Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Born With It?

The conversation about whether "gearheadness" is environmental or genetic has come up numerous times recently in multiple different settings. My youngest son is hardcore hard-wired but it's just not really my older kids thing. Flathead Rob has two boys that so far are not really bitten by the bug and Rob is about the strongest argument for environment there is. In all honestly I believe I'm a gearhead because I grew up as Rob's little brother. It amazes me when I meet guys become "gearheaded" without any mechanical mentors. I'm very thankful to have had strong mechanics in my family growing up. Even today I'm amazed how much my Dad knows that I still don't. He's an extremely rare combination of a Ph.D engineer that started as a thoroughbred "gearhead" mechanical tinkerer as a very young kid.   

Earlier this week I forwarded a The Old Motor posting to my dad featuring Portland, Oregon. Having grown up in and around the Portland area I suspected he'd appreciate it. I never expected a response quite this good. The fact that I had been chatting with a friend, in Portland, about how much I learned from my dad mechanically earlier in that week was just the icing on the cake.

Dad & Bunk - Model B Roadster
"The MV Inspection Station brings memories.  I remember my dad talking about brakes on the 1932 Ford Model B roadster.  He would keep driving around the block, crawling underneath and readjusting the old mechanical brakes until he finally passed inspection. Sometimes it would take 3 or 4 tries. He traded for a 1940 Ford, 2-door sedan in 1941.  Ford had mechanical brakes up thru 1938.  The 40 Ford was a bit of a shock.  I remember him looking at the speedometer, and he was going close to 85 mph.  After the Model B, the 40 Ford engine sounded like it was loafing."

Grandma, Dad with unknown rooster & Uncle Doc - '40 Tudor sedan
First of all the story is just awesome. Factor in that my dad is recalling that sort of mechanical detail from events that happened when he was as young as he was really illustrates my Dad's "born with it" aptitude. Thanks to Flathead Rob for supplying the wonderful supporting photos.

It could well end up a legacy my youngest carries on.

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