Taking rusty old junk and turning it into rusty old junk with shiny new parts on it since 1956.
"Autorama" features all killer cars from NSRA and Goodguys shows, as well as assorted rod runs and cruise ins. Coming soon, you will also be able to chase down pictures by maker. If Buicks are your thing, you won't be forced to wade through show after show just to find the handful I managed to find... as a good example.
"Tech Archives" is expanding as fast as I can and is the section most likely to get me in hot water, but hopefully most people will be happy they're still getting linked and credited. Eventually I'll be adding all kinds of useful archived threads form various forums.
"Links" Is my collection of hot rod related links. You know... everyone has to have them, so I have them too.
Racing under the Team Tumbleweeds banner, the Garage includes all of my projects and my family's rides.
If you're working on an old Mopar, you might find the GTX section interesting, since that's my most developed portion of the site so far featuring specific tech pages and journals. The areas for my '55 Chevy wagon and '48 Austin will be coming along shortly!
"Family Rides" Is where my family's hot rods are found... My parents' cars, my uncle's Model A, even our old hot rods we had once upon a time.
Big Pilgrim Autorama
Hot Rod Links
The Team Tumbleweeds Garage
I know I have worth and "value added" to the web community. Because I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And dog gone it! People like me! But don't take my word for it.... listen to what these famous people had to say:
He should be in front of as many audiences as he can, empowering them with his message and inspiring stories. - Jack Canfield
I had one unbelievably great night last night. On a scale of 1-10 it was about a 32. - Dr. Laura Schlessinger
By far the easiest (web site) I ever traveled, I may get rid of the family car. - Dennis Leary
We have completely different brains - Christina Applegate
Magnets make me feel like playing baseball again. - Hank Aaron
Can't forget that great evening. What a great talent you have. - Jane Goodall
The flower of the family. Yeah, he's a blooming idiot. - Dad
I really wish he'd wash his elbows - Mom
Now on to something I wasn't sure where to put anywhere else...... who I am as a hot rodder! You may not care, but it's a bit like a train wreck. (Coming soon! Scans of just what was so interesting in that particular issue of Hot Rod!)
I was born a poor white child.... No! Really! My parents were both teachers in a small West Texas town, so I'm not making that up! Our first Christmas tree was a decorated tumbleweed! But here's the good part.... the story I've been told time and again is that my mom went into labor while sitting on top of a gasser at Amarillo Dragway watching the races with my dad. It's pretty simple. I blame my parents for all that's wrong with me. They blame me for all that's wrong with them. And if you smell something funny, you better believe my mom will blame the dog.
Dad has always been a frugal, resourceful, and ingenious hot rodder. He started out on a sprint car at age 14, and by working his ass off on the pipeline with his dad, bought himself a '55 Chevy, had it painted ghost white and then went hog wild. I'm not sure (yet) what other rods he had, but during the hey day of hot rods and drag racing, I do know he had a cherry red '32 Ford gasser, too. He also spent a brief stint driving for Creitz Automotive (Tulsa) in a top fuel rail until a rollover detached one retina and put him back in the gassers. When I was a young'un, Dad had a '50 Austin 4 door.... all yellow and plain looking as hell from the outside. But when you looked closer you'd see a 337CID Chevy with a solid roller cam, Crane heads, and a 4 speed. .. sitting back so far that he actually drove from the back seat. That was my first memory of riding around in cars and it tainted me for life. As family priorities took over, costs escalated, and bracket racing took all of the fun out of it for Dad, the Austin was parked and later sold, but Dad never really stopped. We had a '55 Chevy wagon as our family car ever since I can remember and at one point had an old Willys jeep with a Buick V6 in it. When I hit the streets in my own hot rod (that very same '55 wagon), Dad was putzing around building up a '28 Ford Sport Coupe he had pulled out of a farmer's trash pile piece by piece. By the time he was done picking through the pile he had pulled out a T cowl, a Model A Sport Coupe and a spare frame for his father-in-law's old Model A Truck. Believe it or not, there was more to be found in that pile, too, but Dad was feeling guilty for taking as much as he did. I wonder if it dawned him that... IT WAS A TRASH PILE!!!! .
When I put the wagon back on the streets with a mighty healthy SBC/4speed/4.56 9" Ford combination, Dad was BURNING to get back on the streets and he had his 'A done in a matter of months. That very same car is still rolling along just fine and has just recently gone through a total overhaul, including switching to an early Chrysler hemi for power (the big block Chevy he removed is going in my '55).
That's the environment I grew up in. My favorite cars were always the gassers. I never liked muscle cars very much. They seemed a little too common for me, although I've steered my way towards them to a very limited degree. If you think back, in the 1970's and 1980's when I grew up, muscle cars weren't all that old and were all over the place. Everyone and their dog had a Camaro or a Chevelle. Come to think of it, I suspect one of our dogs had a Nova stashed somewhere, too.
The GTX is a classic example of the prior owner needing be stripped of his car ownership privileges. I've had to spend a lot of time fixing mistakes on top of refurbishing and repairing what Father Time had done to it. Truth be told, I'm not that good and I manage to foul up plenty on my own, but I do want to toot Dad's horn for teaching me the ropes of what became a life long hobby and something I hope I can pass on to my own son. And thanks to my Mom for teaching me not to throw a wrench at him when we got crossways.
As far as nitty gritty work, I do like welding and fabricating when I need to, although I'd still call myself a total amateur. I probably enjoy drive train work most of all.. and at the top of that list is engine work. I don't know what it is about them I enjoy so much. It must be the feeling of working on the heart and soul of the car and the instant feedback you get from a job done right. On the flip side, I can't STAND body work. I like working the metal, but all of that sanding just plain sucks. I also don't like dealing with tight engine compartments or poorly designed cars, so yeah... most everything after 1971 starts falling off of my list. "Rust busting" is not real high on my list either. It's tiring. time consuming, and you end up wearing, tasting, and smelling like all of it.
Nuggets of wisdom gleaned through the years:
It's great fun to convince someone else to grab a plug wire while the car is running "to see if it's firing".
There exists an attracting force similar to magnetism that between conductors of electrical current and exhaust headers called "electromeltism"
“I refuse to take seriously any man that will polish an automatic transmission case.” (quote from a Moparts.com user)
"If it won't GO, chrome it!"
"If you don't redlight once in a while, you aren't trying hard enough
And if you read all this and didn't appreciate the literary significance of my 3.7 minutes of hard work, this is for you!
P.S. Special thanks to Pam for putting up with me and all my little quirks. And smirks. And the cucaracha horn I put on her car.
Last Updated: 12/06/2007