We have weathered another presidential election, although our financial institutions seem to have taken a pretty good licking; like they didn't see it comin'. Major elections occur once every four years and these endeavors are a form of political Olympics, or as I like to think, a social enema. It is the intention of every new administration (and the current is no exception) that new change will make us, our country, and the world a better place. Time will tell, but not being one who enjoys cooling his heels, I am all for getting out there and making matters better with the help of other rodders to have some good ol' hot rod fun.
For starters, I have several projects in the garage that are in desperate need of my attention. It has been months and months since anything has happened on my '31 roadster pickup and that has got to change, since I would really like to be driving it by end of summer '09.
The first revelation is I can't find any number of parts and pieces, most notably the Vega steering box; doesn't it drive you nuts when you know you have a part for your car somewhere in the garage, but no luck in finding it? The other, more frustrating reality is you have a part, but it just isn't the right part. For instance, my roadster pickup uses a stock firewall, but somehow I managed to round up a toeboard intended for a recessed firewall. It's frustrating matters such as these that will drive me crazy, add weeks if not months to a project, and invariably cost me money I neither have nor thought I needed to spend. That's my roadster pickup. Of course, if your projects are anything like mine, the best-laid plans will always need to be revamped, renewed, and revisited several times before anything truly happens.
Then there is the '47 Chevy pickup I have wanted to finish up for years, and I am even further behind on this project than I would care to admit. This was to be my daily driver. Pickup trucks make great magazine guy work vehicles; they can carry lots of equipment and miscellaneous parts while allowing you to ride in a tolerable level of comfort. That's when they are running. Right now my pickup has managed to "weld" itself to a section of garage floor. I do have a surprising number of the parts and pieces, but once again finding them and confirming they are the right components has been the challenge. I am sure I can't be the only guy with two engines who can't seem to gather enough goodies to make either one fit. Now that's just poor planning, but somewhere in the garage there must be a starter, flywheel, headers, and a few nuts and bolts to make all of this happen.
However, the most embarrassing of all my projects is a '72 GMC Suburban. Mechanically it has been renovated from frontend to rearend, visually upgraded from bumper-to-bumper, and inside it is everything you would want in a big truck-comfortable seating, 10-disc CD changer, lots of insulation to make it both quiet and cooled (or warmed) just right. It has lots of gauges to ogle at while sitting back adjusting the tilt column to one's liking. It truly is a road cruiser...if I ever get it back on the road running. There is oil in the engine, fluid in the tranny, power steering, and rearend, water in the radiator, and all the wiring is in place; heck there is even a good battery. What's the holdup? Well, turns out there are about two dozen small items, mostly bolting things back into place that I just can't seem to find the time to do. Of course, it has only been seven years since I started, but darn it, sure would be nice to drive it.
I don't plan on quitting any of my projects, but time is another demon that I must learn to negotiate. I realize time is a devil for all of us. We have limited amounts of time, we must organize the time and what we want to do in that space, and then actually use the time correctly. However, it seems every time I think I have time it turns out someone, something, or some whatever gets in the way and gobbles it up.
You don't even want to ask when I last spent an afternoon polishing my '29 highboy. Even though this car runs and runs well, there is always the plethora of maintenance to be done-both the mechanical and the aesthetic kind. Right now my wheels could use a good polishing; good luck, that isn't going to happen anytime soon. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to change the oil and check the air in the tires, but that's going to have to wait.
I have a great garage to work in, but somehow it has managed to become filled with stuff. I am not even sure who owns the stuff, much less what it is. Both mine and my wife's daily drivers sit outside, even though the garage measures close to 1,000 square feet. I have accumulated stuff that I am sure I have no need for, but since much of it I can't get to, I ignore it, and this pile appears to be growing.
Oh well, someday I will get around to cleaning my roadster, finishing off the roadster pickup, fine-tuning the Suburban, and I might even find myself driving to work in my Chevy pickup. But in the meantime I will just try and have fun this summer, because even though it is still winter the tell-tale signs are there that this is going to be a hot one!