Taxi Tuesday: Man, Sometimes Life Is A Marathon

Yeah my fellow Hoons, the past 90 days have seemed like a never ending Marathon for this olelongrooffan. It was exactly 90 days ago, Monday, March 2, after spending the weekend judging the Treasure Coast Builder’s Parade of Homes, that I had returned to my office to my job of catering to a bunch of rich folk who had built multi million dollar new homes with the company employing me and just trying to make them happy with their purchase, after the fact. Well anyway, after our usual Monday morning staff meeting I was instructed to see King Henry and Princess Diana in Di’s office. It was there I was informed that while I had done a great job, even receiving a five figure bonus the previous November, the services of this olelongrooffan would not be utilized at the company’s newest subdivision and I was immediately terminated. It seems there was a customer service team on the east coast who had worked through their warranted homes over there and that team would be relocated to perform the same duties in the newest company subdivision on this, the west coast of Florida. They were even at that staff meeting, noticed but unknown to this olelongrooffan. Yeah, this was the effect of not having a Hispanic origin (speculation) and possessing the least senority (fact) of any in the customer service department. When I returned to my office to pack up my shit, I stopped by the office of the guy who hired me, the only other white guy in the office, and let him know. He was floored and assured me that he had my back and would definitely give me a great referral. I loaded all my car related crap up and walked out that door without a look back. No debriefing, no regrets, no callbacks. So there this olelongrooffan was, 18 months into living there in FantasyLand and realizing that I was missing all of the cool car related crap I had been involved with to prior to moving there and decided to explore my options throughout the Sunshine State once again.

Since I knew the general rule of thumb about income levels and how that relates to the length of time for a career search, this olelongrooffan settled into the pits and garage area of life and just looked around to see what could be seen hoping upon hope that sometime in this lifetime I’ll be able to possess one of these. Anyway, at the ripe old age of the double nickel, I realized I was becoming a bit weary of having any and all irate customers and my superiors call me on my cell any time, day or night, to solve a problem. Yeah, once at 9:45 on a Saturday night, a homeowner called me to complain about a frog coming through her open sliding glass door into her living room. Yeah, honest to God true story. I told her to grab a broom, sweep it out and close the F-ing door. “Call me on Monday if there is still a problem.” In the meantime, said customer emailed Princess Di and did this olelongrooffan catch a ration of shit that Monday.
Alas, I digress.
Now my brother, thehorsefarmer, and his beautiful wife live in a quaint little burg just north of that big bay that is home of the Stanley Cup bound team while BigBrotherBob lives in the town named after the founder of the company producing the vehicles seen in the above image. They both encouraged me to break loose of the southwest and head to the big city. I admitted my precarious financial situation and thehorsefarmer was generous enough to open his home to this olelongrooffan and after spending 60 of those 90 days searching for a suitable position in FantasyLand, this olelongrooffan packed up my longerroof and headed three hours north to the tranquil countryside that is Pasco County, Florida.
During those 60 days spent down in FantasyLand, a lot of meetings were attended but for some reason or another, none of them felt like a ride I could get aboard and win some races with. Up here in TranquiLand, a whole damn bunch of team meetings have been held with one feeling more positive than the one previous. Plus, this olelongrooffan has been able to spot some pretty cool, well at least to me, cool stuff and share it with my fellow Hoons. The retired BBB and thehorsefarmer have been extremely supportive and one day, not long ago, the three of us, chaperoned by the equally retired barngoddess, spent a day just looking around flea markets just seeing what cool old crap folks tire of on a regular basis. thehorsefarmer even popped for lunch that day.
Well my fellow Hoons, one day after attending a cattle call to hire new employees for that sporting goods big box retailer originating from the new home of Marcal and my brother, Bus_Plunge, this olelongrooffan decided to take a detour on the return trip to TranquiLand and see what could be seen over there in that town where the Water is so Clear. I remembered that on the road from the Gulf to the Bay, there was a pretty cool old classic car sales place I thought I would check out once again.
Well, appropriately enough, while traveling down Missouri street, this grouping of rare but desirable old taxi cabs was sighted by this olelongrooffan. Of course, I had no choice but to stop and gather a few images of them to share with all ya’ll here in the Hooniverse. This is by far the largest group of Checkers I have seen to date, and most likely will ever see. But then again, this olelongrooffan once said that about GMC Motorhomes and now I see them literally everywhere.
Now, not all of these were in pristine condition. In fact more than a few of them had suffered the ravages of time and the salt air and roads, presumably in The Big Apple as well as down here in the coastal Sunshine State.
And while that Aerobus with its multitude of doors is a bit much for this olelongrooffan, (unless I need a funky camper conversion) that standard issue four door longroof checks every box for this olelongrooffan with reference to desirability, rust be damned.
Yeah, those Aerobuses are quite rare and to see one in presumably running condition and still available to get out and earn a living is pretty cool to this olelongrooffan. I can’t remember a time where I have ever seen one of these out and about trolling the streets or airports but I sure hope to while I am still on this side of the green stuff out on the lawn.
And those folks at that old school cab company even have an Aerobus quasi civilian version as a backup, just in case a standard issue cab is not fancy enough for some high faluting clientele.
So, as it turns out, I was just around the corner from that classic car showroom and stopped in to chat it up with the boys about the old classics they had available. As I was chatting it up with TheManInCharge I nonchalantly inquired as to whether they might be looking for any additional sales staff? “Yes we are. Why? You interested?” Well, my fellow Hoons, we ended up chatting it up for another two hours and ended up that meeting with another set up for this olelongrooffan to meet up with Pete, Senior the week after Memorial Day.
Optimized-IMG_3633 (1)
As I took leave of TheManInCharge and that dream holding showroom, (not just for the buyers of those classics but for this olelongrooffan and what the opportunity that impromptu meeting could lead to), I remembered I had put my previous day’s refrigerated leftover lunch on the black dashboard of my longerroof to warm up in the hot Florida sun. And it was just the perfect temperature for consumption.
So this olelongrooffan headed down to the Bay at the end of the street and enjoyed some warm leftover chicken and shrimp scampi prior to heading back to TranquiLand. The only better car warmed up meal this olelongrooffan has ever had was when my daughter’s mom and I were in France eons ago, cruising around in a small Fiat belonging to one of my sisters who lived there. We stopped at a patisserie and bought some quiche. I took mine and put it under the bonnet on top of that motor until we found an appropriate spot to enjoy a bottle of wine and a bite to eat just down the road a piece. When I put that quiche on that motor, I caught a load of it from my non car living wife. But my fellow Hoons can bet your sweet butt that when we stopped and this olelongrooffan pulled that piping hot egg concoction from under that hood, that gorgeous blonde mother of my daughter was first in line for some of it. And of course I shared. That’s just the kind of guy I am. For what that does me.
Alas, again I digress.
And how did that meeting with Pete Sr. turn out?
Well, my fellow Hoons, this is the view I have from my desk overlooking the lobby at PJ’s Auto World here in scenic Clearwater, Florida. Yeah, Pete Senior agreed with TheManInCharge and offered this olelongrooffan a position as a Classic Car Consultant schlepping classic cars, street rods and late model quasi exotics here in the Sunshine State.
This is the view from my desk over my left shoulder, overlooking the front row filled with Hemi muscle cars, street rod phaetons and even a one off fiberglass special famous for its ties to Bob Hope, yeah, that Bob Hope.
And over my right shoulder is this view of even more classics, including a Dan Gurney Mercury Cyclone Talladega, number 21 in the Talladega registry. Funny, prior to the past year or so, I had never seen one of these in the flesh and prior to my new gig here I had seen only two, both of those at auctions. Now, I am sharing office space with one.
And if this olelongrooffan should stroll over to the door to the basement and crack it open, this is the sight I get to enjoy. The longroof is the only classic one we have in stock and it is my self imposed mission to get that one to a new owner, post haste.
So yeah, life has sure changed up for this olelongrooffan in the past 90 days but given what fun I had schlepping trailers a few years back, I know this gig is going to be even more of a blast. And this olelongrooffan cannot think of a better way to Celebrate Life.
And my fellow Hoons, just wait until Fastback Friday.
Image Copyright Hooniverse 2015/longrooffan

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26 responses to “Taxi Tuesday: Man, Sometimes Life Is A Marathon”

  1. LEROOOY Avatar

    How much does a Marathon body and frame weigh? I would like to conduct a modern re-engining. I don’t care much for track-day dynamics, but I want a car that eats potholes like it’s its job.

    1. theskitter Avatar

      Estimate: Maybe
      4300 lbs? They’re crate-engined cars from the factory, so there’s no ‘purist’ aspect. Checker plus LS3 plus 7-speed is high on my list of dream projects.

    2. smalleyxb122 Avatar

      GVWR, according to the tag in my door jamb, is 7160 lb, but that includes payload.
      According to the same tag, the capacity is 1600 lb, which would make you think that the curb weight is something in the neighborhood of 5560 lb, but all spec sheets that I can find online seem to agree that curb weight is around 3800 lb depending on year and options. I don’t know where that extra 1760 lb goes.

      1. longrooffan Avatar

        How much does rust weigh?

  2. Alff Avatar

    Several years ago my wife worked for a floral wholesaler. Imported flowers were trucked from Florida to K.C. early each week. One day a green tree frog hopped out of one of the boxes. Kelley brought it home for our son, who was working on his amphibian/reptile merit badge. “Frogger” lived with us for about a year and a half before friends of ours drove him back to Florida to live out his golden years. So, yeah, sorry about that Saturday phone call.

  3. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

    I was (holds up hand with fingers an inch apart) this close to buying a Checker sedan once. It was green and remarkably well cared for.
    It was an absolute monster on the road. It had to be one of the heaviest feeling cars i have ever driven (and I have driven a ’53 International flatbed)
    Part of the allure for me is that we are both from Kalamazoo, MI.
    I really want one, even if it’s rough, just to cruise in from time to time.

  4. Tanshanomi Avatar

    Congratulations on what sounds like a job that will suit you just fine. I lived in Clearwater for a while…but I was in kindergarten and first grade, so I can’t recommend any cool hangouts. Unless you like playground equipment. Truthfully, in 1969, I thought Clearwater Beach was about the coolest place on the planet.

  5. hwyengr Avatar

    Probably could use fewer racial undertones above the line, but congrats on the new job.

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      I would normally agree but the “Latin Connection” was a well known phenom and spoken of quite openly.

  6. CraigSu Avatar

    Glad to see you’ve landed on your feet LRF! PJ’s has some very cool cars in inventory. The ones that first caught my eye were the ’67 Chevelles and the Opel Kadett Rallye as these were my first two cars. Also, I’ve never seen a black Avanti before and it’s little outrider front bumper is very interesting too. An honest-to-goodness Cosworth Vega? Oh, my! A Reatta convertible? Never seen one before. A first-gen MR2 convertible 5-speed with under 60K miles? Outstanding! You seem to have something for everyone there (although I didn’t see any Volvo wagons).
    This clearly isn’t some corner used car lot. Given where they’ve shipped some vehicles PJ’s must have quite a reputation. A ’63 Chrysler Imperial LeBaron to the UAE? A ’68 Dodge Monaco 500, a ’98 Eldorado, and a 2000 Corvette all to Norway? A ’73 Challenger to New Zealand? You may have stumbled onto something better than you first thought.

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      A Model A convertible shipped to Germany this morning. Yeah, I will enjoy it here just fine. Thanks for the kind words. Also, for your Kadett viewing pleasure:

      1. CraigSu Avatar

        I love that photo! Always gives me a chuckle.

  7. Bret Avatar

    Perfect job for a hoon. Have fun!

  8. GTXcellent Avatar

    How does it go – when a door closes, a wait, when life hands you lemons you make vodka sours? Is that it?
    Anyways, congrats on the new digs – should be right up your alley

  9. julkinen Avatar

    Congrats and best of luck! I was crossing my fingers all through the article.

  10. stigshift Avatar

    I’ll have to stop in and extend my hand and general salutations, seeing as how I live in the Edin that is Dun. Not often I see my daily travels through another Hoon’s eyes! Welcome to the area!

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      Man that would be great!! Looking forward to meeting yet another Hoon.

  11. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    This is great news!
    I know Clearwater reasonably well. Stayed at Siesta Key, Sarasota and used to enjoy taking the I-275 over the Sunshine Skyway into St Petes and Clearwater. It’ll be sad when The Pier comes down…
    Warm congrats on the job and very very best of luck.

  12. Guest Avatar

    Congrats! I think you just made all of us extremely jealous.

  13. Mike England Avatar
    Mike England

    Congrats, Longroof! Looks like a fine place for you to hang your hat. I hope I can make up and excuse to visit Clearwater FL soon!

  14. Scoutdude Avatar

    Congrats on the new gig!
    I hadn’t seen a Checker in a long time, until about a week and a half ago. Pick-N-Pull has their annual 1/2 off sale over the memorial day weekend so I headed down to pickup a few odds and ends. In the corner of the parking lot was a Checker. Then a couple of days later what do I see rolling down the freeway but another Checker. Now a post with lots of Checkers.

  15. Cool_Cadillac_Cat Avatar

    Well done!
    Now…after I manage to come into a goodly amount of money, I’ll relocate that ’69 DeVille ‘vert for you…to my garage.

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      Sorry Man….sold this afternoon and going to North Platte, Nebraska next week. I am off this weekend to several car shows, surprised anyone, to see if I can find its replacement.

  16. Bryce Womeldurf Avatar

    Congratulations on the new job and welcome to the Tampa bay area! I should come by PJ’s some time for a visit. I only live about 45 minutes away.

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      It would be great to finally meet you neighbor.

  17. Dirty Dingus McGee Avatar
    Dirty Dingus McGee

    I’m also familiar with your new place of employment. I learned after my first visit to bring a towel, so I could wipe my drool off the various slobber worthy vehicles. Sounds like a good gig for ya.

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