Greetings from Connecticut!

NLCTVWguy

Rollin' on 20's
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Jul 22, 2007
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Hey there folks, old friends and new ones!

I've been lurking out here for quite a while now, been showing other people the site, referring people here and following some of the incredible build jobs. I've even got a couple of the awesome RatRodBikes t-shirts!

I finally signed up and decided to do the intro thing!

My name's Rob, I'm 38, married to a really cool chick (15 years last week!). and I live in New London, CT. East Coast of the USA for our overseas friends. Almost exactly half way between New York and Boston, Mass. Kind of a cool little city and I've lived in it practically my whole adult life. I grew up in a small rural town nearby so I've never called any other area my home.

I've always taken apart mechanical things, many times actually putting them back together again. I work as an Electrician/Instrument Technician/Millwright/Half-..... Forklift Mechanic for a small, independent paper mill here in Connecticut. I do all different kinds of work every day, doing whatever is necessary to keep the plant running. The work suits me fine, I'm my own boss half the time, and the wacky schedule gives me lots of days off. The tradeoff is long hours, and rotating day/night shifts. Once in a while I get to work on bike projects using the quality company tools and workbenches. That's a real plus!

I started working on my own bikes at about age 6. My parents bought me a black Ross at a yard sale, which i learned to ride on. It was the most uncool thing ever, a lot like a 20" Schwinn Typhoon. It was beat up and had full fenders and a short seat. It wasn't Stingray cool, and it wasn't BMX cool. It was clunky and slow and heavy. It was definitely not capable of wheelies. The fenders came off after being bent several times on rides in the woods. The front whitewall had to go since BMX bikes didn't have whitewalls. For the rear, somewhere we picked up an indestructible Carlisle Thorn=Proof diamond tread tire... I ran it for years and it left miles of skid marks. Some black BMX bars in the front, a 10-speed seat to replace the black& white coil spring model, and lose the chainguard... painted "THE DEATH MACHINE" on the downtube with silver model paint... my first rat! This all evolved up until i was about 11 years old.

Then I got into playing with a junky old riding mower (built by Huffman, ca 1960), 4HP vertical shaft Briggs, Fwd-N-Rev trans, a deadman clutch. Lost the hood, the fenders, cargo box, all the mower accessories... and the engine governor! It was a fun harmless little go-kart/ATV for a kid to ride on trails in the yard or woods. It consumed gas and oil in equal parts, and required re-welding many times. I bought it for 10 bucks, sold it for 10 bucks, and a couple months later it was consumed in a barn fire. I don't *think*it caused it. :shock:

After that, many mountain bikes and tourist nerd bikes later, I got my first car. A multi-colored 73 Beetle which was $350. I built it a new engine, and rode it around on and off the roads long before i got my license. It was painted Olive Drab after "friends" had painted other stuff on it. Then it became flat black and was my daily driver for nearly 10 years. It was replaced finally by a 74 Sun Bug, in original Gold. Ugh I hate gold. But it was a great $500 car and survived for 5 more years with daily beatings from me and one submersible event when our parking lot was flooded by the ocean at work.

Around then, a neighbor came over with "an old Schwinn" and my current Stingray collection started. It was a Red 72 fenderless with a destroyed seat and the wrong bars. I had it on the road in a week after finding a mint gold sparkle seat from a Murray(?) in a junk pile- so rusted I can't tell you what it was but the seat was awesome. The original Slik and brick tires held air till just last summer when I had to replace with Chinese repro stuff.


Another Stingray came along from a yard sale near here for $5... a 68 that had gone BMX back in the day. No seat, sissy bar, and a white rubber knobby rear tire. The rest of the campus green bike was untouched, so I found it the missing parts (the early days of Ebay, got a NICE seat for $20!) new Schwinn repro whitewalls, and a years' worth of work to get a stuck seatpost out of the frame, finally drilling with a 13/16 x 12" long bit... a lot more work than expected to save an original-paint frame.

After a while my wife needed one to ride with me, and I built up a Fairlady, then a perfect 72 (she's a 72, too!) Lil Chik came along, burgundy and perfect and in this state, so we had to get that one.

Now, my living room features the two 72's, the 68 turned into a Deluxe (correct but for a reverse-screen guard that I love!) a 66 coppertone Deluxe Stingray, a 71 CG Fastback, a 66 Black Fastback, a 67 Columbia Playbike in coppertone, a 71 mix-n-match red Stingray that really needs to go to the basement, and a 71 Violet Fairlady.

We usually carry them in a 1970 VW Station Wagon (the deluxe passenger model of the Transporter or Bus). Right now it's down for a while, receiving new sheet metal in the nose. It's been a slow process and it's months behind schedule but it'll be nice and solid when done. We found ancient Bondo work done up around the windshield and it was a big setback having zero steel to work with. A crashed parts Bus has donated a lot of helpful bits and pieces at this point and it's going back together. It'll be restored to Montana Red from the ugly refrigerator-white repaint it's worn for years and years.

Lots more projects in the works, VW, Volvo Turbos, a Honda motorcycle, road bikes, Mountain bikes, blah blah blah. And my house is looking kinda "Rat rod" these days so we're working on a repaint of this big ol' Queen Anne Victorian.

Nice to meet you all and talk to you all soon. Sorry for the super-long post! I got way too much to say in one sitting.

--=={{Rob}}==--


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CCR

Mouth-Breather
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Mar 9, 2007
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howdy, heck of an intro if i may say so (whered the pic go?), by all means welcome.

i gotta blue 66 stingray deluxe but the gaurds so faded i cant tell if it was a reverse or not heheh but i definatley dig them the best. it too is currently rockin the white nobbies lol
 
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wow...what's your Blood type :?: That's all you left out of the Intro!
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

that was a GREAT intro ,and I see your a Wagon Head like me.
My Wagon is about 20 feet Longer than yours..
but I wish I had a 70 VW when I'm at The Pumps. :mrgreen:

welcome aboard,
Peace,
Kev.
 

NLCTVWguy

Rollin' on 20's
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Jul 22, 2007
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New London, CT
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Nice to meet you guys

I'll try to keep it more reasonable in the future, now that that's out of the way.

Here's one of the pics I was missing... I have to get used to the method of posting pics here. I'm used to sites like the Schwinn site that hosts pics for you. Maybe I'm spoiled by all that big business type o'thing.



Pic of my 70 Bus, 72 Stingray, my friends 1/2 '59 --1/2 '73 beetle behind it. The bus is under reconstruction for windshield rot at the moment, and very recently the bug burned! Bad times for some hardcore VW folks. Like a lot of collectors, the beetle owner has a half-dozen Stingrays and similar projects.

--=={{Rob}}==--
 

Rat Rod

Owner & Founder
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Glad to see you here Rob.

You will need to sign up for a free Photobucket account to share photos easily on this site. They seem to be one of the few left who allow you to display your images on other sites.

Good rule of thumb...the URL won't work unless it ends in .jpg
 

NLCTVWguy

Rollin' on 20's
Moderator
Jul 22, 2007
1,135
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New London, CT
www.bareiss.net
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Yeah, I'm figuring that out...

I understand how it works now. I can understand not wanting to host pictures yourself. It eats up a lot of bandwidth and space.

I'll have to get an account at one of those sites... I've put it off for so long.

--=={{Rob}}==--
 
Jun 24, 2007
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Welcome, from a fellow bike and VW fan, a 400 dollar '84 Rabbit convertable is my daily, top was down every month since I bought it, even in Minnesota in January, if just for one short ride, on a sunny 30 degree day... get a lot of strange looks, with the top down in January.....
 
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