pictures from my past. Too bad digital
cameras were not around 20-30 years ago,
I would have a lot more to share!
are things that happen outside my work,
yet add to my experience. Life is an exciting
year I was lucky enough to be a
guest of the President of Bilstein,
Mr. Reinhard Schomburg. It was pretty
neat, meeting him, and watching
a Busch series race from the top
of their truck. It also gave me
some hands on insight into rebuilding
and revalving of race shocks, which
they did right on the truck. A gear
head's dream by far. The crew were
very helpful with my questions,
and I learned quite a bit. That
shock dyno is one cool piece of
was a Nascar Truck Series event
at Homestead Florida, and included
pit passage, provided by Monroe
Auto Equipment. I was also a guest
of Bilstein during the very first
inaugural Nascar race at the Brickyard
400 in Indianapolis.
drivers just can't catch a break in
racing, this time is was Geoff Bodine.
I took this picture while in the pit
car enthusiast has one. The car
"that got away". An unmolested
1969 Plymouth Sport Satellite. My
biggest regret was selling it (although
it did go to a good friend).
factory 318, factory air, and factory
FM radio. New paint, new interior,
new wheels, new top....
Maverick and his Little Red Wagon.
Nice guy, which is probably why he
was still racing and promoting after
all these years. It was great to meet
and talk with him in between exhibition
1956 Mercury. I did a ton of work
to this car, to the point where
it was a daily driver.
redid the entire drivetrain. It
was dependable, you could drive
it anywhere, and I did use it as
my primary transportation.
the suspension was rebuilt to new,
there's only so much you can do
on this kind of car as far as handling.
Still, it was a blast to drive and
own. Everybody loved the car no
matter where my wife and I went.
1978 Ford F150. One of the best
years for Ford Trucks. It only had
a 302, but over a period of years,
I did a lot of work rebuilding the
entire truck. I think about the
only thing on the truck I never
took apart personally was the transmission.
Everything else was rebuilt, updated
and tinkered with.
I mentioned, I'm not above getting
dirty. And don't mess with my 289
(or the '66 Mustang it was for). A
time when building cars was more important
than getting my hair cut!
started out a gear head in the 1970's,
and I'm still a gear head ! Luckily,
air shocks and shackles have gone
the way of the Edsel, and more modern
suspension parts are available.
But in the '70's, hey, that how
cars were built. That's a 1967 Ford
Fairlane by the way. Powered by
a 289 with 302 heads.
mother bought an RX3 wagon, fresh
off the showroom floor, back in
'73. This isn't the actual car,
but it was this color and the same
time we went to a gas station, mechanics
always wanted to come out and see
the rotary engine. It was a fun
car, and we really didn't have any
problems with it. I'm still a big
rotary fan today.
the mid 1980's, for a bit, I used to know
a group of folks who were all into 4X4s
and trucks. (I had a 1971 Ford F250 Camper
Special at the time myself).
one of the guys in the group had a Dodge
W100. While he drove the truck daily,
it had been modified to run a monthly
mud competition, one Saturday of each
truck had a 340 (Dodge trucks never came
with 340's just 360s, but this engine
was originally from a 70's Dodge car,
and had the usual Dodge forged pistons,
rods, and crank, etc.).
mudding, you can get some water and or
sand in the engine, which just plays havoc
with bearings and piston rings. So every
few months those were changed.
remember us all working on the truck and
engine till 4:00AM getting it ready, with
just a couple of hours of sleep, and then
driving an hour away to race it the next
owner of the truck drove through the mud
"bog", with a best time of around
14.00 seconds. This truck was a bat out
of hell nasty, and that was the time to
beat. However, the judges said one tire
had gone out of bounds on one side, so
the time could not be used.
made the guys brother so angry, he wanted
to drive the next run which he did.
must have been really upset because he
just put the hammer down, and thrashed
that truck. Everyone watching thought
he was going to blow that Dodge up or
break something for sure.
he took it to the end with the fastest
time of the day to win the event, around
were the days!
never forget that weekend. Or working
on that truck.
circumstances can do unusual things to
car guys till sometime later when you
get older, you start to wonder: What was
I thinking ?
picked up the 1977 Dodge SE for $ 50.00.
The woman told me the car overheated all
the time. I told her the thermostat was
probably stuck, but she no longer wanted
the car, she wanted to get rid of it.
Nice lady too.
I took the car home, took the thermostat
out, and it was ok. (later I did replace
car has a 318, and was actually a really
good running car. But I knew I could improve
read an article in a car magazine that
Dodge retarded the timing on 318s, 4-degress,
for emissions. I figured the timing chain
was probably whipped anyway, so off came
the stock nylon gears and on when a double
roller, which allowed me to advance the
timing 4-degrees to where it should have
been. Wow, it really made a difference.
Especially in the torque.
next step was to have a shift kit installed
in the 904 transmission. It had something
like 3 settings, I forget exactly, let's
say street, towing, and race. I went for
race. The mechanic said it would probably
trash the tranny, but that was ok with
me, I had next to no money in the car
modification made a big difference as
well. The shifts were crisp and tight.
It would now bark the tires going into
then installed a 4-barrel intake and 4-barrel,
and that took the car to a whole new level.
I remember a guy from work at the time
going with me to lunch. I punched it to
pass around a bus, the car took off and
BANG! it went into second gear. It was
so loud and abrupt the whole car seemed
to shake. He thought the rear end came
out. It was pretty funny.
it was a fun car to test and just beat
on. I had it for a few years and later
sold it to another guy. I doubt the car
is around, but that engine is probably
running in a Dodge car somewhere....
That flat black paint was done by me,
out of spray cans. She was ugly, but she
had the get up and go !
a short time I worked at a company where
they straightened out frames on Heavy
Trucks. This was the machine from BeeLine
found it interesting how well this machine
could easily manipulate a frame. It took
some skill to over bend, and have the
frame "come back" to where it
needed to be. But I learned quite a bit
about truck frames and suspensions. I
also learned how to re-arch leaf springs.
From Dump Trucks to Cement Trucks.
1998-2000 I was able to inspect and sit
in a Ford Electric Ranger through a Ford
Engineer I met.
owned a new gas 1995 Ford Ranger myself.
But I think this was the first electric
vehicle I had actually come in contact
with. It was interesting to see and learn
about. I forget the exact weight, but
I believe he told me it was around 4000
lbs with all the batteries, which, if
I remember correctly, were under the truck
between the frame rails.
with all electric vehicles, it was totally
quite when running. There was a gauge
on the dash to tell you what charge you
had left in the batteries. But from the
outside, it looked like any stock Ranger.
a south Florida native, this is a great
area to grow up and live in. It truly
is an International community, full of
interesting and diverse cultures.
many Island / Jamaican friends over the
years, I was exposed to Asian market cars
funny to see the Fast & Furious movies
now, considering I was involved with so
called "Tuners" years before
the movies came out and it was popular
nationwide. Here in Miami, that whole
market was ahead of everybody.
of my friends later in the early 1990's
built and raced rotary powered cars, as
did many of his friends. Legally at the
drag strip, but I also remember many a
late nights, us all meeting in the warehouse
areas and showing off each others cars.
a night I would go over and help them
rebuilt 13-Bs at his house. We would all
drink some rum and beer, talk cars, do
some wrenching, and just have a good time.
pictures is of a 13-B raced in an early