Guthrie and Beyond October 2013 (Post #406) 10/30/2013

I loved the lines.
High on a hill east of Guthrie.

Mrs. Okierover and I love a good road trip. So when our oldest daughter (Fireball) told us our oldest grandchild (Pistol, aka Tater) was cheering in Guthrie, Oklahoma, we had to go. Guthrie holds a special place in our family’s history. Fireball was proposed to in this city by our now son-in-law J-man.

From our home in Norman, Guthrie is a solid one hour drive on the interstate. The first grade football game began at 0830. This meant both Fireball and her brood would need to roll out of their racks around 0630 in order to be more or less on time for the game. It’s no small task to haul a 6, 4, and 9 month old anywhere let alone at 0630. I’ve done it, alone, with only 6$(US) in my pocket, so I know. (A story for another time.)

I am not fond of “rolling out” at 0730 on my only “sleep in” day of the week. Add driving an hour on the interstate on a OU home football game weekend. Not fun. So I ponied up the money for us to stay in Guthrie over night. The grand kids had never stayed in a hotel so we knew they would have fun. Continue reading “Guthrie and Beyond October 2013 (Post #406) 10/30/2013”

A Wiper Assembly, a Classic Man, and a Cannibal (Post #388) 9/12/2013

This could not have been better. When I close my eyes, the guitar sounds in this song are what bounce around in my brain. Right now I have a hundred images swimming around in my head. When I started this post “Shrunken Head” was playing on the Pandora Road Kings Radio Station. One of my best friends, Bear Bechtold, who you have seen in pictures with me back in my Marine Corps days, created this station. It’s rock-a-billy and hard country music, perfect for working on cars in a “garage” if you get my meaning.

I had a medical appointment this morning, more trouble with the vertebra in my neck. For now we are trying the true 1980s mantra “better living through chemistry” to put another surgery off as long as possible.

So after it was done I had an hour to kill before I was required back at work, so I stopped by Rover Cannibal to pick up some bits for the Range Rover. Ryan greeted me as usual. I told him what I thought I needed today and he called for K.C. to help me out. K.C. is the inspiration for this post.

K.C. is a grizzled veteran of the garage scene from days gone by. He seriously has the look. Today he was sporting a sleeveless work shirt and the quintessential bandanna tied on his head. On his right bicep he sports a “Born to lose” tattoo. If you were standing in a parking lot and an old Harley rolled up, this is the guy you’d expect to be riding it. Truly classic.

K.C. disappeared to find two dust caps for my front axle. He returned with a single dust cap and told me they were hard to come by, I got the last one.

Note to self: add these to my “Parts I Strip off Salvage Land Rovers”

While he was gone I went through my mental list of things I will soon be working on. The only thing that came to mind was windshield wiper assembly. Ryan showed K.C. a picture of what we were looking for. K.C. and I scrambled up the stairs to find a wiper assembly. The wiper assembly consists of the arms and such that the electric motor is attached to that moves the wipers to and fro. You regular readers have seen the picture of the rust that has been accumulating.

K.C. went right to it. The one he grabbed had the motor still attached. I didn’t need the motor so he removed it. He tagged the motor with the year and put it on the appropriate shelf. When you have as many parts as they do, it doesn’t pay to just leave it sitting. It would take twice as long to figure out what it was later than to just take care of it immediately.

I headed back down stairs to square up with Ryan. He asked me if K.C. found everything. I responded in the affirmative. Ryan said, “K.C. is the man. I don’t know what I’d do without him.” I can see it too. He is the man.

So the next time you are reminiscing about the olden days of speed shops and rock-a-billy, remember that in the gritty part of Oklahoma City there is a living time capsule earning his daily bread the hard way with sweat and grease and tools down at Rover Cannibal.

Thanks for reading, keep on rocking, and Happy Rovering.

Feed store ambiance (Post #174) 4/12/2010

I started my Saturday with the hopes of doing a shit load moderate amount of yard work. I originally imagined myself buying some soil and some additional retaining wall stones in order to get my front flower garden level and looking good. But with my neck in its present state, I would need some help. So I got the boys, who were none too pleased about my ambitious plans and loaded them into the Range Rover. I thought we would be going to one of the area home improvement stores and loading up with dirt and stones and that task required the Range Rover.

Much to my son and nephew’s approval, my wife vetoed the purchase for now. I was already set on taking the Range Rover out for a spin and decided to take it to Ellison’s Feed Store to pick up industrial weed and grass killer and some fertilizer for my rose bushes. At least I could get that done.

When I backed out of the drive way and stopped we heard a loud bang from the back. I thought for sure I had either backed into a car or a kid’s bicycle I did not see. I got out and looked around but did not see anything obvious.

Ellison’s is one of the last and few “old fashioned” feed stores. You remember the ones, where there are ample young men standing around waiting for directions to load this or that into your truck or car. Where you can still buy locally made honey, plant fertilizer, a tomato plant or two, a salt lick, chicken scratch and a lead for your horse all in one stop. As I got out of the Rover I said, “Are you boys coming in?”
“No.” and “Nope.” were their replies.
I said, “This is the last of the old-timey feed stores, don’t you want to experience that?”
“Uh, no.” was all I got back.

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I have some seriously fond memories of the feed store from my youth. My dad would take us along mostly to get us out from under mom’s feet and for the shear fact that I believed he liked riding around with us. That last bit might be a stretch but it’s what I remember. So we would jump into the 1967 Chevy pickup, three on the tree, no seat belts and head to the feed store to grab some alfalfa, oats and sometimes some tack. We would almost always get to buy a popsicle from the cooler.

So it was almost always a great trip to the feed store. Today that feed store is Boyer Veterinary Clinic. They haven’t lost all their old-timey feed store-ness. In the back is Oklahoma Tack and Supply.

Back to the modern era and Ellison’s. So I went in…alone…and grabbed some rose bush fertilizer and some industrial strength weed and grass killer.

I use this stuff as liquid edger. I spray it at the base of the fence in my yard. It kills everything and saves me tons of time by not having to use the weed eater every time I mow. I have to apply it three times during the summer which is cheaper than the string on my weed wacking device.

While I was in the the store I saw some stone grills. Boy did those bring back fond memories.

We had one of these growing up and there is nothing like them when it comes to grilling. My dad bought two of these while we were on Guam. He left one in the crate so he could ship it back to Oklahoma with us. I think the last time it was used was around 1974. It sits on my parent’s back porch to this day. It has seen better days and I am afraid to move it. But after hearing what it would cost to replace it today, around 1000$(US), for the same size, maybe I should arrange to get it to my house.

Well, I’d had enough of the ambiance of the feed store and needed to get my able hands back to the hacienda, Casa de Okie Rover, and to work. I came out and gloated a bit with, “You don’t know what you are missing.”

We got out on the road and headed home. We had to explain to Zach, my nephew, why the Range Rover is such a special vehicle instead of a “piece of crap” as he saw it. I think he is clearer on the issue now. Considering his age and the fact he has never ridden in a car that had leather seats, let alone cost more new than any place he has ever lived, we cut him a little slack and decided to educate him. We got home and I had the boy’s mowing and pulling weeds in short order.

Sunday I found myself back out in the drive way and I decided to look under the Rover to find the source of the bang. Thinking I’d see a loose shock or something else I proceeded to poke around. Thankfully it was something else. I grabbed the exhaust and gave it a good shake. It was unusually loose in the back. And after further investigation I found it. A broken exhaust hanger.

It can wait until I get the Rover either over to the Evil German Dude’s house or up to Jag Guy’s shop to have it welded back in place. I could always take it back to University Muffler and I’m sure they would fix it too. But that would not be as fun as EGD or JagGuy’s places and the comradery that goes along with them.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Google Street View, Preview Your Vacation (Post #164) 1/11/2010

I know many of you use lots of tools to navigate yourself around while on holiday and even for work. I read a story today in the news about an elm tree that was carefully cared for by a 101 year old man. It was succumbed to the dreaded dutch elm disease for the last time.

It will be cut down. I’m sure the tree will be harvested for the wood and will live on in many a person’s home in the inevitable wood projects it will yield. So have a look at the story…

Maine man, 101, can’t save beloved old elm, Herbie

This is where Google Maps comes in handy. So according to the location in the story…
East Main Street and Yankee Drive, Yarmouth, Maine

So just drop that in Google Maps and adjust up and down the street and there it is. (turn to the left in the window below) Preserved until the next time the Google Maps drive up and down the street.

View Larger Map

You can do this for just about anywhere in the United States and Europe and eventually you will be able to do this for just about any road anywhere. It amazes me where the Street View Trucks have been.

So when you are bored take a look at some place interesting or go to the places your news takes you.

Thanks for Reading and Happy Rovering.

Barn Find…if you could only be so lucky (Post #124) 1/6/2009

In America finding an automobile in an old barn has become a cottage industry. There is even a guy out there that just looks for old blue jeans in barns and abandoned mining camps. Of course finding anything in a barn that is old is pretty cool but finding a rare automobile is probably the coolest.

I know someday that long lost uncle I didn’t know I had, or perhaps my biological father, will die and a hoity-toity lawyer from “back east” will call and tell me that I was left an old estate and in the barn was a 1947 Land Rover Series I. Then again, if we are going to dream, lets make it a whole garage full of cars I’ve always wanted to own and an estate that would allow me to stop working and play with my new toys 24/7.

A family recently found a very rare Bugatti in their father’s garage that is original and has been untouched since 1960. It should/could fetch above the 4.3 million dollar mark.

A quote from the article on Yahoo News.
“Relatives of Dr. Harold Carr found an extremely rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante — a Holy Grail for car collectors — as they were going through his belongings after his death.

The dusty two-seater, unused since 1960, didn’t look like much in the garage in Gosforth, near Newcastle in northern England.

But only 17 were ever made, and when it’s cleaned up and auctioned in Paris next month, experts believe it will fetch at least 3 million pounds ($4.3 million) and possibly much more.”

I had no idea what this car was until reading about it in the story. It’s a pretty awesome find. Other than finding a similar one and selling it this would not be the vehicle I would like to find. I’m kinda weird that way. If I found something in a barn it would hopefully be something I could AFFORD to play with.

You can’t just take a 1937 Bugatti out for a spin unless you are perhaps Jay Leno. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if this didn’t end up in Jay’s garage. But then again, maybe he already has one. This is a truly classic automobile and as rare as they get. Imagine if Bubba in his 1974 Buick Riviera decided to pull out in front of you?

So I’m going to compile for you a list of cars I’d like to find in a barn. With the criteria as follows…
I could:
1. Afford to repair and drive the vehicle
2. Afford the insurance to operate the vehicle on Oklahoma roads
3. Do most of the work required to restore the vehicle
4. Have a place to store and work/play with the vehicles

Here we go.

Land Rover Pink Panther
Voted Top Gear’s 84th most sexy car. This is the end all be all of the Land Rover Series vehicles for me. And if you are going to find an old Land Rover in a barn this would be the coolest. Of course finding any Series IIa 5 door would also be awesome.
Given enough time and money you could convert any of the long wheel base Series vehicles to a pink panther.

Volkswagon Bus
I have fond memories of driving around the island of Guam in my dad’s VW. I’d like one just for the fun of driving around in it.

Morris Mini
Just about any 1960s era Mini would be a fun car to drive around. I had a chance to buy one of these from a guy about 15 years ago. I didn’t have the money or time to take care of one properly.

Vincent Motorcycle
I know I don’t belong on the back of two things, horses and motorcycles. But I think touring around on a vintage cafe racer would be a lot of fun.

And with that in mind…

A World War II era BMW R71 complete with side car. Yeah, if it’s cool enough for Steve McQueen, it’s cool enough for me. Chinese motorcycle company Chang Jiang is making replicas. They are cheap and copied, but again, affordable fun.

Here’s another pic of one I thought was funny.

1964 MG
My uncle had a late sixties model. This is a vehicle I could definitely afford to drive today. I just don’t have the time or place for it. Repainting it would be my first priority. Baby blue…seriously?

1964 Austin Healy 3000
Sexy. Cars don’t get much sexier than this. This is definately at the end of the range of cars I could “play” with. In all reality I don’t have the coin to buy one of these today. But if I found it in a barn I could probably pull off the costs of keeping it on the road.

I’m sure if I put more thought into it I could come up with a half a dozen more. I can think of a Mercedes or two I’d like to find for sure.