New old guy from Illinois

Rat Rods Rule

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Well-known member
Apr 4, 2023
Freeport IL
Hey all,
Looking forward to having a new place to hang around.
Been building Rat Rods before Rat Rods were popular. I'm a retired self employed welder, officially retired in 2018, but did part time morning the 1st year after that, then did a year of catch me and maybe I'll do welding for you after that.
Started out dirt track racing Mopars. Then did the performance car thing, and a bit of street racing. Then built a 35 Dodge 2 door sedan from a pile of rusty cut up sheet metal and drove it 66,000 miles in 7 years. Been a bunch of hot rods since then. I build them to drive them.
Currently I have a 48 Plymouth business coupe on a Dakota chassis we have driven pretty close to 100,000 miles since April 2012. The latest edition is a 49 Dodge pickup on a Dakota 4x4 chassis. Its been on the road since June 2021 and is my full time driver, even through the snow and salt covered north west IL.


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Never seen a 48 Plymouth look so cool. My first car was a '48 Dodge Fluid Drive coupe, paid 80 bucks for it. That was in 1972. It was creampuff solid and ran great. I never liked those cars until I owned one, what a blast.

When I met my wife in 1974, we were going out on our first date, she saw the car, said lets take my car, you can drive. That was the first time I drove a brand new Vega. :rolleyes:

Anyway, welcome.
Hey Gene! Good to see you over here! Several other HAMB’ers here also, not as busy as it is over there, but not as tightly structured, either. We might be talking hot rods on one post then go into farm tractors on the next, lol! Really laid back and low key around here, with some really great guys, and maybe a few gals. I can’t remember anybody ever getting kicked off or post’s deleted for not having the right kind of wheels or having the wrong ( too new) engine, lol. We like it all!
As an owner of a 46 P15, I took special note of your 48. (Mine is a 4-door.)
Interesting/Unique modification in the rocker area. (Mine is going back with the stock look, but also have a 49 1st series 2 door. Bought both of them back in 80 and 81, but then my wife & I were in missionary work in Brazil for 18 years, so the cars just sat waiting all that time.)
Welcome, Gene. Builds are popular here. So is BS, of the clean sort. Why, we even have songs, and a bit of hot rod story telling and poetry. Contests once in a while. Except one smart guy gets all the answers right away.
Thanks for the welcome guys.

Pictures are deceiving, my stuff looks great from 10' away, or rolling down the street. When its parked and you can really look it over, you know my body work sucks. I know how to do body work, but I just don't have the patience to do it right. Block sanding sucks. In fact most everything to do with body work sucks. I can make any paint run. I can stand to do body work (from start to finish, welding in patches not included) for about 2 months, then I'm ready to paint it, done or not!

I'm a welder, and an old dirt track racer. The old dirt track cars only had to look good from the stands, not many cared what they looked like up close, few expected perfection. That is my kind of body work.

Now being mechanical sound and ready to be driven is a different story. Back in my younger days, it was not unusual for my wife and me to drive over 500 miles in a weekend! I've slowed down some now, but 250 + miles over a weekend is not out of line. 125 miles in a day is a short cruise, that is often a summer activity at least once a week. My stuff is mechanically ready to go pretty much anytime. Want to go someplace? Let me check my wife's calendar to be sure I'm not suppose to be someplace, give me 15 minutes to check it over quickly and fill it with gas, I'm ready. Where are we going? There is nothing here I would be the least bit concerned about driving 250 miles today. Gene
Had to look up Freeport IL
I've been to Rockford at Lefthander Chassis to get updates on my asphalt latemodel.
Welcome to the site Gene, and please don't feel the need to apologize for your body work! We are glad to see you putting some miles on them.

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