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Posted By: Dick Johnson
Posted On: Monday December 3, 2018 at 11:49 AM
Referring back to post 39663 by George Schire,

The Bat a 1940 Buick Super WWII army tank surplus rear vision mirrors and they worked very well.

As a young man I followed the custom car culture of the day with great interest, I enjoyed seeing all the different custom ideas being built. I always went to the local liquor store down at the corner to see the latest custom car magazines every month. I was a junior at Hoover Sr Hi in San Diego when I first saw this radical custom 1940 Buick Super in person.
I was always a very shy kid and having Rheumatic fever at age seven I was not able to play sports or get involved in other physical activities so my only interest was cars, cars and more cars. All shapes and sizes.
There is a real story about this Buick custom that I have shared here before some time ago.
I was blessed to be able to drive this custom Buick to our senior hi car show in 1961 and date my girl friend in it by going to Oscars Drive In just down ElCajon Blvd from Hoover because the owner and builder Frank Boyle was so very king and generous and he became my very best friend for life.
Over the years I drove this custom as often as I could and yes I loved the attention it did get. Like I said I was a very shy guy and didn't like to be the center of attention ever.
But I wasn't looking for attention for myself but for the man who put his heart and soul into building this custom and I welcomed every bit of the attention it got.
My father-in -law was a pastor and when I took he and my mother-in-law for a ride in it he said he couldn't stand the attention we were getting and wondered how I could. I just told him the attention was for the owner and builder and for a great custom.
One example of that attention was when I lived in Garden Grove, California and worked at Disneyland I drove the Bat, what it was known by, to the city of Orange. I stopped at a red light that was right in front of the police station. The officers saw The Bat and came out and circled around it and took pictures and made several comments about how great it was all the while holding up traffic through Three signal changes.
Another time while I was driving The Bat from California to Portland, Oregon, I was going along about 70 MPH in central California and listening to the wonderful sound of the straight eight and duel exhaust just purring when out of the blue there was a loud speaker right next to me from a CHP and he said "that sure is a great car you have there". There was a wet spot on the seat from that.
I have always loved this custom and wish I still had it today. It is in Germany being restored after serving Frank and I well for over 300,000 miles on the clock. Frank was my dads age and he treated me like his own son, he never had any kids of his own but did have with his awesome wife Vel.
I have always liked the cars that were rejected or not welcome by the public and as a young man went for cars like Bantams, Crosley's and Edsel's and of course the beautiful Citroen.
So I guess you could say that I really did love the attention but being of the rebellious type I wanted to show others that I was just very different and that all cars are great in one way or another.
So this is my story and I hope you enjoy it.

Frank Boyle who built The Bat

before and after 1940 Buick Super, 1955

before and after 1940 Buick Super, 1955

My favorite view of The Bat. Note the licence plate.

My first wife and daughter in front of a restaurant I had worked at years before. This was in Roseburg ,Oregon this was taken in 1987. At this point The Bat had over 300K and still running strong with the built up original straight eight engine.

trunk opens.

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Message thread:

Referring back to post 39663 by George Schire, by Dick Johnson #39680
Fascinating story - much appreciated (EOM) by John Roberts #39680.1
Dick, I love your story and what it meant to you. And the car is cool as heck. Thank you for by George Schire #39680.2
Great story, Dick. And the pictures are really special. Many thanks! (EOM) by David Holcombe #39680.3
Wonderful story and pictures ! What a cool car. (EOM) by Mike DeTorrice #39680.4
Great story and car. Some of us are passionate about our cars while others view their vehicles..... by John Bono #39680.5
Dick, you keep coming up with these amazing personal anecdotes. You had some great experiences. (EOM) by Frank Kocour #39680.6
Great story Dick - the 1987 pix looks like you found your mojo kind of by Ron Dietrich #39680.7

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