Sometimes when I was in middle school I would bike to school. It was 1 mile down the highway or about 5 miles on the back roads. The back roads were ½ dirt. The specific day I’m writing about, my brother and I were biking down the highway and went past the one gas station in our 150 person town.
There was a guy who was in high school while I was in middle school. He had bought a 1970’s Firebird. I saw him leaving the gas station and saw 2 girls in the car with him. I was already attracted to girls, although I didn’t know why. I told myself that I wanted to get a fast car so I could get the girls.
I remember when I was a sophomore in highschool I was talking with a friend just waiting to get my license the next year. We hadn’t had much success with girls thus far, but I was sure that once I got my license I’d be picking up all the girls. Boy was I mistaken. Looking back, unsurprisingly, getting a license didn’t change my behavior towards women any and thus I didn’t pick up any girls, at least not for that reason.
Now I’m 25. I have partnered with The Job Foundation and I am mentoring 2 young boys. I occasionally take them for rides in my 2007 Mustang GT. They have some racing games for their video games and I they really like my car.
In a similar situation, the other day was riding my 2008 GSXR 600 and stopped at a gas station. A kid yelled at me from the back seat of his parents SUV “Nice Rocket!”. I smiled. There were 5 Harley’s parked at the other end of the gas station. The kid didn’t see them. He just saw what he thought was cool. I wonder if that kid will look back and remember me some day?
These stories make me pause and reflect on what growing up really means. Sure I am a pretty fortunate guy and relatively happy but I am always looking for more. How to make a bigger difference. How to have more toys. I’m finally starting to question what the right goals are. I don’t have all the answers yet, but just taking the time to think “I’m that guy that I wanted to be as a kid”, at least in some aspects is a pretty cool feeling.
Did you have any memories of what you wanted to do or be or have from when you were a kid? Have you reached any of those goals? Did they make you happy? Did you set new goals part way through?
Clean Chevelle (to show you all I’m not only about rat trucks!)
The Full Mustang?
Tuesday June 10th 2014 Drive from Charleston, WV to Norwalk, OH
This day started by picking up the parts we had ordered the day before for the Mustang, lower a-arms and front struts. $600 and we were on the road with the rest of the tour.
We arrived at Summit Motorsports Park around 3 pm. This was one of the easiest venues to get into. I suppose because they had plenty of room and are set up to handle that many cars? We parked the Mustang by the GM rescue mechanics. As I mentioned before, if you are having serious problems and bring these guys parts and a broken car, they will fix it, no charge! This is my official “Thank You” to those guys!
GM mechanics saving our Ford! Great guys!
They won’t swap your new cam in! But if your car has brakes fading away, clunky suspension (guilty) or other safety issues they will help in a heart beat. They also were helping some guys with rough running vehicles, etc once they got caught up on the safety stuff. I asked Robbie to watch the car get fixed while I went and got my Golden ticket for the Comp Cams drawing. I talked with quite a few folks while walking around in my Spartan outfit. Many people gave me thumbs up and took pictures. A few shook their heads, some asked if I lost a bet, all understandable.
HRPT golden ticket Spartan!
One guy I talked to while walking around was David Brown. He had 2 vehicles on Power tour, a 1928 Ford and a 1964 Ford, both trucks.
David Brown, 1928 Ford
David Brown 1964 Ford truck. Very cool shop truck style!
Once our car got fixed and I received my Golden Ticket we walked around a little. We ran into the guys driving the Evil Atom. They have to at least be in the running for the toughest guys on power tour. This year was pretty nice weather, but the lack of any roof makes it even tougher to drive (through rain) than most rat rods, and this is something like these guys 6 HRPT. http://evilatom.com/
Evil Atom (Screen shot stolen from the Evil Atom website)
That night we stayed at a small hotel and once again meet some cool folks there. Robert Brown (no relation to David) shared with us his 1973 Firebird. What a clean car!
Robert Brown’s Firebird
Don’t drink the Kool-aid from the Firebird’s radiator!
Wednesday June 11th Norwalk, OH to Crown Point, IN
The next day we headed out and what a great drive that was! No clunking, our stuck brake pad had been replaced, the drive was quiet and we could actually enjoy it! Today’s drive included a stop at Lane Automotive. We choose to skip it, much to my angst now. I was told by fellow Power Tourer’s that it was a great stop! I guess the lesson here is “Never skip a lunch stop!”
We arrived at Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point, IN around 3 pm. This was a very cool stop! The fairgrounds was a very cool setting, it wasn’t rows of cars, they were parked in between trees, around a lake etc. It made for a nice walk. There were a ton of great cars this day (just like every other day).
I met Bobby from Sons of Anarchy! (Not actually, but sure looks similar!)
How serendipitous that I had my Sturgis Motorcycle Rally shirt on from last year.
Actually Bobby from SOA
After checking in we started walking around the pond. This was where we met a ton of cool Hot Rodders!
I had been seeing these “Laid-Back” stickers popping up on everyone’s cars. Shane was putting one on his 1966 Ford with the 7.3 diesel earlier in the week when I met him, and a ton of other vehicles had them on also. I finally took the chance to stop and say to these guys. I talked with Chris Barker at that booth. They had a couple cool woodie wagons there and Batavus scooter. I studied abroad in Holland and this particular model was made in Holland so I am a bit more partial to it than most people.
Laid Back scooter/motorcycle. I studied abroad in Holland and this particular model was made in Holland so I am a bit more partial to it than most people. The brand is Batavus.
This car was a popular car at every stop. Didn’t get the guys name.
This was a very popular car at HRPT. It has a overhead cam Inline 6 cylinder Pontiac engine. Quite the unique power plant! The rest of the car was very unique also.
Here’s another vehicle I didn’t get much info on but I thought the rusty flames were pretty neat!
cool rust flames!
The next vehicle I stopped at was the Ring Brothers party camper. These guys build incredible cars. Check out this custom Pantera they recently finished. On the HRPT they were just having fun, I didn’t see any vehicles, besides the party camper, which was pretty awesome!
RingBrothers party camper. You see they let me brand their gas tank with a MyWheelLife.com decal. cool guys who build awesome vehicles! Check them out.
After them I walked past the dyno, which was at every stop on the power tour. It was a popular attraction every day.
Saleen Mustang on the traveling dyno
Overlooking the dyno I talked with Ryan of Rusted Knuckles Garage. I was unable to find his website but I did find his youtube channel. Check out the pictures of his truck below. He was running Buick GN turbos from a 3.8 V6 but he had 2 of them on his SBC V8. He was nice enough to let me sit in his cool truck. It was awesome but a bit tight for me! The truck is named “Hands Full” because it’s a handful to control all that power when you hit the gas!
Crazy twin turbo small block Chevrolet rat truck. The turbos were from a Buick Grand National.
The Hands Full truck was a pretty tight fit. That’s what happens when you channel a body over the frame.
Awesome front view of Hands Full!
After Ryan’s truck I ran into another rat. This one was built by Rich of the Hoosier Head Hunters. They were from pretty close by and had brought a few cars. Ryan’s was very cool. If you check out their FB page you can probably get in touch with Ryan. He said the truck was up for sale or trade if you are interested! https://www.facebook.com/HoosierHeadhunters
Rich from Hoosier HeadHunters car club from Cedar Lake, IN.
There was one more awesome rat truck I took pictures of that day. Are you starting to feel a trend here? Is there something in the water in Indiana? If there is I hope I got some!
Later that night we stayed at Red Roof Inn and there were a TON of hot rodders there! Here’s a few pictures.
Cool HRPT parking lot!
One more vehicle that wasn’t a rat! Quite far from it! This just shows the variability of HPRT vehicles which is what makes it so great!
Cool Lotus on HRPT!
What were your favorite parts of Tuesday/Wednesday of Power Tour 2014 (Norwalk, OH and Crown Point, IN)?
What were your favorite cars?
Very nice 1969 or 1970 Mustang (to show you all I’m not only about rat trucks!)
Crazy Holden Ute from Australia? El Camino anyone?