Not too long ago was my last day working my summer internship at Tired Iron Works. The day started off like any other day, just walking in and starting to work on the 1909 Pope as I did most days as of late. Soon after Mr. Kidd walked in an asked me to put the battery charger on the 1941 Lincoln. I did, thinking nothing of it and then continued working with the Pope. After a little bit of time he asks me if I have ever driven a Lincoln before. I told him that I had not. He then casually asked me to move it to the church parking lot so we could have some room in the shop. I was so giddy to do so, I grabbed my camera, my hat, and jumped in. I was quite giddy. (I know, I already used that word, but even as I write, I am still giddy).
After Kyle gave me a quick rundown on its quirks, (every car has quirks) I backed it out and brought it to the church. I stalled it once because I figured being a V-12 I wouldn’t have to push the accelerator too much, turns out I was wrong. When I got going though, it was so smooth. I was excited and slightly terrified at the same time. It’s not like every day I get to drive someone’s $100,000+ car.
After parking her in the church parking lot I went back to the shop to finish up working my last day. Today was definitely more relaxed for me. One of my main duties for the day was to be the hand cranker for the 1909 Pope. Kyle was trying to get it to run. I did a lot of cranking that day. After setting the magneto and the firing order we were ready to go. On my first crank it fired and started to run, but quickly died. Ultimately it was figured out that fuel delivery was the issue, but that was not sorted out during the time that I was there.
My good friend Stan showed up later that day. His friend Bruce was coming to pick up the firetruck speedster, but I think he wanted to say goodbye knowing that I would be leaving California in a week. After a bit of chit chat and Bruce concluding his business, Stan headed on out and I continued to help around the shop, mainly polishing miscellaneous brass pieces for the 1911 Pope. I stayed until 5ish, when the main crew started to head out. Mr. Kidd asked me if I was willing to move the Lincoln back in. I agreed, which is honestly why I stayed as long as I did. I took my camera, my keys, and my hat, to go take in the beauty of the Continental.
I just stared at in the parking lot for a while, admiring the curves and the sheer elegance that it possessed. I took all sorts of pictures from every angle, taking in the moment before climbing in. I made the mistake of not pulling the ignition out before trying to start it, but I figured it out and fired her up. That V-12 is so quiet and so smooth. I know, I said that before, but it really deserves to be appreciated again.
As I pulled out of the church parking lot I saw most of the Tired Iron Crew walking out. They just looked kind of surprised to see the goofy intern in the Lincoln. I took the long way back to the shop, going around the block, instead of merely going across the street and turning left into driveway, because where is the fun in that? I got her into third gear and revelled in going around the block. She had no trouble steering, braking, or accelerating. Everything was dialed in and was amazing. Driving that work of art I could see why someone back in the day would buy a luxury car. It was far superior to anything I have ever driven of the time period. You honestly did not need power anything, everything was so easy and so fluid.
After my little joy ride I pulled back into the shop and parked her. I was still so enthused and stopped to talk with Chris and Kyle. They mentioned that I had been gone for a bit, then I explained that I had a done a quick photo shoot and forgot about the ignition trick. They chuckled for a second saying how they though I had pulled a Ferris Bueller. I got Kyle to take a few pictures of myself proudly standing next to the Lincoln. After that we said that we’d see each other at Pebble and parted ways.
I am extremely thankful for the experiences I had over the summer at Tired Iron. I am thankful that Mr. Kidd was willing to take a chance on a college kid who had never worked in a shop before and trusted me to even work on those cars going to Pebble Beach. I made mistakes along the way, simple ones, stupid ones, and pure accidents, but I was forgiven and allowed to work. The team at Tired Iron was willing to help me whenever I needed it, even when they were busy with their own projects.
I have to say that I could not have gotten there without the help of my good friend Stan Pitts, who showed me the shop, introduced me to Mr. Kidd and who recommended me and vouched for my integrity. Without Stan I never would not have had any of these experiences that you have been reading about this summer.