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Mike Bishop - AV8 Ford -- My dad bought this old beauty for twenty-five bucks when I was about 13. It's a '31 Sport Coupe--coupe cowl and doors, rag top that didn't fold. It was intact and in rather good shape when he drove it home. The idea was the we would work on this car together. He saw it more as a tour-quality restoration but that wasn't clearly explained to or understood by me. I saw it as a Model A with the wrong body--a car much in need of help to come even close to being desirable. While my dad was off on a two-week field assignment I got busy making something useable out of the car. I removed the top, cut off the door-window frames and the fixed windshield posts, removed the bumpers and spare tire mount, bobbed the rear fenders, removed lights, front fenders, and running boards, sawed off the running board mounts, and laid out and wore in a small dirt track in our pasture--all this while my dad was away. Boy! Was he going to be surprised! As seen here, I had reinstalled the front fenders and headlights, at my dad's "suggestion." He would later have the windshield posts welded back in place--after he and his friends grew tired of dirt tracking in the pasture.

My first real car, age 15-1/2. Bought it from a friend of my dad who was a Buick/GMC dealer. The '40 had been traded in on a new '53 Jimmy half-ton by the original owner. The '40 was a cherry, with less than 30K on the odo. This picture was taken within minutes after my dad drove it home for me. I hadn't even bothered to straighten the license plate frame but you'll notice that I had applied my first NHRA decal to the passenger side windshield. Priorities. When I talked about hot rodding the '40 as soon as I had my license the old man said no way, obviously recalling the Model A episode. Rather than just quietly go about the work I had planned for the '40 and let my dad worry about it later, I opened my big mouth at one point, saying that if I couldn't hot rod the '40 there was no point in keeping it.

Major error in judgement. Dad sold the '40 a few days later and I wound up with a '41 Plymouth many-door sedan as a reward for my smart mouth.

Although my first roadster was never finished, it made it okay for me to own a Plymouth. The stance was already pretty good--stepped rear cross-member, two-dollar dropped axle (dropped hard by the looks of it), BFG 5.00-16 Super Eagles on the spokers, filled cowl. The windshield needed chopping as did the too-tall Deuce radiator (to get the shell to fit down on the frame rails). Sold it for $50 when my family moved to SoCal.

I'll save the muscle cars for another day and page.

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