Motor Oil not Blood

Some of us get bitten by the bug at an early age , when we see our first cool car or hear the sound of that rumbling exhaust note. Once bitten by that bug it stays with you for life.

I pulled my first car out of weeds higher than the cars roof line and I can still remember that Camaro’s  nose sticking out from behind all that grass. It wasn’t much of a car with all the rust and rot that years of neglect can do to metal, but it was still worth buying. I remember my dad telling me that the owner should have paid me to take it. That was the beginning of my love affair with American muscle cars.

There is something about all those cool cars from the sixties and seventies that I just can’t move past, even with all the advancements of today’s automobiles . The simplicity of the engines, all the metal and chrome, the chirp of the wheels when pulling second gear. All the things that pulled at me back then still tug at me today, but the one thing that is lacking in today’s cars is nostalgia. The feelings and memories of being a kid race thru my mind every time I see an old car.

Describing the feelings that you get while restoring a broken down, rusty old car are  damn near impossible to put in words. It’s similar in a way to falling for your first girlfriend. You want to be around her all the time. Take care of her. Show her off. Sit and listen to her. Tell everyone about her. That crazy feeling inside that makes you forget everything around you except when you’ll spend your next moments in her company.

There is something that is very gratifying about wrenching and building your own car instead of buying one already done. You put your mark on it. It becomes a part of your personality. You sit in the drivers seat and everything slows down. You know it sounds silly but its not the same as just driving your Jeep or Toyota. Those are transportation and this is your piece of rolling art that you crafted so carefully just the way you dreamed it would be. All those bloody knuckles, cold afternoons in your garage changing parts, searching junkyards and the internet for that hard to locate steering wheel cap. That’s what makes old cars so special.

There has never been a period in my life when I went  any length of time without an old car in my garage. Selling one off is like ending a relationship. As soon as its gone your out there looking for another to replace her. Even today as I write this, I just recently put the finishing touches on the latest build. Old car with new technology. They call it a resto-mod. I guess it had to be called something. Great idea these resto-mods, putting today’s bigger brakes, overdrive transmissions and fuel injected ls3 computer driven engines that spit out 400-500 hp and average 15-20 miles a gallon into yesterdays classic body’s.  All of which were unheard of when these cars were driven off the assembly line but now possible because of an enormous demand for restoring these cars.


First day

First day

original 307 engine

original 307 engine

beautiful seats!!

beautiful seats!!


pulling engine and installing new front end


new lsx376 Chevy 470 hp 450lb

that new car smell!!

front end

front end

low and mean

low and mean

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4 Responses to Motor Oil not Blood

  1. tv says:

    Regular Guy,
    Never was really into cars like you, but do appreciate the 60’s and 70’s cars. Loved the early Mustangs and Camaro’s. Also liked some of the Dodge’s. I liked the El Camino as well. You are right, it’s the memories and nostalgia. Those cars had “personality”. There was a guy up the street that had a El Camino and for what ever reason, I thought one day I would own one. Never happened none the less. For what’s it’s worth, I used to build model kits of a lot of those cars. My favorite all time car is the ’56 Chevy Bel Air, red with the white trim of course. Kind of neat going to a yard sale and seeing photos and calenders with the hot girl next to the car. Good luck with your hobby and thanks for sharing.


  2. These cars are my link to my younger days. Old friends that have lost touch are still locked in those past memories. All the nights when we would cruise the streets, smokey burnouts, and especially all the girls that wanted to ride with you. Sure would be nice if our ladies showed us a little of that attention now like they did back then. Seems like our cars are just in the way now. Still, times have changed but my memories keep living on with every car I own..thanks for the comments TV..R

  3. Bob Jones says:

    My first car was a 69 Chevy Nova. I didn’t know a thing about cars. When I had a problem my girlfriend’s dad offered to fix it. Somehow the locknuts on the rocker arms had backed off. So I called her and when and asked if my car was running . She replied yes could I not hear him doing a burnout in my car in the background? That was when I went to the local voc. tech school for a automotive education. I later bought a real 68’Chevy II /Nova SS. 327 4 speed car. Swapped out the 4speed M21 for a Turbo 350 that I built that barked the tires and several times also spun the input shaft breaking the forward clutch pack drum. It was fun. Thanks for the memories.

  4. That’s funny,,he wasted no time lighting them up once he fixed it. always liked the Novas, especially the old 65-66 box type. They were like a mini Chevelle, even shared the same style interior and dash a couple of years. Sounds like you had some fun with the 68 too! Thanks for the comments.

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