Monday, December 28, 2009

This too is about the TR6

The best thing about living in these times is that the medium has finally caught up with the message.

The problem is that we listen to the wrong music, watch the wrong movies and read the wrong books. Bestowed with our IPods, Netflix and Kindles we can easily get all this manufactured music, forgettable movies and books recommended by Oprah. The right media is still out there but it’s not easily found or, more likely, its existence wasn’t passed on to all of us by those that came before us.

I was lucky.

Before my dad introduced me to cars he introduced me to music, great music.

It’s not a Sergio Leone flick, but “Pirate Radio” (“The Boat that Rock” in the UK) is coming out on DVD soon, if not already. The music in this movie is a great jumping off point to understand the spirit of this project.

I’ll see you in the New Year.

Stay Tuned…

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Collapsed Rings, Yay!

I got another call from Mike. It looks like the motor is in good shape. Not great shape but good shape. All that was wrong with it was that it had collapsed rings on two pistons. Mike said that at the time it was parked the car would have been blowing a tonne of black smoke as the oil would be directly exposed to two combustion chambers. If it had been run long enough it might have started knocking also.

I think this is good news but it has been met with mixed feelings. I, myself, am glad to get the news being that I have to live in the now. As much as it would have been nice for dad to have figured this out and fixed it in '81 this news bodes well for the restoration. It has a direct effect on the bottom line. My other argument is that if it had been fixed then the car might not be in our possession any more. It would be very appealing to sell a running TR because it was impractical to transport two or more kids around in.

The reality is that in 1981 dad had just exited a business venture on less then great terms and was trying to make a go of another one. He also had two sons for which he had to provide. Times were tight. I am thankful he had the presence of mind to hang on to the car.

I find it strange that that period is very similar to what's happening now. Currently I am going through my own period of financial woes. It has been a slow year and, lately, it's been stressful for me and my fiancée Krista - I can't imagine what it would be like if we had to provide for two kids also.

The good news about the engine comes just as it appeared the darkness had settled in. I am expediently more invigorated then a week ago.

An inspection of Dad's car by Donald, the guy who bought the red car, has me thinking seriously about replacing at least three of the four fenders on the car. The thought of putting a whole bunch of bondo into the brow and trailing edge of the fenders makes me cringe. Add that to the rusted out outer rockers and we're north of 2000 dollars on panels alone. That really brings the unemployment issue into focus.

My inspiration is that Dad pulled through even with two more kids, bringing his total to four in a fairly dire economy. I too will pull through. If the car needs three fenders it will get three fenders - I can make it happen.

It's Christmas on Friday. It's the second one since dad passed. It's bitter sweet that Christmas will be a little easier than last year. I'm looking forward to being around the family.

Merry Christmas… Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Crash Pad Week

In an attempt to be one with the web 2.0 I'm drafting this week's blog on Google Docs. It certainly keeps my desktop a bit cleaner.

Last week was a disaster, and all my fault. In a rush to get into this project I have made some poor decisions (I’m going to keep saying that until it sinks in). Not the least of which was buying the KC car. This is Angus unchaperoned – not pretty. It's harder because I'm half of a team now. Dad used to keep me in check when I was careening towards the deep end. Anyone hear a giant splash last week?

The part of last week's disaster that wasn't born of bad decisions was born of bad luck. Bad luck and bad decisions seem to go hand and hand.

I believe the engine is OK. I spoke with Al at Mike's shop, and although Al seems to have the bedside manner of an oncologist, he sounded guardedly optimistic about the condition of the engine. At least it seems the split crate didn't make anything worse.

I have to send Mike and the gang some money this week. Hopefully that will bring more answers... money usually has that effect.

Today I received the new crash pad (think dash) for dad's car. I bought it on Ebay. It's by the same manufacturer for the ones on The Roadster Factory's website. It was 30 dollars cheaper than the one from TRF. Thank Jebus for small mercies.

Speaking of Jebus; I, against my will and better judgment, attended an adult-type Christmas party on Saturday (Saturday is a car day, so doubly bad). At one point, when it seems now I should have gone left and went right, I got trapped in a conversation with an overly-gregarious-religious-type. To make matters worse this dude had some insider info that I was doing this project. For the next twenty minutes I was on the receiving of a lot of free advice. I wouldn't have minded as much but it was rather obvious that this fellow's knowledge about cars included everything that could be clicked on. His hands had never been dirty.

I don’t suffer gentlemen car guys gladly.

I’m still sporting the deep wound in my left palm from where the metal head gasket went into it two weeks ago. Money is leaking out of me like I have a coke habit and I still don't have all the answers on the engine let alone the deep bowels of the car's body. He, a bible humpin' "car guy" and his account is not in my world. This was torture and possibly punishment from the car gods for my overlooking dad’s motor.

"So tell me about your missions to China?" I rather get assaulted spiritually then automotively. In the end I medicated and ultimately survived.

The weather has slowed things down its -38 at the acreage. I did visit dad's car on Sunday. I stared at it for an hour, sprayed some degreaser in some spots in the engine bay and lamented over the long road ahead. It was obvious that the next step is to clean everything to see what is what. The good news is that Krista (the fiancée) and I are there over the holiday. She's gets to put her money where her mouth is and get her hands dirty. She's excited.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The William Wallace of Cars

The purchase of the Red Car was ill-advised. But since I wasn`t taking anyone`s advice back then it’s no one`s fault but my own. It was the product of me trying to make a bold statement that I`m serious about this venture. It was the war dance that precedes the battle.

The red car sold on EBay yesterday for fair market value – must be - the market determined it. It was enough but not as much as I wanted and not as much as I paid. It was enough to keep the project moving forward – and cash flow is important to a project like this.

132 people of the internet watched that car sell according to EBay. I considered pulling the car Sunday night, but close to my goal and with 132 watchers, I thought for sure there were some bidders tucked away in there. The final ten minutes of the auction was like the end of Brave Heart: All those watchers and nothing happened.

But that’s the end of that. The red car has been good to us – if not as a parts car but as an analog of what dad`s car should be like when it`s done. And for those who are thinking it I will speak to it: I got ``Anga-sized``.

In other news: I got the call that the motor for dad`s car has arrived in Kelowna. Apparently the pallet split open and the engine tipped at the delivery depot. Mike has gone down to investigate.

It`s starting to seem that this apprehension and fear will be with me throughout this project.

Stay tuned…