Monday, November 12, 2012

She Likes It, She Really Likes It

Saturday morning I drug Mikhaila out of bed, fed her breakfast, and then drove her thirty miles south to see if a 1964 Corvair Monza 4-door Sedan would strum her heart strings. Once we arrived at the garage where my buddy, Dave, was waiting for us, we had to move the car out from the corner where it had sat undisturbed since the 80s. After Mikhaila got a good look at the exterior with its unique overhanging rear roof and the interior with its red vinyl bucket seats in front and folded-down bench in back, she was sold. Dave then took us on a tour of the attic of this garage where Mikhaila spied a pink door and matching hood. “It’s off one of the Packards,” Dave told her. He then asked her, “wouldn’t pink and gray look good on the 4-door?” She agreed, and now I’m trying to figure out how we’ll be able to make pink and greay work with the oxblood red interior. Looks like there may be some vinyl dying and interior painting in our future.

Thrown in with the deal is the back portion of a Lakewood and some EM sheetmetal to fix the right front collision damage on the 4-door. That damage, by the way, was far less than I’d anticipated, but it will require replacing a good portion of the right front fender.

Until Mikhaila provides a suitable name, this new addition to the fleet will be called TwoTone. Now we just need to borrow a trailer (hello Jonathan) and find a Saturday or Sunday when we’re all available.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Fleet is Pared Down Again – Possibly Temporarily

What a roller-coaster. This year has been rather tumultuous with the acquisition of Phil’s Corvair collection, and the subsequent dispersal of all but one of the five cars. The last one, YellowVert, was trailered off by her new owner Wednesday. A much better demise for a savable car than the alternative – a tow trip to the Corvair Ranch. I did, however, have to throw in the blue seats to close the deal. The buyer was scared by some rot he'd not seen in the picture. He ended up with a great deal, and now I don't need to deal with trying to sell them.

Now that I’ve got the fleet pared down, is it time to add another one? Mikhaila’s been struggling with which Corvair model will be our father-daughter project. She’s expressed a fondness for the four-door earlies, so we’ll be checking out one tomorrow morning. It’s owned by a buddy of mine at work, and has been sitting in his dad’s garage since at least the 80s. It’s a ’64 Monza, black with a white top (cool two-tone) and a red interior. While it needs some bodywork where the front end was rearranged in a collision, the car is extremely rust-free. Something I’ve not had the luxury of experiencing in the fleet since Heidi was drug out of a garage and into our lives. I hope she likes it, but, more importantly, I pray she loves it enough to tolerate working nights and weekends with her old man so it can be hers.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Too Busy to Blog

When last I posted the lovely Loriann’s daily-driver was out of commission and the wobble-fronted Suburban had been pressed into service as her mode of transportation. That’s been resolved. The Cruiser is back on the road with a new timing belt, water pump, tensioner, and idler and the Suburban is now my daily-driver instead of Heidi.

With the Cruiser work completed, Lucy’s back in the garage awaiting floor patches. I’ve been familiarizing myself with my new MIG welder. One of the jobs I used it for was repairing my drill press’s table. I’d broken it when I was using it as a press for assembling Ringo’s Powerglide transmission. Cast iron, which the table is, does not like to be welded, so I’ll need to take it easy on the table – no more using it as a press.

Here’s the latest from the rest of the fleet.

Heidi – Other than the defroster cable recently breaking, she’s behaving admirably.

Ringo – Broke a fan belt on Ariel’s drive home from work last night. Fortunately, she was nearing the house at the time, so it was a short drive to get to the car and swap in a replacement. I still need to keep a closer watch on that engine’s propensity to eat belts.

Luna – Started right up when it was time to park her in the garage during hurricane Sandy’s visit to our neighborhood. She behaved once again when it was time to move her back into the driveway. She’s now got two layers of tarp tied tightly over her. This will have to do until Lucy leaves the garage.

Glinda – Has developed a new noise emanating from the engine area. I think it’s developing an exhaust leak, but I can’t pinpoint the origin. I asked Victoria to make sure her CO detector was properly functioning and to let me know if the sound’s intensity increases. The only other attention she demanded was tweaking the left rear taillight/brakelight socket to fix an intermittent illumination of the taillight bulb. Victoria and I have been tracking Glinda’s fuel mileage. Lately, she’s been averaging around 18 mpg – a large improvement from 13 she was getting a few months back. I think the big difference-maker was the rebuilt distributor.

Wilma – Prior to hurricane Sandy’s arrival, I moved the portable garage back against the inoperative door of my permanent garage and anchored down the four corners. Additionally, I tied the frame to Wilma’s front bumper in hopes that everything would still be there the morning after. Thankfully, we fared much better than all the dire warnings had said we would. Wilma stayed dry.

YellowVert – It looks like she’ll be heading to her new home in Delaware tomorrow morning. I struck a deal with a guy who hopes to restore her. I’m relieved that I didn’t have to scrap her since ridding her of her rusty portions doesn’t appear to be that daunting an effort. I’m still left with the bright blue interior that I’ll peddle online.