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I have always been interested in people’s life stories. I used to listen to my grandmother tell all sorts of stories. One that sticks in my head is about her childhood. Growing up in the depression her family, like most, did not have much money. Her father worked in the train yard cleaning the tank cars. He used to scoop up some of the gas and use it in his car so he didn’t have to buy gas during the depression. She died many years before I bought my first car, my Meadowbrook when I was 26. I would love to know the stories she would have now riding in it with me. Today I took my father out for a ride in it. He is not one to talk about his past, mainly because he would like to forget it. But we were driving around the block and he started talking about remembering when he was a kid in those cars and the chrome pieces on the dashboard that hid the radio and I could almost see a smile in his eyes. People think cars are just means of transportation but they can bring back so many memories in people. 

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The real value of all our antiques is how they connect us to our past, our culture, and all the history that brought us to where we are today. Hopefully, we can learn enough from that to continue to move in positive directions. It is the understanding that we can get from them that is most valuable.

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To experience anything from the past brings us closer to those who have gone before and what their lives may have been like. My grandmother, who was born in 1904, used to tell me that when ever they drove in their car they would have to wear a lot of clothes because the car had no windows and that her father would not let her ride in a car alone with a young man. He thought that if a young man had a car he was too "wild" and not to be trusted! My dad's father bought a new Ford truck in 1928 and my dad would tell me of nightime rides in the back with his brother, wrapped in a blanket as the truck would spit and sputter sometimes up the steep hills around their home. He was always frightened that they would get stranded out in the woods. When i would drive my "A", I would think that they smelled the same smells, heard the same wind rush past the windows and heard the same rattles as I was experiencing....really does take you back!

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My earliest car related memory is of a picnic when I was a little boy. After eating my father sat on the running board of the car smoking his pipe. When we left, he accidentally left his pipe on the running board. When we got home he was surprised to find the pipe still on the running board. I couldn't have been more than 2 or 3 years old.

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My 47 Hudson Pickup came from a guy named Mr wells.  He had his son engrave the custom made racks with his name,  there is also a card from his memorial tucked up under the edge of the dome lamp.  I just left them the way they were,  The racks are nicely done,  I could cover the name up,  but why.  It's Mr Wells truck.  It looked like it was his pride and joy.  I think he had it atleast 20 years.  I've been improving on it slowly but don't plan on changing it. 

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My Dad had so much to do with my own love for antique cars. Living 10 miles north of Detroit helped. Dad worked for Chrysler Export-Import which was located on Wyoming Avenue in Detroit which used to be the old DeSoto assembly plant. Dad took us to the Greenfield Village Henry Ford Museum Old Car festivals in the fall. There is a photo of my brother and me standing at the fence during one of the shows in one of my old car books. I can tell it is Charlie and me because we wore suspenders, had very little hair and our clothes usually matched. Dad also took us to the Chrysler Corporation new car unveilings and we were pretty lucky that my Dad was an executive because that allowed us to go to the preview shows without all of the public. My brother and I  always came home with a promotional model of a Chrysler product. I still have a few of them. My Dad would sometimes bring home some odd one-off Chrysler factory prototypes. He brought home an Imperial that had a clear bubble top that was going to be used for the Queen of England to tour Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He took us five kids for a ride in it at night so we could see the stars through the roof. Then there was Woodward Avenue which was a few blocks from where we lived. That was really the mecca for hot rods, then muscle cars (with which I wholly participated in) and my sisters used to take my brother and me cruising. Charlie and I had to duck down behind the front seat so my sisters could talk to the guys. When my Dad brought home a 1931 Dodge business coupe one day, I was mesmerized by it. It had been painted all black. My Dad drove it for a while and then took it apart to restore it. Life got in the way with 5 kids to raise so the car sat until I decided I wanted it. You may know the rest of that story....oh that's right THAT story is not over, yet. 

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I really don't know where my love of cars came from. No one in my family really had any interest in them except as transportation. My Mother couldn't drive and my Dad though that cars should be bought as cheaply as possible and run until death overtook them(No maintenance of any kind, just repairs he couldn't get out of)  I do remember him allowing me to drive the car through our alley standing in the seat steering while he was next to me doing the pedals and whatever else was needed at about age 4 or 5. We probably went all of 10 MPH. 

When I got old enough to learn to drive he hated having to ride with me and often complained that "I just had to go the speed limit".

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My Dad, in the mid '30's when he was a teenager, contacted the local Mack Truck Dealer and arranged for a new Mack demonstrator to be shown to his Dad at their house. When the demonstration was over my Dad learned, through a seat of the pants experience from his Dad, never to pull a stunt like that again!

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I brought my Meadowbrook over to my parents house, like I said at the beginning of this thread, and I was talking to my mother while my father was doing some sanding to help me with my door. In the back yard there has been a 1957 Chevrolet 3100 since before I was born. My father used to haul rocks and stuff with it. It was this God awful faded yellow with the white grill and bumpers. He never really worked on it so it just sat there. My mother said that recently he has started working on it. I guess watching the progress I’m making on my cars has inspired him. I remember when I was a kid, maybe 8 years old, riding with him to get a loaf of rocks and we turned this sharp corner at the fire station and halfway through it his door swung open. Without missing a beat he held onto the wheel as he kept turning, leaned halfway out of the truck and closed the door. Every time I turn that corner I think of that time. 

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