Home is where you hang your helmet. Be it oh so expansive, or ever so humble, there's no place like it. Sure, we drive thousands of miles, even cruise blogs, books, magazines, TV, movies, websites and videos for peeks at cultures that are exotic to us. But at the end of the day, we all just want to go home. Being a relative term, home can apply to anywhere, so that's precisely the ground we're covering this week. There's no place like it, wherever it may be.
NO-SHOW FOR A HOT DATE IN SCOTTYVILLE:
It was a rare and deadly triple deadline. I stared it down with a defiant case of writers block, to no avail. The date was marked on my jumbo calendar with triple skulls-and-crossbones, along with a note to attend the Hot Rod Nationals nostalgia race at our local track, Champion Raceway, on the same day. I figured that with enough coffee, I might make the deadlines with a few hours to spare at the track. Dr. Lockjaw and I even made tentative plans to prepare the Tetanus II Altered for its first runs in over two years. We were stoked. But as usual, deadline day arrived to find me sweating blood, and the Doctor was up to his ankles in customer work (he's really tall, so ankle-deep is pretty busy for him). We didn't even get the car on the trailer. But thanks to the efforts of veteran drag race photographer and grizzled road dog Dennis Vollmar, we can all enjoy the event vicariously via these hand picked images.
Dear Uncle Sam, thanks again for the cool drag strip. We're still really enjoying it. It sure could use a new computer system though - after you pay off your debts, of course. Have you considered selling off some of the southern states to Mexico, to raise funds? Just a thought. (Scotty shot)
A booked-in BB/Funny Car show provided spirited entertainment from the first green flicker to the last working win light. Eye witnesses report these guys to be an excellent value for the money.
Dave Hix had his new Altered in the lanes, but it never fired. The Arias headed Chevy is now apart for final assembly.
Meanwhile, only a few miles south in California (conveniently close to Mexico!), the Brenneman family's A/FX Mopar was melting concrete at the Eagle Field Drags. The roving proprietors of Albany, Oregon's storied B&B Speed Shop made a good showing at "The Field" and did all Oregonians proud with the screaming thousand foot burnouts and edge-dancing quarter mile attacks that we were anticipating at the Hot Rod Nationals. That's right, the B&B Speed Shop team made a conscious decision not to race locally. In their absence, Albany slid a little bit closer to Mexico on the map.
A WONDERFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WITH MOTORMOUTH RAY:
As you know, Ray spends his Sundays and Thursdays with Chris Switzer in the Motor Mouth Radio studios, informing their fellow New York gearheads of local events and other pertinent news (talk about your Public Service Announcements). Last Thursday got sweeter than usual, when Hot Rod magazine staffer Elana Scherr dropped in - one of several stops on her whirlwind New York tour. The ensuing interview was the second consecutive home run for the Motormouths (go to www.motormouthradio.com and at least listen to the awkwardly funny-but-sweet finale, wherein Elana connects with a potential soul mate, known locally as "The Garbage Man"). But the fun continued long after the show...
The long day of reminiscing with Bill and Elana called up this remembrance from Ray :
for the details on New York City legend Alex Harsley and his incredible Dodge Dart GTS. Elana may have earned her first Pulitzer with this story. It's that good. In the spirit of my local NPR station's Pledge Week, why not buy a subscription while you're at Hot Rod.com? (Photos swiped from Hot Rod.com)
Across the nation, many race fans just couldn't stay local while the California Hot Rod Reunion was playing out in Bakersfield last weekend. They came from everywhere. A record number of Cacklers, combined with wild and woolly action in class eliminations was claimed by many to be the best Reunion ever, despite a dismal turnout of Top Fuelers. Example: SGE regular Adam Sorokin took the Top Fuel final while sharing his oiled lane with his opponent, as the Champion Speed Shop semi-liner blew its SB2 Chevy powerplant straight to hell. There were plenty of highlights in the crowded Funny Car field, as well. Luckily, the CHRR always has the world's finest motorsports photographers standing by...
MOTORMOUTH RAY STILL SURFING eBAY!
His credit card is already scorched, but even an oxy/acetylene torch can't melt the steely passion of a hot rodder's dream. Ray's latest online finds are intriguing, to say the least.
Our man Grady (see his feature on this blog) is apparently taking the scenic route home to Texas from Washington, D.C. He posted this photo on Facebook last week, succinctly captioned, "Lost."
THE BI-POLAR BEAR
My old Bi-Polar Bear station wagon still gets fan mail. I'm happy to report that new owner Rocky Gosson is still getting dependable service from the '80 Malibu I traded a smashed Pinto for. Rocky recently sent these images to the SGE offices...
THE DOOR JAMBS ON MY MODEL A COWL
Yeah, it's finally come to this - I'm now updating individual components of my project. But that's just how it is with projects. Especially part-time projects. It's often the little stuff that hangs us up, and this time it was the shocking discovery that I hadn't planned ahead. Again. There will be a vertical hoop just ahead of the forward door jambs (under the dash) and there will be horizontal tubes attached to that hoop. So the jambs required clearancing. My mentor Dr. Lockjaw kindly pointed out some slight irregularities in the cowl that could have been addressed prior to this stage (Translation: He chewed my ass and took away my tools, then spent an hour tweaking, welding and hammering the battered cowl into a shape that actually resembled a cowl). My bad. Eventually, the cowl was trimmed, cowl hoops (there will be two) were designed, and we even shaped the first hoop in the bender (once we found the missing bender dies for our oddball tubing size, which took another half hour). Then it was time to call it a day. Next week: Back to where we thought we'd be last week.
TOOLBOX OF THE WEEK:
In a move no one saw coming, my brother Rocky left Oregon for Nebraska in the late 1970s. If that wasn't shocking enough, he's still there! I guess he qualifies for local status by now. Shortly after his arrival in Omaha, Rocky married and bought a suburban home with a tiny one-car garage, vowing to extend it in length and girth, as soon as possible - "soon" and "possible" being relative terms. When he retired from fleet maintenance from the City of Omaha, his massive tool collection went into storage, but for the select few items that fit into his garage.
NEXT WEEK: Another blog post! You don't want to miss this!