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High School Car
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Joe The Wrangler    Posted 10-12-2001 at 11:53:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
Not Much going on here today. Went out this morning and trimed my horse and tended to the other critters. Been sitting inside found a old picture of my high school/college car thought you guys might like to hear about it. i bought it from a older guy in town it was a 1933 Plymouth Coupe. I bought it for $15!! heck of deal huh!!. it ran and drove but needed some work the paint was almost all peeled off and it had some dings and dent and the old flathead six did nothing but smoke. i drove it in stock form for my senior year of high school except for the black coat of primer i put on it and the red wire spoke wheels from a chrysler. it always got me where i wanted to go but a month before i went off to college the old flathead let go on old highway 77 dragracing a 38 chevy. In a way i was glad to get rid of the Gutless six but then again mad cause i had no transportaion to college so me and a buddy went to the junkyard one day to see if we could find another six banger for her. We found a wrecked 55 chrysler sitting under a tree so we lifted the hood looking for a six but instead we were greated with a huge 4 barrel carb strange valve covers with the spark plugs right in the middle and the words Chrysler Firepower on them. I quickly blurted out HEMI!!! i knew this was the engine i needed for my car. in trade for $7 and a model A body from our tree line i owned the 354 Hemi we pulled it out of the chrysler and brought it home to the farm then we just sat and wondered how we were gonna make that big thing fit in that small car so we yanked the old six and 3spd tranny and began mesuring cutting and welding we used old pieces of a plow and a disc to weld up into engine mounts and did some more primative things to make it fit we could sure tell we had farmer in us when we were done with all the welds and baling wire type methods that held it together ha ha!. we got a 3spd tranny from a 37 ford from a friend for free and bought a adapter kit from a kid in town that had the same setup in a ford coupe years back. we had the engine and the tranny all set in and we realized the driveshaft and rear end just wasnt going to work so we looked around and i scored a 55 chevy rear end complete with 4:10 Gears!! a guy in town made me up a driveshaft to work with the setup and he also took some old exhaust pipe and welded me up some headers for the hemi finaly the day came to start it took about five minutes of cranking and i didnt think it would run finally it came to life blew a bunch of black stuff from the headers and roared. we took it out on the road and the first things i noticed was it was loud bumpy handled terrible and ran too hot so back to the farm i took out the radiator and figured out it wasnt enuff to cool the big hemi down so again a trip to the junkyard found a bigger radiator from a chryler with a straight 8 motor and it was almost a bolt in fit. well she ran cool enough now but it still danced on the road when you really got her going good but i learned to handle it and to control the brakes they were teribble also. It was basicly a death trap. i drove it to college for about a year and a half and it was one of the fastest cars in my college town. One weekend i came home and a buddy and i were out crusing we were going down a dirt road pretty fast and we came over a hill the old wood bridge that went over the river was right there and there was a car parked on it i pulled hard to the right and the coupe broke through the gaurdrail and rolled end over end once and rolled sideways two more times the suicide door came open and my buddy was thrown out i came to and the coupe was almost on its side in about 3 feet of water it was at more of a tilt cause of the rocks it was on. i was hanging halfways out the door and i knew right away my arm was broke i had a pretty bad cut on my leg too and bmups and bruises and scrapes everywere on me i managed to kick the door open and crawl out. The coupe was smoking really bad from the engine and was a complete wreck everything was totaled i started looking for my friend it was so dark i couldnt see a thing so i took my zippo lighter out to see where i was going i found my friend he was laying on the bank he was breathing but i could see his leg was broke and he was bumped up pretty bad too. i looked on the bridge and i could see the other car was gone i had to walk out of there a quarter mile to the nearest farm house and called for help the sheriff asked some questions and then the ambulance took us away it turned out i had a broken arm a bad cut 3 cracked ribs and my neck was out of place my buddy had a broken leg 4 broken ribs a broken hand and he had some troubles with his back he didnt come to until a day after the crash. We never found out who it was on the bridge that we swerved to miss but who ever it was didnt even check on us just took off i blame some of the wreck on the coupe because of the brakes and handling but the coupe held up good enuff to keep me from being killed. they yanked the coupe from the river and hauled her to the junkyard. i dont even know if the car still is around. The last i heard of it the body was in a farmers junk pit about 50 miles from where i grew up and that the hemi and the frame were being used under a 34 dodge coupe. i never looked into it but that was the last i heard. it sure was a heck of a car ha ha a lot of memeorys with that car good and bad. thought you guys might like to hear about it.

I still have my HS car! LarryAJ    Posted 10-15-2001 at 12:45:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
Doubt that any one else can make that claim! It is in my barn at my farm in VA.

Anyone heard of a Crosley?!? That's what I have. A 1948 sedan. I bought it from a high school friend for $100 in 1955. First car I owned, that is if you don't count half ownership in another Crosley with my buddy Bill Prastka. I sold my half to Bill when I bought the '48. It was a Station Wagon then, but I took the body off to make a "sports" car like the one Bill had. He and I had started on the new body when we both owned it. He finally finished it. Fiberglass over plywood sections with hardware cloth underneath - sort of like an old time model airplane model.

Anyway when I finally got some "smarts" I realized that I would never get a body made. So I went to put the SW body back on. Unfortunately the floor had rotted out while it was sitting off the car next to the garage. By luck I found a good sedan body in a junk yard, so that is what is on it now.

It hasn't run in ..... weelll since 1958 ... I think - CRS these days now. :-)

It is one of my MANY retirement projects. If I finish half of them I'll be a very very old man when that happens! :-)

Kara    Posted 06-30-2003 at 16:06:50       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Know where I might find a left front fender and a whole front grill for a 48 Crosley Station Wagon near California???

modam    Posted 10-16-2001 at 21:51:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep, I can. It's a 1973 Chevvelle SS. It hasn't been run in about 12 or 13 years. Like yours, mine is in my shed awaiting restoration. Someday.

magpie    Posted 10-13-2001 at 11:36:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
Heck of a good post Joe. I really enjoy hearing about the old days and the guys who built their own stuff. Wasn't much hot rod equipment available to buy then, and nobody our age had any money to buy it with anyway. I had a buddy who had a 49 Merc coupe, I had a 55 chev 2 door. What I remember most was it was cool to have red wheels with no hubcaps, ya just had to have lakes pipes either the short ones or just the plugs showing, the long ones wern't cool. Also had to lower the back a little and the front lots. I built me a homemade floorshift conversion.Everybody used to take off the ornament on the hood and trunk and prime the area for painting, nobody ever got around to painting the spots though, ahhhh those were the days----hot rods, dairy queen and trying to pick up a girl, Would I like to go back to it? No I don't think so.

Joe The Wrangler    Posted 10-13-2001 at 15:58:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
ha ha yeah primer red wheels and loud exhaust. them were the days i miss them now and again but i really dont miss being low on cash and working on the hot rod all the time. seems like everyone was the same way though. i remeber when i was a freshman in highschool the most fastest car in town was a 1931 model A coupe hi-boy no fenders or hood primer grey top choped 3inches with red steelies on it it had a buick nail head in it with four stromberg 97 carbs and them big old headers that came out the sides. i remember the kid that owned it he was a senior that year his name was Jim montgomery we thought he was the neatest guy he slicked his hair back and had his pack of lucky strikes rolled up in the sleeve. he worked at the local fillin station and we use to look at his car when he was working it had one of those metal flake steering wheels in it a red one with a big 4spd shifter in it and it had a cool 8 ball shifter knob. he graduated and then tore it apart to do it up nice. It never got done though he was killed one night coming home from a dance by a drunk driver. it sat in pieces beside the barn for years. one day the coupe was gone and ive never seen it again. It was a fast car in its day i still respect the old flatheads and nailheads and hemis they were fast moving motors in there day. ahhh the old days. ha ha

magpie    Posted 10-13-2001 at 22:13:02       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh yeah! I remember the smokes rolled up in the short sleeves of a white T shirt. Also remember wearing any kind of hat or workboots was really uncool. I had hair in those days, kind of a wave on each side of the head with a waterfall, took some amount of greese to keep it in place. I got caught in the rain a few times with this stupid hairdoo dang greese runs down your face, not cool. Guess thats why I was refered to as a greeser. I had a buddy over one day, I wanted to look cool in front of him, so I told dad I wasnt going to do any chores that day didn't have time. So he told me right in front of my buddy he was going to warm my butt with a willow switch,if I didn't work. Dad is a man of his word, I did chores. The whole day was really embarasing---not cool.

Nathan(GA)    Posted 10-12-2001 at 19:30:23       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thanks for the story Joe. I wish I had my high school car back. '70 Chevelle SS 396. I've been wanting to build an old coupe rod, but I got too many irons in the fire now.

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