It’s just a few days from Great Race 2012! With the Speedster earning an ‘Incomplete,’ last week we focused on getting the mighty 61 Imperial Crown in Great Race shape. We pulled it from winter quarters, turned the key, and of course it fired right up (gotta love that!). Then when I pushed the go pedal, it rolled a foot and stopped – hard! I thought I’d forgotten to pull a chock; but no, nothing visible. I backed up and then came forward again and got Whump, again. Uh-oh. But with little choice, I tried once more and with a chirp and squeak, it broke free. The brakes had just acquired a patina of rust on the drums (winter storage was a wee bit humid). Change the oil, check the fluids, swap the parade tires & wheel for the radial road rubber now legal in Great Racers; and NO XQS is ready to ride!
But… It’s Fathers’ Day – so let me brag on my son a bit. Meanwhile, and actually for the last month or so, Ethan (The Skill in Youth & Skill), has done a superb job of resuscitating and prepping his 66 VW Squareback. It’s an unrestored survivor, with just 43,000 miles that belonged new to his great-grandparents – the grocery getter at their summer house. It hadn’t had much care since they closed that in the late 80’s. He dug in, figured out how to synchronize the twin carburetors, got the 6-volt system working properly (mostly), including lighting of detectable brightness, and patched the muffler with tin, paste, and pop-rivets (since it’s a one-year-only, this model only part, with the only replacement we found in Portugal, priced like the whole car’s original MSRP!). Then on to the mysteriously wobbly steering, where he found loose tie rod ends! No problem – except the bolts holding one caliper snapped off on loosening! We tried to drill out the stubs, but they were harder than the hub metal and we ovalled one hole. With things going from bad to worse, we had to try the bolts holding on the hub, so it could go to a machine shop for rework. Not one of the other bolts fought removal! So the injured hub was milled, plugged and re-tapped by our good neighbor, Steve Dumas (expert machinist)! So back together just in time! He has surely earned the ‘Skill’ title. Here’s a shot of the two rally-ready rides (assuming they survive the transit to Michigan).
Notably, Dave is older than I, so I guess I must be the ‘Treachery’ on out team. BWAA HA HA!!!!
I forgot to mention, but Ethan’s car was recently in a movie filming, “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” where such original examples of non-muscle, non-convertible 60’s cars were need for realistic period scenes. Who knew one could have so much fun with an ‘ordinary’ car?!
Dave arrives from the west Coast Tuesday. We toss it all in the cars and roll out Wednesday AM. We figure a two day trip (12-14 hrs) to Traverse City, so barring fully expectable problems, we’ll be there in time for Hagerty’s pre-race party Thursday evening! Off to the Great Race (put your money on Old Age & Treachery)!