Archive for June, 2008
As i’ve said before here, i love Mexico and have spent a lot of time in Baja over the years. Well, the time is now again.
Me and the family are headed down to San Felipe (2 hrs south of Mexicali on the Gulf of California) until next week– that is if we dont get clipped by drug lords in the battle occuring along the border….
No more nonsense here until next week. Enjoy the break from me….
June 24th, 2008
This weekend I attended the estate sale of Philip DeRosa, an old timer who died last year. Phil was a longtime contractor in the Bay Area who spent years collecting cars, tractors, antiques and history. While I never met Phil, i felt i got to know him fairly good as i spent hours looking through his stuff in the 19th century styled two story barn he built to store his stuff…
I love estate auctions and i hate them. I love the hunt for treasures and i love to learn as much as i can about the history and the person who passed. It’s a very personal experience to me. I tend to hate the antique resellers who are just there to score a biz deal, scrambing agressively.
Phil had a great collection of cars and a couple Indian motorcycles that we’re auctioned. Here’s the results of some:
1) 1924 Ford Model T Opera Coupe– clean, running old restoration. No rust, ran good. I bid $1500 to see if i could get it for a steal (the last thing i need is another car right now, but that doesnt stop the addiction.) It sold for $4500 (sorry, didnt get a pic of this one.)
2) 1920 Ford Model T Opera Coupe– a new restoration and better condition overall than the one above. Sold for $5500….
3) 1926 Ford Model T Roadster– beautiful. $7000 (picture shown on top of this page)
4) 1926 Model T Roadster Pickup. Again, beautiful. $7500
5) 1919 Model T Touring– i loved this one, as it had all the corny accessories from back in the 30′s on it. $6500
6) 1920 Ford Model T Prospect Deluge Fire Truck– top restoration, about perfect. This is one the the few that went higher than i thought it would. $34,000
7) 1928 Nash Touring Phaeton Model 360 Advanced 6. $35,000
1929 Chevy Imperial Sedan $7,000
9) 1928 Buick– $20,000
10) 1929 Indian 101 Scout– I bid on this bike up to $11,000. It sold for $13,000 and i think i regret losing it…. Amazing condition and flat out one of the most beautiful bikes ive ever seen…
11) 1925 Indian Chief w/ Princess side car– again, about perfect. $28,000
OK, so i wasn’t really in the market to buy another car or bike…. and i didn’t. Here’s what i did pick up….
- a box of spotlights and carriage lights for $50 bucks…
- Mr. DeRosa’s work notebook. I’m going to continue on his tradition and use it w/ my work– while keeping all his stuff in it. Antique scrounges weren’t interested in this, so i picked it up for $5 bucks…
- Got a shelf full of old bottle jacks… about 15 of them for $12.50
- A 1920-30′ trunk w/ camping place settings (plates, cups, silverware, etc) for $200. Got an old flashlight for the camper for $12.50.
- A 1950′s unrestored gas pump for $10 bucks (the winning bidder flaked, so i got it the next day after the auction for cheap.)
- Mr. DeRosa kept two boxes full of old newspapers from early 1900′s to 1970′s w/ headlines ranging from WWI to walking on the moon– and everything notable in between. Again, the winning bidder flaked on paying, and i got both boxes full for $10 bucks today. I will love spending hours looking through this. Here’s one box w/ the top paper being a 1918 Detroit News whose headline reports the Victory of World War I…
- my wife picked up some antique furniture for very good deals.
I had a great weekend. Rest in Peace, Mr. DeRosa. I wish i could have met you in person before you passed.
June 24th, 2008
That mother fucker bled 4 pints and almost took me out.
Looks like i get to live some more days instead of losing all my blood. I’m stoked.
June 18th, 2008
After quite a lot of work stripping this beast naked to bare metal, redoing the body work and painting Lochaven Green, I got Anissa’s truck on the road again. Sure, I still need to lower the suspension– but hell, i already have the parts and that can be done in a weekend.
I worked all night last night to get it running and ready for the Road Zombies BBQ today. Yep, we made it.
First of all, here’s the Graham that my friend Johnny from Kool Cat Kustoms just finished building. You don’t see these too often, and it’s the first hotrodded one i’ve seen:
I really dig Dave’s 1930 Roadster– especially the old two tone paint. He drove it down from Santa Rosa:
Really liked this Chevy pick-up:
Found me some tail at the show:
Like the contrasting colors in this shot:
Great: Music. Friends. BBQ. Cars. Music. Raffle. Weather.
You can see all the pics I took at the BBQ here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/notebooms/sets/72157605614473554/
Good day today.
June 14th, 2008
My wife, daughter and I are going to Mexico to spend some time at my friends place in a couple weeks– and i’m excited. I miss them, as during normal weeks it almost seems like i see them in passing as part of my busy unbalanced life.
Let me ramble about something I’ve rambled about before. It obviously bugs the fuck out of me….
You see, my biggest challenge in life right now is trying to balance the exact monster that has helped me get to where i am in life– obsession / compulsion. Every week i have a goal of trying to evenly distribute balance between the things i need to– work, family, cars, being healthy– and every week i fail. I’ve kicked ass at all of those four items **individually**, but i can never pull them together in balance.
In essence, my life is uncoordinated. I can play the fucking instruments, but i can’t orchestrate them well together. What makes it tougher is that when i let one piece go, the others suffer.
Here are my chosen four instruments that I’d love to balance.
Work: When i obsess, i feel i’m the best. When i turn it off, i feel like i could end up living under a highway overpass. That’s my most common nightmare. Really. All or nothing.
Family: When I obsess, i’ve got big heart and am a great family guy. When my obsessions focus elsewhere, I can be self destructing to the things most important to me–I become lousy and sometimes feel like i don’t deserve the good family that i have. In the nightmare i describe above, i live under the bridge homeless– alone.
Cars: I love cars, and i obsess on them. Cars are just a thing– so i don’t have much to say…. but again, just like everything else in my life– it’s either full throttle or nothing.
Health: For me, this is very important in my life. When i’m healthy, i’m happy. When i obsess on my health, i’m a machine– i’ve been one of the best fighters in a world class gym, done pretty good racing mountain bikes, even spent years consistently falling off my skateboard. Nope– not because of natural athletic gifts, just obsessive hard work and fun. When i lose focus— im a fat ugly fuck, i don’t feel good, and i get unhappy.
By the way, while i mention four things, my mind can many times go off and obsess on other things aside from the four I’d choose. Many times in my past, I’ve obsessed on bad things. I hate that part of me.
At times i just wish i didn’t have the mental quirks that i have. But, then i wouldn’t be me– i suppose. Thus, i just try to tune them to a workable level, and balance them. I’m not doing a good enough job.
Even though it’s driven success, the obsessive monster inside me is something i see as evil. Here are words i’d use to describe “it”: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride…. yep, when i look at them I can relate to the seven deadly sins.
Maybe if i can’t save myself, i need to make up some magically bearded guy in my head that will do the saving for me. You know, the big G – O – Dizzle.
I’m quite sure that the *magic* in religion is that it fools people…. In essence, it’s trickery. That said, maybe my mind needs to be tricked into submission. However, the church came up with their own seven traits of counter the evil ones: chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, kindness, patience, humility. Maybe i need to study up on the good ol’ black book, because i’d like a little more of those traits.
I know the devil isnt going to save me— cause that mother fucker seems like he’s been the roommate in my head for a long time. Maybe i need Jesus. Can that greasy ass, long haired hippy help me out, or will he strike me down for calling him a greasy, long haired hippy ? Even though I’ve convinced myself that i despise organized religion, I’ve made it a goal to study up on their big books. I am.
I’d love to go just one week where i feel like I’ve properly balanced the things that make me who i am.
Important to note: When i try my balancing act, i sense my internal monster gets pissed off at me (note to psychologists– notice how the subject doesn’t accept blame and instead channels it to an imaginary “monster”.) In turn, I feel like I’m playing with fire– and sense that the whole thing could blow up in my face, i’d lose everything, then I’d end up as the lonely guy living homeless with no possessions, family or friends under a freeway overpass.
In closing– if you get afraid of me mentioning evil, religion, sins and hopes; im amused. While maybe more of a nutcase than the average Joe, i think most people struggle with issues. After all, without the agonies how can you truly appreciate the victories?
I may be fucked up, but no matter how much you try to hide it— so are you.
June 13th, 2008
I’ll admit it. Sometimes the art of balancing my obsession as a car guy, while at the same time being the family man, is like magic. Magic in the sense of my desperate attempts at being an illusionist.
Take for example our “family trip” last weekend, taking “a little drive up the coast.” My wife and daughter were stoked when i told them i was taking a break from working on the truck and wanted to spend time with them on a road trip up north to check out Fort Bragg. We walked the beach, visited the town house museum, got chocolates and had a fabulous lunch. It was great family fun.
When it appeared we had a spare second while figuring out our next adventure that day, I told my wife that i would love to “swing by” and see this guy that i know of to pick up a part that “i heard” he had. She was onto me when she discovered that the “part” was the body of a 1930 Ford Roadster.
My wifes eyes rolled. I never claimed to be a good magician, but practice makes perfect.
Later that day, back in family mode, we were walking the downtown area when my daughter spotted an old, antique book store. “Daddy, I wanna find a book!,” she exclaimed. At the same time, i knew my wife loves hunting for old hawaiian history books. “Sure, i guess,” I submitted in a “take one for the team” kind of tone.
Here began the masterful attempt at my second trick.
As soon as the family dove into the stores maze of old, bound-up words, i just happened to sneak over to the automotive section and found two books that looked “pretty cool.” My wife looked “pretty onto me,” again, as we checked out.
As soon as i got home, I was hooked on these Floyd Clymer books. It wasn’t just the notalgia of them, but more that Floyd clearly “got it.” Without knowing anything about him, i figured him out just by reading his books– that weren’t even about him. It was clear Floyd had the passion, in addition to the spelling and grammar, and my research validated it. His life story could fill just as many volumes as he wrote about cars and motorcycles.
Clymer was born in Indianapolis in 1895 and lived most of his years growing up in Berthoud, Colorado. Living during the times the transition from buggy to motor carriage began, Floyd became entranced with engine powerered transportation. By age 13 he was entralled with Henry Ford’s new car, and Floyd became the youngest Ford Dealer in the history– selling Model T’s like hot cakes.
As i read his book, “Henry’s Wonderful Model T,” I figured he could sell one of those buckets to anyone.
Around that time, Floyd caught the bug of his biggest sickness– the motorcycle. As a teen, Floyd got his first Excelsior, and by the mid-1910′s he was racing. He also took his money as a successful car dealer, and opened his own Harley-Davidson dealership in Greeley, Colorado. Before long he had won several championships and broken several records on two wheels. Clymer never met a motorcycle he didn’t like. Around this time, Floyd took his first step in publishing, with his “Motorcycle Topics” magazine.
Clymer took a break from cars and motorcycles in the late 1920′s, when he was convincted of mail fraud. He prosecutor had offered him a chance to plead guilty and avoid prison but Floyd felt he was innocent and refused to admit a crime he didn’t commit. Instead, he served over a years hard time in the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth— where he was forced to do things like leave prison occassionally to participate in local races. The warden must have loved bikes too.
When he got out of the big house, Floyd dusted himself off and kept on keeping on with his adventures. He moved to Los Angeles where a fellow short-track racer, Al Crocker, gave him a shot and let him take over the West Coast Indian Motorcycle distributorship. Clymer was back in the races.
Never one to let his passion for cars linger, in June of 1926 he took his Imperial and drove the 702 miles from Denver to Kansas city in 13 hours and 56 minutes– telling the story of this rutted road adventure with words and pictures that he would eventually publish.
Clymer loved Hollywood and in the 1930s he commonly loaned cars and bikes to the movie studios for use in movies. Clymer also allowed movie stars to ride bikes on loan from his Indian dealership in exchange for making sure that publicity shots of the stars riding the bikes could be used in his advertising.
Through the years, Floyd published quite a few great books, including my other find: “Treasury of Early American Automobiles.” His topics related to the car, ranged from history, maintenance to racing. By 1961 his writing was so successful, that he started his own publication– Automobile Topics.
The next time you’re on a family trip to an old bookstore, check out some of Floyds stuff. Since you can’t likely pull off magic either, you’ll at least enjoy checking out Floyds.
NOTE TO FAMILY: I really did love our time together.
June 7th, 2008
When you hit the road, sometimes it slaps you back with surprises that you just don’t plan for. No, not just the backhand of $4.30 a gallon– or the below the belt shot of a tire blow out– im talking a good “thanks I needed that” slap…
Today the wife, daughter and I took a drive up to Fort Bragg to pick up the body of the future “Famous in Peace. Distinguished in Battle” 1930 Ford Model A Roaster project.
Im building this car as a salute to the tank mechanics of WWII, who came back from the war, took and improvised what they knew, and hit the salt flats. This car will be build era correct to the late 40′s and powered by an old Cadillac flathead tank motor that i found (interesting, as these motors sat angled in the tanks, so the intake is angled.) I’ve still got probably a year or two of parts finding to accomplish, but today i enjoyed staring at the body today and dreaming….
While day dreaming about the car on the way home, a side track reminded me that World War II wasnt just about the men in the military that im saluting with the car. Driving past Richmond, we noticed the “Rosie the Riveter Memorial,” which i had no idea about until then…
This memorial is a salute to the women who played a major part in America winning the war. You see, at its peak, 12 MILLION men served in the war– and there were over 11 MILLION draftees. A major challenge was that normally most of those 11 million drafted guys would have served in normal jobs, had it not been for Uncle Sams letter of calling. Thus, who would run the factories? We had millions of men to fire the big guns at the enemy, but who would build those guns and their bullets?
The Great America Propoganda Machine spoke and the women of America came to our rescue. The psychologically crafted advertising played on ladies patriotism, motherly instinct, and made supporting the war machine the glamourous thing to do. Rosie the Riveter was created (and made famous by Norman Rockwell) and shown as the ideal American women– patriotic, loyal, and a hard worker. Rosie was a media success and the ladies of the country responded. 6 million women exchanged their jobs home making with new war making duties.
Richmond, CA was a Mecca of sorts for the American war building machine. During the military ramp up years, the population of Richmond swelled from 20,000 to over 100,000– and many of them were women brought in to work. The mess hall feeding this Richmond war machine was the Ford Assembly Plant. When the war began, President Roosevelt ordered a halt to auto production during the war and this plant helped build about 50,000 jeeps and over 90,000 tanks and other military vehicles. While falling apart, the soul of this Alfred Kahn designed plant still glows…
The center point of the memorial itself is a metal structure that has a bunch of quotes and pictures…
Also in this area is the Kaiser Shipyard #3, which was used for major war ship production. Kaiser made history not only in naval production, but they also built the first onsite company child care centers (24×7 even) for working mothers in the country.
It took the entire country to win the war. That said, once the war was won– our men came home, and companies must have decided that welding, riveting and overall hard work left our ladies hands too rough. No longer necessary, approx 6 million were laid off and sent home to help build the next big project– the June Cleaver Stepford Wife.
It was a good day in the bay…
- scott noteboom
June 1st, 2008