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Was your dad a gear head or no?


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FBBO Gold Member
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11:17 AM
Oct 27, 2017
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Kinda wondering how ya’ll got into this. Was it your pops or did you have this in you already?

For me it was always there. I started riding friends dirt bikes in 5th grade never having money to buy one. Then I worked two jobs in HS (True Value/McD’s) and saved up for a 1973 Z28 back in 77. That car really made the gear head in me evolve.

My pop’s never opened the hood of any of his cars and his “shop” was an adjustable wrench and a hammer hanging on a pegboard that the previous home owner put up lol.
He wasn’t handy/mechanical at all but he was a good father and I miss him.
So needless to say I developed the love for machines on my own. Now with 4 daughters and 3 granddaughters I find myself still wrenching in the garage alone.
But I am most happy in my shop…..!!!!

How about you guys?
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Yup, my dad is the reason I got into wrenching on cars when I was around 5 or 6 years old. And even though he's no longer with me, I still feel very connected to him, especially when I'm under the hood.
My Father never turned a wrench to my knowledge, but cut an awesome side of beef. Maybe in his earlier years but I never saw it. It was my buddies and the then girlfriend's Father that got me into getting greasy at 13/14 years old and I'm for ever indebted to a wonderful patient man for showing me the way. RIP Fred Dinelle..
I've told this story a few times, feel free to scroll past it if you get bored...
Dad was a professional musician, a guitarist. He toured with a band performing in the Michigan/Ohio/rust belt. Their promoter booked them on a West Coast tour along with another 2 bands in 1967. Dad went on tour, then returned home back east with plans to move to California.
Mom, Dad and three kids drove cross country in an early 60s Mercury Comet that was rusty but mechanically sound. Dad ended up getting work selling used cars, a career that continued to his passing in 1995.
Dad sold new and used cars all his life but the early years were in the era of the factory muscle we all love. He worked at a Dodge dealer in Roseville CA and a Chrysler/Plymouth dealer in Sacramento. He drove the 340, 440 and Hemi cars when they were new. He wasn't a gearhead per se but he did have an appreciation for them. I absolutely picked up my interest from him. He taught me how to identify a car by the grille and headlights. I used to stand in the yard and call out the cars as they came down the road. I was good at it too.
Dad passed on before I bought my first Charger. He would have loved to see me embrace something he used to sell when it was new.
This was our family car. Before that was a 62 Chrysler 300H convertible.

moms Charger.jpg
Nope, Dad (still with us at 91) never even changed oil as far as I can recall. If it didn't have a blue Oval, he wouldn't own it. He forbid me from associating with the "juvenile delinquents with the hot rods" who lived down the road. I used to hear them, hop on my banana bike and go and watch them. They had the first car I ever saw lift the front wheels, and I was hooked. I'm pretty sure it was some sort of Belvedere, painted orange, and 2 carbs sticking out of the hood.
Back to Dad- he may not have loved cars, but he taught me how to hunt and fish. To this day, he is still the best shot I've ever seen. I witnessed him take a whitetail deer running at 250+ yards with an open sight Win 32 special. He acted like it was nothing. He is a Korean War veteran, and does not talk about what his duties were, but I have my suspicions.
I may never be as good a shot as he was, but I rarely miss.:lol:
He acted like it was nothing. He is a Korean War veteran, and does not talk about what his duties were, but I have my suspicions.
Just the way it usually is. My Father WWII lied about his age to go over, My GF's Father WWII at Vimy Ridge and my Brother at every hell hole since in a C130... none talk(ed) about it.
My Dad and tools did not get along. I don't recall him ever working on the family car and putting things together on Christmas day would send him into a rage. He was a great man just not very handy.
My Dad isn't mechanically inclined but my grandfather on my Mom's side was a machinist before he retired the first time, then worked as handyman/superintendent of some commercial buildings. He was fearless when it came to fixing anything. Electrical, plumbing, construction... he would take on just about any small project he could reasonably do himself, but knew enough to know when to bring in the pros.

My summers starting at age 13 were going to the buildings and helping with whatever repairs were needed, and then did more demo/paint/finish work as they had tenants turn over. He wasn't what you'd call a car guy, but he did have a knack for refurbishing scooters (Vespa, Piaggio, Lambretta, etc.)

I tried to get him to take on a car project with me the summer after I turned 15, but he was too practical. He would always say 'I have enough problems already, I don't need to pay for any more.' ;)

He had tons of tools and was of the generation that kept every screw, nut and bolt in old coffee cans. I was living away from home when when he passed and my mom did a lot of the cleaning out of their house. She kept a fair few of his tools, but I wish I'd have been able to save a lot more.
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my dad did not influence us into hot rods or other addictions . but it seems we are mechanically inclined as he was . although he didn’t wrench at home he did at work and during his service in ww2 as a airplane mechanical tech . we got into harley’s and i got into mopars from neighbors and friends . one thing i have to say was my dad did influence us to buy american. he would not tolerate foreign cars or bikes . zero tolerance on that .i am very proud of him so i’ll share his pic from the big war again . he was a great man ….p61 “ black widow “


Dad was a "SHADE TREE"; when they started taxi business in 1969, stepped up his game. 62 Newport, 63 Biscayne then got 67 & 68 Fury as fleet & a Monaco police interceptor added later (sold 62 & Chebby). Sold cab co then rented a Texaco station. Fire in 81 destroyed that. Back to shade tree on his own cars.
Possible gearhead definitions:

1: a person who is very interested in cars.

2: a person who is very enthusiastic very about gadgets and equipment.

Yes, on both counts.

We were a one car family for a long time. All automotive maintenance items were done by him (and sons were on hand to help and watch depending on age). I do recall a few less frequent items like replacing a defective 3rd member in the '64 Catalina, rebuilding brake master cylinder and brake wheel cylinders, U-joints, a/c compressor and clutch R&R, and ball joints. Transmission issue with the '64 Catalina was handled by specialists.

Our home state required safety inspections every six months and the inspection stations were perfectly happy to find something. Dad stayed on top of everything so the car passed inspection first time. They might have got him once for a ball joint replacement and a tire.

IMO, another dimension on his fastidious attention to maintenance (& reliability) and safety was his time as a B-17 bombardier/navigator during WWII. No war stories, but he sure did think highly of the Norden bombsight.
My gramps on dad's side built a trucking company after his Navy time in WWII. He started with one truck and himself as the driver/mechanic/salesman/etc and by the later 1970's had grown into the largest 'independent' trucking line in CA.
Long story short, my dad grew up wrenching and working for his family business but in spare time he and his two younger brothers built and raced all manner of hot rods. That all changed when he went to 'Nam though. Did two tours with the 101st and was never the same after that. He got into pavement-scrapers and had a black Continental and later a black Caddy, but did eventually buy a bright yellow '77 Mercedes SL450 that he drove until he passed in '89. He just wasn't into the hotrodd'n after the war.
I think I picked up the bug more from my high school days and mom's old photo albums.
Dad was handy. Could fix almost anything. Not a car guy.
My Dad never viewed a car as anything other than a tool to get from one place to another. He will be 99 in a few days and he still doesn’t understand my interest in cars.
Nope. He would do basic maintenance like cap/rotor/points/plugs, hoses, belts, radiator flushes, and easy brake jobs. He only did it to save money. When he could afford it in his 50's, the gas station got the business. In my entire extended family, I'm the gear head oddball.
My dad was a machinist by trade and the neighborhood shade tree mechanic (and bicycle repair guy). Dad loved GM cars basically Pontiac Firebirds and Buick GS 455, but also had a few Studebaker rides here and there. His last ride classic wise was a 1972 Catalina convertible that he kept until 2001.

Dad's car skills were very good, but he limited himself for whatever reason. No carburetor work whatsoever. He did brakes, shocks, tune ups, radiator and water pumps. He didn't know ohms law, but he could trouble shoot many electrical issues.

I learned how to do brake jobs, tune ups, and water pumps working as his shade tree assistant. Never really tackled anything else on a car until I moved out and had a neighbor that was a Chrysler master mechanic.

Dad was very loyal about brands. Only Valvoline oil. Only craftsman tools. And he'd drive 20 miles out of his way to get a AC Delco brand replacement part.

Thanks for the thread I enjoyed bringing back memories.
I would say he is mechanically inclined, but not a gear head. He's had some cool cars, 65 Chevelle 283 SS and then a 63 Corvette 327 w/4-speed (which I learned how to drive a manual). He always had company cars and I remember he did have a 73-ish Satellite Sebring. Don't remember him working on any cars, probably because they were company cars, so he'd just take it to the dealer.

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