If you have any interest in hot rods or choppers you're gonna love what you see in this post. Way back in November I wrote a couple of posts about my trip to Fort Wayne, IN with my girlfriend, Meg. The first one was about the stop we made at the James Dean Run. In the second post I showed you all of the delightful things from Fort Wayne. It has been over two months since I wrote the first of these four parts so I guess it's finally time I guide you through the third part of this journey, spending some time with my great friend, Wesley Wren!
Today's technology makes it very easy to get to know people before you even meet them in real life. In fact, I have met a lot of my closest friends via The Jalopy Journal. Wesley and I had admired each others cars on the H.A.M.B. for a while but we had never talked, not even in the internet sense of the word. We didn't know the slightest thing about one another, besides him knowing I had the blue '32 Vicky and me knowing that he had that gorgeous '54 Ford. The two of us met at one of the last Hunnert Car Pileup shows. You'd think out of all the great folks I spoke to on the internet before meeting face to face, Wesley would have been one of them considering he and I were two of the younger people going to these types of gatherings. I guess it's still okay to meet new people outside of internetz. LOLOLOL. The funny thing I remember about meeting him was that he kept telling me that he always got the impression I was an old dude, judging by my posts on the H.A.M.B.
Here we are, a few years later and I am happy to call Wes one of my close pals. Back to the road trip that this post is about, Wes was happy to let us stop by on our way home from Fort Wayne. We didn't have an abundance of time but we got our thrills in. I will let the pictures speak for themselves, and if you'd like to get to know Wes a little bit better check out the Q&A down below.
First, can you list the make, model, year, and engine, of you and your families cars and bikes (and who they belong to)?
Totally! My father currently has a y-block powered 1929 Ford roadster, a 389 Pontiac powered 1931 Ford coupe and a 1958 Ford Ranchero that moves along with another 292 Ford. My brother had a 1964 Mercury Comet convertible and a 1954 Mercury Tudor. My daily driver until last year is a 292 Ford powered 1954 Ford Crestline Victoria. In terms of scoots, my brother has a 1957 Harley-Davidson panhead and a 1976 sportster, and I have a 1975 shovelhead Harley.
Like you, I know how cool it is to grow up with a dad who builds hot rods, so I'm sure you have some fond memories of doing car stuff when you were a kid. Is there any particular memory that really stands out to you in regard to old cars/motorcycles/family?
I think one of the best memories I have from when I was little hanging out with my dad is when he had just bought this 1934 ford fordor that was apparently a late 50s club car that had stayed with the club through the 70s. So by the time we got it, the car had a big mopar for power and shag everywhere. But that's another story entirely. I remember one night dad was underneath the car doing something, and I couldn't have been older than six, and thought his creeper was a big skateboard. It was so much fun. Though I think one of the best times of actually working with dad was when I just got my car. It was a crusty piece of junk that needed an altitude adjustment and new shoes. I was fifteen and we were knocking the spring pockets out of the a-arms--with the springs still there. It was nutty. No chains or anything. We didn't even use an air chisel to knock the rivets out of the spring pocket, so the job took WAY longer than it would take me by myself now, but it was so great lowering the car down off the lift and looking at how low it was. So that was cool.
AAA: What drives you? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Wesley: That's a tough question! I really just work hard for everyone around me. My friends and family really really make my life worth while.
You wake up, the sun is shining, it's 75 degrees outside, and you have no obligations for 24 hours. What's your perfect day look like?
Oh wow that would be a helluva day. I'd probably go on a nice ride with one of my buddies to get some pizza with my friend Dave in Bloomington (about an hour south of Indianapolis: home of Indiana University), and then come back up to Indianapolis and change my shirt and get my car and take my girlfriend Kristen to get some food at one of our favorite bars in broad ripple (the Ally Cat not that it matters). Basically a day filled with junk food, friends and driving around.
What music are you currently loving and listening to?
I literally just started using Spotify so that's what's up. The new Jeff the Brotherhood cover album, Dig the Classics, or whatever it's called has a GREAT version of The Pixies song Gouge Away. That and I've been listening to Wavves a lot recently. Just kind of the same old stuff though, school and work put a damper on my music listening.
What's going on inside the Wren garage right now? Any projects or maintenance?
My brother is putting together a little drag race inspired sportster, and I'm working on getting my shovelhead ready for the year. I've got to finish setting up midsets and little stuff like that. I might swap intakes on my car this year on account of me getting a polished Edelbrock 557 intake and some Strombergs last year, and I need to rebuild the vent windows. We might paint my dads Ranchero if we can make enough time for it. Nothing really big this year, but hopefully next year I'll have started another bike build and will paint my car.
If there was a reality show about your life, what would it be called?
American Fixers would be a good one if history channel didn't already own that. Keeping Down the Kardashian's wouldn't be a bad one. I was trying to think of something about 19 kids and counting but I couldn't think of anything witty to say.
Finally, in one sentence, tell me why you think that old stuff is so damn cool.
Old stuff just rules--Everything about old cars, motorcycles, art, and home decor all show how great a world can be when people build things to last.