The (Oil) Spots in My Garage!

Welcome to Terry’s Garage! Although it no longer exists online, the previously hosted version of had a photo page that displayed some of my past four-wheeled frustrations. I figured that was a good way to explain how my system got soaked with 40-weight… sort of like the garage floors those cars were parked on over the years! I don’t think I’ve ever had an old car that didn’t ooze a petroleum-based substance from some mis-aligned gasket or undetectable mating surface somewhere. Just like many of our beloved animals, they marked their spots. Now that I have the new, slightly streamlined version of up and running I thought it might be fun to dig out the photo albums again and share with you where I’ve been. Really, we should all do that from time to time, don’t you think?

Like many of you, the whole gearhead thing started with model cars and grew from there. Some of my first actual building projects in the real-car world involved a string of Wolfsburg’s finest: a fiberglass bodied dune buggy, a modified ’61 sedan, a transporter van and a cut-down Baja-style bug. I still have a soft spot for those early models; I think it’d be great fun to wheel a Cal-look style lowered bug around town!

From there, having been introduced to the itchy wonders of fiberglass and the fun of four cylinders, my first rod project was a glass-bodied “T” roadster with Chevy II four-cylinder power. I use the term “power” loosely, although it had the illusion thanks to the noise from a bellowing sidepipe. And it did scat down the highway pretty well, thanks to its light weight and a few internal engine mods. I swapped the stock pistons for higher-compression numbers from Chevy’s 283″ V-8 which had the same 3-7/8″ bore. (Don’t ask for any other details, it was a long time ago!)

After getting drenched a few too many times, I thought something with a roof might be nice. Enter, a ’39 Ford Deluxe coupe. It sat in front of the church when my wife and I got married, we took part of our honeymoon in it, rebuilt it, repainted it twice, then foolishly sold it. Next came a ’39 Ford Standard sedan, another bare-frame build that carried us well for many miles. That too was sold when a farm-fresh 1962 Pontiac Catalina came our way. Refreshed the mechanicals and the interior, left the exterior paint and “patina’ intact, and drove it. Oh, yeah, sold that one too. Do you see a stupid pattern here?

Mixed betwixt the other aforementioned projects came a few gap-fillers and fun diversions, because as we know, sometimes the unexpected detours can turn out to be the most fun.

Which brings us to the present occupant of my shop space: a 1964 Chevy II. Now a multi-year project, it was a decent old driver that I bought from a buddy. Over the course of a few years and nearly 6000 miles I managed to do a suspension upgrade and some other maintenance and minor detailing. Then, glutton for punishment that I am, I figured an engine swap was in order. (You can read that overextended saga by clicking here!) The good news: The final destination may be within sight. And no oil leaks. Yet.

So the next question you might be asking: will this one be sold too? I’m not planning on it. But I’ve learned to never rule anything out and even though the subject likely won’t pop up for a while, you know the old saying: some people just never learn!

Until the next trip, thanks for stopping by Terry’s Garage. Safe travels and “dig the drive”!

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