Big Daddy will be menacing his hood , prob’ly meet us in Austin next time, with this coupe; it’s got a Rudy chop and we’ll know more later. Oh, and if it’s chilly, he’ll be wearing a Hop Up Staff Jacket that has his handle on the front. Any yes, you, too can enjoy such sartorial exceptional-ism. They’re $280 and take a while to get made.

The following is a portion of an album liner note done by John Lee Williamson (I call him Blue Dawg):

“....I’d like a car that has chrome bumpers, one you can turn the lights and dome lights on and off yourself, one that has dual pipes, a spotlight, white walls, a V 8 I can tune up myself! A drag strip, a dirt track, drive in movie and restaurant, motorcycle hill climb, You know stuff that will make you think on your own!! I’d like gas to be 19 cents a gallon again, I’d like factories to be in America, I’d like milk, bread, and sweet rolls and ice cream to be delivered to my home by a cool little truck, I’d like a 60 mph 50 mpg Whizzer motorbike, I’d like everybody to speak English first, I’d like live DJ’s that play and announce one record at a time so I know who it is I’m listening to, I’d like a War Surplus in my neighborhood and a drag strip that was open Saturday from 9 am to 5 PM, I’d like the best House Parties, I’d like a 1957 dollar to be worth a dollar not eight dollars and ninety cents, I’d like executives, politicians, and lobbyists to have the same values as Billy Graham/Gandhi, I’d like girls to wear dresses and Capris and flats, I’d like guys to have great haircuts with razor around the ears and square cuts in the back, Everybody should wear Bad Ass Top Coats, Sexy Sox and Hats with Brims! Khaki’s, Peggers and Sir Guy’s and Pendeltons, Prices, French Toes and Stacey’s! I’d like a great dance at the Legion hall on Friday and Saturday Night with live acts that can harmonize, I’d like an amusement park/Skating Rink/and 4 great Pools and swimming holes, I’d like Soap Box Derby, I’d like Christmas to be full of family Fun/Joy/love! I’d like much less oversight by agencies! I’m from Sunland, California and in the 1950’s when I grew up all these things were true! I loved my America! My Music right off 78 records! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Forever!! Lets Record this Album Live right now! Right in THE AMP HOUSE and do it SWITCH BLADE STYLE! One Mic a huge groove and spirit just like 1938. And the whole Cats choir all said Well!!!!!!!!!! Alright!!!!!!!!!...”


Thursday, May 10

Everyone we know has heard of the awful loss of Nathan Strube. With that, the usual topics at this address are meaningless and I’d like to suggest we pray for and think of our friends for a while.
This page will be unchanged for the next weeks in tribute; the usual RIP will not do this time.


Monday, May 7

I think I’m ready to go. Coffee is hooking up, car is loaded and (I think) serviced. Co-Driver Phil will be here at 9:00 to hop in for the 6 or so hour trip to Paso. We’ll unload the car, check in and greet others, kick tires.Tires that are 33x5 and more. Skinny. Contact patches the size of a silver dollar. Two wheel brakes. Powering up steep hills…and careening down them…4-6-8-12 cyl engines with huge bores…and exhaust cut-outs open. Glory be.

My Mentor (he won’t be there and that changes the whole dynamic for me) said, ” If you keep fiddling with those things you won’t need to call me any more.” “Bull shit”, sez me; you can’t come in to something like this this late in the game and not need advice…See I had screwed something up while trying to figure something else out. The car told me something was real awry...and I figured it out, adjusted my way back to happiness…and didn’t have to call…for once. His was a nice compliment, but far too generous!

If I can figure out how to put a Flick Camera scene on here sometime I’ll show you how thrilling 60-65 MPH can be….with those two wheel brakes and skinny tires!

I’m set up to post a few pictures during the week….so I will, unless I’m distractedly centered on the pre-occupying pleasure that these things bring. Or working on it.

God Bless America...the one that availed this wonderful distraction….and could deny us of it ..with enough progress.


Friday, May 4
About all the The Big One needs is to top off the diff and load it in the trailer. Weather suggests a mini heat wave an’ that’s OK; it wouldn’t be so pretty much fun in foul weather.


That right there is your grandfathers Oldsmobile. Bitchin. Slammed (relatively). If I get the story straight, the owner has driven this thing from Canada to Mexico City.

Yeah, Buddy.....

150 miles each day on a ‘hub’ tour is OK with me; by the end of the week I’ll be ready to switch reels, park mine,  and plan the retrieval of the Staff Car in June. Now, T.B.O. will come back out officially in September (possibly once before) so it won’t have cooled-off completely.

There are so many facets of the jewel that is our obsession….........

Wednesdy, May 2
Don’t really feell like changing the month, cover and all.
Getting ready for the Tour so may or may not get anything down here for a few days; and if the laptop works while we’re out there we’ll post a shot or two.

Charity dinner at a neat place last weekend had this Lamborghini on the wall and the engine in the garage…runnable. Yeah, he’d reach over and start it once in a while..unmuffled.


I just heard the flathead motor is healed and running nicely on the engine stand; actually just missed hearing it…TGWSRU called to let me hear it and I missed the damned call! Now, I politely asked them to wait til I was back from the Big One’s Tour so I could help stuffing the engine/trns back in the chassis but..we’ll see if he let’s me.

Right after that the banger motor is back from the babbittectomy and it will have to be installed, but I have the car hidden, in my possession, so they won’t be able to do it for me..unless I beg.

I know that’s not much of a pic (I had hinted I’d get some pictures up here) but it is what it is.

Hey, re: the guys who didn’t pay Hop Up…that is NOT anybody who has ordered jackets or anything lately; these are real old bills for wholesale products and advertizing business….who don’t return calls or answer mail. And that isn’t the Hop Up Way, now, is it?



Sunday, April 29

Yesterday there was a small but eclectic and cool car show in a historical neighborhood in the OC, that’s part of a charity home tour. ‘Happens Jim and Karyn live there so we usually go; E for the homes, me for the cars and the brew and Q. Outstanding day in a great setting (I call the outside patio and yard area ‘The Cantina’.) Huge avocado tree, nice shade and a big crowd of nice people. I drove Red, it drew nice compliments which feels good, and I enjoyed the round trip alot. Falliin’ in like with that car.

Before I left home, though, I got T.B.O. out, changed the fuel filter, test drove it (batt was up nicely with the Granite batt tender), snugged some things, looked over (actually under) chassis. Need to provision it and the trailer for the Tour; no probs are evident, but I have to make a call to find out the correct specs to top off the diff/trans axle. I’ll call in pros to detail it, crawl around and get inside of wire wheels tidy and all. It’ll come back gnarly but it has to start in max cosmetic livery. She’s a 20 footer, hell-for-stout, dry as a bone and…..got a cutout..did I tell ya?

Glad I changed the oil a week ago, so had that crossed off the checklist already.

Today some fidgeting with it, will call around for the diff advice I need, and scowl at the T when I walk by it - even tho’ it ain’t the car’s fault!!!!

Hey, even in this day of modern communication, I can’t reach some old Hop Up customers, may need some Jungle Drums beat to find them. They must have moved because when I send them copies of old unpaid INVOICES they never get paid. I’m going to list the names soon, then if y’alll can’t help me find them, I’ll show the invoices. Must just be the failure of the US Postal Service, no? These hot rodders wouldn’t stiff Hop Up would they????? This will be fun. For me.

en hopup veritas

April 27

Treadin’ water here, psychin’ up to get the Big One ready for Tour…hoping it does better than the T did!

In the meantime, Greg Stokes (NZ) saw (and heard) the following at the hysterical vehicle races:






So, Mabel, there is more to our sport than hot rods and customs .....worldwide.
But hot rods come first.

Take an Even Strain, Hoss......


April 24

Four days in S.Y. Valley surrounded by modern sports cars and a couple 300 SL’s was OK. Then we were supposed to have joined the T folks on Sunday for a couple days of touring but I could not get the T right last week…even after solving brakes, the bands and clutch turned out over my head. Now there’s another Ford down and in line to go away for service.

I’m sure Harry has run the flathead on the stand by now so I (we) need to alot some time to stuff the thing back in the roadster. If I can check that one off the list, the Tub ought to be next, easy. Then the T roadster. These ragged-ass old things are keeping me from more cosmopolitan dreams (well, not completely - those SL’s sure looked good!).

Looking forward to the major detail on a Low One that really hasn’t needed it for 10 years but..it’s time.

Gonna go to work…need to get 3 days in, I think, ought to be enough to get rested up for the weekend. I really will find a picture of something interesting eventually, really.

Remember: It’s not a Rut; It’s a Groove.


Hey, we’re taking one of those ‘hiatus’ breaks so be cool, we’ll be back when the dust settles.
Until then, here’s a pic of Terry Seaholm (TS RIP above) and his roadster. Before he passed he chose Jack Butler as the new caretaker of the hot rod.

Hot Rods Forever.

Tuesdsay, April 17

Got the T linings. The bonded, woven linings make the ones I got last week look like linoleum thumbtacked to the shoes; they’re bitchin , soo is the supplier.. Adjustment refinements seem tricky but do-able, worked too good Clutch slipped again, so went back to that late in the evening, worked fine on a test drive but we’ll see. time is running out.


I think it’s been turned over to an experienced re-seller, and we have the contact info if you’re interested. Said to have a clip and set up for modern drivetrain. Wow. If I wasn’t customed-out….

Going to work today, will hurry back home to put some time in on the T.

Mind is rolling over and over with La Gila visions,  frustrated it’s just sitting there waiting for a taste of cabbage…but there are three other little beaks cheeping at me ahead of it. Maybe four. Wouldn’t it be practical…if Fabian worked on it some…got it a little bit ahead…would be kind of a savings account for him… a rainy day fund? Let’s all call him and make that suggestion, K?

Take an Even Strain, Hoss…..

Monday, April 16

I found the determination after all to go out and change the10 qts of oil in the Big One, put in some Zinc additive, snugged a couple of things, smoked the chassis over, made a short list of to-do’s for the May Tour. If I get the T shoes today, I’ll know by nightfall if it will make it’s tour next week. I appreciated the garage after Saturday clean-up…even smelled good from the Q n’ D mopping it got.

Ron wrote that he’s making a run at a rendering for the Morton Meteor...and that’s it’s only hope. Even with a pretty and do-able look, that’d be a major project. We’ll see.

Sounds like Neal Jennings’ Hudson steering gear article in the Big Catalogue is sending his side biz to da moon!! Good on ya, Bro.

Celeb hot rodders might should learn the difference between Duval and Hallock windshields, but, then, a whole generation of younger guys don’t know either so who cares, huh? They’ve had it twisted so long, the new experts inherit the wrong version!

I may go see TGWSRU today on the way to the brake shoe joint, maybe hold him up for some tacos or something.; prob’ly drive the Sports Car; last night’s quickie out for chow only put about 2 miles on it, not nearly enough test running. Besides…it looks/sounds/feels so damned cool..........

en hopup veritas
Sunday, April 15

Hung out in the garage for a while last night with guests who get it; dinner was a smash, then to the books. Nice. Refined plans for two trips, Pebble and SLC.

Today, don’t know. It’s pretty out there; I walked out to the garage to see if I would be ‘moved’ by anything. Could be that the Sports Car should go for a spin, but that’s about it. It should all be AOK but I want to give it the once-over before it goes back to the engine builder for his look-see, just to be sure we in tune for a1000 mile tour in July.

If I get the brake shoes back tomorrow I’ll be working on the T in the late afternoon, results of which define the next week of my (car) life!

And if I have any class at all…I’ll go out there today and change the oil on the Big One, so I have that out of the way when time is short before May 7…like I said…if I have any class at all. The jury’s out on that one..it’s early yet.

Hop Up - True to Tradition

Saturday, April 14
Rudy confirmed that missing Bako was probably a real good thing. Both North Cal and here got thunderation so Bako..in the middle…must’ve got it bad, too. Maybe somebody can confirm.
So I was in the garage, fretting that another day was being wasted for the T brakes and remembered the guys in Long Beach who could probably handle it (Don: like I said, they’re external contracting shoes and only about 300 degrees round thus flimzy,, so a normal arcing setup wouldn’t do it.). Anyway I took off in the meanest rig I’ve got (6 wheels, four doors, twin turbos and nine cup holders) and drove north in to a vicious storm; it parted the water nicely… was lit up like an 18 wheeler so kept the inept at bay…and got ‘er done. T shoes should be thinner and bonded rather than rivited, late Monday. This T Tour may happen after all and if it doesn’t….then it won’t.

That to-do list yesterday got interrupted by the impromptu trip to Long Beach but all the easy stuff got done. Squeezed in some time late afternoon to repose in the garage like an art thief, the sole benefactor of his stolen art, sitting there, walking around it….appreciating. It may have to be churned a little in the future….and that’s troubling…but that’s how you get ahead…..

Today will do a sweep up, dust-off Q&D, oughta be good enough for the time we spend there. I think the after-dinner time will be spent among books. Yeah. Books. Print. That lost medium…..in 100 years they’ll probably have nice sitting rooms where everyone can access the host’s computer files for pictures and text..independently from individual seats in the ‘library’. Tonight, though,  it’ll be in a leather, dark wood and cloth-bound environment…as God intended.

Got a couple of friends with med issues…we all do, I know…but let’s keep them in our thoughts and prayers while we savor the day.

Leaning one way and establishing that as your position is one thing; leaning that way with the (subversive) goal of toppling everything in that direction is another. ...and you know that goes on, doncha….......

Friday, April 13

Picked up a Low One and the drive line repairs were just the ticket, lost the subtle vibration it had developed; got it to the barn for ‘out-of-rotation’ storage pending a major detail job.

I listened to the Weatherman..who assured me it would be all yella raincoats at the swap in Bako today…so I called TGWSRU and said, “Let’s scrub it; I’ll stay home and work in the gagage.”
Now, it’s nice and sunny here and if it doesnt rain…I missed out on the only swap I really like to go to because of those guys. Sheesh! (Spoke too soon! Raining now, and we need it so all is well. Ed.).

Worse, the new lining on the T brake shoes is too thick, not due to the cool guy who re-lined them but because the ‘Rocky Mountain Brakes’ I’ve got are some early/off brand/home-made types that apparently want thinner linings; can’t adjust them with 1/4” material in there. Now, if I can’t find somebody to custom re-line them (I have a guy) then the T Tour is out and that would be too bad. Right down to the wire, as usual.


I’ll wrestle with that some today and do some clean up (been kind of re-arranging doo-dads in the garage). Company tomorrow night and these folks will definitley want to spend some time in the garage; some don’t , you know? It’s OK to have non-car friends and even some non-car family but….it kinda throws you off!

Pull brakes off T, call the other friction material guy.
Get Propane
Take drain oil to repository
Get oil for stock
Hardware store for two-way plug
Get lottery ticket
Try Goddess with gen disconnected to see if that’s what makes it run weird.
Mess with wall hanging doodads at workbench
Sweep, vacuum floor, mop a little.
Don’t think about business

Hop Up Honor


Tuesday, April 10

Parts back for T today, maybe, ‘spect we’ll install them tomorrow.

A new car TV show was on cable last night.

Book time, read about a rare S.P.O. (which we saw at Pebble and Laguna Seca in ‘87).

Realizing that the turn-around time when the T comes home ‘til the Big One has to go out again is almost short..puts some pressure on. The result? Talked to John about this yesterday: If it EVER gets to be too much pressure, work, stress, aggravation…if it even hints at being a task…something has to go. Cut it out. Walk away. God knows we know how to do that….....

Wonder if I should call Harry to see if that one needs to be fed….naaaaaw…..

Grab a Gear.

Saturday, April 7

”...oh, you are mine…at last...” Etta. R.I.P.
Lots of comments on Blue Dawg’s liner notes (above). He’s good, eh? You should see/hear him doin’ his thang on the harp and vocals.

Got the Goddess home on Thursday, great improvement; there’s a couple items still on the list, will go back. Perfection (really) is so within reach; they’re great cars.

Philly the Greek called, said the ‘Rootin’, Tootin’ Shootin’ Star’ was done. Picked it up and oua la: she’s beautiful. He had photo’d the original old hardly-there decal and re-made it by hand after the paint job. Bitchin as usual. And I got a discount…must be because I’m such a BFG, right? No. He just really enjoyed the off-beat project. It’s art to him. Thanks, Bro.


Stopped and saw the corner of La Gila roll pan and I’m stoked, keen, inspired, and peein’ down my leg wanting to see it done and on the ground. I think it’s the best I’ve ever seen and I reckon maybe Faw-Bee-Yon agrees. Pics of that when it’s closer to finished. I suppose if I paid him he’d work on it. Oh…..yeah.......

Got the T on the ground to demo for Rocky Mountain Brake re-lining and per usual the ‘take it apart’ part is like findin’ money. We’ll see what’s up when the newly re-lined items have to adjust to match the stock band/drum deally in the trans….where is that black book…..


Too much day left so I’ll wash Red for the ride to Easter Feed with the Dago side. Then, I got wind of an afternoon movie right here at home and then....some home-made pasta…may even find my way to the garage to absorb some of the chapters of my journey; every car has a story; some of them are all good…and if there is a bad one? It’s a conquest over defective character, that’s what that is…...and turns out a victory is a victory even if it’s not easy…and ya win anyway.

Peace be with you…..


Thursday, April 5

Bob says the Goddess made some good numbers on the dynomometer; the 60 mile ride back home oughta be right pleasureful. On the way there we drop off a Low One for some maintenance, then it goes for detail, prob’ly even a light color-sand and rub. The afternoon should be spent getting the brakes off the T for relining, or at least getting it in the right spot for the demolition. Might could be a better job for Saturday. That makes today a good day for a car guy.


By the way: if the Constitution does not suit you, there is a remedy for that. It’s called Amendment, duly provided-for. Rather than lie and jive and have surrogate media hit-men and women sell your mischief…..refer it to the people. Put a constitutional amendment on the ballot. Simple. Well, maybe not simple..but legal, honest and appropriate.

Now, lest you think I agree with all SCOTUS or 9th Circuit (for example) rulings..no. So this process is available to me, too.

Wednesday, April 4

Hop Up Hump Day. Got the panel truck washed last night. Now what? I think Chris is going to take it to Elmo with the push bar, for sale sign.

I miss Red; ‘probably drive her to work on Friday. And maybe to the family Easter Dinner on Sunday, yeah, that’s it. S’posed to p/u The Goddess tomorrow. That done we’ll strategize the (relatively) simple cosmetic change for her and get ‘er done this summer, meanwhile enjoy the big, refined bitch.

Note: a few days ago down there I mentioned,  ‘who would name themselves…’ I was talking about (ugh) The Situation, some greasy character from a reality TV show. Did I say ‘Yuk”?

Now we know that I wasn’t grinding on My Man Fabian ( Faw-bee-yon, when correctly enunciated in Espanol).

Parts for engine job are trickling in, and Harry is sorting them into stacks of correct and not correct. Engine will be going together soon.

Big Dreams? No time this week…got a job….awwwww, Man?

Do we agree with their definition of ‘the rich’? Please…..

Tuesday, April 3

More work duty than usual this week so less of this foolishness, of course. The reading has been pouring thru AQ’s and identifying articles from the past that interest me, scan them (like scan used to mean -visually) read one or two then re-file the books. I have always thought that when a guy just doesn’t feel like being in the cars anymore - too old - too infirm - the books might be great comfort. Solace. Well, they already are and if I know me, when I re-read them (after about *15 more good summers)...it’ll all be new material again!

Thursday we move one out and one in, and should be the only day I have to pull the RM brakes from the T; I think I can get them a ride to the guy who relines them next week. Then, if installed by the end of that week there’s one week to sort any of the rest of it out…load the car for the tour.

E made reservations to get us to SLC with friends to visit friends there....and retrieve the Staff Car. I haven’t seen that car for one year.


Great. Now I won’t be able to concentrate on work.

Hop Up Honor; Stay Honor

Later…readjusted the bands, went for a test ride and the damned thing would NOT go into high range..just slipped…had to labor it back up the hill in low range…didn’t really over heat but crap, Man.
Called Hugh and he said, “Clutch is slipping.” Sure enough I look in the little black book and this somewhat tedious three-parts adjustment needs done; saw some impediments. Aggravations. I’ll take it to somebody….then shame, guilt and ..a tiny skosh of determination said..try it. I did. Took it for a spin and it runs like a banshee up hill and dale, quick shiftin the Ruxtell..aw, Man.

She shot some ducks when going up the first hill but that’s engine (fuel) stuff and she was still pretty cold so I think we can make that one happen.

Grabbed a Carbonelle, popped an MGD and started wiping tools and putting them away. About the time the ‘gar was done, so was I. Quick shower to de-tox from the cigar and the days’ work… and I was civilized enough to partake of the braciole and ravioli that was ready…big fire was goin’ and..wow.

“Tomorrow is only a day away”. Oh Boy.

Sunday, April 1

Saturday was a wonderful day in the garage with almost no rush, just fiddlin’ with this wreck.I adjusted the bands, put it back together and drove it with no floorboards in it, decided to readjust today.‘Will do in a while.


The starter pedal-looking foot pedal is to actuate the exhaust cutout (actually activates a cutout muffler - Wheeler -that came with the cutout mechanism built in.) If you look closely, you can see some ‘custom’ switches all over the place that do some fun things: one is of course the stop light at the right (brake) pedal. But the others? Well, the one near the cutout switch turns on the green light in the tail light assembly…we call it the ‘loud’ light: warns you it’s loud up here if the green is on.(HEHE)’

The switch on the center pedal (Reverse pedal) turns on the white light in the cluster for ...back up light of course.


Well, all of the switches have not been aligning with their ‘motivators’ for a while, so while it’s apart I’m messing with them.

And, the white and green piece had pigtails, sockets, etc. so corroded, they weren’t making the connect either. That took about 2 hours away from the band-adjusting process and we still have to go back to the alignment of the switches, finish adjusting the bands, and take the Rocky Mountain Brakes apart for re-lining. Some of that today.

Then an oil change, pack front wheel bearings; we lubed and oiled like a squirtin’ fool yesterday so the grease cups are all twisted in, oil ports are squirted. And a set of plugs I think. Points/condenser in the VW diz are good as I recall.

This has to be a dependable driver because there are 59 other flivvers registered for the tour (all real pro T Guys for sure) and…we don’t wanna be the ‘hot rodder’ that goes home on the hook, now, do we? Answer NO here.

So this makes yet another Ford that is down although just for a couple of days but…..I’m working through it and it should be a good season by virtue of the virtue of proper maintenance…at least that’s what it said in the little black Ford T Repair book. (Which I carry in the car just to make the old guys laugh).

It’s beautiful here in this balled-up state. But I’ll be an Auto-Ostrich today, enjoy the day for the day; sounds like E is already in the kitchen doing something for dinner. Best restaurant in Cal, Dad. Right here at the Villa.

This from Marshall:

Alfa redo

The resurrection of the Italian Rat Rod or how to spend big bucks on a $1,000 beater and still end up with a $1,000 beater. It may be that since so few were sold that there are very few left and it will be worth big bucks, yeah sure.

First was reconstruction of the driveshaft which meant three new rubber couplers and a center bearing. Since the transmission and clutch are in the rear the shaft turns at engine speed and proper balance is critical. 

Then the state demanded a smog check on a 32 year old car, to pass we had to do a valve adjustment, new spark plugs and wires, throttle sink, reset injection timing and install a new catalytic converter, five tries and it passed. Damm Italians, it never passed when new. The front wheel bearings were replaced as were the rear. I decided to powder coat the alloy wheels so that meant 4 new Michelins (it steered like a truck until the tire change now it is like I added power steering). In the past I just bought any brand cheep tires because this was my daily beater. Wow! What pleasure I had been missing. Next I went to a real muffler shop. Larry’s must be the last one east of Riverside , been in business in the same location since 1962. The original equipment is no longer in stock so Mastercraft it is. The ANSA system that was OEM had two chrome side by side tips and the guys at Larry’s made a nice looking copy. Started to change the dried rubber parts like front break hoses, exhaust hangers, injection pump belt and alternator belt. The water pump started to leak so a new one was installed. While it was in the shop the “Alfa/Ferrari” specialist (read high priced) noticed that the heater fan was not working so the whole dash came apart and now it blows like new. All of this and it still looks like a rat rod. Paint and upholstery must be next.

On and on, we never grow up. I hope.


Have a good ‘un.