My name is John. It's been 15 years since my last teardrop..

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My name is John. It's been 15 years since my last teardrop..

Postby Thawley » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:58 pm

Noobie Bio – short version:
Built a Benroy clone in 1996. Wife and I took it to the 3rd Dam Gathering on our honeymoon. Then we bought a house. Got a dog. Had a kid. And sold the teardrop.

Now I want another teardrop.

Noobie Bio – extended tongue version:
I'm a racer, car guy and used-to-be Bonneville regular. One year (1995?) I was grimy, sweaty and grumpy getting my tent up in the hot sun. And up pulled Dan Hostetter (?) with his Li'l Bear TD. He got out, unfolded a beach chair and opened a beer. I looked at my tent and thought 'never again'.

So Dan befriended me and showed me around his teardrop. He told me about Grant Whipp, the Tails & Trails newsletter and about the Dam Gathering. Once home from Bonneville, my then girlfriend, proved herself worthy by listening enthusiastically (or faking it well) as I yammered on and on about Dan's teardrop and how I HAD to built one.

I was soon out of town for a couple weeks helping my best friend wire his house. One night Sharon called and said she'd found a fixer-upper teardrop nearby for $150 that had a sink in the fender. No digital cameras or email in our lives then, so I put my faith in Sharon's judgment and bought it over the phone. This is what I came home to...

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The plan was to restore it. But the day I saw my first Benroy was the day I lost all interest in the trailer design I had. I kept the frame and suspension. The rest found it's way to a dumpster. Over the coming months I bought my first jig-saw. My first circular saw. And my first router.

Somewhere around then I also bought an original Benroy. It too was pretty hammered. Pretty sure I sold it to Dave Lock so if he's on here, maybe he can add detail here to what I've forgotten. But that Benroy stayed around only long enough for me to take measurements and copy design details. In hindsight, I wish I'd kept it until I finished building the other one. There were many many things I'd overlooked or assumed would be "no big deal" as I got closer to finishing the new one.

Thru all of this, Sharon and I were dating and very in love. We'd met in April and got engaged around Thanksgiving. I had no garage to work in up to then. A friend owned a 1200sqft condo with 2-car garage which had just become vacant, so I pulled the trigger to move. In fact, my proposal to Sharon took place during a "picnic" on the freshly carpeted bedroom floor of the empty condo a few days before I moved in. This trivia is helping me remember the timeline...
• Teardrop construction (and Benroy flipping) occurred after Thanksgiving 1995
• Sharon and I were married April 20th, 1996.
• We spent the second week of our honeymoon* at the 3rd Damn Gathering of the Tears

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Everyone at our "redneck reception" was awesome. Brad Romane took (and mailed us) some great photos. I finally met Bob(?) Audette and Grant Whipp both of whom had been so helpful over the phone during my build. Some lovely lady even gave us a toaster as a wedding gift!

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We traveled around California in the TD for a few years and had a blast with it as newlyweds. But my newly acquired woodworking skills were soon consumed by another project – out first house. Sharon layed down the law ealry in our condo-days, that I would be allowed a dog only AFTER we owned a home. So Trudy arrived shortly after. She was shortly followed by our first & only child Grace, who is now nearly 12.

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In all of this lifebuilding stuff, the teardrop was being neglected. Too many body's and to little room led to me finally selling it. In the time that's passed, my 91 Honda Civic tow car had become a road race car. I had a 24' enclosed trailer for that (now sold) and had been going to Bonneville as a driver, part of a friend's team, staying in hotels. (And getting my 200MPH club hat!)

But things are settling down now. Family is my hobby. We've been camping more. And we're ready for another teardrop. So here I am, lurking and learning until I sort out The Build in my head enough to start it. Hope to attend a few gatherings in the mean time.

Thanks for having me here on this great web site. All the spirit, camaraderie and helpfulness Sharon and I experienced 16 years ago is alive and well here online. Somethings never change. Amen to that.

– John Thawley
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Postby gregp136 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:38 pm

Thank you for the great story.

Greg(and Laurie)
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Postby asianflava » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:45 pm

Nice EF, I just had a minor ordeal with mine a few weeks ago.

http://tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=45511

I don't tow with it, as I use my truck. Interesting story.
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Postby Thawley » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:00 pm

asianflava wrote:Nice EF, I just had a minor ordeal with mine a few weeks ago.

Sorry to hear it. Mine has been without question the best car I've ever owned. I'm the original owner, clocked nearly 300K miles on the stock drivetrain and still have it as a NASA H2 Honda Challenge car (currently on jackstands). If I could buy the same car new today in stock form, I wouldn't hesitate for a second. Here are a few shots from it's glory days...

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Postby asianflava » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:14 pm

Thawley wrote: If I could buy the same car new today in stock form, I wouldn't hesitate for a second.


I did!

Sorry for the minor hijack, I found a similar car in remarkably great shape, and I got it cheap! We jumped on it, now it lives in the garage and the EF got the boot to the driveway. Totally stock, unmolested 91 CRX Si 117K. Seats were unripped, never been wrecked, a garage kept survivor came with OEM armrest, OEM floormats, and OEM bra $1500

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Postby Thawley » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:59 pm

I'm envious. That's bitchen.
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Postby teardrop_focus » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:11 am

Welcome, John! Jeeze, this is wonderful! Great story too.

Really glad that you're back and planning another teardrop.

:thumbsup:
.
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"There is something about these little trailers that brings out the best in people." - BigAl, Scotland, 2010

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees...
The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away like autumn leaves..." - John Muir, 1898


Chris Squier / teardrop_focus :-)~
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Postby rbeemer » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:50 pm

Now it has been proved there is no cure for this disease. You leave, sell the trailer then years later the disease pops up and now your compelled again to build another.

What will we do!!! It seems that even going cold turkey does not cure the disease. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Welcome back
Rick

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Postby Gage » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:33 pm

Hello John, I finnaly answered your PM. Hope to see you down there at Woods Valley. :thumbsup:
Hey Chris, you and Tanya going to make it down to Woods Valley on the 16th?
;)
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Remember 'Teardrop Time'.......Take your time, you don't have to have it finished NOW.
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Postby teardrop_focus » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:50 pm

Yes. Looking forward to it!

Makin reservation this week.

:thumbsup:
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"There is something about these little trailers that brings out the best in people." - BigAl, Scotland, 2010

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees...
The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away like autumn leaves..." - John Muir, 1898


Chris Squier / teardrop_focus :-)~
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Postby Oldragbaggers » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:25 am

Welcome John and Sharon,

Loved your story. Can't wait to see your build journal.

Becky
Life is sooooo good.........
Sail...camp....bike...repeat
Becky

Build Journal http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=45917
Visit our blog at http://www.oldragbaggers.com
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Postby Thawley » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:22 pm

Oldragbaggers wrote:Can't wait to see your build journal.

Ha – me too.
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Postby teardrop_focus » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:42 am

Can't wait to see your build journal.


Me either!

:R
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"There is something about these little trailers that brings out the best in people." - BigAl, Scotland, 2010

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees...
The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away like autumn leaves..." - John Muir, 1898


Chris Squier / teardrop_focus :-)~
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Postby Shadow Catcher » Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:56 am

Thanks for sharing your story it will be interesting to see what you come up with.
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