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Hello from Austria


New Member
Hi there.
Here are a few facts about me. My name is Harry Martin. I am 56 years old and a physician (retired).
I was born in Wiesbaden, Germany and lived there until 2003, when my wife Margarete and I moved here to Austria. The little town of Rechnitz has about 3000 citizens. It is located right at the boder to Hungaria. It can easily be found on Google Maps in case anyone wants to do so.
Many especially older Americans might have heard of Wiesbaden, because until 1976
the U.S.Air Force Headquarters in Europe was installed here. "Wiesbaden Airbase" is now named Wiesbaden Army Airfield and home of the 1st Armored Division Headquarters (whatever that means).
Way back then there were a lot of interesting aircraft to be observed (for a boy at least) and there also were some airshows on Armed Forces Day (I am not sure whether this was actually the term).
The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the "Thunderbirds", were my heroes. They flew the F-100 Super Sabre in the 60s.
The retired General Merrill McPeak (former Chief of Staff, U.S.Air Force) was a member then. (I sent an e-mail to him last year reminding him to this time an telling how impressed I had been and received a very kind reply).
Now from the air to the ground.
Of course all these Americans drove "phantastic" cars in the 50s and 60s. One of the first words I was able to read was "Oldsmobile", written in three dimensional letters on the front bumper of a light blue '55. I guess every (American)-car enthusiast knows this bumper bar, even if he/she is not "in Olds".
In the 70s I began reading Hot Rod Magazine. And although T-Buckets never received their deserved covering I personally consider them the "most real" hot rods the most basic ones anyway.
Nevertheless such a design is not street legal in Germany nor Austria (or any other European country as far as I know).
So I never tried to buy or construct one. What I actually purchased was a you guess? Yes, a '55 Oldsmobile 88 2-door. It just happened that such a car was driven by the wife of an American Senior Masterseargent. It was badly neglected. I had no high expedtations in this project but started just disessambling, cleaning, derusting, welding, painting, changing parts (I even managed to buy a used engine from an old gentleman in Marietta, Ohio. The worst part financially were the shipping costs of course). I did this because some piston skirts of the original engine were cracked (the engine ran fine though).
The car came together again but lacked a good windshield (the original was pittet badly) and the main chrome parts, i.e. all of the bumper elements.
I sold the car to a friend in 2000.
All in all I had a lot of fun and severe work with this car. But what might be even more important: I got in touch with a lot of people over the Oldsmobile Club of America.
Later I joined Late Great Chevies. I like the '59 (do I hear say somebody "ouch!!"?) and made friends also here (I never got a '59 though).
Now, I will make a halt here.
Until next time
Welcome Harryy. Actually there are T-buckets in Europe. We have members here from England, Scotland and Sweden and maybe some other countries. Is the TUV in Austria as strict as it is in Germany? I don't think the T frame would stand up to the testing. There is a young member in Sweden, Johan (screen name Ovlov) who is building a T bucket using a Volvo chassis.

I spent some time in Wiesbaden in the mid-80s. The air base was no longer there but Lindsay Air Station was still active. I spent a week there for a conference. While there a group of us took a Rhein river cruise. I returned to Germany the following year for another conference at Ramstein AB.

I was also fortunate to spend 4 years at Tempelhof Central Airport in West Berlin from 1977-1981. It was a fantastic city back then with all of the intrugue of a spy novel. The nightlife was great. I didn't want to leave but the Air force wouldn't let me stay longer. (I returned to the states and then went to England from 1984 until 1988 when I retired. It was while I was in England that I attended the conferences in Germany.)

I was married when I was in Berlin with two small boys. While most Americans I knew were taking their holidays in the winter to go skiing in Garmisch and Kitzbuhel we spent our summers in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Oberamergau and Fussen and toured Tyrol and Bayern including several trips to Innsbruck. We never made it to your part of Oestereich however.

I loved the food, the bier and the mountains. I would like to go back someday to revisit the places I saw when I was there. Steve

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