Are We Lucky or What?

Folks, Everyday I go for a walk around downtown Phoenix during my lunch hour.  I do not often, actually never, talk to anybody I see.  I just walk and look at the cars and all the construction going on around me.  But not yesterday. While eating at the Coney Island I struck up a conversation with a guy (about my age wearing a security guard uniform ) about how good and healthy his chicken salad looked.  He proceeded to tell me that he has a 50% clogged artery and needs to…

The Worst Vehicle I Ever Owned

The worst vehicle I ever owned was not a car.  It was not a truck either.  What was it?  It was a van.  A Ford van.  A 1978 Ford Club Wagon (Econoline) van.  But it was not a delivery van.  It was a passenger van.  Yes, back in the 70s, even after the 73 and 78 gas crises (shortages), it became acceptable for families with young children to buy Ford, Chevy or Dodge vans as passenger vehicles.  And, boy, did I fall into that trap.  Every aspect of the ownership…

Armando C Muñoz Challenges Radio Talk Show Blowhard

Listener Challenges Radio Blowhard On May 14, 2008, Mando reported the following incident which we take to be an honest and accurate description of events: Saturday morning I was working in the garage listening to some local (Phoenix, Arizona) talk radio station. I was interested in the conversation because it was about gas mileage and the host said that he was an ASE certified mechanic with 35 years of auto repair and modification experience. Here is what he said: “I get 20 mpg from my 3/4 ton Sierra pickup. I…

The Lion of El Paso Tech

The Lion of El Paso Tech One day I asked Mando how it was that he ended up attending El Paso Technical High School rather than my alma mater, El Paso High School. He gave the matter some thought and responded as follows: The Tech thing came down like this: In the seventh grade our class of thirtysome 12 years olds was transferred from Lamar (Grammar School on Montana Avenue) to Houston (Grammar School on Rio Grande Avenue) to make room for younger kids. They needed the room at Lamar…

A Model of The Lead Balloon 41 Plymouth

Shown in the accompanying picture is The Lead Balloon, the small block Chevy powered ’41 Plymouth known in the late 60s and early 70s as the terror of West Texas. The actual, real car has vanished. It is quite probable that it does not exist anymore. If it is gone it is irreplaceable. If it still exists somewhere in the dusty plains of West Texas, may it rust in peace. The car has been so dearly missed and is so impossible to recreate as a real car that the Mickey…

Greetings, Speedsters

Enrique (Henry) Munoz The SHOP‘S HUMBLE BEGINNINGS The ATASCADERO SPEED SHOP. Those four words can transport a tired old mind to a place far away, to a land and to times that still live in the hearts of the fortunate few who ventured there so long ago. To honor that place and those times, this site is dedicated to that speed shop and to its heroic founder, Henry Munoz.

The 65 Barracuda That Really Didn’t Quite Work Out

The BEGINNING This is the sad story of a young man and a car, the car being the ’65 Barracuda pictured above. The photo was taken after the car had been disposed of- traded in on a 1966 Mustang GT- and was spotted parked by the roadside. Anyway, in the beginning, the young man (me), was driving a 1960 Ford Starliner with a 292 V-8 and a 3-speed Cruise-o-Matic automatic transmission.

RAM’s 66 Mustang GT

Look at the above photo. See that black car? That, my friend, is a genuine 1966 Mustang GT coupe. It is parked in the dirt lot where the Speed Emporium cars were both worked on and displayed. There was another pretty much identical Mustang Gt at the Emporium. That one belonged to Henry, our founder and leader, and it had the same color and same options, except for the red lined tires.

The Cars of Tobin Place

The 1937 Chrysler A car like the one pictured to the left was the family car we had at 320 Tobin Place before we bought a ’41 Plymouth limo. While the car in the picture is identical to the car the family owned, the image is so small that I am adding the picture below to show a similar but different (quite delapidated) 1937 Chrysler. Please note the missing grille as that feature comes into play later.

El Paso High School Class of 1960

We will be using this post to write some notes about the Class of 1960 from El Paso High School, the “School on the Hill” in El Paso, Texas.  It is alarming to note that that this class is approaching its 50th anniversary since graduation.  That’s right, it will soon have been 50 years since this bunch of bright, wonderful kids completed their grueling scholastic regimen and earned their high school diplomas.  Way to go kids!