02 August 2006

Hot August Nights

Going on now from July 29 to August 6 is the 20th annual Hot August Nights in Reno, Nevada, not too far from me. This is more of an event than just a car show. We're talkin' poodle skirts on gals that are old enough to know better, folks.

You can read all about it at the site, and watch streaming video at KOLO-TV. Be sure to go see the band lineup.

I had a buddy named Grape who's moved away now, but he loved the old iron. He worked (and lived) at a local wrecking yard. His ride was a '55 Ford pickup with a Rocket 88 mill he found on the ground. The motor mounts were various length pieces of chain, and all the door and window handles were small vise grips, except for one window that wasn't there which he covered in duct tape in winter. It was a low rider, partly by design and partly by the old suspension pieces he used. The thing was finished in gray primer and the mufflers didn't very well. The license plates were whatever he could find with a current tag.

Obviously, this thing wasn't a candidate for the Show 'n Shine, and Grape couldn't take part in the cruising, mostly because the truck was an instant bust and he couldn't outrun the cops in downtown Reno. To its credit, Hot August Nights even had an event for this bucks-down old load in amongst all the stuff for the high dollar restorations: the burn-out contest. Grape ran real wide tires that didn't cost him anything, and that Olds could really light 'em up! He'd burn rubber 'til he ran out of gas. He had as much fun as anybody, maybe more. The crowd loved it too.

I have many funny stories about Grape. He and I were pals for years. Maybe I'll tell a few of 'em. Stay tuned.

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