Thursday, November 3, 2016

Scarlett’s Gonna’ Get Safer

I started this blog post on Tuesday the 27th. Due to a busy schedule I never got farther than the first paragraph. Sadly, the title of this post and the initial paragraph were a bad omen. Here’s that paragraph.

I have been extremely fortunate that none of my daughters (or myself for that matter) have been injured while driving our Corvairs. Glinda has been the only ‘vair we’ve owned that had shoulder belts. Well, that’s gonna’ change. Today, I bought a pair of front bucket seats out of a Chrysler Sebring convertible. I want to make sure that Mikhaila doesn’t hit the steering (or anything else) if she has an accident.

Now jump ahead to last Thursday when, on slick pavement, Mikhaila lost control of Scarlett and drove her into a guardrail. Mikhaila is pretty banged up, but thankfully nothing that won’t heal in a few weeks. Impacts of note were: the right knee to the heater controls resulting in a flap of skin that should have gotten a few stitches, but she refused; her chest and under her chin collided with the steering wheel and left some nasty bruises and painful breathing, but fortunately negative x-rays; and a bump on the back of the head where a speaker flew up and whacked.

Scarlett did not come through the incident nearly as well as Mikhaila. Amazingly, the bumper is basically still in its stock location and the front wheels still point in the same direction, so I was able to hitch the towbar to her front end once I pulled some of the fender away from the right front tire. The flat-tow home from the tow-yard was, thankfully, uneventful.

So, what are we to do? I’ve not been in the mood to evaluate all the damage, but at the very least she’ll need a new front panel (Clark’s doesn’t sell a replacement) and valence ($126 from Clark’s), as well as a right front fender from at least the center of the wheel forward ($110 from Clark’s) and a trunk bottom ($113). A visit to the Corvair Ranch will be required to get a used front panel, wheel-well, and a replacement bumper. Since the steering and alignment seem to be working properly, I’m thinking the damage is just to body panels. Mikhaila and I have a lot of cutting and welding and bodywork in our future before the car is ready for the road again.

And those Sebring seats? They will go in before Mikhaila gets behind the wheel again.

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