Monday, October 27, 2014



Being there - The once-in-a-lifetime experience of any given moment.
Been there - The satisfaction of relaying an experience to an interested party.
Getting there - That's the key. Neither present nor past tense can exist without the getting.

We are sacrificial lambs. And our reward? A few golden seconds of gratification. By the time our tires finally touch the track, we have expended enough time, energy and money to have built a city. We end up with race cars instead - mean spirited heartbreaking machines that must be gingerly towed to Point B before attempting to spit out every internal component, including the driver. We racers fancy ourselves as intellectuals, but logic simply doesn't apply here. Ours is a fool's mission, born of pure emotion. We blindly accept our lot and follow our jones like lemmings, knowing full well that the farther we get from home, the more likely we are to find disaster. We call it romance, and go willingly to wherever the road takes us. While piling up the miles, we care not what awaits us. We are lambs. Lemmings. Zombies. Hopelessly strung out on getting there, as illustrated via the following photo essay, assembled from the crumbs of the vast SGE archives. Hop in...



The neutering of my home town continues, except for this lone ornery holdout. Personally, I'm enjoying the influx of entertainment venues, coffee shops and cafes to my downtown neighborhood, but I'm enjoying the angst of the City Council even more. They hate the Sam Jennings Company building and its mud parking lot, situated right on the rejuvenated main drag. It's sacred ground to me and my knuckledragger cronies. Leaking on a steel shelf inside are my '40 Chevy truck shocks, destined for the SGE Model A. They're awaiting an audience with "Freddy" - the oldest guy in the shop, and the only one with hands-on experience concerning such arcane contraptions. Yes, I'm deferring to professional help on this one. I have no access to the specialized tooling required to rebuild these components. 

With the shock project on hold, focus shifted back to the radiator makeover. Drag race buddy and uber fabricator Twisty Ron Austin pitched in with typical precision beadwork on the new extended fill neck and other hack mods by yours truly. Twisty is the go-to race car builder of the Northwest Territory. Schedule your project today at Ron Austin Fabrication in Medford, Oregon.

Back at Doctor Lockjaw's Custom Metal shop, here's what we're up to: I want a needle nose on the '31 A-bone - thus the skinny (and short) radiator. Long story, but I no longer have the '31 radiator shell that I started the project with. I scored this '28-'29 shell from my brother Mark without considering the pronounced difference in shape and design. Now it's payday. How to fit the squared-off radiator into this rounded-off shell, once it's been narrowed seven inches to meet my demented criteria? 

We have a plan (roughly chalked straight onto the rusty shell), but it will require more
hacking and welding on the radiator...

Luckily, Doc shares my vision for this car. We're both enjoying the grind, but Doc's experience and finesse will likely save me from myself. Again. Thanks Doc! (Scotty shots) 


Longtime SGE contributor Marty Strode is making great strides forward on his next driver. Master tinsmith Brent McMullen recently waved his magic wrench over Marty's '40 pickup with the usual excellent result: "Brent aligned all the body panels to a razor fit and got it ready for paint. It's far beyond my expectations. Special thanks to Don Peterson for transporting it safely home for me. Next up are bumpers, sideboards, a vintage heater, and finalizing the shift and throttle linkages."

Marty's mock-up engine is looking good, but the truck has a nice surprise waiting: "The new 283 is ready at the machine shop, and we'll be assembling it this winter. A rare original '41 pickup column shift will connect to a full synchro 3-speed trans. I've been collecting parts for this truck for 15 years. It should be painted (Washington Blue) and ready to drive, next summer."

Rest while you can, buddy. This tranquil scene won't last long...

We recently announced Marty's planned fuel tank for his Stallion motorbike. Here's how he did it:

First, Marty hammered some aluminum sheet into the basic shape of his cardboard template. He then rolled the edges, and created a ribbed (bead rolled?) centerpiece, which is tacked on here.

The B-side is added and, viola - a fuel vessel worthy of the great Stallion.

Marty ground down his welds and Presto! A sexy new gas tank! Zap in the filler neck, and done. Easy peasy. Just don't ask me to do this. Yikes! (Photos courtesy of Marty Strode)



We have no info on the artist, but we can tell you the piece is titled Funny Squirrel. Enjoy.

A message for you from the great George Trosley, via Motormouth Ray. You're welcome.


One last look at the road. Photographer unknown.

Apologies for the curt post. Work is piling up, as I continue to fall behind. Hopefully, next week will be better. Thanks for understanding.