Thursday, February 28, 2008
This in-progress rust-covered Model A is an amazing example of Dave Lohr's imagination and engineering talent. The unchopped A with the radiator in the back sits on a one-off custom frame. Dave hooked up all six Holley 94s on a Drag Star intake atop a '57 Hemi. "It scares dogs, small children, and oncoming traffic."
I ran across a series of pretty cool videos on youtube today while surfing the Net for information about Dave Lohr. Thanks to tikiguy for the insight on Dave. Guess he turned down the job at SoCal Speed Shop after he won the spot on HardShine. If you watch this video closely, you will see Dave along with a quick shot of his wicked Hemi-powered rod.
You can see more of this type of stuff by searching for mad fabricators on youtube. Looks like they sell DVDs too!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
• Original 1932 Ford chassis
• Powered by a 350 Chevy with tri-power carbs
• 5-speed tranny
• '41 Ford rear-end
• Open drive line
• Split wishbones
• Super bell dropped axle
• '40 juice brakes
• Chopped windshield
• '40 Ford steering wheel
• Stewart Warner gauges
• Triple pass radiator
• Deuce grille shell
• '35 Ford wire wheels
• Firestone tires
• Paint PPG Black & Apple Green Metallic
• Interior - white with green piping by Ron Mangus
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
At any rate, there are a few locales in my "neck-of-the-woods" that are worth the drive when it comes to cruisin', nostalgia, and good food. (heck...I'm starting to sound like the guy from Diners, Dives, and Drive-Ins!) One such locale is known for miles around. It is located in Greenville, Ohio. (If you are unfamilar with Greenville...check your history books...It's the birthplace of Annie Oakley and Lowell Thomas. It is also the site where the Treaty of Greenville was signed.) More recently...it's the hometown of Matt Light, current offensive lineman for the England Patriots.
Anyway, this groovy little drive-thru is simply known as the Maid-Rite Drive-In. There are a few tables inside, but most folks line-up at the drive-thru window to get a sackful of Maid-Rite sandwiches. Maid-Rites are a small, spicy, loose meat sandwich made with hamburger and a lot of pepper. The hamburger is fried in a skillet of beer. The sandwiches are best with onion, pickle and mustard. You can also get a Cheese-Rite if so inclined.
Probably the strangest thing about this locale is the "gum wall". Since the place's establishment back in the 1940's, people coming through the drive-thru have left their chewing gum on the brick wall. Sounds disgusting, but over the years, the gumwall has grown to include several of the other walls around the building. If you look closely at the picture of the front of the place, you can even see a few pieces there.
Despite what you may think of the gum wall, the sandwiches are "out of this world"! When I was a teenager, the big thing to do on the weekends was cruise Broadway (the main drag through downtown Greenville). We would cruise through the Maid-rite and grab a couple dozen sandwiches then cruise the strip. Teenagers from all over would be sitting on the back of their cars or cruising through town with their radios up. The local authorities have since banned cruising...so the teens today have no clue what it was all about.
Needless to say, I occasionally get a "hankerin'" for a few Maid-Rites and have to make a detour on my way home from work. Eating one of those little sandwiches takes me back to my youth. If you are ever near Greenville, Ohio...you have to make a point of finding the Maid-Rite Drive-In!
Painting depicting the signing of the Treaty of Greenville at Fort Greenville, Greenville, OH
In his case, it's a 1940 Ford sedan with scratches in the paint, a ding in the windshield, and worn suede seats. A Betty Boop air freshener dangles from the rearview mirror. "I won't lay any paint on this one," he says. "It's perfect just like it is."
* * *
Some hot-rod sociologists such as Mr. Jones describe the rat-rod trend as a desire for a return to the romance of post-World War II America, when soldiers came back looking for thrills that would rival their adventures overseas. Using mechanical skills learned in the Army, they turned to rusting Fords and Chevys - the Honda Civics of their day - to create horsepower-heavy "rods."
That attitude has morphed today into a punk-a-billy culture, in which old "ratty" cars help satisfy a longing for a time when life was more spontaneous - and dangerous. Unlike the ethos at the well-behaved hot-rod shows, where the Beach Boys eternally play and few people actually drive the cars, rat rodders like to go fast, in style, and perhaps not always to the letter of the law. "Hot rods are supposed to be dangerous, and the younger section of this market is very much into that rebellious side," says Ryan Cochran, founder of the Jalopy Journal message board in Austin, Texas.
To some, "rat-rod" is a derogatory term, more attuned to fringe elements of the movement. It is epitomized by the washboard player for the Kings of Nuthin, a Boston-based rock-a-billy band, who has three classic rat rods in various states of running and rusting, none legal.
Yet no matter what their state of inelegance, rat rods are meant to be looked at - whether with reverie or disgust - and driven. "Some of the rat rods have no paint, exposed wells, no floors, and are kind of unsafe," says Shane Thomas, a Greer resident who just spent two years bringing a '32 Ford truck back to life. "Personally, I like to think of the rat rod as building your car out of spare parts with flat black paint, basic interior, whatever motor is laying around, just what you can get your hands on - beg, borrow, or steal."
His friend Ed Bradshaw, who wears a six-inch goatee and a T-shirt that says "Dixie Fried," has put thousands of miles on his dropped '31 Ford. "These are cars you can actually use, that you don't have to worry about getting dinged up if you take them out into a field for a few dirt donuts," he says.
Lowbucks are certainly the buzz of the industry. Several new magazines, often low-budget and not beholden to advertisers, are cropping up. With names like Old Skool Rods and Garage and Rod, the publications can be found on backyard tool chests, their pages greasy. Even established magazines like Street Rodder and Rod and Kustom are devoting space to "traditional" rods.
Car shows featuring only rat rods are springing up, too. They include the Hunnert Car Pileup and the Lone Star Roundup in Austin. Shows put on by the Goodguys Association, the largest street rodding group, used to feature one or two entries in what's called the "suede and chrome" category. Today, they regularly have 20. Significantly, this year's Autorama Show in Detroit for the first time handed out 18 awards in "traditional" categories.
* * *
Still, not all hot rodders welcome the presence of their shabby cousins. When fans at car shows bypass some Tiffany quality vehicle to ogle a flat-painted truck with holes in the floorboard, it doesn't go unnoticed. "You definitely see guys with $100,000 in a car and the guy next to them at the show has $6,000 in his, and that's the car with the crowd around it," says Jones. "That is cause for some rivalry."
At the Southern Rods shop in Greer, Porter rhapsodizes about the tightness of the rat-rod fraternity. Gary and the Playboys are singing "This diamond ring doesn't shine for me anymore" on an AM radio. He tells how rat rodders are united by a sense of adventure - both behind a socket wrench and behind the wheel. His personal credo: "It ain't a party without donuts."
For Tom "Paintbucket" Painter, one of South Carolina's most avid rat rodders, age in a car is to be respected, even savored. It's an attitude typified in his envied flat black-and-red 1958 Chevy Nomad wagon. Mr. Painter won't even remove certain screws because he doesn't want the rust to chip. According to his friend Mr. Bradshaw, he believes that historical correctness, the wear and wisdom of the years, is sacrosanct. As Painter puts it: "If it's got a rusted look, I leave it alone."
Monday, February 18, 2008
Well, as you can imagine, the more I post to this blog, the more I find and the more links people send me. My buddy Fchevfan sent me a link yesterday to an INCREDIBLE site! I can't believe I've never ran across it myself. The link is:
This site has literally HUNDREDS of photos of traditional hot rods and rat rods. Looks like the creator of this site allows people to upload pictures. I could not believe the sheer number of photos. I've placed just a few of the photos I found in this post. There are too many sick and wicked vehicles to count!
On another note. Got to spend some time with my grandfather today. Since today was Presidents' Day, we did not have school. No teachers, students, secretaries, or custodians. However, it was a work day for administrators. I spent the day alone in our old building, trying to get caught up on some paperwork. Anyway....I took a late lunch and took the "scenic" route home. My route took me through my hometown. Driving by the local "Mickey D's", I saw my grandfather's car in the parking lot.My grandfather is an interesting guy. A WWII vet, earned a purple heart during the war, and is close to 90 years old. Since my grandmother passed away a few years ago, he amuses himself by hanging out at McDonald's, drinking coffee with a group of locals and shooting the "bull" with whoever will listen.
I hadn't seen him in awhile, so I pulled into the parking lot and went in to 'surprise' him. Well, he was happy to see me and had me sit down for a Coke. He introduced me to everyone that came by. The coolest thing...I like to get folks talkin' about cars. We sat for about an hour and a half, just talking about the history of some of the local buildings, cars that they each had, places where they knew old cars used to set in the area, etc.
I got my grandfather to tell me the store of my great-uncle's old Packard. My great-uncle passed away a few years ago and the car was sold at auction. At the time I wished I had been able to afford the car, I have some great memories of riding around in it as a kid. A big straight-8 with tons of power! Anyway, today, I learned that my uncle had bought the car for $2,000.00. The guy who owned it had rebuilt the engine and when he put the car back together, the engine was stuck. He became so frustrated with it, he sold it to my Uncle Willy. Well, my uncle took it home and put it up on the rack and dropped the tranny. It his surprise, the only thing wrong with the car was that the guy had put one bolt in that was a bit too long that was catching and causing the engine not to turn over. When he replaced the bolt and tranny, he was able to start the car right up!
Lesson Learned Today: Take time from your busy schedule to enjoy time spent with family. Heck...ya might just learn some great stories!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Lookin' for some cool kustom stickers, decals, and/or posters to dress up your garage, rat rod, or computer? Well...I've found the place for you. Check out:
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I will continue to post pictures I've taken at various car shows, cruise-ins, rod runs, etc. I'll also continue to surf the web looking for anything that I feel is "Suede and Chrome" worthy....Case in point: I've been thinking alot about bobbers lately. I've been searching eBay and the Internet trying to get some ideas of what I like and what I don't. Can't remember where I found these two pictures, but had to admit...both photos illustrate a "match made in heaven". A beautiful traditional hot-rod Ford with a sick bobber.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Looking through my files, I ran across some old photographs. Some of these may have been posted in some very early blog entries...but I'm not sure. Thought I would post all that I found and try to give a little background on each.
This series of photographs was taken at the Ducktail Run in Gas City, Indiana a couple of years ago. The guy in the picture is "Count Kennedy". This guy is a real crowd pleaser. Each year, he dresses like a Vampire and drives in to the Cruise-In in a Hearse complete with multiple flamethrowers. He even has a couple of trailers made from caskets that throw flames as well. (One year, I saw him drive in, park, get out of the car, walk around back, and open one of the casket/trailers to reveal his wife dressed as the bride of Frankenstein....too funny!) The last few times I've seen him, he has had the little "bat scooter" pictured in the last two photos. This thing throws LONG propane trails of flame....The guy seems to delight in pleasing the crowd, as he usually stands on the top of his hearse with a remote, shooting flames while someone drives him around the ball diamond where the flamethrowing takes place. Didn't see him there this past year....hope he will be back next year. May have been protesting, as organizers banned flamethrowing anywhere but during the contest.
This set of photos shows some real creativity. The owner took a set of 63 Corvette rear windows and grafted them into the hood of his Oldsmobile to show off the "Rocket" within....Absolutely cool.
I've seen this car at a few shows over the past few years....lots of detail and chrome....very sic!
At this particular show, they still allowed the flame throwers to cruise around and let their pipes rattle! I believe the car pictured above belongs to a guy from a local club called the "Pyromaniacs".
Sorry....can't help it. Even though I love vintage cars from the 30's, 40's and 50's, I do enjoy seeing some of the rides from the 60's and early 70's that I've been seeing creeping into shows of late. That is as long as they've been "done right"!
What can I say....I'm a sucker for scallops and wide whites! Like the dummy spotlights too!