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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Generosity of Others

My brother owns a 1967 Datsun Roadster 1600 (SPL 311). This is his second '67 (as far as I know) and he owned a 2000 (SRL 311) and probably various parts and what-not over the years. He had his first one when he was in high school, restored it and drove it for many years until life took over. A few decades later he bought his current one, did some work and put a 5-speed in it, and decided to drive it across country (and Canada) over a period of close to a year. He chronicled his travels in his blog, RoadsterRoadtrip. If you want to read an outstanding blog and look at some of the best pictures that cover the entire nation, take some time and take a look...you won't be disappointed...it's MUCH better than this rag.
One of the many things that I took from his adventures was how the Datsun acted as an ambassador to the general public. People would stop him and ask questions...most thought it was an MG. Some remembered having a little red convertible of their own. But, in all cases, it got people talking and remembering their lives in a simpler time.
I may not have been around in 1966 when my car was built, but her, and cars like my brother's and other, old sports cars, remind me of my high school years of working on a car that you could actually work on and understand, outside of just changing the oil. Hell, I'm not sure I'd even want to change the plugs on my Honda.
In short, the love of these cars are often times the motivation for people that are otherwise total strangers to get to know one another. It can be the reason that people will go out of their way to help a fellow in need. It drives people to share their knowledge, their time, their spare parts and even sometimes their money.
And, so it was today for me. A kind gentleman that I bluntly introduced myself to on the forum happened to have a boot lid in his possession that he no longer wanted. My boot lid, as you can see in some of my pictures, needs some serious work...work (i.e., welding) that I do not have the knowledge, experience or equipment to complete. Suffice it to say that, through his generosity and willingness to take some time for a fellow in need, I am now the proud recipient of a boot lid that will bolt right up and actually keep rain water out of the boot! She may look real pretty, but there's not rust! Bet if I took a buffing wheel to that black paint, it would shine right up.
I am pretty sure that sticker on the left is a dealer sticker. Can't make out the other one. Police benevolent?
And, my house does not defy gravity...I rotated the picture.
So, I apologize if I am waxing philosophic, but, like I have mentioned before, I have received nothing but help and encouragement from all sides as I undertake the project to restore this car. From my wife, my kids, my brother, the PO (who I still touch base with every few days) to the guys on the forum...it has been slightly overwhelming and, best of all, has convinced me that I can do this and, if not, can find the help and assistance I need to get it done anyway.

So, not much done today. I got the boot lid which involved about a 2-hour round trip. Then, some grocery shopping (see, domestic duties) and lunch brought me until about 1:30. So, I cleaned up the windshield a bit more (still needs another round...going to use straight ammonia and newspaper) and put the mounting brackets back in the car (loosely, and with new gaskets). Still no pictures tho...knew I forgot something. But, the boys and I needed haircuts (more domestic duties!) so there was that trip. Then dinner...and, well, there's the day.

I was also VERY happy to locate that female brake pipe fitting. I had called TRF to verify that what they had (thanks to the help of the forum...see!?) was what I actually needed. I left a message for them to call me back since their lines were jammed.  I went back out to the garage and went through all the little baggies of brake stuff the PO had from when he did the rear brakes to see what lock nuts and copper washers I needed to make sure I had everything. And, there it was...the female nut. No wonder I had that extra brake line. So, I assume the PO broke or cut the brake line getting it out of the car (the rear brakes were pretty horrible by the looks of the old parts) and, whether or not he realized its unavailability from your LFAPS, he was smart enough to hold on to the nut. Since I was looking for a brake line, I never realized it for what it was. So, if all goes well, I'll get a brake line, cut one end off, put this nut on, flare it (loaner tool) and put her on.

There you are! Midway through a vinegar soak.
By the way, Albert from TRF did call me back a bit later in the day, so that was a big up-check in my book for their customer service! I'll have to give them a try for parts some time.

Tomorrow I intend to put the new trunk lid on (need to do some surface rust removal and preservation around the hinge area on the car itself) and get the windshield in. I may need some help getting the glass around the rubber so it may have to wait. Some stuff I've read says its a two man job, but that may be with the frame still in the car. So, I will be gentle because I REALLY don't want to brake the glass.

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