take a tour of it. I've spent a few days in this Valhalla of machinated curios. Last time I was there, we did a 12 hour blitz, assembling Bruce Litton's U.S. Male funny car body. Reference "Two Hour Voyage", in it I documented the mad dash, lost my watch too. They found it in a box of pistons a couple months later! Though the two are miles apart, figuratively and literally, they are places where real machines exist, real things get done and it's not just for show.
At this point, I decided to walk around my place. A photo narrative follows. I am incorrigible. I have enough Magnesium around this place, if it ever burned it would roast everything within a 2 block radius. But, it would sure be colorful!. Bottom line, it keeps me out of trouble and having more than enough projects than one person needs. Sad thing is, I have more stuff scattered around in other places too! Every once in a while I get pissed and think I'll sell some of it and get my 69 Vette.... yeah... you see how far I got on that one.
(L) Enderle Bug, ready to bolt on, with a vintage mask
(R) Two chassis and a box truck.... sounds like a sitcom
(L) One of Mr. Pellegrini's products and a chassis some lil' guy made
(R) Boss 429 valve covers sandwiched between an English wheel and a BBC roadster pickup
(L) 6-71, front wheels from Swensen and Lani's last funny car - Russell's Big White Truck
So with that said, time for a progress report. The "Mickey" is getting closer every day...or so it seems. Brian Fox, of King Chassis has made the A-arms. Now, it's a matter of getting the uprights/spindles made and the front end is basically done. Thanks to Riceman Roger Lee for the generous care package of the raw bar stock to make them Troy Ray, be on the lookout for a package soon. Picked up a pair of Boss 429 valve covers, thanks to Keith Dyer. Thanks to Bernie Bartella, along with Robert Malloy shuttling them up from Oklahoma this past weekend. Working on a rear end and the accompanying ladder bars soon. The body is sitting waiting out PA way. Progress, no matter how or what...I'll take it.
In 3 weeks, I'll be sitting in Bakersfield, at the California Hot Rod Reunion. This will be number 4 for me, it's indescribable, the history blows my mind. Hopefully, I'll have a pretty cool report next month. Bob Higginson tells me he's put something together, that most wouldn't believe if I told them. I'll have photos, and a full accounting. If you are going, look me up. We're going to try to have something in the stands, down between the 1000 ft and finish line. Look for the "Flop House".
Until next month..
Nostalgia Drag World - by Eddie Buck; photos courtesy of Eddie Buck
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