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I think we sunk 2 or 3 3# coffee cans full of nails into that tank...
I made a submarine out of big boxes, and then made a periscope out of a saran wrap box, per the directions from my Childcraft Encyclopedia
All things mechanical. Gotta figure out how they work. Lawnmowers, can opener, dishwasher. The engine apart on dad's mower to clean it, then he decides to mow, now it's a rush job.
My delving into mechanical and electronic devices led me around 2001 to re-curve the cam ‘ position identifier’ on a GE water softener. It was off a bit in rotation for transferring the brine into the resin cylinder. I filled the grooves with J-B weld and filed new grooves in the cam. Worked like a champ!
This car is what did it. Throw in hot wheels, model cars, The Blues Brothers, and Dirty Mary Crazy Larry... I never had a chance.
My sister said she was happy when I started putting the things I took apart back together. She said I was probably 5 when I started taking things apart, about 7 when I would put them back together.
My dad did no work on his car except for patching rust holes to pass state inspection. He wasn't happy when I started working on cars. Until his needed repairs. LOL! My two uncles (mom's brothers) had cool cars. Uncle Jack was into muscle cars. I'll never forget his '68 Roadrunner. Uncle Mike was into the British sports cars but he did have a really cool '51 Dodge Panel truck and an A100 Sportsman van. The older guys in my neighborhood had some neat old cars. Chevys, Fords & Mopars, it didn't matter to me. If there was a hood open on my block that's where mom would find me. Also the model car kits and Matchbox and Hot Wheels had something to do with it.
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in mechanical things. I remember being small enough that I had to stand on a chair to see over the fender and watch my Dad tune up the car. When I was 12, he showed me how to do it. I was always taking stuff apart and he would yell at me and make sure I put whatever it was back together. I built model cars, planes, tanks, ships, whatever. My first car was a ‘64 LeSabre and I probably would have grown up a Buick guy (I still like the old ones), but a drunk driver in a Chevy nearly killed me in it. With the LeSabre gone, Dad would occasionally let me drive his 3 year old ‘69 Newport. That was all it took. The 383 Torqeflite ran rings around the nailhead and super turbine. Then when Dad bought his next new car, the Newport was mine and I was all in.
Had the same Tonka dune buggy.
Lots of model cars that unfortunately met their demise thanks to my oldest 3 year old nephew at the time...
I managed to salvage one out of the collection.
It is an Revell? Early Iron 34 Ford coupe originally lime green
It's a bit worse for wear but still holding up after all these years built in the mid 70's.
I keep it in a plastic clear box to help preserve it.
Might restore it one day yet.
My dad had no interest in fixing cars, he did to save money. I became the house mechanic well before I could drive, my dad bought books/service manual to aid my learning. Good idea for the families safety.
My dad was big-time into cars, he had a 78 Volare before I was born and got into some GM cars after, I spent a lot of time when I was younger with my dad while he was working on his 2003 Grand Prix, which we still have, then he bought a 2008 Challenger. After that, I slowly got more and more into cars, especially Chryslers, as I got older, and I finally bought my very own project Chrysler in my Sophomore year that my dad and I are restoring together, so I think the main influence on my interest in cars has been my father.
I started out surrounded by car enthusiasts, my grandpa's string of SS Impala company cars through the sixties, a cousins 68 Firebird drag car, his family car was a 67 GTO. My dad wrenched on everything and was a truck guy, 64 Scout, then a 71 Jimmy. I was his "gopher" as long as i could remember and when I turned 12 (1971) he bought home a 59 Willys that needed a complete overhaul. Tinkered with that, traded it for a 69 Chevy stepside when I got my license. I traded the stepside for a 66, 383/4 speed Charger in high school which started my lifelong affair with Ma Mopar.
The Dukes probably cemented my Mopar affection. Show led me to read about Chrysler's dominance in Nascar, which led to reading and research on drag racing dominance
I ended up with my fathers 68 300 back in the mid90s after he passed away. He wasn’t much of a dad.... parents got divorced when I was 18months old and he was pretty much a deadbeat after that. Met him a few times over the next 28 years before he died. I wasn’t much of a car guy before that, but found myself behind the wheel of a great looking ‘68 300 convertible. I was in Los Angeles, and in a band, so it was a pretty cool vibe. I also lived in Studio City at the time and on more than one occasion found myself at a red light stopped right next to Jay Leno. One time he rolled down his window of a cherried out mid-70s Ferrari and said ‘cool car’... I think that is when it truly set in that there is a culture to these old cars that goes beyond just ‘owning’ something cool. I started going to car shows around town and realized that I had something special with this 68 300. It wasn’t just an old car, it is a piece of living history and I felt some level of obligation to preserve it for future generations.
fast forward to real adulthood. Married, two kids, and a lot of other financial obligations. Moved out of LA and bought a house in the suburbs. But luckily, we bought a house with a three car garage... just barely deep enough to fit he 300. Moved in, but the engine needed way more attention than I could spend, or afford to fix. After all diapers for the kids took priority, so there it sat for 10 years until one day my daughter says “Dad, are we ever going to get to ride in that cool car?” ‘Cool car’, from my 10-year old daughter... that was all I needed.
Careers had grown in those 10 years from moving in, income was better, and didn’t need diapers anymore. The car just became a low priority during that time. But after my daughter said ‘cool car’, just like Jay Leno did 20+ years early, I knew I had to do something. Found a local mechanic who works with a local engine builder. Towed the car over and had the entire powerhouse overhauled. I did modernize the engine with fuel injection and electronic ignition, but nothing that couldn’t be set back to original carb and points if desired. But I was aiming for reliability and easy over originality.
My daughter LOVES the car culture. She is 14 now and this shared love for our Chrysler has given us a great father/daughter bond that I never knew could exist in real life. She loves it when I drop her off at practice or school in the car. 99.9% of the time I can hear one of her friends say ‘cool car’.
well I have certainly rambled on here, but it felt really good to write this out. I never really put this much thought into my history with this car. Feels really good to share the story with this group. Sun is coming up now, time to go cruise in my Cool Car!
I love this story and the connection it has given you with your daughter, this is what it is all about.
My grandfather worked for Chrysler and was always working on something, my Dad is a mechanic and opened his shop when I was about 5 so I have grown up around cars and trucks. Model cars, bikes, my dad's projects, trips to the drag strip, dad's friends projects and my own curiosity for mechanical things has cemented my relationship with cars. I worked on B-52's in the Air Force, but came back to cars when I got out and have done it professionally for over 26 years.
I believe my youngest Jacob is hooked now, when my father-in-law got the 65 sporty, my son road tripped with him and his brother to bring it back from Maryland. The in-laws want Jacob to have the sporty when they pass, so it will be left to my wife and she will pass it to him. It's future will be secure for many years to come and I get to be it's caretaker as long as I am able.
Jake is 22 and has grown up with go-karts, quads, snowmobiles, dirt bikes. So the influence for the love of mechanical things has been all through his childhood