Pay it Forward
My partner and I found ourselves sitting in the sales office of Dave Barcelon's Truck Town talking to our old racing comrade Don Sefert about purchasing a brand new 28' enclosed trailer for our Stock Eliminator wagon last week. We have the money and we need the trailer for next season's West Coast Swing so it seemed like a logical thing to be doing but I couldn't help but think about how far we've come in fifteen years and how great it's been at every step of the way. It's so easy to lose track of the moment when you're always aspiring to get up to the next rung on the ladder.
Do you remember your first Mopar? Mine was a battered '68 Plymouth Satellite with a bad battery and rotten tires that I bought for $150. I was working for $4.75/hr. I was twenty years old. Having been raised driving Japanese four bangers I just loved the power from the old 318 two barrel and the big bench seats were awesome. The typically gigantic B body trunk sealed the deal. I drove it to art school in the San Francisco Bay Area where I would regularly load up my friends and go on "Satellite Safaris" up to the Berkley and Oakland Hills. I thought it was the coolest car that I'd ever owned. I remember that when I would see a Road Runner or a GTX it would make my knees weak with desire. I was just barely starting to learn about Mopars and I was loving it. It had nothing to do with date codes or correct engines or anything like that, it was just raw lust. The first time I learned what a Superbee was, I was buying one for the astronomical sum of $1700, truly big bucks for a starving student. Now, when I look at a Road Runner or some other Mopar muscle car I can't help but think about what motor does it have, how much its worth, what it needs to be perfect, where I would store it blah blah blah. Sigh.
We love to help younger people out who are getting into the Mopar hobby. We maintain a bone yard of cars and parts that they can paw through. We pass along much of our stuff to super low budget projects. We never give BS advice and we try to be accessible. Of course this is because we are a crew of the nicest folks you'll ever meet but it's also because it's a way to stay in touch with the early stages of fun in the Mopar hobby. You can only buy your first Mopar once. A successful carburetor swap operation only feels like a victory once, after that it's a job. Lending a hand to a first timer is a great way to catch a whiff of those early achievements. Nowadays we would have to build a record setting motor to get the same type of thrill for ourselves. Helping the next generation along is good for the teachers as well as the students!