Its Wednesday 2:00 in the morning the day before we gather for remembering Jim, the noises of the night wake me.
I have a headache and my mind starts to wonder.
My thoughts travel down memory lane of a storied past of Hot Rodding.
I reflect on all the stories Jim has told me about his working on the farms in Indiana and his roots in the Hot Rod culture.
This particular story has me and Jim on a road trip from Lakeland Fl to Yulee FL.
The morning starts out early as we trek down I-4, Jim’s on the phone and I’m working the ZF 6 speed listening to the C4 LT1 Corvettes Corsa exhaust howl as I keep the RPM’s up.
Traffic is heavy but I still want to have a little fun so I’m working the gears revving her high trying not to speed through downtown Orlando.
The curves are tight and fear of the man is ever present.
As I increase the intensity of my driving I keep an eye on Jim seeing if he is bothered, he never flinches so I have my fun.
The Corvette is at home as I am never close to the cars limit; I drive her hard for this morning may be the last morning I will ever drive her again.
We stop for gas outside of Yulee and Jim states, boy you where driving it this morning.
We both smile and talk about how good the car sounded at higher RPM as I would hold it to the floor for short spurts grabbing the next gear.
We arrive at our destiny hours after our morning began to look at a 1969 Firebird.
This story is how the Trans Am X began.
I drove the distance and asked Jim to accompany me for I am about to trade my 1995 Corvette for a 1969 Firebird, I need Jim’s expert eye and his valued opinion on the Firebird.
Joseph the owner of the Firebird and I size up each other’s car; while I take Joseph for a ride I ask Jim would he inspect the Firebird while we are gone.
After several hours we swap titles and off we drive in a “new” slightly worn 1969 Firebird.
We stop for a steak dinner in celebration of the new Muscle Car we are now road tripping in.
We fill up the Firebird with high-test and we hit I-95 south, its dark and I have a death grip on the steering wheel nervous as I drive.
I fire up the fat cigar and Jim knows from an earlier conversation that morning “the fat lady has sang”
Jim and I laugh and talk of what ever comes to mind as I loosen my grip on the wheel and stoke the stogie.
We hear spark knock from the motor and Jim states he smelled race gas in the car when we examined it earlier in the day.
I keep the bird around 65MPH and Jim drifts off to sleep, I try to watch my driving staying off the bumps as not wake him.
After a long day where back in Lakeland FL and I slide Jim some appreciation as I did take him a way from work for the day.
Another great car story for the books; I will never forget that day or the man who shared it with me.
As I reflect this morning on the loss of a friend who has touched so many, I remember the gentle man he was.
Jim was a people person and great at it, we all learn from watching others in life from a child into adulthood.
We emulate the ones we love and we are molded into men and women from all the greats in life.
Jim was one of the greats, many times I watched him over the years (where I would have blown my top) Jim was cool and kind.
Jim Brooks will never be forgotten.
If you have a great friend or some one you admire, let them know.
Life is snapped away without warning at times but the greats live on in us and through us.
Jim you will be missed!
Very nice tribute. I'm sorry for your loss.
great tribute, love to see any pictures you have and thanks for sharing. My motto is live a life worth remembering and it sound like Jim did too.
Well I have known Jim for just a few years now. But I always remember seeing him working on cars at his shop before I knew who he was. I would drive by there going to my girlfriends house now my wife. Anytime we needed help or advise on cars he would always be glad to help. He always did have great stories about cars too I always thought it was very cool that him and his son ran the shop together. I think that is something most car guys would love to have had. He will greatly be missed.