This Hot Rod story begins back in 1958 in the little Hamlet of Opportunity, Washington.
From the center of downtown Spokane, Washington you drive ten point one and 1/2 miles due East on Hwy #10, half way between Dishman, Washington and Veradale, Washington and you arrive in the land of Opportunity. Now if your answer to the Quiz above was, 4010 and you didn’t require the assistance of a three bar calculator to arrive at this correct answer, you probably didn’t attend our Central Valley High back in the fifties.
Onward and upward the story continues, as our star athlete at CV High at this time in our school’s history was a fella by the name of L. Sloan, we called him the “Bone Man.” It seems somehow through a dare he was able to bribe the star cheerleader, who was the sweetest, most gorgeous girl to attend CV High in the last fifty years, to accompany him as his date to the Mid-Winter Dance.
Now there was several things out of sync with this whole story. First of all the Bone Man couldn’t dance that well, off of the football field, or a basketball court, so who was going to dance with A. Janosky? We labeled her “The Queen of Broken-Hearts.” Second, he had no transportation to escort this delicious young lady to the Mid-Winter Dance. Third, His bank account was so low he was down to borrowing coins out of his dad’s antique coin collection!
In response to his outstanding effort at our last victorious football outing, beating our rival school W. Valley almost single handedly by forty points, four of us guys who always referred to “The Bone Man” as our buddy for life, came to his rescue.
The Bone Man’s brother had a slightly wrecked 1952 Chevy 4 dr sedan parked out back. It needed a paint job, but it did run, and was powered with a stock 6 cyl and had the sweetest sounding pipes off a set of Smitty glass-packs. A stock three-on-the-tree tranny got her down the highway. The rest was pretty much a worn out old stock Chevy sedan.
Now with a little help we could make that one crunched-in fender and the rear deck lid somewhat usable. The four of us pulled it out of the field and started by giving it a good wash job and even vacuumed the interior. We must have used a full can of chrome polish on just the front bumper and grill but she cleaned up moderately well.
G. Moretz was our leader and the oldest of the followers. He was one cool dude. The girls loved him as he took on the appearance of a cross between James Dean and Clint Eastwood. “The Dude” was sure he could pound that fender out to at least keep it from rubbing the tire so bad. This might keep it from screeching and smelling like burnt rubber also.
The roof area was turned over to the center of our CV High basketball team 6’ 10 ½ “ Jimmy “The Slink “ Johnson. Now here was one super quiet but deadly guy around the basket. His elbows were so boney that when you got smacked by one of them going for a rebound you never bothered doing that again. We all loved having him on our team, and boy he painted the top of The Bone Man’s car like a pro. Even the off colored polka dots added a lot of humor, and they were on the top, so unless you were six feet tall you couldn’t hardly see them.
When it came to the body and fenders Mr. D. Larsen “The Lars” and myself Colliedog B.C. took the chore on with style, going for perfection on a budget. 22 rattle cans of “Broma” Quick Ten Minute dry Chinese Red paint direct from Peters Hardware in downtown Opportunity. As it turned out 22 cans wasn’t quite enough, and of course we ran short of finishing the job by five or six cans. Now Peters Hardware was out of the Chinese Red color and as I recall that’s why we elected to go with a fresh new look.
I myself wouldn’t have chosen that shade of pink, but Lars was the art major, and he was going for that Art Deco finished look and I think he achieved his goal. In hindsight we all agreed that had the paint dried in the ten minutes like it stated on the can, we would have had a one of a kind artistic creative automobile wonder to behold. But due to the cooler temperature in december in the land of Opportunity, our creative automobile wonder’s new paint was not dry for two to three days later.
Now the Bone Man had to use the vehicle for its intended purpose that evening so his delicious one of a kind of date had to ride to the dance in a vehicle that became a Chinese Red and Deco Pink creation in motion. The exciting thing was that The Bone Man’s 1952 Chevy was ready for use as the Queen’s carriage for the evening.
Thanks be to “The Dude” Gary for coming to Bone Man’s rescue, at the Mid-Winter Dance, as he cut into every dance just so “The Queen of the Broken Hearts” wouldn’t know that Larry didn’t dance that well. She found out 10 years later on the night the two of them were married.
Now as for the short lived history of the 1952 Chevy: one week to the night of the Mid-Winter Dance the Bone Man in his 4dr Chevy rolled up behind my 26’ “T” Coupe, lights out and quiet as can be at Ron’s Drive In. I was sitting in the low in the front, high in the back Model “T” just getting ready to hit the road. Started her up, revved up that sweet little Flathead, put her in reverse and pop the clutch. You guessed it—the “T” smacked right into Bone Man’s freshly painted Deco laugh mobile. Totally wiped out the front end of that little Chevy. Fortunately no damage to the model “T” but both his head lights, grill and front fenders needed a lot of attention.
So in the world of quiz recapping. In the year 1958 The Lars at (16), Slink at (16), The Dude at (18), Bone Man at (17), The Queen of Broken Hearts at (16), myself at (17) and a 1952 Deco finished Chevy 4 dr sedan had a wonderful time creating this true story from the history of yesteryear in the land of Opportunity. Quiz Time Total = 4010.
Sadly we lost “The Dude” Gary Moretz in 1959 to a tragic death in his 1954 Mercury H/T. In 1963 “Slink” Jimmy Johnson was fatally injured coming home from college in his show class 1954 Olds 88 coupe and in 1995 our good buddy Dennis Larsen “The Lars” drove his beautiful 1994 BMW 730 I for the last time, due to a massive coronary. Their memory lives on forever in our hearts and minds.
On a more positive note: The old 1926 Ford Model “T” coupe will be celebrating her 90th birthday at the 60th Anniversary of the Portland Roadster Show on March 18-20, 2016 at the Portland Expo Center. You’re all invited to come and enjoy the festivities and say hello to the two remaining Hot Rod buddies, The Bone Man and Colliedog BC, who will be on hand cutting the Model “T’s” birthday cake.