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My Autos - How I Got Started with Cars, Engines and the Like

It all started at the tender age of thirteen, when my dad brought home a 1967 Chevy pickup truck.  This truck was mine to restore during the school year so that I'd have it to drive the next summer at my family's house in east Texas (located in a private subdivision with private roads so there was no need for a license.)  So, I rebuilt that 250 cid 6-cyl, converting the 3spd on the tree to a floor shifter.  I also learned how to grind out rust, work with bondo and fiberglass, and finally paint.  My dad is a parts dept manager at a Ford dealership, and each night he would bring home parts and tools that I needed.  He'd get me darn near anything I wanted or needed: an arc welder, air compressor, paint gun, sander, grinder, a plethora of tools..  You name it.   And each evening from his post at the dining room table, he would draw diagrams on a notepad of various items on the truck.  Armed with these diagrams, I would venture back out into the garage and try to figure out what it is I was supposed to be doing.  In a nutshell, this is how it went for much of the entire school year till the truck looked pretty darn nice!

I am so very thankful to have had this type of support as a youngster.  From here, well, high school brought me into Mopars, a Duster and a Challenger, and I worked at an Auto Parts store that sold PPG paint, too.  Working at an auto parts store, I met a good number of very good mechanics, painters and folks from all aspects of the automotive business.  At times, I would hang-out with them, and this resulted in my learning from each of them.   I also spent a fair amount of time racing my Challenger down the 1/4 mile. 

That's pretty much how I got started. By the time I joined the Marines at 18, I had rebuild countless engines, mostly Mopars and Fords, and so many 727 Torqueflite transmissions I can't see straight.  Once I got home from active duty, I bought another Duster (mentioned on the My Previous Rides page) which I thoroughly restored.. everything, you name it, I did it, except for shooting the final coats of paint. (A wise man knows his limitations!) I could go on and on, but you probably get the idea by now.

Prior to this '67 pickup, I was into dirt bikes like most all other friends back then.  As a kid, having more fun meant going faster and faster, and in this regard, I've never grown up. :-) 

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