Those of you who are married are likely less lucky than I. It’s not that I am single – far from it, in fact we’re married 35 years this December 2011. It’s just that most spouses I’ve seen are less tolerant/supportive of a dedicated lunacy in one’s Significant Other than Sue is of mine. As this project has advanced (funny, diseases do that, too), I have been drawn in by the combination of vision pursuit and practical traps. Here’s an example:
I set out to build a speedster on a running chassis. I bought a chassis, but it had wooden wheels. I sketched the concept with wires. No problem, right – just get some wires. Yes, but it turns out there were two kinds of ’32 Buick wooden wheels – hub-demountable (which interchange with wires) and demountable-rim, where the spokes are permanently fastened to the hubs and brake drums. Guess which kind I got? Right – so do I drop back to the practical reality? NO. I find and buy a second ’32 Buick (kit form, partially restored but a classic ‘basket case’) – with wire wheels. OW, that put a dent in the budget. Well, there is an old saying that in any project, you can have only two among the three virtues of speed, quality, and cost. We need speed (Great Race 2012 is less than 9 months away), and there’s no point to doing this if we let quality go, so cost will surely get away. At least I’m keeping track of it, so I’ll know how far it went…
I’ve also discovered a few more issues with the first chassis. It has ceased to start, and in chasing that through, I found that there is no advance control on the distributor, so it moves about randomly. Also, I got a shop manual and can see that the carburetor it came with is not the original type at all. The manifold has been flipped and an updraft switched to a downdraft type. The closer I look, the more I find. The front bumper mounts don’t match and I find that one of the supporting frame-rail horns is a weld in replacement (from another year?). The bolts used throughout are a mix of old and new in various finishes and head types. These sorts of things contributed to the decision to get a second chassis, too – I am sure between the two, we’ll have enough good stuff to make it all work.
I’ve collected almost all the fenders required to build this, and now I’m after the smaller bits. I found the COOLEST radiator cap a Buick ‘Flying 8’ – Pictured here. I paid a bit much for it, not knowing how many might be out there. I know I paid too much, because the next week, three more appeared on EBay, each noting how much mine had gone for! (Yeah, I know, needs replating).
I also agreed this week to buy a rusty MG-A. IT gets me the fourth fender required for the front pontoons of this project, but we also get seats, a cowl with wipers, top bows and mounts for a wimp-rag (a.k.a. weather cover), and likely some nice hinges and latches.
The trailer is registered and the Big Buick (96 Roadmasher Wagon) is running well now (new fuel pump), so it’s almost time to haul stuff down to Ensign Autobody to start the Winter work!
Thanks, Sue – I’m a Lucky Guy.
250 days to the start of Great Race 2012!