Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dad Story 2

Here's another story from 1969-70 that my dad wrote a while back:

"Well California was a breath of fresh air compared to Chicago.My friend from the Marines (Galbraith) got us an apartment in the same building he lived—Torrance Calif.—he was working as a mechanic for an airline—cant remember who.—He had a 57 chevy convertible with a 283 power pack engine—4 speed with solid lifters—always loved that car—but he would never “punch” it—he was kind of a mamas boy—called her everyday—he was a 7 day adventist—married to the same and treated her like she was his mother.—never seen him this way when we were in the Corps.—they tried to get us involved and I refused nicely.—After he showed me his collection of porno books I figured he was a hypocrite--Fuck that shit—I believe in what I want to believe—he accepted that answer.
Anyway—the Yenko went in the apartment garage—I was hired at McDonalds as an asst. mgr.—I only had to work 55 hours a week—compared to what I was working in Chicago it was a God send.
Good job—free time on my hands and decided maybe its time to build up my “driver” to be a little more competitive with the California street racers.
Dragged you —regularly—after I studied the procedures to getting classed—staging and what happens in competition—I went to the 76 gas station and met Dale Armstrong—and Gary Wells (Wells Cargo)—I asked him what he could do to the Yenko to keep it in a competitive class with out having to go up against Grumpys Toy and still drive it to work everyday.—he said “I will curve it in the distributor 41 degrees total advance—said it would sound like its missing all the time till I punched it—very flat sound that was way too cool—then he said he would notch the plenum chamber in the intake to more evenly distribute the fuel and suck it in faster—he said these were all legal tricks—then he said the rest is up to me—pick the right slicks—get some correct headers and then come back and I will tell you what plugs to run and what to set the gap at.
Sooo—you and I went to Hooker headers where they were built at the time(think it was Concord Cal.)
told them I wanted headers installed on a 427 camaro—they said it would be a challenge since they hadn't done a 427—but said there was someone there at the time that might be able to help---they put the Yenko on the rack and all stopped work to come over and look---a short dude with glasses extended his hand and introduced himself as Bill---he said we will get this right—you and I just hung out and ate junk food and walked around—about 3 hours later---they dropped the car down and fired it up—it sounded like “life was re-born”---they made collectors—welded and bolted them up and gave me the bill--$150.00---I paid—thinking holy shit thats a lot of money—but the sound –even thru the mufflers was so thundering I wanted to live in the car.----they said it would not have been done if “Bill” wasnt there to coach them thru it---I said who is Bill anyway---they said that was Bill Grumpy Jenkins—he designed the fit for this 69 Camaro.
He had already left—I felt stupid for not even realizing who he was—he was one of my favorite guys—I used to watch him race the 409’s back in 1963—he always ran against dyno don who was racing the 409 also at that time—pretty sure about that—memory fades—but I think it was Dyno Don"

Part one can be found HERE

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