I’ve been an advertiser in Roddin’ and Racin’ for over 2 years now, but until now, I have not introduced myself to the readers and given a peek into who I am. Yes I am an agent in the field of Life, Health and Medicare insurance for over 12 years, but that is not “who” I am. For one I am a lover of cars of all kinds with a special passion for Corvettes and Camaros. No offense to the others and I have owned Fords and Mopars as well as several foreigns, particularly British but also German and Italian marques throughout my life.
My first car was a ‘65 Chevy Bel Aire with a 283 and a powerglide. A behemoth that was my grandmother’s car and after my dad bought his mother a new car, the Chevy was mine! The car had broken down and had been sitting at a gas station for a couple of months in Gary, Indiana…we lived in an affluent Chicago suburb. I’m not bragging, in fact just the opposite as I had the ugliest car in school. After having the engine worked on and punching a couple of holes in the trunk to drain it, we brought the car home. I ripped out the moldy carpet and my dad had red carpet put in (the smell remained for about six months!). Then it was off to Earl Scheib for a $99 red coat of paint, which included painting parts of the tires and the sides of the white seats which fortunately were covered in plastic just like my grandmother’s furniture.
After adding a new set of K Mart tires, my father handed me the keys and told me that it was now up to me. Either I learn to fix the car myself or pay for repairs. I did have a job in a camera store in town, but I couldn’t wait to learn about cars. So I enrolled in auto shop 1, bought a Chilton’s book and started buying tools as I needed them from Montgomery Ward and Sears to fix the car. 48 years later (I turn 65 in June), I have built up,and continue to do so, my tools to maintain my vehicles. The days of books for the cars are gone, replaced by YouTube videos, and I work on my cars as much as possible. I have made many friends along the way through cars and many have become clients. Two of which are Jerry Hutchcroft, founder of Roddin’ and Racin’ and Ron Mei, owner of Ramjet Speed Shop. I am also a member of Southwest Street Rods which is the club that partners with the Commemorative Air Force Museum at Falcon Field in Mesa for the annual Vintage Wings and Wheels show. If you’re a music lover as I am, you might catch me singing with my band Viva Lost Wages, dressed up as Elvis!