Monday, September 6, 2010

#30- The Hot Rod Detour- part 1

I think we’ll take a ‘detour’ this week and let you know more about my other passion - aside from the care and feeding of woodworking machines and Taylor-Tot strollers. I love Hot Rods - Ol’ Skool, fire-breathing Hot Rods.

You might recognize those words from column #13, but they sounded so good, I decided to use them again and let you know a bit more about our 1934 Ford coupe’. In the mid 1950’s my dad was a Memphis/Mid-South area truck driver who delivered auto parts to those mom ‘n pop parts stores (that have almost faded away, thanks to AutoZone, Advance, etc…) and he was actively seeking a decent 1934 car because it was the year he was born in.

Well, on one of his trips, he wound up in Greenville, MS and ran across a nice little ’34 Ford. The kid that had it had hit the back end of another car and his mom was making him sell his car…for $100. That was quite a bit of money back in 1958, but dad scraped it together and bought the car in November.

He brought it home and proceeded to use it for driving back and forth to work. At that time he had to get up around 4am and I remember my mom getting up many a morning to push him down the street, so the ’34 would start. Around 1962, the motor’s block cracked and needed to be replaced. Dad pulled the engine out and during one of his runs to Blytheville, Arkansas, he found a freshly rebuilt 1936 short block for $50. (yes, ½ the price he paid for the whole car) The ’36 motor is better because it has insert bearings. The original ’34 motor uses babbited bearings, which is much harder to repair, if need be.

Anyway, he purchased the rebuilt block and brought it home, but since we didn’t have a garage at the time, he took it to a friend who lived in the next block and stored it in his garage.

Well, time moves along and one thing led to another and after 9 years, that motor still sat in his friend’s garage, and the ’34 still sat in our backyard without a motor. Yes, I had gotten in trouble a few times for ’playing’ on it, and there is no telling how many people stopped by our house to see about buying the little matter how hard we tried to hide it from view of the road. Dad never sold it. Next week, I’ll tell you how it came back from the dead…’til then.

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