The Eleventh Hour
I’ve just finished up the second 4th of July weekend in a row, thanks to the holiday being smack-dab in the middle of the week, and there was a whole lot of fun to be had celebrating the 242nd birthday of our country. It dawned on me that my yearly month of no trucks had sort of happened, but there was plenty of truck stuff going down at the same time.
Vintage bikes are definitely my go-to when I need a little break from the truck world. I do a monthly vintage ride in Long Beach with a couple hundred other folks, so when the wife and I are in town, we are there. This month’s theme was Shelby Invasion (not all old bikes are Schwinns), so we pulled out a couple I happen to have (one custom, one rusty, and neither original, of course) and did the ride.
There’s also a yearly event I do that is charity ride, poker run, and pub crawl all rolled into one—all while cruising through parts of the city most people don’t see every day. I build a custom Schwinn to give away as the grand prize every year, too. So there are a lot of late nights leading up to the event. I’ve tried everything from bare metal to gold leaf, nickel plating, threestage powder coating, you name it! This year (my ninth), I wanted to keep it 100 percent in-house, so I settled on a patina-faded look with faux-rust parts. It took an all-nighter leading into the day of the ride to get the bike done, but it was finished, and I rode it the whole 10 miles or so, as I do with the grand prize bike every year.
The other “hobby” that came out of the mothballs for a bit was my vintage Glasspar boat. It is a 16-foot runabout that was all the rage in the ’50s and early ’60s, and there are very few nice survivors. Glasspars also have the distinction of using real glass windshields (they say it’s Corvette, but experts have told me Studebaker), and this particular one was made in Santa Ana, California, and sat in a garage in Orange County for 40 years, so it’s in pretty good shape for a 58-year-old hunk of wood and fiberglass. It gets a lot of looks and thumbs-ups everywhere we take it. Someday, I want to pull off all the trim and upholstery and make it like new. But I will keep that dove blue gelcoat just like it is. They’re only original once!
All of that said, trucks still got plenty of my attention lately, too. Project Old School, my ’64 Chevy, was pulled out and cleaned up for the Brothers Truck Show, and I even loaded the patina Schwinn into the back for the ride. I also made a ton of headway with the Over/Under Silverado project... although there seems to be one roadblock after another with that simple build. But the break is over. It will be all trucks, all the time for a good while. There is just too much to do to bring you this awesome magazine every month!