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Saturday, May 9, 2015

I Want to Drive!

Reality has a way of messing up your grand plans. I have in my head this picture:
(C) GrubScrew...funny, found this on another forum from my favorite one where I "know" him from
But what I have is:
My baby, Dorothy. Named after my Grandmother, wife to my Grandfather (obviously) who taught me what I know about cars.
Granted, this isn't horrible. But, at the end of the day, all I really want to do is this:
Umm, drive it!
So, I need to finish the transmission. I'm pretty sure, pending unexpected difficulties (aren't they all?) that delay re-assembly, I can get this done in a reasonable amount of time. Other outstanding items:

  • Parking brake cable replacement,
  • Dashboard re-installation,
  • Windshield rubber replacement (one failed attempt already),
  • Interior replacement (seats, mainly), and
  • About three dozen things I'm forgetting.

After that, I think she's mechanically sound as I did brake and clutch work last summer/fall. My problem is the condition of the body itself. Both of my outriggers are about shot:
Passenger's side outrigger...driver's side is not as bad, but close.
Other problem areas:
Passenger floor cross-member.

Passenger upper / lower A-pillar interface...not much interfacing here.
So, here's my conundrum: what to do? Do I finish the car mechanically enough to make her relatively trust-worthy so that I can drive her to work on a good day and take the kids to get ice cream, trusting that the body is structurally sound <enough> that it won't drop me through the floor boards at 45 MPH? Or, do I consign myself that she won't be on the road this year, either, and get the repairs done (which may or may not happen, anyway...life has a way of getting in the way).

I thought I was going to get much more done over the winter than I did. Granted, there was a new job and it was an particularly bad winter and my experience level wasn't great (and I didn't have a clear path ahead with the donated black car). But, I was rather disappointed with myself by my lack of progress and I'm afraid I'll have a repeat and not get anything done next winter, either.

Another option is to try the "rolling" restoration option. I'm not totally sure what that means outside of the obvious, but maybe that's best. I fix the stuff that needs to be fixed to put it on the road and enjoy it for a bit. Then, I tackle something that may take her down for a while. Down, up, down, up. Maybe that's the happy medium between a 40 year-old car and a 40+ year-old guy.


  1. You are better off replacing the outriggers with the tub in place. It is doable, and not really difficult. Just unbolt the tub from the outrigger (two bolts), remove the outrigger, clean up the frame, fit the new outrigger using the body bolts, and weld the new one in place. Probably easier than patching the rust eaten one.

    1. Yes, I was wondering about that. The passenger's is much worse than the drivers and I have two of each. Maybe I'll patch that better-but-not-perfect one and install that and save the perfect one for when I eventually do a total tub-off restoration (whenever that is!).
      Thanks, Hazen.