Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Better Part of Valor is Discretion

Properly quoting Mr. Shakespeare, the title of this post describes my latest decision to pass on buying an EM convertible. While I now have the confidence, equipment, and skills (marginally) to tackle a rusted body, I’m not sure I want to. Here’s the story. Loyal readers may remember that Mikhaila (daughter #4) has chosen an early model convertible as her father-daughter car. Her original choice was a Corvair truck (Rampside/Loadside), but her mother and I vetoed that idea since putting a brand new driver behind the wheel of vehicle with no crumple zone is too risky. Yes, yes, just putting her (or any of the daughters) behind the wheel of any forty-plus year old vehicle is risky, but there’s no way I can afford a Hummer with two dozen airbags for each of them. But I digress.

Since the EM ‘vert was her second choice, I’ve been occasionally scanning the web for suitable candidates. To us “suitable candidate” means solid and cheap. Sadly, those two rarely go together. I have been blessed a few times in the past, so patience is the key. A few days back, I was sent a link from a local guy who, ironically, is into ‘vair vans and trucks. The link was to a van for sale in the Blacksburg, VA craigslist. I followed the link and noticed there was also a photo-less listing for a ’63 convertible for only $500. I gave the seller a call and was rewarded with a nice conversation with his side being conducted in that wonderful southern Virginia accent I so miss. He shared that the floors would need replacing, but that mostly the car was solid and ready for a restoration. After getting off the phone, I sent my daughter and son-in-law a text asking they’d be willing to drive out to the country to take some pictures of the car. They agreed and last Saturday they travelled to Floyd and, after spending some time talking and taking pictures, Brianna called me and described the car. She agreed the floors were gone and said she’d taken pictures of some other rusty locations on the body. I eagerly opened the attachments to her e-mail yesterday, and she’d done a good job capturing the car’s condition. Sadly, it appears the tin-worm has taken up residence in the all-important rocker panels.
I’d love to roadify this car with Mikhaila, but having just gone through floor and rocker replacement with Ringo, I’m not enthused to sign up for it again so soon. However, because Clark’s carries all the metal I’d need to make this car whole again, I’ll keep the guy’s number handy in case nothing else shows up in the next six months or so. I may even go for a drive and check the car out during one of our visits with Brianna and Nich.

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