I grew up in South Bend, IN. My family lived in the country and there was about 100 acres behind me where the neighborhood kids made trails for their dirt bikes, old beater cars, etc. I have a brother who is 3 years older than me who was mechanically inclined and brought home just about anything he could find and would work on it. He had dirt bikes, trucks, cars, snowmobiles, just about anything that had a motor in it. I was so interested in it myself I would follow him around and he taught me how to ride the motorcycles and cars he had when I was somewhere around 13 or 14 years old. We would go baja out in the trails and see how much the vehicle could take until it would go no more...LOL!
When I was 16 in 1976 and got my drivers license he found me my first car a '69 Chevelle. I paid $600 for it. It had a small block 350 with a 4 speed and posi rearend. It did need a new paint job but ran well. Unfortunately in the year of 1978 when we had those bad winters there was black ice on the road I was driving down and the car behind me hit me and pushed me into a snow plow. The frame was bent and it was totalled. Most people who are in a crash would be concerned about the other people involved but no not me....I jumped out and yelled at the guy who hit me and said "Look what you did to my car" "I'll never get another one like this" He just thought I was in shock from the bump on my head.....but I was so mad!
But then a few months later my brother who also had a '69 Chevelle said he would sell me his. His car had a lot more high performance parts on it and a lot faster than mine, but he told me I could handle it. When I first got it I thought to myself "holy ****" this car is fast. It also had a 350 small block but he had it balanced and blueprinted. It was also a 4 speed. Back then they had the Hurst super shifter that everyone raved about so I had to get it. My brother told me I could shift that car better than any guy he knew. Him and his friends would all hang out in our garage and if I would head out the guys would all cheer me on to do a burnout in front of my house. That became almost a daily ritual for me. My poor parents had so much rubber in front of their house. No wonder why I went through so many tires on that car....LOL! I couldn't help it....I got such an adrenaline rush from it. To this day just going to the dragraces I still get that pumped up feeling.
I have a lot of respect for nice cars and every car I have owned I became attached to, even the crappy ones!
'69 Chevelle SS
'69 Chevelle SS
Both my '69 Chevelle and 442.
— Profile last updated: Jun 19, 2011