vehicles (280)

Grandpa Built a Car

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When my father was 5 years old, he was riding a tricycle on the street in Alameda and a train came along and the wheel cut off 4 of the toes on his left foot. When he was in the hospital, his dad promised him he’d build him a car. Which he did. I just discovered this photo in the family archives. My dad didn’t let the injury slow him down, he played tennis in high school and was an avid duck hunter and fisherman. I’m so proud of him, for his courage, and grandpa for his soulful kid’s car (with bicycle wheels).

(I just discovered this photo in an old family album, with my dad’s explanation written on the back; I’d never heard the story.)

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Home Sweet Home on Baja Beach

I’ve probably posted this before, but I just ran across it again. 1983 Toyota 4×4, a few years before they had independent suspension for front wheels. The Baja natives preferred it because the front axle was stronger. Air Camping tent, made in Italy; this was before rooftop tents were even known in the USA. Up off the beach, or desert floor, no worry about snakes or scorpions, breezes blew through mosquito netting. I’d drive 12 miles east of San Jose del Cabo, then down an arroyo to beach, then let air out of tires and go another 2 miles on soft sand to a secluded spot where there was surf, fish and a shipwreck. I’d orient the tent so that I faced the water, put up the 12′ by 14′ flea market tarp (anchored by hanging sand bags), and spend 4-5 days in solitude. No need for clothes.

In summer heat, I’d pretty much stay inside the shade from 11 AM to 5 PM; the sunrises and sunsets were exquisite times of day. Go surfing or paddling or swimming, run on beach, wander in desert. The tropical desert in Los Cabos area (just below Tropic of Cancer) is subtle. When you get to know it, you see all kinds of life and beauty therein.

I’d remove all signs of having visited the beach when I left.

Of course, I hear there’s a house there now, and I’ll bet some gringo has blocked beach access.

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1937 Chevy 1½-Ton Flatbed Housetruck for Family of 5

Bob Easton did this drawing based on Joaquin’s input.

In the late ’60s, Joaquin de la Luz traded his 1948 Triumph motorcycle for this vintage Chevy flatbed and converted it into a housetruck. Joaquin, his wife Gypsy, and their three kids lived in it for five years while moving around the country and eventually settling in Yreka, California. It had a woodstove and a sewing machine, in addition to beds for all family members, and was built with scrounged materials. There are about a dozen pictures of the rig in our book Shelter.

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Schoolbus Home in Santa Cruz, California

Thanks so much Lloyd for everything you’ve done to stimulate my passions for freelance building & creating cozy living spaces. Good to grow older together through your writings. Here is my ’59 Chevy bus that I did in ’81. I lived in it for a long time, now it’s in my backyard in Santa Cruz, being a choice shelter for family and friends.

I recently finished the sauna and the WC. (Who needs a driver seat and steering wheel?) Toilet is plumbed in to the house sewer. Besides the bus being used as a guest quarters, it’s also my regular kick-back space.

Right now i am in the middle of converting the interior of my modest 130-year-old Victorian here in Santa Cruz. I grew up in the Netherlands and did quite a bit of traveling in the region. I decided to try for a farmhouse-feel interior. The 42 hand-hewn beams arrived from Pennsylvania a couple of years ago. I’m not rushing it. Half the fun is trying to figure it all out anyway.

Anyway Lloyd, thanks for responding, I’ve been a big fan of all your writings, from the get go!

Looking forward to saying hi next time you’re at Bookshop Santa Cruz, introducing your latest book!

–Rolf Pot
Santa Cruz

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