Monday, February 4, 2008

A weird, but cool interconnection of time.

In our quest to become millionaires in the junk trade, Gary and I went up to the farm on Sunday and loaded up a trailer load of crap. A quite impressive load too!

What is a little odd with this particular load is the main "object de junque" that occupies the trailer in that picture. That piece of Detroit glory there is a 1958 Ford 4 door. And why does that car hold a place in my heart? It was mine when I was 13 and 14 years old.

While other boys had go-carts or a mini bike or less, I was cruising the backroads and pastures in high style. A couple of tons + of American iron, powered by a 292 cubic inch V8 with a "3 speed on the tree". I was Mario Andretti, Evil Knievel, and Elroy Jetson all wrapped up in one in that car, and needless to say, the envy of all my buddies.

So how does a young man of 13 come to have command of a car? Honestly I think it was because my Dad was tired of me tearing up the riding lawnmower. Hottroddin' that poor ol' Sears and Roebuck rider until it wouldn't go anymore was making the old man crazy. Him and my Grandpa went to a farm auction and came home with this old Ford for $50... because it was cheap. It sat in the lot with our farm machinery for awhile and one day Dad sat a used battery in it, handed me the keys with fatherly advice "Don't kill yourself in it, and don't get on the highway with it."

Yessir, that was a whole different time. If you were to turn a 13 year old boy loose on the farm with a car now, they'd drag you into court for child endangerment or some silly thing.

The old girl was pretty loose in the motor department, but I could wind her up pretty tight in 2nd and drop her into 3rd and get her rolling 60 or 70 mph across the pasture on what could only be described as "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride". Devoid of shock absorbers, nearly treadless tires on the front and mud tires on the back, I could make anyone grab the dashboard and not turn loose, that chose to ride with me. My Grandma rode with me........ 1 time. That was it. She got outta the car, called me by all 3 of my names, slammed the door and told me to never ask her to ride with me ever again.

Having a loose old motor, it got rid of quite a bit of oil. Dad caught me pouring oil in the motor one day and asked me where I got that oil. I told him "outta the barrel in the shop" He informed me that THAT oil was for the tractors and trucks and things that mattered. He then led me to the corner of the shop where there were a few 5 gallon buckets of used oil that had been drained out of the tractors. "That is the oil that you use." he said. And I did. Didn't seem to matter much. LOL

I got a couple of summers out of that old 58 Ford, and I discovered one day that I could wind it up to the point just before she'd blow, turn the switch off, pump the gas pedal a few times and turn her back on and get the most awesome backfire you ever heard in your life. It'd shake the whole car and sounded like a cannon going off. I did this about 5 or 6 times and then... "KABOOOOOOM! Chunka chunka chunka chunka....screeeee" Seems the pistons caught up with the valves on the last backfire and that was the end of it.

I was nearly in tears I was so grief stricken.

I moved on to my next career in my Grandpa's 59 Willy's jeep and then, much to my Mother's chagrin... motorcycles. A pastime that I barely escaped from with my teeth, arms and life.

Anyway, Gary and I pulled the old Ford outta the ditch in the pasture that it'd been unceremoniously shoved into years and years ago, we drug it onto the trailer and I told Gary the story of the car.

Then I walked over to the drivers side, looked in and right there was one of the best things I've found in years. I reached in, pulled it out and just stood there holding it in my hand and for a couple of minutes I was 13 again.

I think I'm going to frame it with a picture of the car. I don't think I've got any pics of it from childhood... I wish I did. The key is good enough.



Vicky said...

Oh, you and Don could swap great stories about cars! He tore up three or four transmissions in Dad's 1857 Ford Fairlane with a Thunderbird engine (or something like that) when he was in high school.

Boys and their motorized vehicles! That key is certainly worth framing! Just think of all the stories you can pass along to those grandkids of yours! LOL

Vicky said...

Oops, 1957. ROFLOL

Jerry said...

When my aunt died at an early age, my single mom moved us in with Uncle Don and his 5 kids. He ran a junkyard, and believe me that was an experience. We had a mile "almost oval" track and once every week or two we'd salvage oil and gas from the new arrivals and run some "rebuilt" hybrid 'till it died. Then Donnie (Jr, the oldest) would have to drag the carcasses back with the Brockway...

So, once again, this makes perfect sense to me. :)

The only time I ever got hurt there was sliding downhill on a Buick hood. Now THAT was a dumb-a$$ stunt for sure......

Loved the story, Jace! Nostalgia is such a sweet thing.

Dick said...

Yep,thanks for the memories.A buddy and I went through a couple old field cars.Those things sat in his parents field for several years after we broke them.Years later the land came out of the soil bank and I thought I'd like to rent it to grow some beans.The buddy's mother said she'd rent it,only if I got the darn cars out first.Sure coulda used your trailer.Come to think of it,your old Ford would have been a new car when we were running the fields. :-)

Kim said...

Hummm. Kinda makes you wonder why people pay all that money for 4-wheel drive SUVs to go off-roading when all they really need is an old Ford with a 14-year-old driver! ROFLOL!

Fletch said...

I inherited a hand-it-down 39 Plymouth at age 15. Gosh, what a car, what memories. I've posted stories about my adventures and/or misadventures on a writer's website ( if you want to read some of 'em. But knowing all these little factoids this late in the game makes me wonder, sometimes, why any of us are still in one piece. We are in one piece, ain't we?

JudyL said...

What a neat story and to have the key! That will be a great framed piece!

Cowguy said...

Looks like this one stirred up a lot of happy memories. Americans as a whole certainly have made the car a member of their family, even carrying through with treasured and happy remembrances.

Thanks folks.


Kim said...

Heck, Americans as a whole probably CONCEIVED quite a few members of their families in cars too! ROFLOL!

Dan said...

How bad a shape is the car in as it sits ? Why don't you rebuild it ? Then you tell of your memories at car shows and drive-ins while showing off "your car".

The Chief said...

I can't believe you sold that old memory filled beauty for scrap. I seem to remember a quote about heirlooms like this one:

I do furniture restoration and often times I have to create a piece of furniture out of a pile of crap that chickens have been roosting on and suddenly folks want this hunk of firewood in their home... where they eat. *gah* You know why? I'll tell you why, it's 'cause it's a rare family heirloom. It's true.

This was a perfect opportunity to turn the tables on some car fixin' guy so that you could preserve your heirloom! Imagine the before and after pix he'd be showing off on his blog.

Oh well, too late now I guess.

Dan said...

I remember that same guy saying that too.

Cowguy said...

LOL opportunity will knock again I'm sure. :-)