Mark Morton

MORT'S SHORTS

Mark Morton
MORT'S SHORTS

DECEMBER ‘17

 

Mort's Shorts (868x868).jpg

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” T. E Lawrence

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Thanksgiving  - give or take a turkey dinner somewhere - is spent mostly getting ready for Christmas.  There was a time I’d  put a wreath on my radiator shell  for the coming month, but that was in my early post-Streetrodder phase,  while  I sought truth,  and decided on-my-own who I was gonna be.  I might put one (wreath) on the woodie this year, though, if I feel cute.  Uh….. I usually don’t feel  cute.

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CHEVY CUSTOM

This is a car I don’t guess I’ve ever seen; now, gotta remember I don't get out much but, hey.  I don’t know of any uber-nice customs done on this body style Chevy (I don’t know everything, though..had ya noticed?) An older guy named Stan had one in the hood when I was a kid; I think he ran a muffler shop, and the car was nice, OK street iron for sure, but it didn’t have the chops this rig has. This is a beautiful car.

Chev Cust 1.jpg
Chev Cust 2.jpg

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An invite-run in the South Bay of LA (two part photo feature  was on the HAMB) is put on by one of the true-est hot rodders I know. He’s a guy who has quietly mentored young  rodders since he was a young rodder himself, and his ‘students’ are some of the most prolific rod-life junkies out there today. Something less than 100 cars were on this deal, scenic drives, ended up at a good restaurant,  sat with Pals with whom we later made a text connection on the way home, extending lunch in to an impromptu  happy hour at our digs. They brought appetizers and we talked a lot about….oh? Cars, sure, but lots of other stuff, too. Seems like we even talked a little bit about you. Nice afternoon. The feature picture this month is Lee' s'40 and below is The Branch '46. We don't often have such auspicious iron in the drive.

                     SOME OF YA JUST GOT THE KNACK

                   SOME OF YA JUST GOT THE KNACK

We  had met that morning at Keith’s incredible collection of automobilia,  signage, cars and ephemera. Then the run took us thru the Rancho PV area which is scenic and hi-falootin’, stops at a neat park, one of 'em along an ocean-view bluff, then a historic sight and then a lighthouse. Each time you park, you admire a different formation of the Iron sprinkled around the landscape and chat with people you don’t see so much, except on these special days. Lookin’ back? There have been a lot of these special days in an Old Hot Rodders' life and those chats on regular 3-4 times a year centers…are  the stuff of lifetime friendships.

                 THIS IS A NICELY TURNED-OUT HOT ROD

               THIS IS A NICELY TURNED-OUT HOT ROD

All round good car guy Tony Miller had his Master Thesis ’40 Vert there and I hadn’t been close to it yet, so this was my shot. The photo came from Tony (maybe) and Don called it Blue on Blue, I chose  “Rhapsody in Blue” , but can’t get “ I’m Blue”  by the Ikettes out of my mind (Gong, Gong, Gong, Gong , Gong , Gong, Gong , G-G-G-Gong, Gong…..yeaaaaah)

  "I'M BLUUUUUUOOOO-OOO-OOO-OOO-OOO SHOOOBY DOOBY DOOBY DO"

"I'M BLUUUUUUOOOO-OOO-OOO-OOO-OOO SHOOOBY DOOBY DOOBY DO"

I thanked our host and told him what I told you  - about how he is the purest, centered, most productive Hot Rod Soul I know…and he –because he’s that kind of guy – turned it around and laid something complimentary on me. I’ll take it, but it’s  him that’s The Bomb. Thanks, Lynn, for years of being you.

  I'LL NEVER GET ENOUGH OF PAUL'S PANEL TRUCK AND LIKEWISE, LYNN'S NAILHEAD 'PICKUP.

I'LL NEVER GET ENOUGH OF PAUL'S PANEL TRUCK AND LIKEWISE, LYNN'S NAILHEAD 'PICKUP.

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RPM Nationals looked like my kinda deal but I got double booked/snookered out of it. Oh, I had a great time where I was…but next time…..I’m up there with the cool-livin’ Daddys and Mommy-os. Guess it’s all over Hop Up Live and the HAMB, too. We got the whole run-down on it while on Lynn’s run and sure do ‘spect to make it next time. There’s talk of extending a day or so for some other Central Coast adventure while up in that great country. We found ourselves up there in sports cars (below) a couple weeks later;  the area is ideal  for all motorsports.

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ELMO

There you go again. Somebody on the HAMB called it “The restored Calori car.” And …..as good as it is….. it ain’t that.

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GARAGE DOINS

The W.O. has got some parts accumulated for  cosmetic changes, and I’m working on a cooling issue that may be a non-issue, gonna have the starter rewound and designing a diaper system to catch engineered-in oil leaks.  We’ll see, then, there, now, won’t we? Was lucky to hear from the seller of the car (it was bought at auction) and got all the spares from him. Some neat stuff , some of which  we may use, the rest just belongs with the car. It came with a scrap book compiled around 1960 that included photos/miscellany from the thirties. Solid./That 356 group we went North with was fun;  like real special fun. Twelve cars,  all the body styles; one original (I mean ORIGINAL ) Speedster, then  another one with the hard top I like on it, some especially nicely restored coupes,  couple  cabs and our “Outlaw”. They liked the thing and it acquitted itself pretty well performance-wise on some of the most challenging  roads you can find for them. Some  parts of  the route I know from drivin' the Big Cars on them every year, resulting in a lot of G’s and a  whole lot of driving fun;  putting yourself in one of these flat-turning, darting,  German missles was a  whole ‘nother deal. Both are fun, Man,  believe it.  850 miles on the trip, 400 roundtrip fast lane cruisin’ miles and over 400 miles of pseudo road racing, spirited driving. At least two of the drivers were pros in the day. We had t’ hurry…….

  ORIGINAL PAINT AND PERFECT

ORIGINAL PAINT AND PERFECT

  RESTORED VERSION'D LOOK LIKE THIS

RESTORED VERSION'D LOOK LIKE THIS

  ALL SO ALIKE YET SO DIFFERENT

ALL SO ALIKE YET SO DIFFERENT

That  stone-original speedster is owned by the guy who won the Stroker McGurk award this year with his Brizio Roadster, also was the restorer of the Ralph Jilek ‘40 Convertible a few years ago; one of the ex-pro sports car racers.  Good company.

Now, then,  after that run,  I'd gone  to work (kinda) for two days, then actually slept in on Saturday and didn’t do a damned thing.  Well….I had to get on-line and make some progress on the Traffic  School course I had to do because of a no-sense-o’-humor CHP we met coming back from Pebble in the 991 in August. I mean, there I was on 46, innocently driving this slippery little eel  and….oh, you know. Other than that, I only went out to the garage and looked at a couple of things. There would be dinner company the next night and I suspected they might want to go out to the garage so I picked up some rags and a few hand tools, closed the hood of something that I’d been fiddlin’ with…but that’s all. The joint had been super cleaned last month anyway/Got the oil  leak in Air911 fixed (way simpler than I thought it would be)  and also made a GREAT connection with an expert to turn to, who loves our car because it’s so original and he jives with  our intent to preserve it that way.  He adjusted the MFI  and it runs like it’s supposed to now….surprised the hell outa me.  Score? Score/La Gila is creeping up on being a completed, usable car; eased in to some punch list things; Fabian adjusted  the steering arms and I’m head-on that list that keeps getting stuff crossed off…but then things keep getting added to the bottom of it! You got a list like that? Figured you did. I got ‘er on the real road, though, starting in ever increasing radii away from the barn, listening for scrapes. None. Squeals. None. Fluid leaks. None. Freeway 55-60 so far, still have that list to chip away at but, Boys, she seems spunky and horny to hook it up and go thru the gears (done a tiny bit of that); ride is acceptable, tight..

  FABIAN POSTED THIS ONE WHEN I WENT BY DURING ANOTHER AFTERNOON CRUISE TO SHOW OFF WHAT FINE WORK HE DID; OTHERS INVOLVED WILL GET DUE PROPS, TOO; THIS AIN'T A FEATURE...........

FABIAN POSTED THIS ONE WHEN I WENT BY DURING ANOTHER AFTERNOON CRUISE TO SHOW OFF WHAT FINE WORK HE DID; OTHERS INVOLVED WILL GET DUE PROPS, TOO; THIS AIN'T A FEATURE...........

Could not get myself out if it that day before Thanksgiving.  About 50 miles just …drivin’ around;  felt soooo good. The last shot is the first day back to the barn after the holiday, where I got her up on all fours and snugged, fastened, re-keyed and like that. Then had to go for another ride. Went by Les' too, admired his roadster , built kind of in parallel with this one. He gave me some good ideas/I mentioned the woodie up there and that may be because I miss it (I mean I miss driving it – I mean,  I see it and appreciate it most every day) and that’s how the ‘rotation’ goes: you realize something hasn’t had it’s fair share of abuse and you make it the next thing you take for a ride. It’ll be handled by this time, but you can be sure by now that it got pulled out, tires, fluids checked, one or two main chassis items reviewed…and andales, muchachos! Yeah: Be lookin’ cool around the Mission in town in a woodie…with a wreath on the front? (HAHA! Naw.)/Now it’s a few days later and we had got a call and went on an Angeles Crest Run with some famous people and that was our excuse to exercise the Wood One . The invite was timely, my wants worked out, but damn oh shit oh dear: it was foggy all the way from home and sort of all the way there; I thought,” SOB, it’s gonna be dangerous on that mountain in the fog”, and dang if it didn't clear-up REAL Cali-like when we got in to town and ….you know it,  just like you cats were probly doin' onthe same day where you are. It was bitchin, 30 cars up one of the best mountain highways in the country and back to a neat  lunch stop on the way back down. Took  240 miles to do the day an’, Buddy, it was fine. You know? You all hang with some really cool people, everything from a stripped T roadster pickup to a balls-out 427 'Biscayne' Nova and a woodie that – as I have said over and over,  ”suits me just fine.”

  MAYBE THE MOST PHOTOGENIC/PHOTOGRAPHED ROD IN SO CAL THESE DAYS LED THE 30 OR SO CARS; THE WOOD ONE WITH THE FISHING POLES RATTLIN' IN THE BACK... DID OK.

MAYBE THE MOST PHOTOGENIC/PHOTOGRAPHED ROD IN SO CAL THESE DAYS LED THE 30 OR SO CARS; THE WOOD ONE WITH THE FISHING POLES RATTLIN' IN THE BACK... DID OK.

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The Big Eight will get an oil change for the long drive across town for the annual Horseless Carriage Club deal, maybe a couple of long-deferred improvements.

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Hot Rodders used to be rebels. I know  I must be one: I don’t  have even one book on my coffee table. (Not the coffee table in the living room, anyway)

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There’s been a not-so-secret collection of antique race cars in the Valley out here for ever. Lindley Bothwell collected all kinds of stuff before it was cool, really an advanced thinker. Most recent public showing I know of was that he provided the race cars that were in the barn in the movie “Seabiscuit”.  His cars starred in the  Rose Parade in the 50’s at least once and it all  finally went to auction in November,  quite a while  after his passing.

I haven’t talked to anybody who was there, but SCM ought to have a good article on it next month so I can wait, I guess. The main event was the Peugeot,  at $7M. Apparently  the market for the best of the best ….is still hot!

  THESE PEUGEOT'S LED THE WAY TO D.O.C. MILLERS, DUESENBERGS ,  ETC .

THESE PEUGEOT'S LED THE WAY TO D.O.C. MILLERS, DUESENBERGS, ETC.

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Read something about engines actually deteriorating  from sitting – I guess that figures – but got a technical  look at it, so may dig in to some “Cam Guard” additive for oil. This here garden maintenance is a  process, no?  Si.

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I keep seeing in motorsports publications how at-risk our driving privilege  is. I know I harp on it but I have no choice. I’m not the first to chronical this peril but I have to be one of those that keeps it in front of us.

Self driving cars and Bullet Trains to Nowhere  (insert  pic of Jerry Brown with an engineer hat on backwards) will be the darlings of people who despise what we do because we indirectly fund oil companies (and support  millions of jobs related to automobiles) and they (Faux Enviros) hate business large and small in general. There IS a way to use less oil, improve  the real environment and preserve the ability to use vintage cars as recreation. You just have to cool the jets of the Overzealous, Hidden-Agenda Progressives who have mouthpieces in Hollywood, Academia  and Media. Snot right.(For a rational opinion based on facts and science, read:https://amac.us/climate-change-alarmism-garbage-garbage-retired-nasa-physicist-says/)

We could all get along. Even with Teslas. 

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MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU NO MATTER YOUR RELIGIOUS OR NON-RELIGIOUS PERSUASION. IT’S BEEN CALLED THAT SEASON FOR A LONG TIME AND I’M FAIRLY WELL SURE YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN WHEN I SAY IT. IF YOU’RE INSULTED (OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE YOU NEED TO BE), I MEAN, HOW’D YOU EVER FIND YOUR WAY HERE, ANYWAY?

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SO, FINALLY, NOW THE INEVITABLE  "HAPPY NEW YEAR";  WONDER WHAT GROUP WILL TAKE OFFENSE AT THAT? CHINESE BEEN OK WITH IT FOR A WHILE.....

HOP UP HONOR. STAY HONOR

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