Doc Stevens on the Rat Rod Corvette that was for sale on Ebay

Thursday, December 16, 2010 10:02 AM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: I know next to nothing about cars. I like them, but of course, Americans seem to LOVE them. To me, a car is a luxury and a means of getting from point A to point B. In America, a car is an extension of the owner’s personality, a status symbol, a means of self expression and more.

Someone sent Doc a link to a Corvette/ 39 Dodge that had been joined together and made into a “rat rod.” To me it is horrid and disgusting. It was for sale on Ebay this past week and got a lot of attention and comments. He also had some strong feelings about it. He had Marilyn forward the email to me, and that prompted me to ring him up.

Doc: Tondy, did you see what that guy done? Hecorvette2 cut off the front of a perfectly good 39 Dodge pick up and stuck it on the front of a Corvette! Why would a man waste a pick up truck like that?

Do you think that Dodge front end is happy with a Corvette stuck on his hindparts? No!

Tondeleo: I DID see it, Doc, and it is a monstrosity… I don’t know why he did it.

Doc: Well it’s some guy down to Alabama and them guys is southern boys what generally know how to build hot rods. This ain’t really a rat rod, neither.

Tondeleo: I must confess, Doc, that I don’t fully understand what a rat rod is; I’m clueless about all that, aren’t I?

corvette7Doc: OK, a rat rod is a hot rod what you made outta what you have sittin’ around the garage or out in the field. It ain’t meant to be crazy. It is just the way a poor man has to build a car cause he ain’t got enough money to do it like a rich man. He uses what he’s got sittin’ around. This ain’t that.

OK, he mighta had a Dodge pickup out in the field. He coulda fixed that up and made a hot rod out of it. He mighta had a wrecked Corvette in his garage. But here is something you don’t do, Tondy. You don’t mix Mopars with Chevies and Fords. You can put a chevy motor in a ford or Mopar, but you don’t mix the bodies. It ain’t right.

Tondeleo: I hear what you’re saying, Doc, but I don’t understand why it’s ok to mismatch some things but not others. What is a Mopar?

Doc: A Mopar is a Chrysler product. Plymouth, Dodge, Chrysler. They’s Mopars. And you don’t mix ‘em with Fords or Chevies and you don’t mix Fords and Chevies with each other cause they are competition to each other. So,it just ain’t right. Dodge gets Mopar. Ford gets Ford and Chevy gets Chevy.

corvette3I can tell you more about this one why it ain’t right. The nose of the grill is higher than the bottom of the windshield  [windscreen] on the Corvette. It should line up, so you could put a hood [bonnet] on it. It has to line up.

Also, the stylin’ is too different. The Corvette flows and is smooth. The old Dodge is round and fat. They don’t go. Like a woman with a big old head like a pot roast, and then a pretty body and at the end, some big old feet like a man. You wouldn’t do that. She got to flow.

And the back end don’t haul nothin’. It’s a Chevy pickupcorvette4 tail gate screwed to the back. It just don’t go together, in my book. And he stuck deer’s antlers in it! What for? It aint really a rat rod, it’s somethin’ else what I don’t know a name for. Big Dave said it is like a scoop of ice cream on an out house. It just don’t go.

Tondeleo: What would you have done, Doc, if you had a wrecked Corvette and an old Dodge pick up truck like that? That bloke may have been like you, without much money and two vehicles that weren’t drivable. Maybe it IS a rat rod…

Doc: Well, ok, he mighta been broke. I know how that is. Maybe it was the best he coulda done. But I can tell he knew how to make things, and cut metal and put it together.

I wouldda taken that Corvette motor, trans and rear out of that Vette and put it in the Dodge pickup. I woulda used the front part of the frame of the Corvette, and welded it to the Dodge frame. I’d cut that off in front of the cab and join it up. You just gotta make some plates for hookin’ up the rear into it. Ain’t nothing too hard. And it woulda gone together. People do that kinda thing all the time. Then I coulda had a fast pick up truck what looks right and would handle like a Corvette.

The inside of that Vette weren’t no good, and he put roadcorvette5 signs in it for an interior which looks worser than  plywood what he coulda painted black, if the inside of the Vette was that bad. This was worser than that.

Anyway, Tondy, that’s just what I woulda done. But I ain’t him. With cars, a man can do what he wants to do to express himself, and that is what this guy done. He might not like what I’m doin’ to my old panel truck, but that is why they make strawberry, chocolate and vanilla.

Tondeleo: Strawberry, chocolate and vanilla WHAT?

Doc: Ice cream.


Doc Stevens on Preparing for Christmas in a Recession

Saturday, December 4, 2010 7:24 PM Posted by Tondeleo Lee Thomas

Tondeleo: With the worldwide recession, there are many people worrying about if they are going to be having a good Christmas this year. Cor, I’m even wondering what I’m going to do. I don’t have enough money to get anything for my Mum and I have yet to pay my December rent on my flat. Work has been slow for me and my income has been down. Most of my mates are in the same situation.

I rang up Doc and asked him about their Thanksgiving and also to ask about their preparation for Christmas.

Doc: Well, Tondy, Thanksgivin’ went good. Marilyn had that boy what she likes come over, that Gavin. She was all swoony all day over him - but what I liked about it is that she is tryin’ to impress him at what a good wife she would be. She made all kinds of extra food to get that long legged rascal worked up into proposin’ one day!

She made her tuna loaf like always but she put some extra stuff in it what I don’t know but it was better n’ usual. She made up two cans of corn beef hash what she made into patties an’ then made a hole in the middle like a donut and put a egg in each one and fried it. That was good, but she ain’t made enough for him to get any!

Me an’ Big Dave ate ‘em up! We told her we was checkin’ to make sure they wasn’t poison, and next thing you know they was all gone! But we tol’ Gavin about it an’ he understood an’ said he woulda done the same thing if they was good as we said they was, which they was, so it was ok.

Thurman Goodlett and Amy came over and brought sodas from the Wal Mart’s and some chips and dip. I think that Amy coulda ate every bit of it by herself, I tell you! She ain’t but about five foot tall an’ maybe a hundred pounds or so, but she can eat like a horse! But she don’t eat hay, she eats people food! And she was eatin’ it off my table! She was tryin’ to eat it all in one sittin’!

But we all had a good time an’ ate all we wanted, and then took naps. Once we all woke up, we got out the guitars and played for a couple hours. Of course, Thurman danced. We was all thankful to the Lord for givin’ us good friends an’ families, and shoes on our feet an’ roofs over our heads an’ enough money at the last minute when we really need it. He been good to us all, Tondy.

Tondeleo: What about Christmas, Doc? Money’s scarce here and I know it is always tight for you and your friends… but with the recession how are you going to have Christmas this year?

Doc: How we gonna have Christmas? We’re gonna go to sleep on Christmas Eve and then wake up in the mornin’ and it’s gonna be Christmas! We can’t stop it just because we ain’t got money! They Lord ain’t had money and he STARTED Christmas! I mean he was a baby an’ didn’t know it was Christmas, but it was started on account of him. He was poor all his life.

Tondeleo: But what about the gifts? And, with all the cold weather and work slowing down, aren’t you concerned about making it through the Winter this year?

Doc: We ain't worried about the future or about money or none of that, Tondy. The preacher down at the church said God'll take care of a person if they work hard and live right and I try to do both, much as I can. Ain't no moss growin' on me.

I work hard and I work long and then I play music wherever we can for whatever we can or even out on the streets. Preacher said if we're doin' that an' payin' our ties, God'll take care of us. He said we got a Jehovah Gyro.

I ain't too sure what that is, but it is good and that preacher is the real deal. He ain't no corn artist like a lot of them is. He lives just like the people in the church an' he'll help most anybody what needs helpin’.

Preacher said if we're doin' that an' payin' our ties, God'll take care of us. He said we got a Jehovah Gyro. I ain't too sure what that is, but it is good and that preacher is the real deal. He ain't no corn artist like a lot of ‘em is.

Long as we work hard and treat people right an’ give to the poor the preacher said that Jehovah Gyro will take care of us like he has always taken care of folks what does the best they can an’ loves the Lord.

We’ll be all right for Christmas. We usually come up with somethin’ to get our loved ones an’ we all pitch in an eat together and plays music, but on Christmas we sing some Christmas songs - but not a lot of them cause most of them is hard to play – and we make up some of our own Christmas songs, too. And we are thankful to the Lord for comin’ to earth to help everyone in life and be able to go to heaven when they die. I want to go to heaven when I die and so does Marilyn and most of our friends.

We’ll be ok for Christmas, Tondy and we’ll be ok after Christmas and the rest of the year too. And so will you. It ain’t about money, it’s about getting’ with the folks you care about and bein’ as good as you can to them all year round and then Christmas goes good. You’re good people, Tondy so don’t worry. And you ain’t got to get me an’ Marilyn nothin’ for Christmas, neither. We ain’t ‘spectin’ nothin’ and you get something real nice for your mama what gave you birth. That is the best thing what matters. Take care of your Mama and don’t make the Lord mad.