Friday, October 11, 2013

Once More Around the Track

Thought for the day:  Know how the burglar got into the house? Intru-der window.

Not our house, but it DOES look cozy...
Nobody broke into our house this week, but  stuff crawled in the window, dragged me away from the computer, and made me (gasp!) do other things. So no new post for today. But, hey, come on in, anyway. (You can even use the door.)

What we're gonna do is sit back and relax with an oldie-but-goodie post, first published in 2011 as Vroom! Vroom! Since Smarticus and I are going to an Italian car show tomorrow... and (woo HOO!) meeting up with visiting blogger pal Mr. Charleston there... I figured a little fun something-something having to do with cars would be appropriate. I hope you enjoy it.

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Thought for the day: Hey, I'm not old, baby ... I'm classic.



Hot Rod? Yeah ... sleek, classy ... I like it!
Since way back before we were married, my husband called me Hot Rod. Not sure why. Was it my classy chassis? My shiny good looks? Surely, it wasn't my rumbling exhaust system, because I never did that around him until after we were married. And he only wished I was racy ... or fast. 

Maybe it was just because ... he liked me? He sure as heck liked cars. Especially hot rods. Still does, because he's a real deal gearhead. Which means, since we were teenagers, he's been a skilled shade tree mechanic who can pretty much rebuild an engine with his eyes closed and both hands tied behind his back. Slight exaggeration, but not by much.

Now, as I've explained a few times before,  I come from a long line of wanderers ... y'knowpeople who possess an inordinate ability to get lost. When we were dating, Smarticus would entertain himself for hours by driving somewhere, and then letting me direct him home from the middle of that God-only-knows-where nowhere. So, I suppose it's somewhat understandable that my father was, shall we say, dubious when, in the fall of 1968,  I told him my favorite gearhead and I were going to enter a road rally. With him behind the wheel, and ME (har-de-har-har) as the navigator.


This is the car he drove back then. Big Red, we called her. A 1961 Chevy Impala. Not exactly the kind of car one associates with a road rally, is it?

At registration, each team received multiple pages of instructions. In code. Kinda. It might say something like 2 L after circle S. That meant to take the second left turn, and the circle S turned out to be a monogrammed screen door on one of the houses at the side of the road. Tricky, huh?


We ran into a teensy bit of trouble with one of the directions. It said RT. Right turn, right? That's what I thought, too. But it wasn't. It meant Right AT THE T. So we lost some time getting back on course. Not to worry. We (ahem) made it up quite handily. When we flew over a covered bridge, we pulled a regular yee-HA General Lee kinda maneuver. When Big Red came back to earth, I was sitting under the steering wheel. On his lap. Nice, but not terribly conducive to good driving. (He installed seat belts shortly after that.)





                                                                          Bottom line?

First Place Driver!!!

And if you can believe it, this direction-impaired, can't fold, let alone read a map person?

Holy moly! I won first place, too!!!!



After we moved to Georgia and were raising a family, he was too busy being an engineer at the foreskin of technology, (his words, not mine) to spend much time playing with cars. However, in the seventies, he and a buddy did build an econorail. You know ... a dragster?




That's ME sitting in there. Wow! It felt awesome.









Here's a better look at the champion window-rattler. The only sad thing is, after all the work it took to build her, they never got to race her. Not even once. Turned out the track didn't have proper insurance to cover that class vehicle back then, so they ended up selling her. Bummer!






Now, lo and behold, my happily retired better half is once again enjoying life as a gearhead. His three project cars are a gorgeous banana cream El Camino with a black racing stripe, a Corvette,  and my personal favorite, the Rat Rod:

1930 Model A

He put the original Model A body on an S-10 chassis, which facilitated a lot of modern safety features. How do you like that1958 Mercedes grill? We found it at a car show/swap meet when we went to Florida.

Another shot of his baby.
He took her out for a quick test run last week, and couldn't believe how FAST that girl can go. There's a long way to go before she's finished, but she is gonna be one awesome rat rod.

Hmmm, know what? He hasn't called me Hot Rod for quite a while. Shoot, I dunno,  maybe he oughta start calling me Rat Rod, instead.  After all, I may not have much rust, but I could use some extensive body work. And a good paint job. (But I still have plenty of VROOM under my hood!)

Oh, yeah. There IS a moral to my road rally story, if you think about it:

 With the  proper drive(r), you CAN overcome your weaknesses ... and you CAN win.



Still together, after all these years.


                             Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


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A quick update. The rat rod looks even better now than she did two years ago... me? Not so much.



71 comments:

  1. Gorgeous post. And of course you are still together - those trophies couldn't be separated.
    I saw a Far Side cartoon this week which made me think of you. Picture a town, cars full of dorky males banked up at the traffic lights.
    The caption? Zoombies: the driving dead.
    Have a great weekend, and don't become a zoombie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, of course. We HAD to stay together... for the sake of the trophies.

      HA! Great cartoon. Thanks.

      You have a super weekend, too.

      Delete
  2. The "Rat Rod" is awesome dude!

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    1. Hey! I'm not a dude. I'm a dudette... (But yeah, it really is awesome.)

      Delete
  3. I love your nickname, and it should never change! Very cute story! I think that I read it way back when, but it was definitely worth repeating.

    Julie

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    1. Just for fun I checked to see what I wrote last time. Back then I was able to read that you won "best navigator" on your award. Talk about falling apart! I guess I'll be visiting my eye doctor soon.

      Delete
    2. Thanks. I dunno why, but I really do like that nickname.

      Nah, not falling apart. And hey, maybe you'll end up doing what I did. About a dozen years ago or so, I had cataract surgery on both eyes. Now I can see better than I could when I was twenty.

      Delete
  4. Hi Susan .. enjoy the Italian car show - the rat rod has improved somewhat ... love your husband's phrasing as the children came on board ... !!

    Great story telling and two jewels of emerald green and ruby red sit well together as a torque and marriage ... I shall leave my 'gems' of statement there ...

    Enjoy the Show and meeting Mr Charleston .. Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary. Oh, we'll definitely enjoy the Italian car show... and meeting a blogging buddy for the first time.

      Your statements are always gems. Have a loverly weekend.

      Delete
  5. Susan you are a hoot... I feel like we could sit around laughing and talking about anything. Your posts always make me smile :-D

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    1. Aye, I'm a bit of a hooty broad, and I'm sure we'd have a blast.

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  6. First prize!! Woo-Hoo!
    I've never understood the allure of dragsters, but I LOVE the Rat Rod.

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    1. I know! We couldn't believe it!

      The allure of dragsters is their incredible speed. As a rule, I don't care much about racing, but since they engineered and built that dragster with their own hands, I really would have loved to see it go down the track at least once.

      Yeah, I'm partial to the rat rod, too. It is soooo much fun to ride around in her.

      Delete
  7. Even though Smarticus does not call you Hot Rod any more, I am sure he still thinks of you in that way. It looks like he has surrounded himself with engines all his life, with you being his most prized.

    How great that he has a hobby in retirement. My hubby is planning to retire next year and the only thing I can see him doing is driving me crazy.

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    1. Well, I'm not sure if he looks at me like the ol' Hot Rod anymore... he got cataract surgery a couple years ago, so now he doesn't see a nice fuzzy image of me any more, darn it.

      When one of my hubby's co-workers retired, his wife told him, "I married you for better or worse, but not for LUNCH!" That totally cracked us up, but she was dead serious, and he ended up getting a part-time job just to get out of her hair. Luckily for us, Smarticus came home for lunch most days anyway, so retirement wasn't that big of an adjustment for us. You're right, though. It's terrific that he has hobbies; people without them go stir-crazy when they retire.

      Delete
    2. I recently read something from the wife of a retired husband. She said, "Mother told me that there would be days like this.......BUT NOT years,

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    3. HA! Now that's funny.

      Happy weekend, Arleen.

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  8. Replies
    1. Thanks! We will. And a very happy weekend to you, too.

      Delete
  9. I love the 'Still together after all these years" picture :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. This informative post has the potent to give precise info about Vehicle GPS Tracking System, which helps to locate or track a person, a vehicle or any other object as quickly; saving time and money. تتبع الأسطول

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HA! With as many times as I've gotten lost over the years, maybe I should carry a GPS unit around with me all the time. Then I could get lost with better precision.

      Delete
  11. The car show once more
    At your shore
    I like to look
    Funny and sad, the quote about the crook

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of car shows 'round these parts,
      And the classy muscle cars steal our hearts.

      Delete
  12. I love the old pics. The one from the 70s with you in the driver's seat might be my favorite due to the pants of the lady standing behind you. Soooo 70s. You might want to do something to remind him that you are a still Hot Rod. That's a great nickname!!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yeah, those pants are something else, aren't they?

      Glad ya like the nickname. You're right. Maybe it IS time to remind him...

      Delete
  13. Okay, I loved the pic of Smarticus and Big Red but then you definitely stole his limelight in the dragster. Nice!

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    1. Thanks. It felt soooooo cool to sit in that dragster.

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  14. way too fun. Feel the need for speed. Spiffy cars and lots of adventure. Wished we lived closer, my husband would love to poke around your husband's garage and talk the talk. Rev that engine and have a great weekend

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yeah, my hubby's garage is pretty cool. (His dad had a "dog house"; my hubby has a "kennel." HA!)

      I'm sure we'll hear lotza Italian cars revving tomorrow. (They go "vroom-a!")

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  15. My grandmother drove a Chevy that looked a lot like that Impala.

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    1. We happened to see a '61 Impala at a car show we went to last weekend. Same bright red color, too. She was a beauty. With a straight face, I asked the guy if my hubby and I could get in the back seat for a few minutes for old times' sake. (Luckily, he had a good sense of humor.)

      Delete
  16. I like my new Impala better, lol!

    Me and the kid (who is now 18) love going to car shows. I'm not going to be at all surprised to go visit him in a few years to see a classic in the garage as a work in progress. Probably be a camaro, if I know my kid. :-)

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have a new Impala now, and I like it just fine, but I LOVED that old '61. We had a lot of good times riding around in that car.

      If your son goes for a Camaro, he's got good taste. That's one of my favorite cars, and I really wanted to get one of the new ones with the retro look when we bought the Impala earlier this year, but the Camaro isn't very old fart-friendly. (sigh) So we opted for "practical" instead.

      Delete
  17. Cool Impala! I had a '67 - first car :)

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    1. We got a new Impala this year, so we're kinda coming full circle. Our first was an Impala, and this one is most likely our last new car. (But ya never can tell...)

      Delete
  18. Nice. I learned to drive on an Impala. It was kind of a gold color with a white top.

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    1. Cool. I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but I'm guessing it wasn't a 1961 model...

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  19. Good post. Good memories. In high school I drove a '62 Chevrolet Biscayne. I think 62 might also have been its top speed.

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    1. HA Thanks for the chuckle.

      Smartacus actually had two different engines for the '61 before we got married. One was for daily use, and the other kicked butt on the weekends.

      Delete
  20. Really neat post. I am so glad you shared this with us. Great pics too.
    I love old cars and would own one if I had the funds.
    Hope your well and enjoying your weekend.
    Love
    Maggie

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    1. I'm glad you liked it, Maggie. The newer cars just don't have the same pizzazz as the older ones, do they? Except for the retro Camaro, Challenger, and Mustang. They're all pretty neat.

      All is well here. I hope all is well with you, too. Happy weekend!

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  21. Oh I love the headboard pic. Where was that taken.
    Love
    Maggie

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    1. At the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Isn't it neat? We went there earlier this year and saw a really cool exhibit. If you'd like to check out those pictures, click on the mosaiculture tag in the side bar.

      Happy weekend!

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  22. I love that picture of you in the dragster!

    Have fun at the Italian car show and say hello to Mr. Charleston.

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    1. Thanks. It sure felt neat to sit inside of that thing.

      We will, and will do. Happy weekend, kiddo. See ya soon!

      Delete
  23. I'm puzzled how come nobody has offered you a place in Formula 1 team so far, Suze? :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I dunno... maybe because I don't know how to drive a standard shift...?

      Delete
  24. That's quite the transformation on the car! Very nice!

    The trophy's are sweet (and I'm sure it felt awesome to win them). I like that you've kept them. I've kept my kids' trophies too, even one with a broken ball bat. ;)

    Hope the visit and the car show are fun. :)

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    1. It's funny. We've gotten numerous other trophies over the years for other things, but these two are the only ones we've kept. The rally was such a ton of fun, and I NEVER expected us to do so well in it.

      The visit and show were fun. Hot sunny day for it, too.

      Delete
  25. Hey Susan,

    Thought I'd drive by and see what you've posted. Such a detailed and amazing posting. I promise to make no reference to "My Mother the Car"....

    To keep my comment mercifully brief, one part has brought back some fond memories of when I was been driven around in an old Chevrolet Impala with the winged tail lights.

    Heck, I've even been in a 1939 Mercury 8 sedan coupe and felt like a gansta'.

    A awesome pasting, Susan!

    Gary

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    1. Thanks for the drive-by, chap! And thanks ever so for skipping a mention of that horrid show...

      Winged tail lights? A '57, maybe? A lot of restored Chevies from '56 and '57 show up in the shows. But the '39 Mercury must have reeeeeally been fun. (I hope you wore a fedora so you could really get into the roll... er, role... er rolling role.

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    2. "Winged" suggests '59 to me. Tail lights were round but lined up under winged fins.

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    3. Hi Susan and Geo,

      The Impala in question was, from what I can remember, one from between 1958 and 1960. I was only ten years old when I went for a ride in it.

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    4. Of course. Must be the '59, although I thought they called those taillights witch's eyes. (Way to go, dude!)

      Delete
  26. Dear Susan,
    I love, love, love this post! Being an aficionado of cars - and of course vintage cars too - this post is a special highlight! And your hilarious way to tell it made me laugh! (Though I don't believe in the 'rust' part - I'm sure you look good - and one or two scratches in the varnish are key witness for vintage).
    As to burglars blessedly not coming: can you imagine that husband, when we left for the 4 holi-days at the Baltic Sea, answered with a plain 'no', when I asked him after about 200 km, if he had locked our elaborately protected door in Berlin?? He, in a hurry, just let the door shut...Well - fate was kind.

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    1. Thanks, Britta. I knew you were a car aficionado, so I had a feeling you might enjoy this post.

      OY! You're lucky! After traveling that far, there wasn't much to do but keep on going and hope for the best. I'm glad fate was kind to you and nobody came intru-der door.

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  27. The 'still together after all these years' hit the spot with me. I'm not a car person but can see why some people love them so much. Our very first car was a 1928 Willys Ute which got us from A to B until we could afford something a bit better.

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    1. Cool! There were a couple old Willys Utes at the British car fayre we went to a while back. Not sure if any of them were from '28, but close enough.

      Yes, "together after all these years" is the most meaningful part of the whole post for me, too. Take care.

      Delete
  28. Funny joke at the top! I like all your old pictures. I bet you'd like my dad. He's really into old cars, too!

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    1. Thanks. Glad you liked it. The old car buff stuff didn't rub off on you, huh? (Maybe that gene skips every other generation?)

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  29. Where do you get those quotes from? I want to buy the same book! :-) The line about the car being a classic is priceless. Great photos, too. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. I frequently scour the Internet to find appropriate quotes, but not this time. All the stuff on this post came out of my pointy little head. Glad ya liked 'em.

      Greetings back atcha from Atlanta!

      Delete
  30. Hoot! Such fun post! Thanks Susan!

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  31. What a great story. I love that the trophies are still together. True love!
    Congrats on winning first place, how fun. :)

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you liked our story. Yeah, those trophies have been together almost as long as we have, so we have to stay together now for their sake. We couldn't possibly separate them. HA!

      Delete
  32. Life happens, sometimes not even at the computer either. Scary, I know. Hope you got your stuff done. :)

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  33. Yep, life sure does have a way of happening. (Thank goodness!)

    Done? Never ever done...

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  34. hahahahahahaha late again.... You looked fabulous in the dragster ! Quite perfect in fact.
    I like car and horse races I am a Southwestern Gal after all !
    I dated a race car driver in my younger years (and a PI ) ! le sigh, miss them both
    Some people stay together for the children you have to stay together for the trophies ! hahahahahahha

    cheers, parsnip

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