Mark Morton

MORT'S SHORTS

Mark Morton
MORT'S SHORTS
Mort's Shorts.jpg

                                                                                              OCTOBER

“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

 

THE MOCKUP

It’s probly two words but we all know what it means. There was a post on the HAMB and I so enjoyed the OP’s enthusiasm to mock it up as soon as it was off the trailer: jack stands all over the place to level it out; a custom old timey instrument cluster(SW?) hung in the middle  of a stock dash that will have to be modified to accept it. And like that. I been there;  do it still. I simply can not wait to see what my vision for the thing will look like in real time. I can not wait to hang the accumulated parts (that preceeded  the actual car by, oh, maybe 10 years?) on it. Then, when some real fab work has been done and you mock it up for the last time…it’s hard to let go. I looked at themocked up highboy project for months before I blew it apart, knowing that it would not again show that degree of integrity…a visual whole…for a couple of years.

And it can serve another purpose, too: My proudest moment was when I mocked up the Morton Meteor, knew it looked like shit…and put the parts back in a container. More people oughta do that, from what I’ve seen of “Specials”.

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Another thing. Ya know, cars are supposed to be more pointy at the front for obvious reasons. Those that “swell up” toward the front because of a tractor radiator shell or something…are not correct. You’ll note that those bitchin ‘34’s that have ’37 truck shells, like Jakes,  and a few modern tribute projects? The shells are narrowed. So, then, also, should the tractor shells be narrowed, sectioned. (And then then shit-canned.) They rarely look as good as something tried before successfully. ‘Course it’s all a process of personalization, no rules. So do whatcha want. I don’t care. Well, maybe I do: people might think I know ya if it’s a hot rod that you fucked up,  and just cuz I got one , too..they’ll  think I got something to do with it…….Aw, Man?!!!!

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VENTURA NATIONALS

Word came from Ventura that it was a nice gig. Gotta do that again some time, too. Really cool beach town location, and since Hop Up seems to be Ground Central these days....what's not to like?

                                                                      WE'RE HOT FOR THIS MERC

                                                                    WE'RE HOT FOR THIS MERC

All kindsa good Iron shows up there, the above Merc (tongue-in-cheek 'fave')  really is so good. I'm jealous of it: the color kills on this car. Easy to appreciate what it takes to do them this way. Really. I'd like to see it with ours some time.

So let's all go next year, OK? OK.

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GREAT LABOR DAY SCHMOOZE

We know it was a blast for them, but we are not them. Our blast was at home where  we entertained the next generation(s) of us.  I was satisfied, filling in for my late Bro. I could never do it like he did, though. The Boys surprisingly asked for some garage time and we did so, even dry-cruised the W.O. for the annual portrait of the ‘guys’. 

                                         TRAD MISSING-MAN FORMATION. RIP, BRO'.............

                                       TRAD MISSING-MAN FORMATION. RIP, BRO'.............

HOT ROD HILLCLIMB

I haven't gotten there yet but WHOA! It looks like the perfect hot rod event at the perfect place. Those RockyMountain guys have got the rhythm down pat and they're drawing racers and spectator cars/folks from everywhere. Maybe '18 will be my year to get caught up on some o' these traditional happenings. I mean, this livin' like a shut-in is not good for my soul, ya know?

                                                        HOW CAN YOU STAND TO NOT BE THERE???

                                                      HOW CAN YOU STAND TO NOT BE THERE???

                                                     "SPEED, STYLE AND SAFETY"                                 I SWEAR I COULD HEAR THIS BITCH RAPPIN' ALL THE WAY BACK IN RIVER CITY!


                                                  "SPEED, STYLE AND SAFETY"                  

           I SWEAR I COULD HEAR THIS BITCH RAPPIN' ALL THE WAY BACK IN RIVER CITY!

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CRUISE FOR THE CURE

D&D were judges for this and they took the ‘vert and as you can see, the enhanced running gear is not evident (hood appropriately closed) thus looked just as it did when she drove it to high school.

               HOOD IS DISCREETLY SHUT/CONCEALS SWEET SBC ARRANGEMENT

             HOOD IS DISCREETLY SHUT/CONCEALS SWEET SBC ARRANGEMENT

The teething seems to be done on this one; DK says just one little item to sort. It really is the car her Daddy got her in high school (he was the Dealer!) and DK has made it very friendly and usable. 

         NICE MILD MERC CONTRASTS WITH  LIME CAR AT VENT NATS

       NICE MILD MERC CONTRASTS WITH  LIME CAR AT VENT NATS

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 GARDENIN' 101

 Fireball Paul completed the La Gila interior job early in the month (side curtains and tonneau cover will be finalized back at the shop and shipped back down.) The project required  remaking (quilting kinda) of the old post-Mulkey Texas top,  new carpet, rebuilding the formerly discarded seat to perfection and install of the Aces and Eights  t ‘n r (thank you one more time to Tom Branch.)

We had a few moments over the two weeks plus to socialize, once with Mad Tim and once with Fabian. Those were both great times, but the Man was here to work, and work he did. One of those ‘social’ things we did, though,  was to meet Fabian at the Sire in River City and the three of us sat at the bar and gobbled 75 cent tacos like potato chips, had a couple pops and enjoyed some laughs…mostly at our own expense, as  I recall.

                                   AW, IT'S SO FINE........... .

                                 AW, IT'S SO FINE............

The trunk is finished, too. The original interior in Robert’s roadster had a rumble seat, so I asked Paul if he could use that to make the gas tank cover and…HELL, yes. Soooo, in balance:  after long years of distractions with other OT cars , me and the team slowly working on it in fits and spurts … it’s a hot rod, Daddy.  Not quite done….but I mean a hot rod.

 Aw, but even with this apparent completion...she's still givin' me surprises/delays like I guess they all do.  I eek out an hour or two on her here and there as best I can.  See, I just want to get to the part where I DRIVE it and make my Sort (not short) List and start to refine it. And at the rate I go….well……DK came out one day to help me figure out why a factory flare (fuel line) leaks in a factory fitting (tightened, loosened, adjusted, replaced ‘em) which was the key to getting the car started, and I sure needed the help.

 (Caution: Dreamin' in the Daytime follows) Even so, I make plans for extended stays with it in interesting places,  I talked to Ron L. up in Toronto  area and made a deal to meet him mid-way when the car is reposing in Mass. I made the same overture to Gabe and maybe they’ll  run south together. Hell, maybe I’ll go all the way up there. That’s the beauty of it, ain’t it? Got a reminder of a good run that a friend puts on out here  and well?  Maybe this new rig will be sorted by then. Probly not, but we can try. Other gardenin’  subjects included tire-roundin’ spins in this and that; some especially good ones on the coast when temps got back to normal around here.

 

                    MAYBE GABE WILL DRIVE THIS ONE..OR ANOTHER ONE........

                  MAYBE GABE WILL DRIVE THIS ONE..OR ANOTHER ONE........

  FAMILIAR DRIVE BACK TOWARD HOME ON PCH

FAMILIAR DRIVE BACK TOWARD HOME ON PCH

One day I figured to take  the 356 on my errands.  I topped off the tank, went to get a haircut (she stood me up, thought it was another day;  DW –I know you’re there and loving it ) and went on to lunch with a Buddy, stopped by another Buddy who has been down, but raisin’ up like the goddamned  Phoenix...an' looked up and it was time to beat the traffic back down to the coast…and andale,  muchachos! Half a tank gone, home by 3:00 . Cocktail hour must be comin’ up, no? This one had to be ready for a Central Coast run with about 7 or 8 others like it in a couple weeks. I think we're good to go. In another precinct somebody asked for the Big Eight to attend a Concourse;  they  want it even tho’ it’s not Concourse condition and maybe too preserved for Preservation class yet not completely original enough.. don’t really  know why I consented, but I did. You sure gotta go further than the usual cleaning them up for that kinda show. Not my style but, hey. I think a lot of real car guys will appreciate the car with its’ dumbed-down paint and obvious originality. Some of my posse think it’s a real neat car.

 

  i GOT 200 MILES ON IT JUST GETTIN' READY FOR A DUMB CLASSIC CAR SHOW! HAHAHA!

i GOT 200 MILES ON IT JUST GETTIN' READY FOR A DUMB CLASSIC CAR SHOW! HAHAHA!

Got the wheels off the W.O. and took ‘em to Nate with the new Excelsior tires (tread pattern is sooo much more aggressive than the old Dunlops);  got some of the odds (running lights, mirrors) that we need to perk up the look. The new, correct tires led to several 20-30 mile higher speed runs, testing this and that. Discovered a couple of fixable issues. That’s why we run them in ever-increasing radii from home. That-there way when they are called on for serious duty…we ‘spect to be ready.

  MORE AGGRESSIVE TREAD WAS CALLED FOR, GOT IT; RUN LIGHTS MAY NOT BE KEEPERS BUT OK FOR MOCKUP .

MORE AGGRESSIVE TREAD WAS CALLED FOR, GOT IT; RUN LIGHTS MAY NOT BE KEEPERS BUT OK FOR MOCKUP .

  SHE HAD NO MIRRORS AT ALL; THESE WILL DO ONCE NICKELED. THEY'RE  CORRECT BENTLEY OR ASTON OR WHATEVER ITEMS.

SHE HAD NO MIRRORS AT ALL; THESE WILL DO ONCE NICKELED. THEY'RE  CORRECT BENTLEY OR ASTON OR WHATEVER ITEMS.

 

Met with metal- master Terry about cutting the ‘screen down. This thing needs to be ready for “Prime Time” by March and that’s  a long time, but I still don’t wanna do much running around without it lookin’ like I want, so I’m gettin' on it. Had the ‘screen glass taken out and rushed the brass back to T. He knocks it out in no time and now we got this:

   SCREEN IS 2 1/4" SHORTER NOW AND MORE IN SYNCH WITH A PROPER W.O. MAYBE NOT THE FINAL FINAL, BUT WILL DO FOR NEAR TERM.

 SCREEN IS 2 1/4" SHORTER NOW AND MORE IN SYNCH WITH A PROPER W.O. MAYBE NOT THE FINAL FINAL, BUT WILL DO FOR NEAR TERM.

Another day (when E had gone far, far away for a Ladies Tour) I did a check-run in the Cad;  you know,  go to the hardware store, the parts store, the drug store…. fought the feelin’ to stop at the Swallows Inn…and went home real nice-civilized-like.  So anyway, it  (the Cad) was ready to go for a short - or long - cruise when Mad Tim and Fireball Paul came by the next day. After a spell  in the garage for a couple of beers, we took it and Paul’s Fireball Roadster to dinner.  So, back to the In Crowd (my two guests are among the famous,ya know),  it’s fun to have cool company and get all the latest from the cats who know what’s up. Now, I got other pals who are famous, too, but some of 'em makes fun of my tires and wires an' shit and so this was a rare moment of relief. No shame. No pity.

But not to worry, Tom : I'm sure they'll turn on me eventually, too..........HAHAHAAAAAARGGGGH!

 

                                                   PAUL PUT 500 MILES ON HIS ROADSTER WHILE HE WAS HERE!

                                                 PAUL PUT 500 MILES ON HIS ROADSTER WHILE HE WAS HERE!

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BOS SHOP TRUCK IS LOOKIN GOOD

                                                                                                        WHAT NICE POSTURE

                                                                                                      WHAT NICE POSTURE

 

Paul got this nice running truck and undertook the personalization of it just exactly the way he's been doing it for over 60 years. He carrys bobber scooters in it or whatever his Heat Treater to the Stars business requires.

He's in Prescott, where there's a huge community of mainly expat California hot rodders. They are havin' a goood time; we visit now and then. And we're due.

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TOURING IN HOT RODS

We didn’t invent it. If anybody did in the modern era, it was Pete and Jake, who promoted their products by charging cross country in their P&J equipped rods. Of course there were individuals who’d done it a bit before that, too, but not as notoriously.

In ’68 a conversation at an Early Times meeting (I always only was a visitor cuz my car wasn’t upholstered yet) led to me meeting Jake in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (I flew) and we drove back over two weeks,  with his aim to visit as many National Parks as he could. I think we did. It was the sixties…….

That taste of being in his hot rod crackerbox truck on two lanes from Sioux City to LA seared in to my mind the notion that the best, most  noble, fulfilling way a guy could spend his time was crossing the country in a hot rod. It was quite a while before I got my chance to really do it. Like 30 years. You now, even though I think that by now I’m caught up with the Dream...I'm far from done.

Now, my Pal Philly (the Greek) does it his way, too, and he and his Besties go on some hellacious tours and stay gone a while sometimes. He’s layed out a 4 weeker for next year that is the balls! I, too, will be on the road next year in the ’36 of course and hopefully in that Scrappy roadster at the top of the page, too. I’ve given you my slant on that repeatedly,  but,  point is…there’s many themes, ways to do it…it’s our oyster , Bro….run ‘em;  run ‘em, cuz in a hundred years you’ll  be heroes that they’ll read about. And there still will be fans of hot rods…I know there will, if the dishonest legislators and pseudo fake-enviros haven’t outlawed “hot rod think” by that time. I mean, having a passion and the will to expense yourself and your budget to build and drive a 100 year old car….probably won’t be something cottoned-to in Saul Alinsky’s Play Book.  Just sayin’: "Teach your children well" (CSN)

  PHILL'S ROADSTER IS A TRUE CHAMELEON. IT GOES TOP ON/OFF; 3 OR 4 SETS OF WHEEL OPTIONS, EVEN FLAMES ON/OFF.  SHE'S A HIGH MILER THAT GETS WINTER REFURBS WHEN CALLED FOR. OUR '29 DOES MOST OF THAT, BUT HIS MILEAGE IN 5 YEARS OR SO IS ABOUT WHAT OURS HAS ACCUMULATED  IN 23 YEARS! LOOK FOR HIM IN YOUR TOWN NEXT YEAR.

PHILL'S ROADSTER IS A TRUE CHAMELEON. IT GOES TOP ON/OFF; 3 OR 4 SETS OF WHEEL OPTIONS, EVEN FLAMES ON/OFF.  SHE'S A HIGH MILER THAT GETS WINTER REFURBS WHEN CALLED FOR. OUR '29 DOES MOST OF THAT, BUT HIS MILEAGE IN 5 YEARS OR SO IS ABOUT WHAT OURS HAS ACCUMULATED  IN 23 YEARS! LOOK FOR HIM IN YOUR TOWN NEXT YEAR.

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LEAVE ‘EM BETTER’N YOU FOUND ‘EM