Back to the Roads once Traveled: Day Two

Sunday turned out to be some very nice car hunting weather. The Bears were playing, there was no snow or ice. So the road were clear and free.

First place I went was my old Hot Rod friend Ward. He is an old school hot rodder, still has his first one he built in the 50's. Still runs and drives just like it did back then. I spent many an hour hanging out with him while he worked, learning tips of the trade. He also had a few very cool cars sitting around. Including not one, but two 1954 Ford Comete Monte Carlo's. French built cars exported over here sometime in the 50's. Have been sitting in the barns for atleast 40 years Ward said.

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Ward has some incredible old school signs and memorabilia. He has signs with companies that haven't existed in 70 years. I wish I could have a stuff like this sitting around.


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I left Wards after a few hours and made my way South. Just hitting up some old cars I knew about lying around the area. A cool old Dodge Truck, some old Barracuda's slowly being dis-mantled

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In Sandwich, IL there is a small junkyard, but they always tended to keep the old cars as long as they could. They always tended to have something I needed, be it for my RamCharger, or other Mopars. Unfortunately they were closed on Sunday, but out front of the gate was a cool old Dodge.

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Just around the corner from the yard was a cool old Dodge Sweptside truck. Did these all come in the game green?

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Leaving Sandwich there was a cool old gas station. It reminded me of a castle. I remember seeing some old cars in there long ago, but couldn't see anything from the road anymore. Still a cool place you don't see very often.

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Heading out of town there were a few more spots that I wanted to hit up that I never fully documented before. With it being Sunday, the Bears on and not the best weather, no place was open. So I just would shoot from the street what I could find.

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Entering Mendota, there really isn't anything car related there. I passed by the sister Napa Store to the one I used to work at. There is though a very nice little Railroad Museum there with a real full size steam locomotive and some old railroad cars. The museum has a history of the railroad in the vicinity. It used to be a crossing of a few rail lines. There once was a rather large station there, now it is just service by Amtrak, with a variety of freight coming through.

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Proceeding north, there was a Junkyard I once visited with a bunch of classic cars in it. I had heard from numerous people that the guy was never there. I had been lucky once and caught him, could I be lucky a second time?..... Nope. But he had some cool stuff sitting out by the road!

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Heading North, the next stop was Rochelle, the “Hub” city. Famous for making Whitcomb Locomotives, having a major rail crossing just outside of town and being right on the Lincoln Highway. I always used to love coming to Rochelle and watch the trains go by. The city has a nice little park area and a tiny museum there.

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Right in Downtown Rochelle is a remnant of the Lincoln Highway, a classic gas station. Been restored and updated. Has some Lincoln Highway memorabilia including two of the original markers. Right down the street is the old movie theater, now closed.

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Heading out of Rochelle I went past the Chrysler Dealership. And right in the showroom was a 64 Chrysler 300 and a 60's Valiant Convertible. That was an unexpected surprise, and just in that area was some other cool vintage cars and trucks. As well as classic advertising.

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I made my way back to DeKalb, hitting up all the small towns along the way. Because you never know what you are going to find! I've seen some crazy stuff, but seeing a old steam tractor, sitting in a guys driveway is a new one for me.

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Going round to Sycamore, I came across a 6 foot tall mouse in the middle of two condo complexes and made a quick stop at the Headquarters of Autometer Gauges. My 71 Challenger has all Autometer gauges, and they helped me a few times figure out what I needed. Also past an old dealership, when I went to school there it was just a used car dealership. Has “FARGO” at the top.

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There is one more story to tell. But it is best left to an additional post. Which I shall continue next week.

Let me know if you guys are liking the blog.

Ryan Brutt
HemiPwr70@aol.com

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