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Marcal Eilenstein February 14, 2013 All Things Hoon 32 Comments
My first car was a pickup truck.

When I got the call to contribute a word or two to the site, I sat down at my computer to come up with a few ideas. Although I’ve been hanging around the comments for a while now, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to tell you a little more about myself and tell you why I love cars, and talking about cars, so much. If you’re so inclined, make the jump and get to know me better.

Cars are a big part of my life. Growing up in rural southwest Missouri (back me up here, anyone), it’s almost expected that you know how to work on cars. In fact, some of my earliest memories involve helping my dad get/keep an old clunker running. I remember being behind the wheel of a car, turning over the engine while dad worked under the hood. I remember being happy, and I remember how much fun it was to sit in the driver’s seat. I’m proud of my raising; I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I spent a little time recently talking to my dad about his cars. In Top Gear style, I asked him about his car history, including some of his first sets of wheels. I wanted to understand how it all started for him, and why my brother and I enjoy cars so much. Although I remember some of the cars you’re about to see, I was genuinely surprised by the sheer number.

In high school, dad owned an enviable variety of machines:

  1. 67 Dart
  2. 59 GMC
  3. 68 Coronet
  4. 66 GTO
  5. 73 Impala

Later in life, he picked up a penchant for bowties. Here is a list of cars my dad has owned since high school, in no particular order:

67 Chevy pickup 70 Challenger R/T SE
69 Camaro 67 Chevy 2
66 Chevelle SS 78 Z28
68 Malibu 70 El Camino
65 Malibu SS 72 Challenger
70 Chevelle SS 78 El Dorado Biarritz
70 Chevy pickup 68 GTO
70 Challenger T/A 340 Six Pack 69 GTO Judge
70 GTO 84 Pontiac 6000
64 Chrysler 300 78 Coupe de Ville
64 Dodge Dart 83 Coupe de Ville
70 Chrysler Imperial 77 El Camino
Kawasaki Eliminator 84 Econoline custom
Kawasaki Vulcan 93 Grand Caravan
H-D Sportster 81 Cutlass diesel (!)
79 Chevette Multiple Saturn SL’s

I’m sure you’ll agree that my dad has quite the taste in cars. The love of classic cars and trucks was passed from father to sons. You see, I have a brother, younger, but much better with a wrench than me, and with better taste in classic cars. In his 29 years, my brother has owned or driven:

  1. 68 Falcon
  2. 83 Coupe de Ville
  3. 01 Ram
  4. 77 El Camino (dad’s was identical, except red/white)

    Dad, Uncle, Brother, 77 El Camino

  5. 88 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe
  6. 03 Grand Marquis
  7. 92 Cougar
  8. 86 325i

One might find my history with cars somewhat, let’s say, limited.

  1. 77 El Camino
  2. 86 626
  3. 94 88
  4. 04 Focus ZX5 – my wife’s daily driver (and you thought olelongrooffan’s camera was bad)


  5. 78 Sierra Grande (a real beaut, ain’t she? Paid $1 for it; sold it for $350.)


  6. 92 F-150


My current ride, the F-150, really is one of my favorite trucks. I plan on driving it until it the wheels fall it. Even then, I’ll probably just buy new wheels.

Anyway, I hope you like what you see, and I really hope I can contribute a little something to this little corner of the interwebs. I love the Hooniverse, and look forward to sticking around for a long time.

  • papamarc

    Hey ! I know that truck!!

    • MVEilenstein

      Can you get it running for me?

  • dukeisduke

    Oooh, Oxford White. My '95 F-150 looked like that, except mine had the factory ten-hole alloys, was a 4×2 with the regular mirrors and an Opal Gray interior with the high-back buckets (40/20/40 seats, with power driver's, and inflatable lumbar on both sides). It took me 17 years and 214k miles. I would have stayed with it, had I figured out the mysterious occasional hard start/no start problem.

    • MVEilenstein

      I love this truck. It's perfect for me. 5-speed, 302, cloth bench, crank windows.

  • http://www.automobile-catalog.com/ P161911

    I find it interesting that my father has owned cars from just about all the major car producing countries with two exceptions: Japan and Korea (and Australia, but they don't sell many cars outside Australia).

    US: Everything from a 1966 Ford Fairlane GTA 390 to a Lincoln Mk VIII LSC to a Cadillac SRX.
    England: Triumph Spitfire
    France: Renault Dauphine
    Italy: Fiat 1500 convertible (his high school ride)
    Germany: Audi 5000S and M-B ML 320
    Sweden(/Finland): 2004 Saab 900 convertible

    I have yet to own anything French or Swedish or anything roadworthy from England or Italy.

    So what engine and transmission is in the F-150?

    • OA5599

      "I have yet to own … anything roadworthy from England."

      Join the club.

      <img src="http://www3.telus.net/bc_triumph_registry/images/Smokekit2.jpg"&gt;

      • http://www.automobile-catalog.com/ P161911

        I had a Mini Cooper, possibly even a S. I drug it home from the next door neighbor's house with a tractor. Paid $35 for it, sold it for $600.

  • http://www.oleragtop.blogspot.com longrooffan

    Nice write up and welcome aboard.

    • MVEilenstein

      Really appreciate it.

      • https://secure.flickr.com/photos/deadelvis/collections/72157607912481786/ dead_elvis

        Mea culpa – fat-fingered accidental thumbs-down while perusing the 'verse on my phone.

        /hangs head in shame

  • OA5599

    What's the story behind the Ford pictured at the top? I didn't see it mentioned anywhere.

    And which car does your dad most regret getting rid of, the Judge or the T/A?

    • dukeisduke

      It's a '61, but is it a Unibody? I can't tell from here. Actually, I seem to remember a post talking about that very truck – or maybe I read it on the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forum.

      • MVEilenstein

        It is a unibody. I didn't realize what a unique truck it was until I was much older. I took that picture in 2010, and it's still there. Would probably run with a little tinkering.

    • MVEilenstein

      I should have mentioned, this is my grandpa's farm truck. '61 F-100 Custom Cab. I learned to drive a 3-on-the-tree with this truck. I remember being a kid and wondering why it had three pedals, but no shifter on the floor. It was then that I discovered the joys of a column shifter.

      Also, hoping to do a full write-up on it next week.

      • JayP2112

        Pop's '74 and '69 F100s were column shift. Interesting trucks to drive fer sure.

        • MVEilenstein

          First time I ever drove something with a manual choke, too. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

    • papamarc

      i would probably pick the T/A. you don't meet yourself on the road very often.

  • http://startinggrid.org/ Bret Dodson

    Good, another WA hoon.

    • https://secure.flickr.com/photos/deadelvis/collections/72157607912481786/ dead_elvis

      I'm curious to know how many of us there are. Is there a map of the Hooniverse contributors/commenters? It would be interesting to see how we're distributed.

      Seattle, here.

      • scoudude

        Maple Valley! It does seem that there are a large number of us from the greater Seattle area around here.

      • papamarc

        I'm in Mt. Vernon, MO

      • http://startinggrid.org/ Bret Dodson

        I also am in Seattle. Work in South Lake Union area, live in NE.

        Now that Kierstein is out of state, we should have a Seattle Hoon hookup. (We could also include the dozen or so readers of StartingGrid for a little cross-pollination).

        • http://twitter.com/#!/jjd241 jjd241


  • carter

    That Sierra Grande is outstanding!

    • MVEilenstein

      Outstanding . . ly rusty. I could see the road between my feet, and the front fenders were both damaged and rusting.

      • https://secure.flickr.com/photos/deadelvis/collections/72157607912481786/ dead_elvis

        Yeah, but for a buck? Outstanding.

        • MVEilenstein

          True. I was essentially doing the guy a favor taking it off his hands. It served its purpose for about a year, then I sold it for scrap. In its day, it was a pretty nice truck, a Camper Special.Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      • carter

        I almost bought an 85 of similar build (read: the carpet was the only thing holding your feet in) about four years ago. I still regret not dropping the $600 on it. :-(

        • MVEilenstein

          The redeeming feature of those small blocks is that they would run like crap, but run for a long time. When I picked up that 78, I drove it 10 miles down the highway, doing 60, not knowing it had absolutely no coolant due to a cracked lower radiator hose. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  • sohc

    You could spend a year of a weekly post of "family iron". Dig up the Polaroids.

  • Savant_Idiot

    I've enjoyed your comments and I look forward to your posts. I think that most of those that congregate here would socialize and get along well if possible.

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