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 July LROM Big Wagon Guy

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Big Wagon Guy

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Join date : 2010-02-15
Location : Wasaga Beach Ontario

PostSubject: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:08 pm

Hello fellow Long Roof fanatics. Let me start off by taking a moment to thank Tom for asking me to be LROM for July and for his efforts to keep this post going.

So where do I start? I have been a lifelong car guy. I have been interested in all things mechanical since the time I could say the word car. Which coincidentally was one of my 1st words. I started riding a dirt bike at age 4, and progressed to driving cars by age 12. I started flying planes when I was 15 and obtained my Private Pilots License when I was 23. My automotive interests have been all over the map and have not been limited to just one manufacture or model. I have owned examples from all these manufactures. AMC (Gremlin X), Ferrari, Porsche, AMG, VW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Pontiac, GMC, Suzuki, Oldsmobile, Ford, Edsel, Dodge.

My Dad, Uncles and their friends were all car guys. When I was 18 I started to comprise a list of cars that my Dad owned or had owned during my life time…I stopped or more accurately lost track around 220 vehicles! My Dad really enjoyed the hunt. Some of his cars were his for only hours or days. I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Although I'm known on the forum as Big Wagon Guy, most of my non B body friends would consider me to be a "Corvette guy". My 1st car was a big block, 4 speed 1972 Corvette convertible that I inherited from my Grand Father. (Sorry could not find a single photo of that car in time for this posting). I drove that car every day through High School. It was Ontario Orange with a Black interior and roof. My Father could not stand the thought of me driving it every day. So he offered me his 1974 Corvette and 1979 Caprice Wagon, plus a year of insurance premiums in trade. (The 74 had also been my Grand Fathers new and my Dad was the original owner of the 79). That was an offer I could not refuse as I knew he really wanted the 72, and I gained a practical/winter car in the process. Besides I could always take the 72 for a spin if I wanted to. This was truly a win/win deal.

I guess that 79 Caprice Wagon was the start of the madness. With help from my Dad and Uncles, we modified the Wagon to suit my tastes/needs. It had several engine/transmission/rear end gear combinations over the years. I have always liked my cars to look unassuming, but pack a little extra something. The most notable combination was a built 406/TH350 with 4.56 rear end. It had a 200 HP NOS kit just in case. I eventually began driving it more than the Corvettes and decided to de-wood it. I had the windows tinted and it painted 87 IROC electric blue. I kept white wall tires and spoke hub caps to maintain that sleeper look. You can see the Wagon pictured beside the White 1977 Fire Bird Formula. (The Formula was a ¼ mile car that I built in high school. It started out with a Pontiac 400 engine, TH350 trans and I think a 3.08 rear end. I installed a SD 455, TH400 with a 4.56. It had a 2 stage NOS system. (150/250 HP). Cosmetics were not a big concern for me…I spent all my money on the drive line. I remember taking my Mom to the grocery store in that car. We encountered a Fox body Mustang that wanted to play. I ended up pulling the front tires when I left the light. My poor Mother almost had a heart attack. The car went 11.4 with my tuning. Sadly I sold it to a Pontiac guy who ended up pulling its drive line for another project.






I kept that 79 Caprice Wagon for 5 or 6 years before eventually selling it to a friend for a dollar...he desperately needed a decent car. During that time I continued to acquire, modify and sell other cars. Between graduating College/University and starting my "Adult" life. I picked up and enjoyed a number of cars. (AMG Hummer, Ferrari, Porsche 928S4) as well as a handful of GM G bodies, VW's, Chevrolet/GMS ½ and ¾ Ton pickups and older American classics. I even owned and really enjoyed a 1 of 6 1967 Dodge Monaco Hemi 500 Convertible.













My interests always seemed to return to the Generals Fibreglass fantastic. I frequently owned 2, 3 or even 4 Corvettes concurrently. (Pictures below for your viewing pleasure). I started with the 72, followed by the 74 Red on Red, then a Yellow on Graphite 87, followed by a triple Black 89 convertible. (My 1st new car purchase, Sorry no pictures). I then found a Red on Black 91 ZR1 followed by a Yellow on Black 2000 convertible. Not being able to control myself I picked up a new 2002 Torch Red on Black Convertible, which I traded in for a new Yellow on Black 2003 Z06. The sales Manager made me a deal on a new fully loaded 03 Anniversary convertible that I simply had to take.  







 


 

 

It was about this time that life changes forced me to look for slightly more practical vehicles. Ie: Ones that could be driven all year had more than 2 doors and did not cost six figures to purchase.

So now let's get back to the GM B bodies. I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to drive 94 to 96 9C1's when they were new and in service. I have many fond memories or driving them spiritedly, and was impressed with how well they handled and stood up to the rigors of service life. I always liked the Impala SS and thought they looked sharp. So I started looking for a clean 9C1 or Impala. I eventually found and purchased a couple clean examples of each. (Pictures attached for your reference).












I longed for another Wagon. I figured I could modify a Wagon to handle and look like an SS. When I first started looking clean low mileage Wagon's could be had for less money than a comparable quality Impala SS. As you will note from my Corvette story, I tend to acquire multiples of things that I like. (At one point I had 15 Suzuki Sidekicks/Chevrolet Trackers...you will see them in the back ground of some of the pictures).














1 B body lead to another and the next thing I knew I had 50 of them! It got to the point I had people bringing me thier B bodies to purchase. I kept some, sold a few and parted a couple to help others out who needed parts. I discovered this forum, the SS Forum and a number of other B car sites. Through this hobby I have met some wonderful people, had a chance to appreciate some fantastic vehicles and have thoroughly enjoyed my B body experiences. I'm now down to 27 B cars. If I'm to be honest, my 1st B body love is the Boxy 9C1. (Notice the two tone 81 Impala. Its a 47K mile car. It now has a ZZ4 383/700R4/4.56). I like Wagons and LT1 9C1's over the SS's. I'm an odd ball as I prefer the utilitarian looking Caprice Wagons over the up level Roadmasters. Below is an 89 9C1. Its going to get a total frame off restoration.






So what's next…I have committed to restoring a 1A2 Service Wagon, a boxy 9C1, building an LT1 9C1 quarter mile car, completing a sedan nosed RMW and an SS nosed RMS. I have a 6L 4L80, twin turbo kit waiting for a certain Marble Head Grey Caprice Wagon to be released from body shop jail. Then I plan to close the chapter on my B car addiction and move onto another platform…did someone say Hell Cat?  

I know how much you guys/gals like your Wagon porn. So I have included some pictures for your viewing pleasure. I have also included some garage/barn shots for those who are into that. (I apologize for the selection as I was limited to what pictures I had at my disposal. As luck would have it, my home PC which has the majority of my car pictures on it crapped out last week. Between work and family commitments I was not able to retrieve the library in time for this posting. If there is any interest I can post more at a later date). I have also included some of my parts hoard.
Yes I'm a hoarder. You would think that with all the space I have at my disposal I would never run out of room…WRONG!
















Funny thing is if anything were to happen to me tomorrow I'm sure my collection of treasures would end up like this (Picture of Monster truck derby).



I sincerely hope that you enjoyed my post as much as I enjoyed creating it for you.

PS: It took me over 4 hours to put this on line...when it comes to posting pictures this forum is VERY frustrating!


Last edited by Big Wagon Guy on Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:55 pm; edited 2 times in total
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jasonlachapelle

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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:25 pm

Nice ride(s). Is the ROM the grey wagon ?
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Big Wagon Guy

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PostSubject: Thanks Jason   Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:50 pm

I guess if we had to pick 1 it would be the Gold 383/T56 Caprice (Former Fred car) that I'm pictured beside (Red T shirt). Personally I like it's twin the Gold 95 383 Auto California car pictured below it at WF last year. The 94 Marble Head Grey car is at Jarrod's being completed. My fingers are crossed that it will be a future LROM contender. Between Jarrod's paint/body work, and the planned 6L twin turbo I think it will turn a few heads.

I have a bunch of other cars that I could not find pictures of in time for today's writing or I did not think people would care about. Putting this together really drove home the fact that I have a lot of stuff. I truly can't remember all of the cars that have come and gone. Although Its been a lot of fun!

I have stashed away 1 special car for each of my kids...obliviously I hope they inherit my interest in the automotive hobby, however if not they can choose to sell their cars when the time comes and spend the money on something that makes them happy.

Here is a picture of my son John changing the tires on his Wagon. He watched me change the tires on my Caprice, and without saying a word grabbed some tools and then did the same...he even lined his tires up against mine. Too cool I thought!





Last edited by Big Wagon Guy on Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BigBlackBeaSSt

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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:56 pm

Pics are not working. Sad
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jasonlachapelle

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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:24 pm

I like how your son is giving the thumbs up next to a PPM RMS. He obviously has good taste in cars.
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Big Wagon Guy

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PostSubject: The links   Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:29 pm

Tim the links must be working, Jason has commented on some of the items in the pictures. I had to open up a Flicker account to get the pics on line. Its slow...give it a minute or try refreshing the page. Let me know if your able to get the pictures to load.
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BigBlackBeaSSt

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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:15 pm

Big Wagon Guy wrote:
Tim the links must be working, Jason has commented on some of the items in the pictures. I had to open up a Flicker account to get the pics on line. Its slow...give it a minute or try refreshing the page. Let me know if your able to get the pictures to load.

Really weird, when I look at it on my PC nothing, on my phone (iPhone) I see pics. Sorry for any confusion.
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Andebe

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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:50 pm

Great story! Really got a serious case of barn envy after seeing the pics... cyclops
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mtrhead79

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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:08 pm

nice story and wow nice garage.
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Big Wagon Guy

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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:13 pm

Thanks Andebe/John. The property use to be a dairy farm. The barn is a massive beast. 2 upper levels and 1 lower level. Plus there are 4 out buildings. I converted the tractor shed into a Garage with a man cave above. One step at a time.
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silverfox103
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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:28 pm

John

Thanks for your story this month!

I am speechless, I've never seen a collection like that.  My favorite pictures were the inside of the barn.  You definitely have a lot of stuff...but it's neat.  No doubt the barn could be a story by itself.

thanks again

Tom
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Big Wagon Guy

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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:33 pm

Thanks Tom. The barn is at least 156 years old. (That's the 1st time it was referenced in the county land surveys). Oh the stories it would tell if it could talk. All the wood/timber/stones originally came from the property and was milled on site. Some of the floor boards are over 36 inches across and 4 inches thick. All of the beams are hand honed, and the entire barn is timber frame construction. (pinned with dowels). They certainly built things to last.
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1993 Roady-man

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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:33 am

Wow you got a history, nice story. I kid you not your wagon that is in jail is looking amazing.
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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:01 pm

Big Wagon Guy wrote:
Thanks Tom. The barn is at least 156 years old. (That's the 1st time it was referenced in the county land surveys). Oh the stories it would tell if it could talk. All the wood/timber/stones originally came from the property and was milled on site. Some of the floor boards are over 36 inches across and 4 inches thick. All of the beams are hand honed, and the entire barn is timber frame construction. (pinned with dowels). They certainly built things to last.

It's older than Canada.
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Big Wagon Guy

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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:40 pm

You caught that Jason...yes it is Smile

Actually my math was off...the house and barn are recorded in the County land office/museum archives as of 1856...that's 159 years ago not 156 as originally stated. It originally was a land grant for Military service. 2 500 acre parcels. I found hand written notes from the original owner back to his Church asking for another parcel of land as he thought the land to be uninhabitable and the winters to extreme. As I understand it to keep the land grant they had to clear 100 acres on each parcel and build a permanent residence within one year. I would think that would be difficult to accomplish with today's machines the thought of doing it then makes me want to curl up into the fetal position Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:39 pm

Great story!!! but also can't see the pics which is really weird since Tim can only see on his iPhone, and my iPad doesn't show them. I will us my pic tomorrow Smile
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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:32 am

Pics don't work on my 8.1 Windows laptop running Firefox. Can't wait to see them!

I think it's the "iframe" text at the start. If you grab this (for example):

https://www.flickr.com/photos/bubbasmith/18709154423/in/dateposted/player

the pic will display in a new tab.

Let's try that with an [img] tag:

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polecat



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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:05 pm

I wish I had the room to keep this many vehicles! My wife is upset that I currently have 3 (plus hers) floating around the yard. Love the passion for the b's
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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:02 am


Awesome story....I didn't know you had that many rides and a long history of collecting that many too. Lol Hopefully they will not end up at a Monster Jam anytime soon!

Chris
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Big Wagon Guy

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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:46 pm

Thanks Polecat and Chris...I hope they outlast me. Love the recent mods on Jade...can't wait to see it in person again.
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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:34 am

Love the collection of vehicles you have John. I agree as to the fact that the 9c1s and Caprice have more of a thrilling/exciting look and feel to them. See you in a couple weeks. I wish I could have that many vehicles!
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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:21 pm

Congrats on LROTM, I really want to get an old farm property and use it for my vehicle addiction. Nice to see another GM plastic-fantastic fan here too, Two C3's in my garage right now, one is the '74 that's been a project since when we got it when I was 14, that's 'mine' and the 23k mile '82 from Texas that needs an intake plenum gasket and the fuel pressure set so it can cruise again.
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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:32 pm

Great story and pictures! You really make it hard for me to decide what I envy most about you, all the B bodies, how neat your barn is or how organized your parts are! And to think I was all proud of clearing the beer bottles off the top of my tool cabinet and picking my tools up off the floor and putting them back in the drawer! lol!

I really enjoyed your story!

Dennis
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Big Wagon Guy

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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Sat Jul 18, 2015 5:20 pm

Thanks Dennis, Stew and Big Blue. I'm glad you enjoyed the story/pictures. 74 and 82 C3's are collectors in their own right. 74 is the 1st year of no chrome bumpers and 82 is the last year for that body style. I will post a pic of the garage after a weekend of wrenching...you might notice the odd adult beverage bottle scattered around Smile
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PostSubject: Re: July LROM Big Wagon Guy    Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:22 pm

craps man...I thought I was bad...this thread may save my marriage Neutral
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