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Cool things come in small packages

August 4, 2011
By J.T. Whitehouse
A common site at Cars in the Park or the Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club’s Tuesday night cruises at Chick-fil-A in Boardman is nine-year-old Jay Green in his miniature one-of-a-kind hot rod. The young car enthusiast has a grandfather who is making his dreams come true.

The diminutive hot rod actually began when retired truck driver Larry Green of Boardman was visiting a friend’s shop. The friend was cleaning up and wanted to get rid of the miniature car that had been sitting outside in the weather. The vehicle was built roughly 40 years ago, and although it had a good metal frame under it, the body was made of wood, which had rotted and was in sad shape.

When Larry was offered the little car, he was thinking of his grandson Jay, who loved going to car shows and seeing old cars. Larry has been a member of the MVOCC for the past 15 years and has a beautifully restored 1966 Ford Fairlane convertible.

“When I got the car, it had a rotted wooden body and no motor,” Larry said. “It did have a good frame, however.”

He went to work on the machine along with his grandson. The two stripped the old body off the frame and built a new wooden body. For power, Larry added a 12 horsepower Briggs and Stratton garden tractor engine along with the transmission.

Other improvements included disc brakes, full lighting front and rear, and a Ford emblem on the crafted radiator housing.

The front wheels are from the original car and resemble miniature Crager mag-style wheels. Larry has no idea where they came from, but he did manage to find new tires to mount on them. For the rear, he used garden tractor wheels and tires.

“We painted (the body) and wired the lights, and set out to show it at our local car cruise,” Larry said.

The little yellow car does turn heads, but even more impressive is the owner, young Jay. When he gets in the car to move it, he is very cautious, carefully putting the gear into reverse and making sure no one is around. In fact, Larry has his grandson handle it when coming off the trailer and going back on.

When the car is sitting idle, none had better get too close. Young Jay is sure to be close by and won’t hesitate to say, “Hands off.”

The car made its debut in the Cars in the Park in 2010. Larry said Jay will be registering it again for this year at Sunday’s event, but it will look a little different than last year.

“We installed an 1950’s Buick hood ornament on it for this year,” Larry said. “We also added some upholstery.”

He said the car will be at the show, and he will continue to take it to the cruises.

“As long as Jay is still interested, we’ll be taking it to the shows,” he said. “We did win a Chick-fil-A award with it this year.”

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Jay Green, 9, of Boardman, is careful when backing up his 40-year-old restored miniature version of a street rod. Along with his grandfather, Larry Green, the young car buff will be again entering Cars in the Park at Boardman Park on Sunday.



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