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Life lessons taught by tiny English Hot Rods

Illustration for article titled Life lessons taught by tiny English Hot Rods

This pair of beauties belongs to the Green brothers, both long-time BC Hot Rod Association members. One has 3,000kms on the clock, the other has 40,000kms. There’s a reason for this, and one you should pay attention to.

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Illustration for article titled Life lessons taught by tiny English Hot Rods

I met the Green brothers via an email introduction suggesting a story; both were retired, so setting time up for an interview wouldn’t be an issue. “I believe this one has special merit,” the text read, “And, unfortunately, some urgency.” Some video footage and a longer interview below.

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Time running out. That’s enough to send a chill up your spine when you realize you’re talking about guys the same age as your parents. Eric Green, who everyone calls Rick, is bound to wheelchair and living room by a muscle-wasting disease that came on suddenly. He hasn’t been down in his own garage in six months. We get him out there, next to his 1948 V6-powered Ford Anglia, out amongst tools worn by the work of his hands.

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Illustration for article titled Life lessons taught by tiny English Hot Rods

He’s a quiet man, Rick. His brother Ken is a little more bumptious, a little fireplug of a guy with a supercharged Morris 8. It’s got the same running gear as Rick’s resto-mod, but where the latter is subtle and reserved, the former is bombastic. The two cars contrast like the brothers do.

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I’ve always liked when customized cars tend to reflect their owners’ personalities, and here the dichotomy is clearly evident. Also, Rick’s garage is still a place where work gets done - his son has a Mazda Familia GT-R over in one corner, getting prepped for more vigorous autocross duty. The whole Green extended family has an affinity and an obsession for cars, and most are fervent BCHRA members.

Illustration for article titled Life lessons taught by tiny English Hot Rods
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But here’s Rick’s car with less than a tenth of the mileage his brother’s has. They both took around the same time to complete, they were both started and finished close to each other. They’ve shown the cars together, and they’ve been driven to local cruises once in a while.

Illustration for article titled Life lessons taught by tiny English Hot Rods
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One got the chance to enjoy his retirement dream, and one had that chance snatched away. Rick is a quiet, kind, retiring man; Ken calls him, “A gentle man, and a gentleman.” He sits on his walker, reflecting, staring around at the place where he spent so many hours creating, crafting, shaping steel and welding things together.

Illustration for article titled Life lessons taught by tiny English Hot Rods
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Stories like this, you go home, sit down, and take a long, hard look at your life. Somewhere, out there, there’s a chequered flag waiting for all of us. What do you want to do before it calls you in?

www.brendanmcaleer.ca

@brendan_mcaleer

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