Where the Rubber Meets the Road
by Bob

When we last visited, I discussed the pleasure of assembling a motor vehicle with my own two hands. It was late at night, but it was complete. A job well done.


Morning comes.
I hate to say this, but I am actually a morning person. I like the morning quiet right around dawn, a steaming cup of coffee and a cool mist hanging over the horizon waiting to be burned off by the summer sun.

Roll the door up and take a look. It's still looking good, but sometimes things get missed. It's nice to at least wave a wrench at the beast to make sure some critical pieces don't fall off, just in case. Like the wheels for instance. Sometimes I'm completely freaked out when find that I missed a simple detail, other times I find out that everything was done right last night. Either way, it provides confidence that I might not die in the first ten minutes.

Some folks build things like a ship in a bottle that sits on a shelf and looks nice. Some people build cars the same way; loads of time and effort and money and then they sit under a car cover to only emerge for two weekends a year, perhaps for an odd car show or something. Everyone has to do their own thing, but that's not for me.

I belong to the "trial by fire" school. Cars are meant to be driven, and driven hard. I build road race cars. I certainly want things to be nice and clean and attractive, but it's function that drives the overall look. If it is right, it looks right.

Bill Cosby, in an old stand up routine about getting frustrated with his children, says "I brought you into this world, and I can TAKE YOU OUT!". nirvana2.JPGI feel the same way about cars. For me, the car is most alive when it's being twisted to redline on the exit of a particularly tight corner, just on the edge of spinning the tires. Huge kick in the ass and things surge forward, eating up road faster and faster and howling and SHIFT and faster and faster and SHIFT. yeah. That's the spot.

But anyway, we were standing in the garage early one morning...

Hit the key and things rumble to life. It's a fantastic feeling to go from dead quiet morning to the sound of eight cylinders of coughing death. Wow. A little lumpy at idle until it warms up, but it's all there, alive. I grin, half happy because it hasn't spewed mechanical guts all over the driveway and half amazed that it actually works.

Warmed up, look underneath and make sure there's not a steady flow of some sorta fluid (pick one) leaking out. Nope. Cool. Do it.

Slot into gear and slide down the street. The thing is built to be capable of 150mph, but it's not too wise to do that in the first couple of minutes. Let all the parts get warmed up and cozy and make sure it doesn't vomit at 35mph, then lean on it hard. The smells waft out, fresh motor. The smell of sealant curing, spray paint drying as the engine block comes up to temperature, gasoline and a tinge of oil smoke. It's all working together. This is one of the best feelings ever. Like putting together a great song or painting a canvas, it's all my work.

Work up to it. Get on the gas hard and the let off a bit....seems ok. Alright, here we go! Stomp the gas WFO (Wide Fucking Open) and bang and shift, pulling so hard ripping across the pavement and bang another shift, then another. Whoa. It works! This piece of shit actually works! Yeah!

Wanna go for a ride?

V8 Chevy
Ministry - Jesus Built My Hotrod


Great story Bob. I love car stories. Felt like I was riding along side you there. Cool.


Nice one Bob, trial by fire always feels better when you succeed.

Fuck it up and, well, you won't do that again and you also learned something. Get it right and you're a genius.


Felt like I was in an episode of Monster Garage there. Good stuff, man.


As a kid, I could never even put a freaking model car together much less a real car. Of course, that might have been because I was getting high on the glue.

I'm impressed, Bob, and even moreso since you actually drive it instead of sitting there staring at it weekend after weekend.


Awesome Bob. Great writing. And what a great feeling that must have been.

Wanna go for a ride?

Hell yea!


Kickass story Bob. I want to hear more about the racing--your description made my butthole pucker. Must be exhilarating and frightening at the same time.


Wanna go for a ride?

yes. yes please.

only if you promise not to stop when i start screaming.

i got seconds right after michele.

(um is this dirty?)


Nice one,Bob.... I'd love to see what she looks like when you're all said and done....

And Kali.... Yes.


Leave to Kali to make it dirty. :)


here to help.


Wow. Thanks for the kind words folks, and I'm just gettin' started!

dan: Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.

michele: Seattle has rain for the winter. The car has no roof, no windshield wipers, no heater, no side windows. Stop by in the summer. Let me know when you hit town.

kali: Not to underestimate the capacity of your lungs, but when it's wide open I don't think I'd hear even you scream. So no, I wouldn't lift until I'm...done.

finn: It's "done" in that it's assembled and road worthy. I've been driving it on my 80 mile roundtrip commute to work about 4 days outta five until a recent bout of rain here in Seattle. See the pic of the car on my bio page. It has a nice butt. My crew chief helps be keep it running sweet.

branden: I am happy to provide...uhm...stimulation. I have more racing stories in the pipeline. No worries there.




eXTReMe Tracker