"From tiny acorns, mighty oaks grow." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Is something wrong Officer?"Pee Wee Herman


  I bought Smurf from a retired Arkansas State Policeman, kinda' appropriate don'tcha think ;-). Just so you know that all Cops ain't total losers, this guy also has a cherry 48 Ford Street Custom with a big block that he built hisself :-). Anyway, I bought Smurf about a year ago for his pan that I was going to use under a Manx Dune Buggy. Smurf had 2 things going for him. He had a straight title and he cost $50.
  In fact, a lot of the pieces that I will be putting into this car were originally scrounged up to go in the Manx. If you think about it, a Dune buggy is really just an off road Hot Rod. Since my original plan for the Manx was to build it as a hot street Buggy, the drivetrain I assembled is perfectly suited for a hot street Bug.
  The motor I'm assembling, to be shown in a later installment, is a 2180 built with an AS21 case with welded #3 main bearing web, stroker clearanced, bored for 92s and full flowed with threaded plugged oil gallerys. Forged 8 dowel 82mm crank, Mahle teflon coated 92mm stroker pistons with teflon buttons. Ported and polished 45x35 big valve heads CC'd and cut for 92s, 1:1 Rhino rockers with 911 swivel feet on solid shafts. 12# 8 dowel 200mm flywheel with a chromemolly bolt and a 1200# Sach clutch to act as a fuse. Everything spin balanced. I ain't gonna tell you what cam I'm running, after all a girl has to have some secrets. Dual Porsche 912 40P11 Solex carbs with vintage Gene Berg match ported intakes and Berg linkage. Mallory dual point distributer with Mallory Pro Comp coil. Type 4 oil cooler in a modified doghouse fan housing with aluminum cylinder tins. Vintage Claudes Buggys finned aluminum valve covers and finned aluminum air cleaners with K&N filters. I haven't decided on the exhaust yet but it will probably be a 1 5/8 merged extractor with a stinger.
  The tranny is a rare swingaxle out of a 71 Mexican type 181. This model was never imported to the States so you rarely see these trannys. What makes it cool for this car is it has a 3:88 R&P, welded syncros, steel shift forks and HD hockey stick all as original equipment ! I will be adding a Super Diff, HD side plate and polished & shotpeened long axles. I also have type 3 5 hole brakes and a vintage chrome Empi camber compensator to keep the tires on the ground. It will be mounted on OEM German rubber mounts with a padded strap kit and the frame horns will be braced to the shock towers to minimize wheel hop.

  Anyway, enough teasing. We came here to meet Smurf, remember Smurf? Smurf is a sad little guy. Who knows how it happened? It's not an uncommon story. But one day this previously happy little car found himself in the hands of a Philistine! First they took off his wheels so he couldn't run away. Then they cut a big hole in his butt and ripped out his motor. Hell, somebody even punched him in the eye! Finally they left him out in the cold and the rain to die of rust. Poor Smurf :-(.
  But it wasn't always this bad. When Smurf was young and his paint had the rosy glow of youth, he used to tool along listening to Elvis, Jan & Dean, The Beach Boys and the Surfaris on his radio. Whenever he saw one of his brothers or sisters out on the road he'd say HI with a happy little toot of his horn. His driver would wash him and shine him and give him the best gas that money could buy. He had his own little house and dogs were never allowed to pee on his feet.
  Things were good for Smurf but then, as happens to so many of us, he started getting old and tired. After many years of faithfull service his driver left him for a Detroit whore. That started him on his road to ruin. In the following years he was handed around to whoever would take him. Some of his drivers treated him OK, others just used and abused him. There was one driver that he remembered fondly though. She was a pretty young college girl that treated him nice and talked to him while they drove along. He didn't really like the same music as she did but she was nice and even bought him some new shoes. She was the one that named him Smurf.
  But, as had happened before in his life, this relationship too came to an end. One day a stranger came out and drove him away and he never saw the pretty little college girl again. Everything went downhill for Smurf after that until one day he was sitting lost and abandoned out in a field with only his memories and the field mice in his seats to keep him company.
  And then one day a man came to visit him and looked at his poor broken rusty body. The man crawled under him and clucked his tongue. He opened his hood and tugged on things. He poked and prodded, he shoved and pulled. And then he went away. Smurf didn't know what to make of this. He was a little nervous because this was the way the Philistine had acted before raping him.
  A few weeks later the man came back. "Well", thought Smurf, "I guess this is it. Today I'm going to die." Growing up, Smurf had heard whispers of a terrible place that cars went to when they were hurt or crippled and nobody wanted them anymore. It was called a wrecking yard and the whispers were that it had huge terrible machines that would crush a car flat as roadkill! Then they would melt the mangled bodies in a big fire and use them to make beer cans! He never really believed the stories, he just figured it was something that the big cars made up to scare the little cars. But you never know, it might be true. It really didn't matter to him though, Smurf was tired and he was ready to die a quick death. He figured that anything would be better than sitting in that field one more day itching from rust and feeling mice crawl around in his guts. He HATED mice! So he resigned himself to fate and the man with the truck towed poor Smurf away.
  But then a strange thing happened. Instead of going to a wrecking yard he was taken to a place where there were other cars just like him! Some of them were pretty beat up, in fact a few of them were in worse shape than he was! But some of them were shiney and wearing fancy jewlery and shoes. There was even one beautiful old lady car that looked a lot like his Grandmother! "What is this place?" he wondered, not realizing he had spoken outloud. "It's a car hospital" said a funny looking car sitting beside him, startling Smurf. "The driver here rescues unwanted cars and fixes them up good as new", the car continued, "and he fixes broken cars for other drivers too."
  "What kind of car are you?" asked Smurf, "where are all your clothes?". "I don't wear clothes anymore" laughed the car, "I'm a Sandrail! My driver rebuilt me like this so I could go out in the sand dunes and go really fast! I've never had so much fun in my life! I was feeling a little sick so my driver brought me here to be fixed". "Is the driver here going to make me into a Sandrail too?" asked Smurf. "Probably not" said the car "the rumor is that he's going to fix you up and turn you into a Manx." "A Manx?" Smurf asked, suddenly a little scared. "What's a Manx?". "See that car over there? The one with the big shoes and the purple paint job?" his new friend said. "That's a Manx, sometimes we play together out in the sand dunes but I heard you were going to be a Street Manx. You'll look a lot like him but you'll have a really big motor and be close to the ground like a race car." "WOW!" said Smurf. "That would be really cool! I'd give anything to be able to go down the road again, although I've never done it really fast." "Well," said the Sandrail, "you just sit there and be patient. The driver here helps a lot of cars and sometimes it takes him awhile to get around to us but when he does it's worth the wait!" So Smurf settled down to wait his turn with dreams of his new future dancing in his head.
"HEY ! Wake up !" Smurf opened his one good headlight and looked around for the source of the voice that had awakened him. It was the man who had rescued him from the field! He must be the new driver! "Wake up, little guy" the man said. "It's time to go inside and start your new life!" Oh Boy! Smurf thought excitedly, at last! "I know you had your heart set on becoming a Manx" the man said. "But I've already got one Manx and I don't really need another." Smurfs heart fell through his floorpan. Well, he thought, maybe he'll fix me up good enough to at least go for a drive once and awhile. And then the man said, "I've given this a lot of thought, Smurf, and I've decided to make you into a Hot Rod."
  A HOT ROD !? thought Smurf, HOLY SHIT !!!!!


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