29 February 2012

Good Times at the Big 3

I haven't sold at a swap meet for years.
The last time I had a space at the Big 3,
my wife was pregnant with our first kid,
over 10 years ago.

However like a dehydrated lungfish after the first rains,
it was fun to be back with people that love the grit of a good auto swap meet.
A friend Mario had secured a couple spots,
so a bunch of us were able to hang out and sling our junk.
Thanks for the hookup Mario!

I tried to only bring good stuff that would sell,
not just junk that I would have to bring back.
39 trannies, rally rims, buick drums, a kelsey hayes rim, a v8-60 engine, 34 phaeton project...
stuff like that brings out people I may also want to actually meet!

Big 3 remnants
Brandon mowing asphalt

It was alot of fun actually talking to a face instead of writing messages online.
I met some international Hambers, some other boarders - ford barn etc.
and just many really good like-minded people.

Saturday I brought our 29 Ford roadster pickup "Chief" out of hibernation.
It was the first big "show" since the GNRS last year,
which was different cause I didn't hang around it the whole time.

This time I forgot what a draw the old hot rod was.
Many people recognized it and other's discovered it.

Not to minimize any new acquaintances,
but one guy in particular blew my mind.

Jack "Jackie" Howerton, Travis Perich
& Chief - 29 ford roadster pickup

This guy came down and was studying the pickup rather intently,
noticing many of the things most people don't see.
After talking with him a couple minutes,
I found out his name was Jackie Howerton,
and he had built this thing a couple years back.

Jackie Howerton Roadster

After 15 years or so of construction,
he had sold it,
and the new owner Bill Lindig had it finished by So-cal speedshop.
Oh yeah,
it won the AMBR trophy at the GNRS this year!

Jackie Howerton Roadster 

What the?
We had a good conversation about building hot rods,
and it was really surreal.
It was even cooler when he came back an hour or so later,
to show his friends the old truck.
They made sure I knew exactly who he was!
Not only a master fabricator from his Howerton Racing company,
but a champion sprint car racer who raced Unser, Andretti and others back in the day.
I was humbled!


On a total flip side to the normal hot rod gearheads,
was this guy Paul P. who had a really cool touring bike,
that he uses to take extended hobo trips.

Robeneik touring bike

Lucky guy!
He has a '76 mercedes Unimog,
and is into doing the cooking oil conversions on diesels.


Another chance meeting was with an old timer named Frank Young.
I really wish I'd taken a photo with him.
Somehow we got to talking at his stall,
and he walked all the way over to check out my junk.
We chatted about gas welding and he asked to see my hammer and dolly.
(which I had brought just in case I was bored)
It was really weird,
 he took to them so naturally,
and started beating on the unfinished decklid like a master.
I'll have that memory for a long time.
It was so cool.


To top off the 3 day event,
I was fortunate to have bumped into the Chabott Engineering crew a number of times.
It was an honor and a little embarassing to show them the mess of a shop!

chabott engineering crew

Yeah my camera sucks!
The two in front - Nimi and Shinya - started Zero Engineering,
and branched off to bigger and better things.
Then there's master blogger "Menacing Ayu" and their friends from Japan.
Thanks for coming by guys!
Next time you won't be eating at "Hometown Buffet"!


Stuff like this is what screws with someone like me,
a guy that simply likes to cut, hammer, grind and weld.
Meeting new people and reinforcing old friendships,
is such a huge motivator to continue building stuff.
It's what money can't buy!


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