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!

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