Bob-Tales

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Ford Signs of a Bygone Era


In the early 1960’s when I was working in the Aerospace industry in Southern California, my wife and I zigzagged across the country numerous times on our vacation trips to visit relatives in Wisconsin. I enjoyed planning out these trips in advance, trying to avoid the major four-lane highways and travel the back roads through small town America.

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Harrah's Swap Meet & Car Show

How many people out there remember Bill Harrah’s swap meets held in Sparks, Nevada in the 60’s and 70’s? They started 50 years ago in 1965 and lasted till 1978, the year Mr. Harrah died. I was recently cleaning up some stuff and came across a bag of old Harrah’s Swap Meet badges. This collection of badges was given to me by my Dad shortly before he passed away.

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Hot Off The Grille - The Making Of The '40 Grilles

This story begins in the mid 70’s when the decision was made to provide our customers with 1940 Ford grilles that would look and fit like originals. We were experienced with making smaller die-cast parts like Ford scripts, door handles, wiper towers etc., but had never attempted such a large project before. We knew it would be a huge undertaking even before we knew what challenges lay ahead.

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Turlock 2013 - There and Back Again

Once again, Jimmy and I made our yearly pilgrimage to the Turlock swap meet. This year I did something a bit different, I left a few days earlier to visit my good friend Bill Perry. Bill is the owner of All Ford Parts in Campbell, CA just south of San Francisco about 50 miles.

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Portland Swap Meet 2013 & Charlotte Auto Fair

I've been attending the Portland Swap Meet for over forty years now and have been making this yearly trek to the great northwest since before I got into the Ford reproduction-parts business. This annual meet is held the first week in April and may be the largest Swap Meet on the West Coast. Next year will be the 50th Anniversary of this great event.

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Revisiting Lake Tahoe After 16 Years

The Hot Rod/Street Rod picture is constantly changing. Back in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s the Hi-Boy Roadster was fairly common. Guys yanked the fenders and boards to dump unneeded weight. “Gotta go faster” was the cry back in the day. They were disappearing in the ’60s as Detroit began producing “factory-to-showroom” cars that would blow the doors off a flathead Hi-Boy.

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Joe Salvador and Other Good People Helped Me

When I was young, I was enthusiastic and chock full of ideas. Some people thought I showed some promise and they gave me a helping hand.

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Like Father like Son: Racer, Builder, Fabricator

Bob Stewart is a big, tall, slender fellow, with a bushy gray beard. Some people say that with that beard he resembles fellow gear head Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top, whom he knows. Stewart talks slowly, but every word is worth listening to. He’s 74, a senior hot rodder. Although he’s over 6’ 3”, the customers of his father’s speed shop named him “Lil Axle” back in the 1940s after his father whose nickname was Axle. 

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Remembering Wich's Stand & Hawthorne Blvd., 1962


I lived in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in my early teens. At age 14 and 15, my buddies and I were already dreaming about two things: gals and cars.

Before I could even drive, we used to stand on the corner in downtown Kenosha admiring all the older teenagers’ hopped-up cars go by. They weren’t the sleek street rods of today, but more like rat rods. Everybody knew that the best way to get a good looking gal was to have cool wheels: I wanted to be the one driving a hot rod down the main drag with a pretty girlfriend by my side.

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