john M 1939 Dodge Deluxe Series D11 4dr Sedan

Arvin - The indestructible Dodge

20 years old or so ..bought 2 - 1939 Dodge's...made 1 driver in backyard jacked up on logs..pretty rough.. the original engine had a cracked block the length of the entire block, just welded it up and kept on goin' seeped a little water, but heck we lived in Oregon and lots of water around...just stop and fill er up when needed... dirt back roads no problem the ol' Dodge has a riveted plate that encases the drive line and big skids under the engine, the frame is a big x-brace too so can't really tweak this out ..if you high center it it would just teeter totter on the rock ..probably call that sort of an off road vehicle in today's world but the roads in '39 weren't like they are today... lots of rough stuff... couldn't always afford a battery so parked on the top of a hill and coasted most of the way into town before popping the clutch and off we go! Lots of hills around so didn't really matter much... met an old guy at the Stateline liquor store once who said he had one during the war (II) and couldn't always get gas so ran a lot of diesel mixed in ... ..said the cylinder head would turn a "bright cherry red" but it would just keep on runnin'. Well I never tried that.. but these are really tough cars!

Well started a restore and rebuilt the chassis and drive train with NOS stuff body pretty rough when I put it in storage for over 20 years...then all of a sudden... I was an "old guy" still had the Dodge stashed in Oregon in geo heated storage .. so bought a "pretty one" in New York (ex mob car so I'm told) 3rd owner and all buddy and I drove it away from NY after making some minor repairs etc to make it road worthy had a great trip even won a drive in car show in Saratoga Springs! saw ..Niagara Falls and met some really interesting and gracious "car nuts" in Derby NY who put us up and toured us around to some restoration shops and in general had a great time..all because we were in a gas station looking for a motel and this guy rolls up in a 70 caddie el dorado convertible and started talking..we asked about a motel and he said ..just stay over at my mobile home..we said ok why not ..turns out he had a mansion on the shore line and he and his neighbor host "Pebble Beach East" and had really awesome car collections and they were the ones who toured us around to all the cool shops and met their friends etc what a fun time....we were having some vapor lock problems when stopping, and .finally in Missouri I had to exit the highway very quickly after a coughing spree and hit a big bump and accidentally hit reverse instead of second and blew the tranny..We tried to find a replacement... (probably in the old days we would have just taken it apart and just forgot about reverse gear just get the broken teeth out of the box and go for it.. but being old and lazy ..we got a u haul and trailered it back to Calif. then to Oregon where my old friend still kept a stall in his (now sons) repair shop and we pulled the (now parts car) out of storage and took the NOS chassis and pretty NY car and again made one good car. Oh the name... We thinking about what to name the car... and low and behold his name was already on the heater knob "Arvin" we went with it! There are more stories, you know like changing rod bearings on my 59 chevy truck at Badwater Death Valley .. and out running some "bad guys" in Mexico my 57 chevy .. way back in the day ..but well...maybe another time...

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