Dirty Dingus McGee, or DDM for short, is the “alias” for a long-time Disaffected Musings reader and commenter. His contributions to the blog have been most welcome. Graciously, he offered the following as a post. You will enjoy this.
Why I still play with cars
Hello folks, I’m a commenter here that goes by Dirty Dingus McGee and the host of this blog invited me to submit a post (you can question his judgement in the comments), so here goes.
In the beginning
I was born and raised in a rural environment so transportation was almost a necessity. The corner store was about 4 miles away, about 15-20 minutes by bicycle for an 8 year old. No movie theater, no bowling alley, no typical entertainment that urban folks take for granted. Even the school district I was in covered almost 40 square miles and only produced a graduating class of 103 students. The school bus route we were on was a 45 minute ride and we were relatively close to the school. For some students the ride was nearly 1 1/2 hours. For any kind of a social life, you needed your own way of getting around. After I got a go cart for Christmas at 8 years old, I discovered the joy of powered transportation. No more huffing and puffing up the many hills in our area on a bicycle. From there on to mini bikes, dirt bikes and a junker car to drive around in the fields and trails (and occasionally sneak out on to the dirt roads in the area) . As is typical for junker cars and older dirt bikes, used by an early teens operator, they were often broken down. My dad helped me with the repairs, sometimes my grand dad, until I was able to handle many repairs on my own. This experience became important when I was getting my first street car. A well used 1962 Chevy Nova was gifted to me on my 15th birthday by my dads brother. 6 cylinder, Powerglide wasn’t going to work out for a car crazed teenager, so the next 12 months were spent building a hot rod. 396 engine, 4 speed, Positraction. I had a neighbor who drag raced and he was a major help, as my dad was not a hot rod kind of guy.
The middle years
That experience, both the good and the bad, led me down the path I ended up taking. Within a year I was building another car, 1969 Chevelle also hot rodded. Both of these first 2 cars went to the dragstrip often, sparking a love of drag racing that persists some 50 years later. From that point forward, I almost always built, or at least modified my vehicles. Over the years I have owned in excess of 200 street legal cars and trucks, at least 75 motorcycles, and many “off road only” vehicles. I have tried my hand at various racing disciplines, road raced a Triumph Spitfire, stock cars on a circle track, motorcycles both road racing and dragstrip, even once drove a friends 360 sprint car when he rented a track for testing one day. Even with these experiences, my first love is still drag racing and fast street legal vehicles, hot rods in other words.As far as drag cars, I have had cars as fast as 8.7 seconds at 150 mph, as mild as 18 seconds at 70 mph and every shape and spec in between. Front wheel drive that ran 10.5 seconds at 130 mph, motorcycles as fast as 11 seconds at 120 mph. Some of my street vehicles have made a few trips down the quarter mile, usually in the 11 to 13 second range. I even had a hot rod diesel truck I used as a tow vehicle for my drag car, that ran 14.5 seconds in the quarter mile.
The view today
Some folks might say I have an obsession, I prefer to think of it as a love of automobiles. Even with all the ones I have owned, and the ones I still do own, there are countless others I would still love to experience. If I had won a lottery I probably would have spent the majority on vehicles. Not as a static display, but something to take out and enjoy. I have always driven every vehicle I owned, as that is the point in having them. It never mattered to me if it was a $500 beater pickup, or a collectable with a value near 6 figures. They are not wall art, even though many would qualify for that title based on their design or condition.
And that’s why I still play with cars. They are my mistress, without the dangers of having an actual mistress.
The last sentence of the post is “typical” DDM in being humorous, but not frivolous. Seems like the post needs at least one photo.
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