I'm going to repost my Story Time With JRC posts in this thread
JRC99 last edited by JRC99
The '83 Z28 aka The Flying Tomato
My grandfather had this back in the 80s. 1983 Z28. He pulled the original 305 (that he had already built to be fairly stout, but not stout enough apparently) and stock trans, and dropped in a built 350 (good for 425hp, according to him) from a ‘68 Chevelle post car he had and put in a built, full manual, reverse pattern valve body TH350. He swapped in 4.10 gears and put Cherry Bombs on it. This car was freaking wicked.
One of my favorite stories is from when my parents were still dating. Dad was driving it with my grandmother and, of course, was taking it easy as it wasn’t his car, and his girlfriend’s mother was right next to him. She got fed up, and told him, and I QUOTE:
“Pull over and let me show you how to drive this fucker!”
She also broke the speedometer after she had it pegged for too long.
So, what happened to it? Well, Pappaw drove it to work one day after getting it out of winter storage, when smoke started pouring out of the hood. By the time he got the hood open, the interior had gone up as well.
Turned out rats had chewed up the wiring over the previous winter. Luckily, since the engine was all cast iron, and the fire started at the battery, the engine and trans were mostly unharmed, and sit in his garage to this day.
The 350, as it’s sat since the late 80s or early 90s
He ended up replacing it with the Mustang (bought July 22, 1993) which he still has to this day. I
I’d love to find another ‘68 post car and put the 350 and the Saginaw 4 speed in it. (The ‘68 Chevelle was a 6 cyl 3 speed he converted over to the 350 with a 4 speed. Why he didn’t use the 4 speed in that Camaro I don’t know).
JRC99 last edited by JRC99
The '68 Chevelle:
(This was one that was for sale when I posted this originally. I'm keeping the picture because goddamn does it have attitude!)
‘68 Chevelle post car. Before any of the toys he’s got now, my Pappaw had one in the 80s. Originally a I6/Powerglide car, he shoved in a very wicked 350 (He says it was supposedly 425 horses, but felt like way more, but, well.... I’ll stick with 425) and a 4 speed, and I’d imagine a 4.10 rear gear. Said 350 would later be put into his ‘83 Camaro, which would later catch fire and burn to the ground. The engine, and both the 4 speed that was in the Chevelle, and the TH350 from the Camaro, are in his garage to this day.
Now, his Chevelle was a different shade of blue, more like this:
And rather than Torq Thrusts, he ran Cragar G/Ts
According to him, it was a real wicked car. I can imagine it roaring through a pair of glasspacks right now. Mmmm.
I’ve been really wanting to build a tribute car. Damn my lack of funds, space, AND time!
Back in the spring of 2010, Dad and I were looking for a father/son project car. He looked at a couple 2nd gen Camaros, a late 80s Regal, Cutlasses. Basically, stuff that he grew up with and he could afford. All of them were junk. Full of rust for way too much money.
Then, on the way home one day, he spotted a 1963 Ford Fairlane. It was primer black, had tinted windows, and red wheels. He was slightly interested, and drove me by as we went to get Mother’s Day cards. This was a big mistake on his part, as we later went and fully checked it out, and I fell head-over-heels in love with it.
The owner, who incidentally was the uncle of a kid I’d meet a few months later and become best friends with, wanted $3500. It needed floor pans and various body work. It had a weak little 260 c.i. V8 and a Fordomatic 2 speed shifted by a B&M Z-Gate. Exhaust was Cherrybombs.
After confirming that repop parts were out there, I. Would. Not. Shut. Up.
“Make him an offer, Dad, come on, make him an offer!”
Finally, I proved too annoying and Dad broke down and went up there with a plan, a plan that backfired spectacularly.
He offered $2500, thinking Cliff (the owner) would laugh in his face and tell him to get the hell off of his property. Wrong. He accepted, saying someone else had offered him the same, and whoever showed up with the cash first got the car. We did.
Mom was less than pleased, seeing it as an old man car. A rusty, piece of junk old man car. Dad more or less agreed.
I didn’t give a damn. To me, it looked absolutely evil. Was it fast? No. Pristine? Well, you see the picture, don’t you? It rattled like a deathtrap and rode like garbage. The first (and more-or-less only) things we did were remove most of the tint (leaving the rear window out of laziness), and replaced the shocks. We also added some gauges under the dash.
Note the poor fitting Sn-95 seats that were spray-dyed red.
Before the shocks
After. Fun fact: The air cleaner lid came off of Dad’s Bronco. It was on the Camaro for years due to clearance problems, but I put it on this and put the Holley lid on the Camaro (which is now off of it). Both are hanging on my wall.
By July 2010, it’d been shoved into the garage, as it leaked a huge amount of oil. It sat there, other than being pushed out, for years.
I actually used it in a school project in 7th grade. We had to do a “who-dun-it” crime story, either on paper or video, so with a couple kids I knew, we had two of us push the car and the other basically jumped on it like it hit him. Yeah, it was dumb.
By spring 2013, Dad had made me an ultimatum: You fail the 8th grade, and I’m selling the car. I don’t do well under pressure, and despite the depression, I just couldn’t motivate myself. I failed.
To sell it, he replaced the starter solenoid and battery (it quit running at some point) and did a couple minor things. In July 2013 (the worst month of my life, for another reason), the car was sold. Dad was at least kind enough to let me get behind the wheel and drive it in an empty parking lot.
It was slow. Really slow. Bad valves meant it had no go. This was an engine that when new produced 164hp. Gross horsepower. It couldn’t have made more than 60 by then. I still loved it.
The man who bought it (who shared the same first name as me, Joe) said on the way home, it refused to go over 40 miles per hour. On the freeway. Yeesh.
Within two weeks, he did more work than we’d done in 3 years. Since then, the engine’s been rebuilt, the floors patched, the seats replaced, the steering wheel swapped, the rear bumper replaced with fiberglass, and the hubcaps ditched. And probably more.
Browsing craigslist one morning in school (Yes, I know. Should’ve been doing work), I see an ad.
“1963 Ford Fairlane 500-7500"
I recognized it immediately. It was for sale again. My heart shattered. It didn't sell then, and it's been listed a couple more times since, but last I knew, he planned to keep it. Then he posted it again so I really don't know.
Oh, when Dad was readying to sell it, I googled the VIN and found out a bit of history. It was previously in South Carolina, then to Kentucky, then Michigan.
(South Carolina) Interestingly, it had the passenger side mirror, but not the driver’s side. By the time I'd gotten it, it was the other way around.
(South Carolina again)
Kentucky. Much closer to how it was when we got it.
Back in the mid '90s, Dad wanted a project. He found a 1973 Firebird Esprit for sale. It didn’t run and all 4 tires were flat. He bought it for $500. When he went to bring it home, the neighbor was so happy to see it gone, he offered to let them use his air compressor to put air in the tires. They were going to push it on the trailer, but decided to put a battery and gas in it, and it fired right up. So he drove it on.
Two blocks from home, Dad says “Hey, pull over. Maybe if I drive up in it, my wife (aka my wonderful mother) may not be so mad. So he did. I doubt Mom’s mind changed much.
It had a worn out 350 (Pontiac, not Chevy) when he got it. He traded his S10, which had an electrical fire, for rebuilding the 400 he picked up for it. He also painted it primer gray and fiberglassed the floor pan and trunk floor back together (Hey! It’s what he had to work with!). It still had an open rear end, and TH350.
He once left Pepboys and heard noises. They were the lug nuts falling off. Yeah, he ripped those guys a new one.
The interior had gauges added to the wood panel on the right and a B&M Quicksilver shifter added to it.
While we would both agree street racing is very dumb, he once raced a Monte SS in it. The Monte driver had his girlfriend with him. Dad won. Looking back, he saw the girl look at her boyfriend as if to say “You let that piece of shit beat you?!”
Since I came along and money got tight, he had to sell it. We were at a car show in October and Dad was telling someone about it and the guy said he remembered a yellow one sitting in someone’s yard back in the 90s. Guess who ended up buying that car?
We both often wonder where it went. Naturally, Dad never wrote the VIN down. I've posted on Facebook and a Pontiac forum, but never found anything. Given that it had rear frame rail rot (very common on second gens), that does cast a bit of doubt. Otherwise it was a good car, so who knows?
The 2005 Ranger
In early 2011, Dad bought this to replace his '95 F-150 (some may remember a classmate's mom ended up buying it from the man dad sold it to)
He put a Kenwood radio in it, speakers, a sub box, and an amp. It was a very good sound system.
Then, my 12th birthday came around. Now, I’d recently gotten obsessed with mudding, so Dad took my best friend and I out to the Mounds ORV park in Mt. Morris, Michigan. We played around a bit, and Dad wanted to take us back to watch the stuff on tractor tires and what not. A simple plan.
Unfortunately, the area had a lot of rain, making big holes even bigger. After a couple small ones that were no issue, we promptly got stuck.
For 45 minutes. With no back up vehicle. Thank God for the guy with the 3500 Suburban who yanked us out.
Amazingly, despite water being halfway up the engine, and up to the base of the driver’s seat (it was stuck at an angle), the truck never died, and made the hour and a half trip home without a single incident. Amazing. Though the starter did have to be replaced.
That amplifier? Fried. I think my friend also had his cellphone messed up. I can’t remember. I know that Dad had JUST gotten the condensation out of the aftermarket taillights that were on the truck when he got it. The incident left a bit of water in them.
In February of 2014, it looked like we’d need more passenger space, so the Ranger was traded in on an Edge.
Sadly, as I’ve posted, it was then wrecked, and a vehicle report site says it was scrapped.
A real shame. R.I.P. truck. Never let us down.
This concludes the reposting of the original Storytime with JRC posts.
This one was sort of a teaser for my truck, as I was already planning on buying it when I posted this.