I grew up in a motorhead family.

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  1. RSie

    RSie Idiot In Training

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    Note: yeah I've had a few. Probably best to ignore my drunken post. Stop now.

    I was born in 1965. I'm the youngest of 8. My mom was the youngest of 12.
    The stuff I saw when I was a kid, looking back at it now, is fascinating.
    A 312 Ford engine hanging from the oak tree? Nothing unusual there.
    The time my brother Al had his pretty '63 Fairlane t-boned up into the porch a block away from home? Just another story.
    My pa with his '68 390 Merc wagon? Too damn many stories.
    My brother Dave pulling wheelies on grass in the back yard with his Pontiac? (brother Dave stories would take me ages).
    My brother Jim with his '68 Charger RT? He saved my life, literally, with that car when I was about 5 yrs. old.
    My brother Doc with his Dusters? (I never knew how fucking scary those were until Dave gave me a ride...no offense Doc).

    Don't get me started on sisters, aunts, uncles.

    Maybe I just need to write a book.

    If anyone's interested, I'll post more.

    Take care of yourselves, and thank you for all the knowledge you've given me.
     
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    • Mopar-Mitch

      Mopar-Mitch Well-Known Member

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      It's always good to remember the good old day's of our past, and the story's are always good to hear.
       
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      • MOPAR4Me

        MOPAR4Me FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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        Well you got me, let’s start off with you sharing the details of how your brother with the 68 Charger RT saves your life.
         
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        • RSie

          RSie Idiot In Training

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          Ok, here it is.
          Please keep in mind though, this is a almost 50 yr. old memory of a 5 yr. old boy...some things are hazy. Also, this was a different time... some younger people would freak out about a few things.. but that was just the way things were in those days.
          A nice spring day in '71. I got out of Kindergarten in the afternoon, and with a gaggle of other kids, made my way the four city blocks home. My next older brother, Doc, decided to stay with the kids down the street, probably watching the 3 stooges on TV. I walked the next block home.
          When I got home, nobody was there... which was a bit odd, having 10 people living there (and usually others.. uncle or aunt, or some friends.. our house usually had at least 15 people in it). No big deal, I had been home alone for short times before.
          I wandered my way out to our old one-stall ramshackle garage.. this was before Pa put up the huge new garage.
          The weekend before, I had hung out with him in there while he was rebuilding a carb or something. I was fascinated with the air compressor.. just a little thing with an electric motor, belt to a compressor. Looked like fun blowing the air through the hose. So, out there by myself, I plugged it in. I was having fun blowing cobwebs off the walls, blowing dirt around, blowing it in my hair... typical kid stuff.

          I don't remember exactly how I did it.. but somehow, I got my fingers into the belt... and it pulled them into the pulley. The tension stopped the motor, with my fingers on the back side of the pulley, under the belt. My ring, middle, and index finger were under the belt.. I don't know how my pinky didn't wind up in there too.

          5 yr. old fingers are not very tough.

          I remember standing there looking at my hand, stuck in there, like it wasn't my hand.

          Then the pain hit. Screams ensued.

          The motor was still trying to turn, making an electrical rrrrrr noise. After a few minutes, it went up in a puff of smoke. I was still screaming. I could see my finger tips on the other side of the pulley, all at weird angles.

          I don't know how long I stood there screaming, having no idea what to do. I think it was about 20-30 minutes. I could not get my hand out.. and that, as it turned out, was a good thing.

          I hear Jim's Charger pull up in the driveway. He heard me screaming, ran into the garage.. "What's the matter?!?" .. he couldn't see around me. There was a haze of electric smoke in the air. He got to where he could see what was going on.. 'oh'.. he pulled the plug on the compressor.

          Jim put his hand on my shoulder, and made me look at him. "You need to settle down, and breath. Stop trying to pull your hand out. I'll get you out, but I have to do a few things first. I'll be right back. Do not try to get your hand out." And he took off. A few minutes later, I hear the Charger fire up again.. he turned it around in the yard, backed up to the garage and opened both doors wide. He came back into the garage, with an ice cube tray full of ice, and a bunch of towels. "Okay, here's what's gonna happen. I'm going to cut this belt, stick your hand in this tray, and put a towel on top of it. I'm going to push hard on your hand. Then we are going to WALK out to the car.. don't run!" He made me close my eyes, cut the belt, stuck my hand in the ice, and covered it with a towel. "Open your eyes, and we are going to walk to my car". He got me strapped in, and made me push on top of the towel with my good hand.

          Many, many laws were broken on the ride to the hospital. The way he took, one street had a hill going down about 10 feet, a level spot for about 10 feet, then another big drop. We never hit the level spot.

          By the time we got to the ER, I didn't care about my hand... I was having a blast in that Charger.

          I was a bloody mess when we got there. I remember trying to squeeze my legs together so I wouldn't get his seats all bloody.

          The Doc on the ER, said at first look, "I don't think I can save those fingers, but I'll try". I still have them all. I have nice scars between the first and second knuckle on my index and middle finger, and a scar that starts above my knuckle, runs through it and wraps around to my fingerprint on my ring finger. I have a knot on the side of that finger that still inflames sometimes, and the nail always grows out split.

          It's always a good reminder to me to be careful, and watch what I'm doing.

          I saw that Dr. years later when I was running around with his kid. When he saw me, he said "hey, let me look at your hand". He made me flex my fingers, poked the end of my ringer finger and asked if I could feel it.. told him I could. "Damn, I do good work!" with a grin. I agreed with him, and thanked him.

          As for the Charger: Jim was the second owner. It was painted that beautiful bronze color. 440, 4 spd., and I think 3.55 screws. The only thing that wasn't box stock was the guy had ran it out of coolant and warped a head. He had the heads machined down, and had the manifold machined down to match. I think Jim put a set of headers on it too. Later that summer, he was drag racing a Challenger, and the guy lost it and clipped him in the quarter panel. He took out a telephone pole and a fire hydrant... that bent hydrant was there for years. The car was scrap.
           
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          • Mopar-Mitch

            Mopar-Mitch Well-Known Member

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            Sorry about your fingers, but that's a great story! Thanks!
             
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            • RSie

              RSie Idiot In Training

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              My fingers are fine. Still have them all. Middle finger still works great when I need it to. :)
               
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              • Dartnut

                Dartnut Don't hate me because i'm beautiful

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                Great story!
                How about some more?
                BTW, i came from a motorhead family as well...........
                 
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                • RSie

                  RSie Idiot In Training

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                  A little shorter one. Might as well stay on Jim.
                  The next summer, he was running a '67 Buick Skylark (same internally as a '67 Chevelle). A nice light metallic blue 2 door with a small block.
                  One day, I was riding with him.. I was standing up in the front seat (seatbelts? Nobody wore those stupid things!). We were stopped at a stoplight.. a car pulled up next to us on the passenger side. Jim never looked over, just saw the fender of the car out of the corner of his eye.. slowly creeping to take off at the light. Light turns green, Jim takes off about half throttle... enough to chirp the tires a bit. He sees the fender of the other car out of the corner of his eye again creeping ahead of us, so he punches it.

                  Right about then, I exclaimed "Holy cow! We're racing a cop!"

                  I wound up in a heap under the dash from the rapid deceleration.
                   
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                  • Mopar-Mitch

                    Mopar-Mitch Well-Known Member

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                    Love them good old stories from the past!
                     
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                    • RSie

                      RSie Idiot In Training

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                      With tomorrow being Fathers day and all, I'll share on of Pa.
                      This is probably 1970 or '71.
                      Pa was a Ford guy. He didn't diss other US makes, but he was a Ford guy.
                      He bought a '68 Merc wagon, and I think he bought it brand new. If so, it was the only car I remember that he bought new. i have so many memories of that car..
                      Hot Rod magazine did a test on that 390 wagon.. and it smoked the hot Camaro.
                      My oldest sister Gayle, who was probably about 17 at the time, hit a mailbox with the passenger fender, and crinkled it in pretty good.
                      Pa wasn't mad.. full insurance!
                      So, he took it down to the Ford dealer. The replaced the fender... but it was darker than the rest of the car. Pa took it back in, and complained.. they repainted it. He comes home the next weekend (he drove truck, was gone from Monday morning to Friday afternoon).. and the fender was a lighter shade than the rest of the car. Has Jim take it back again. Next weekend, Pa comes home.. and the fender is darker than the rest of the car again.
                      Saturday morning, Dave and I rode with him back to the Ford dealer.. Pa pulled right into the shop, all the way past the bays with cars up on hoists. Reamed the manager a new ass in front of all the mechanics and body guys.
                      He got back in the car, threw it into reverse, and smoked the tires into a stall backwards. Then, he feathered the brakes, and punched it. Smoked the back tires enough to fill that whole shop with tire smoke.. and kept on smoking the tires, slowly, all the way out of that shop.
                      Me and Dave, in the front seat, just smiling at each other :)
                       
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                      • diymirage

                        diymirage HP@idle > hondaHP@redline

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                        im sorry, but ive been wanting to do this since post #1

                         
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                        • 4fortyDemon

                          4fortyDemon FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                          Awesome story about your dad and your brother Jim! What a great brother to rescue you.
                           
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                          • barbee6043

                            barbee6043 barbee 6043 FABO Gold Member

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                            What makes life good sometimes, is the memories.
                             
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                            • RSie

                              RSie Idiot In Training

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                              I haven't touched on this thread in a while. My head is raging right now, and I need something to concentrate on, so here goes.

                              I grew up in Dick Trickle's home town (well, his village was a few miles west, but his shop was in my town, where he raced).
                              If you don't know who he was, google it.
                              When I was 8 or 9, his shop was all the way across town. My neighborhood crew and I would often ride our Schwinn Stingrays all the way across town.. crossing the bridge, 4 lane traffic be damned. We'd camp outside his shop, getting glimpses of his purple Mustangs getting worked on, and if we were lucky, firing up and backing out of the shop.
                              One day, there was a gaggle of us hanging out on the sidewalk.. a couple got brave, laid down their bikes, and creaped up to the shop door.
                              Dick came out.. "Get the fuck away from the door! Stay on the sidewalk!"
                              We all scrambled... slowly worked our way back.
                              He came out about 10 minutes later.. "sorry I yelled at you guys".. and threw us a bag of licorice.
                              Dick, the man who has won the most short track races in the US, later took his own life. From what I've read and heard, he was tired of the pain, and didn't want to be a burden to anyone. I don't condone it.. but he ended his life the best he could..went to the cemetery, called 911 and told him where he was and not to bother sending an ambulance, and did it.
                               
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                              • RSie

                                RSie Idiot In Training

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                                • Cope

                                  Cope Fusing with fire

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                                  When I was a kid and was in trouble (happened a lot) I had to polish and wax the race boat.

                                  I can remember a few times as we were idling away from the dock, a a random boat pulling up. WAP WAP WAP, then WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA and the last thing I remember is how clean that engine looks as I fly upside down past it.....and watch the transom and rooster tail fly by...

                                  Thank God for life jackets...
                                   
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                                  • RSie

                                    RSie Idiot In Training

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                                    Alright.. time for a brother Dave story. I'm jumping ahead of a few siblings.. but if there's a 'motorhead's motorhead' in my family, it's Dave. The guy eats, sleeps, breathes cars, and ways to get the low-buck way to get more horsepower. My older brother Al, a Dodge mechanic at the time (mid 70's) challenged him to tune a car better. Al set it up on his Sun machine... Dave listened to it, laid his hands on the valve covers, went to work with a few hand tools. Half hour later, brother Al is "Holy F***! How do you do that?!?
                                    So, anyways, when I was about 13 (so 1978 or so), Dave drives in with a 4 door 70 Coronet. The weird front end.. and the bright green paint. Ugliest car any of us ever saw. 318, 2 bbl, single exhaust. A slug.
                                    Dave did his magic.. a little better, but still a slug. Then a couple days later, he tells me he's figured out his car, come for a ride with me. The only thing I notice, is that he kept the auto trans in low gear, all the way through town. 25, then 35. We get out on the highway at 55, he keeps it in low gear (auto trans). When the temp gauge is pinned, he punches it, still in low gear.. throws me back in the seat. Shifted to 2nd gear about 65.. chirped the tires. Car was crazy if you got it hot...real hot.
                                    One day, I came out into the garage, and saw a wheel with threads hanging off. One of my friends told me the story.. Dave had a bunch ride with him, bought a brand new snow tire, mounted it, and proceeded to go out of town and burn that tire down to threads on the wheel, in that car. We got another brother of mine to go out to where that started... 6 miles of a one-legger burny.
                                     
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                                    • Mopar-Mitch

                                      Mopar-Mitch Well-Known Member

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                                      Another great story! Thanks!
                                       
                                    • barbee6043

                                      barbee6043 barbee 6043 FABO Gold Member

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                                      As all of us, be older or younger, II think we get away from the natural instincts of mechanic and driving Cars have gotten too easy, too reliable, too comfortable.
                                      I love hearing the stories of old...OK so I am old!!!!
                                       
                                    • Dartnut

                                      Dartnut Don't hate me because i'm beautiful

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                                      Love the stories, keep 'em coming!
                                       
                                    • RSie

                                      RSie Idiot In Training

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                                      Ok, time for a Pa story.
                                      Pa was a Ford guy. I heard a lot of stories about the flatheads he used to build from my uncles. That said, he loved horsepower more than a brand.. he never dissed GM or Mopar.. he just knew Fords better.
                                      One day,I was 8 or 9, had to be 1973 or 74..I woke early on a Sunday morning.. 5 AM or so. Pa, as usual, is playing solitaire on the kitchen table, waiting to make breakfast. He was an over the road trucker.. sucked only seeing him on weekends. He waited about 20 minutes or so to see if anyone else was going to get up (remember, there at least 10 people in this house, not counting the friend stragglers crashed out.) Cooks us bacon and eggs, toast. Half hour later, nobody's waking up.. he says 'Want to go fishing?'.. that's a hard yes from me.. alone time with Pa was unheard of. "Go dig some worms up, and I'll get the truck ready!". Went and dug up some worms, he got the poles and tackle box (Pa had some awesome fishing gear).
                                      Hop in the truck (big block Ford of course, auto trans). Pa.. 'shit. Run in the house and grab 4 beers and put them in a grocery bag'.
                                      Get back in the truck. He checks the beers, all good. (Pabst)
                                      Head out to the lake about 5 miles away. No boat, just fishing from shore.
                                      Had a great time fishing.. as I said, alone time with Pa was unheard of. We caught a few, but too small, throw 'em back. He did teach me what a snapper turtle can do though that day.. I saw one.. he picked it up, showed me what a snapper can do to a stick... I said that he's mean. 'He's not being mean. That's how they survive'.
                                      So, on the way home, it's about 11:30 AM. A bar on the way home.. 'let's stop for a quick one, catch the Packer game'. Those 4 beers he brought along were gone.
                                      Watching the game, and treating the bartender to my ability to crush full size ice chunks with my teeth in one bite. Played a few game of pool with another kid in the bar.
                                      About half time on the game, my brother Al shows up in the bar. He needs Pa's truck to haul something. They trade keys.. Al's car is a cherry red '68 Charger RT. 440 Mag, 4 speed, 3:55 sure grip.
                                      Games done.. Pa's feeling good. Hops in Al's Charger.. tells me to sit down, and put on my seat belt.. unheard of in those days.
                                      He starts the car. Lets it warm up a little while he's working the clutch, and figuring out the shifter.
                                      Smokes the tires full bore backing out onto the road. Slams it into first...smoke was choking me at this point. Hit second gear, faster and smoother than I've ever seen any of my brothers do that.. smokes second gear. Slams 3rd gear.. again, faster and smoother than I've seen any of my brothers do, and I saw a lot. Gets a good chip going into 3rd. Was pissed he couldn't get a chirp going into 4th.. tried several times.
                                      I realized somewhere through this that:
                                      1: Pa is a bigger motorhead than any of my brothers.
                                      2: He literally shifts with a clutch about 8000 times a week.

                                      We get back into town.. pulls up next to a '67 Camaro at the lights.. "concretes not gonna give us much traction".. leaves it 2nd gear, smokes the Camaro...me hanging out he window laughing at the guy. His girlfriend was laughing too, lol.
                                      Pa screwed up though.. smoked the tires going into the driveway for one last fun time. Mom was all over his ass.. 'you driving like that with a kid in the car! '.. I realized at that point, Mom knew Pa was a horsepower lover. They got over it.. She loved a fast car too . :)
                                       
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                                      • jeffnmo

                                        jeffnmo Just another Mopar Maniac FABO Gold Member

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                                        Don't stop now things are just gettin' good! Buy the way I lived in Wisconsin till I was 18, grew up in Muskego.

                                        Jeff
                                         
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                                        • RSie

                                          RSie Idiot In Training

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                                          Al's 68/69 Charger.
                                          My brother Al had a beautiful '68 Charger R/T. Bright red, white vinyl roof, white R/T stripe on the back. 440 4 speed.
                                          One morning, I get up before everyone else, wander outside. I think I was about 8 years old. Al's R/T is parked way up at the end of the driveway, up tight to our old garage... odd.
                                          I see what looks like a bright, pink string hanging from the hitch. Yes, it had a hitch.. he would often pull our small fishing boat, or our small pop-up camper. I walk over and grab the pink string... it's squidgy, mushy. ?
                                          I walk around to the front of the car, and it's... obliterated. I can see the block. Just sheer destruction. i can remember the bright chrome bumper wrapped around the header.
                                          Later, found out he had hit a deer the night before... jumped out of the ditch right in front of him.. no time to react. The 'pink string' was deer guts.

                                          Al was OK. Banged up, 2 black eyes, bruises all over, but ok.

                                          He told the cops he was doing 60. It came out to the family and friends that he was doing 'at least' 110.

                                          He was going to junk it. Then my brother-in-law Donny (who will come up a lot in these stories) tells Al he can fix it.
                                          Donny had a 69 that had been rear-ended. He cut off the front of Al's, grafted on the '69 front end. All good. Al pounded the car all summer.
                                          The next spring, Al gets caught in a sudden downpour on the highway.. car hydroplanes around into a telephone pole, trunk first, at 60 mph.
                                          Another couple months of Al riding out to Donny's, who had found another '69. Back half grafted on, good to go.
                                          The only thing left "1968" on that Charger was the firewall, part of the floor and roof. Everything else was '69.
                                          He sold it to a family friend, years later after he had a couple youngsters running around. He called Al up a couple weeks later, asking what it means when there are metal shavings on the trans dipstick. "Means you did stuff you shouldn't have".
                                          I don't know what happened to the car after that.
                                          Side note: Al and Donny took all those leftover parts cars, and made a dirt-tracker out if it. Al did pretty well in it, ran about 3-4 years.
                                           
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