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Old 01-28-2014, 05:19 PM   #1
jim1932
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Default Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

OK I see it is Walt's birthday… and yes he is still young… but kinda curious who the next generation is. Not wanting to cut into their business… Just wondering for the 50 somethings like me, if we will have similar legends when it is our turn….

So who are the guys say under 60 that are the "up an comers"
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

I am in that 50 something range.... Though I am new to the hobby, after learning so much from the well seasoned folk's post, I see that we have some very large SHOES to fill I just hope that we can keep the Knowledge rolling along for the next generation. Norm
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:35 PM   #3
jkeesey
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

Im 25 and hope to some day get to the legend status but who knows. I currently own a restoration shop specializing in Model A's and flathead Fords.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

those are very big shoes to fit not many young guys are interested in flatheads down here they all want jap rice rockets take a look at the v8 clubs in the usa not to many young guys in them fingers xed for the future trev
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

Two of the older shops in Ontario are run by guys just over or under fifty. Both are relatives of the founders.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

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There are many people here who are knowledgeable in the art of flatheads, but one thing the next generation, so to speak, does not have is working with these engines when they were common place and parts were plentiful. THat's why I read everything these legends ( in my book ) have written here about the Flatheads. I hope some of it sticks in my feeble old brain! You can learn only so much from a book. On hand experience is a great teacher. It's like talking to a carpenter to learn little tricks of the trade. The little tips these guys tell us are priceless!
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkeesey View Post
Im 25 and hope to some day get to the legend status but who knows. I currently own a restoration shop specializing in Model A's and flathead Fords.
25. Now that is impressive right there! Good for you!
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

It's what is in your heart that takes the challenge, not the amount of birthday candles.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

Quote:
Originally Posted by BABAR40 View Post
It's what is in your heart that takes the challenge, not the amount of birthday candles.
BABAR40 ..........................
Oh ! to be so young and believe that !
The weight of all those birthday candles, does make a difference, no matter what's in your heart. You will find out, one of these days.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

I'm 20 going on 21 in March. My first car, the one I've learned how to drive in, is a '52 Packard with a flathead straight 8. Bought her completely dead from a salvage yard when I was 18 and worked hard to bring her back. And then I have my late grandfather's '35 5 window, which me and my brother are working on to get back on the road. I don't think this is something I am going to do for a living, but it is something I really enjoy doing. I have a passion for old cars and their engineering. And there's not much that can compare to the feeling you get when you take your car on the road for the first time. I highly doubt I will be remembered for what I'm doing, but at least the cars I put together will live on. There are a lot of "kids" though that are interested in these types of things, and really accel at it.

-Garrett
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

Good post ! As a past automotive instructor i have said for years we have lost " the farm team" meaning in baseball you have the farm teams before coming a pro etc. In the automotive business we have lost the gas/filling stations ( the auto farm teams)..

The number of flathead guys has got to be getting lower every day. Actually i think we gain flathead lovers each and every day but loose the guys that really know the product and service.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

It becomes a economic issue Unless Family is involved to learn as they grow up.
The cost of bringing some one in to learn from the Elders as hands on go's & the time it would take makes it next to imposable.
Example if a young fellow wanted to Buy a existing Business such as Walt's or another.He would need to get a bank loan, there is the problem He now has all of Walt's equipment / He is strong as an ox / full of spit & fire / with knowledge of machine work involved in rebuilding the Flatheads / But not the EXPERIENCE /
O did I say he has a bank note coming due.
He would have to generate enough $$$ right out of the gate,to live & fulfill his obligation's.
When he hung his sign out open for Business WHO AMONG US WOULD WANT TO BE THE FIRST TO GET HIS ENGINE DONE BY THIS YOUNG FELLOW.
A TOUGH NUT TO CRACK { WALT HOPE YOU DON'T MIND I USED YOUR NAME ONLY AS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW HARD IT WOULD BE TO FILL YOUR SHOES }
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

A few things:

A.) Bill Wzorek makes some really great points

B.) I think Mike over at H&H Flatheads is doing a hell of a job.

C.) Outside of this corner of the world, there wasn't a lot of enthusiasm about Flatheads for a lot of years. It was a niche market. There has been a huge boom in 'Old School' hot rodding, etc over the last 10 or so years. How long is the wave going to last?

D.) I would love to follow any one of you around and learn your trade. My generation had it beat into their heads that college was the route to go, so that's where I went. Now in my mid-30s I'm doing something I don't want to do and would love to have my own car-related business, but that would mean taking a huge leap of faith and putting my family at risk.

If you've got a kid hanging around your shop, or a grandkid that shows interest in the hobby, encourage them. It could mean a lot some day.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

My grandfather was of one of best mechanic around. Tool and die maker by trade in the Air Force. I miss him and his knowledge every day. Spent 46 years learning from him. And maybe got 10 per cent of his knowledge.
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

59 here and still learning...
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

I have shown my Son most of what I have done over the years so I feel he can handle 95% of what may come in the shop. It's that 5% that he will be on his own to figure out.
That's not bad, I had to figure out about half of the stuff when I was learning.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:11 AM   #17
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

FL&WVMIKE- You are so right! The weight of those candles do seem to get heavier with every year. I am fortunate to be able to wrench on my '40 when I want to, but maybe a little less energetically then I used to. I hope to see a younger generation of traditional, early Ford enthusiasts and from what I see at the larger Swap meets, there seems to be plenty in the fold. Being almost 62, I can look at this passion called Automobiles, from the past and into the future and feel secure in it's legacy. It's been a great ride so far!
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

When I was young and driving around in the '48 Ford, '60's and '70's, stopping at a gas station, garage, or junkyard would frequently bring out an old guy with lots of flathead experience to take a look...flatheads were largely gone from the general auto population by then, and starting to vanish from the junkyards. These little random encounters gave me opportunities to discuss whatever puzzles and problems were on my list with someone experienced, and sometimes I even scored a tool or an old box of leftover parts the guy no longer used along with a bit of advice.
Now the encounters are online, but that of course leave out lots of older people who never really adopted the computer...
The HAMB has a far younger group of flathead and Model A-B enthusiasts than the more restoration oriented boards. Over there they run into some gurus, miss others.
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

Another thing about getting younger people interested...aside from the sheer expense of everyting old Ford now, an old Ford project nowadays almost always is separate from the transportation car. There aren't cheap running old Fords that you can drive to Work and then play with on the weekend.
When I was young, cars like my '48 were already disappearing, replaced first by '55 Chevies and then '68 Camaros...which by now have vanished from the general population and become the province of fairly high dollar people.
If a kid now wants something he can drive and mess with, it's likely to be a Japanese compact.
A second car that is an entirely different game and an expensive money pit too is pretty hard to carry...
If a kid now sees an early V-8 he likes at a show, 30 seconds of research will demonstrate that ANYTHING there is FAR out of reach financially, even starting with a rusted hulk. Kids can afford to mess with cars roughly their own age, I think.
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:51 PM   #20
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Default Re: Who's gonna fill their shoes…..

Bruce Lancaster
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It just struck me with his last post, but I can't think of a soul that could begin to fill this guy's shoes around here, or on the HAMB for that matter. Please eat healthy, Bruce! DD
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