Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Better than Saint Paddy's

One of my last bastions of freedom is that late at night (after Krista goes to sleep) I go out to the backyard and pee off the deck. I used to invite the dog but there were too many close calls with where he pees from the ground and I pee from the deck (to make it look like he did it). He’s brown and therefore very hard to see in the dark. I get this fairly unfortunate trait from my father who was an unashamed deck and parking lot pee-er. Some days it’s the highlight of my day.

The car venture is my other freedom – being neither fish nor fowl in this married/adult stage of my life I know that I am getting away with bloody-blue-murder by attempting (and succeeding) at such a venture. None of Krista’s friends’ husbands are doing such things and I know, or know now, that conformity is important in these social circles. We husbands are just the larges pet in the household and no one wants the pet that leaves grease on the fixtures. I am very lucky each day I get away with this.

I was 16 the last time I was this deep into a car. The upside to being sixteen is that you have a lot of free time compared to now; although it doesn’t seem that way at the time. Being that I was somewhat of a late-bloomer socially, lived disgustingly far from town and had parents who started cocktail hour at 4pm I had even more time than the average teen.

The downside of being sixteen is that you have hardly any money or experience. I was lucky my dad was into cars and, for the most part, knew what he was talking about.

This TR6 project is going a lot better than my Road Runner did back in 1996. I know the fundamentals now and that it’s important to build out. Again, I have learned a lot but there are still things that I will do differently on my next venture – which might be the Road Runner again. My next project will be a media-blast/rotisserie project. Seeing what went into this one (and more importantly Krista seeing) it may be a while before that happens. But after this I’m going to want to step it up. I start my 30 hours of MIG at SAIT in two weeks and hope to get TIG under my belt in February so the skillset to tackle such a project is realistically within my scope.

But for now we still have a lot to go on this project – FOCUS!!

First and foremost on my mind is paint. I have gone back and forth on the paint issue for some time now. I’ve been getting some pressure to use one guy but the thought of using him has left me feeling uneasy. As much as I like him and know his worked I couldn’t buy into using him on this. I couldn’t sell it to me.

Since meeting Tony back in the spring and seeing the level of work he does I really wanted him on the job. What I like most is that Tony is a car guy. He’s currently doing a very tasteful resto-mod of a ’70 Blazer for himself, when he can – and unlike most guys – he’s making progress.

I’ve been over to his shop on three different occasions and every time I’ve been there we’ve had, at least, an hour conversations about cars he’s working on and their related stories. There are a lot of father and son stories in the naked bodyshop.

To that end I found myself in Tony’s shop last Saturday. I brought Bryan of best man and KC trip fame. I also brought a case of beer. I think Tony knew he was in for the hard sell when I came heavy.

We jawed for twenty minutes or so before I put it to him again that I wanted him to paint dad’s car. Again he said no – too busy.

We started to talk timelines and I let him know that it could happen as late as March as far as I was concerned. I have a windshield to pull and other tasks to keep me busy until then. I’m perfectly happy to have the car back in its little den for a bit as my cheque writing hand could use a couple months to recover from the summer.

Then Tony started to talk money – he wanted to see if I was full of crap. This has been a running theme throughout this project. For my sake those of you who are full of crap stop talking to mechanics and venders about the cars you’re “restoring”. It’s been an uphill battle all the way. Now that I’ve both signed some big cheques and been at the business end of a MIG I’m starting to finally get some respect. I threw out a ballpark figure and Tony switched gears and thought seriously for a moment.

“… and this car has never been re-painted before?”

“Nope… Never” – I showed him some pics on the camera again.

“I need her for two weeks,” he said as he walked over and wrote my name on the whiteboard in a box designated “March “.

Stay tuned….

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