Early October Shop Updates

Been working in shop more than posting this week, as I’ll be spending next week at the lake with family. I usually live at the lake Friday through Monday and at the shop Tuesday through Thursday – but after being gone two weeks racing, I had a shop thrash going on this week.

I picked up the rear bumper to my Magnum XE (I point out XE as I also have a black 79 GT) and installed.

The ten year old and squeaking serpentine belt was replaced with a shorter one that was required after changing the heads from iron to Edelbrocks. I took the car for a hard drive (110 mph to) to test the belt. While that’s good, the brakes were mushy and won’t lock up. They’ll have to be dealt with when I get back.

Almost 20 years ago I put the above Dakota Digital gauges in a custom dash panel for my Magnum XE. To me the Kool Factor has gone away. I ordered a Kustom set of gauges that I’ll install into a stock dash panel, after I scuff, sand, and paint flat black with plastic adhesive paint. I’m still thinking about what to do with the “Idiot Lights” on right side of dash panel, as the gauges handle that monitoring.

If you have a 75-79 B Body and want my old Digital dash panel with gauges, lights, and switches, its yours for $300.

Moving off the XE and on onto the Magnum GT. The leaky valve cover gaskets were replaced as was the sticky brake light switch that keeps draining the battery. I’ll detail and sell that car as part of my new “Reduce my foot print and make more simple” philosophy.

The 81 Imperial I’ve had since 1986 (I restored with a 380hp 360ci, street strip trans, 8.75″ with 3.55 gears…) had the AC, Power Seats and power antenna fixed. Found a gas leak when it was filled with 93 octane, and replaced the line. The gas tank and straps were new when I restored it many years ago. It now runs perfect and has zero issues. It too needs to be detailed so I can put up for sake when I get back.

The leaking gas tank in my 58 Dodge Pick up was repaired, and it too needs to be detailed and sold. Also in the photo is my trailer of three yards of mulch I picked up yesterday. That’s to keep my Shop Rat busy next week.

Speaking of the Shop Rat, he washed the Coach (above), sanded and painted the tongue of my old Aluminum trailer with POR15, and cut 2′ X 4′ shelves from 3/8″ plywood to replace shitty stock particle board shelves that have bowed and broken.

I put together a milk crate with two bottle jacks (one of them air) operated, an impact wrench, and sockets in my Stacker trailer. I have 150 psi air supply from the coach. I mounted a 50′ air reel to the compartment connection to reach the trailers. I’ve used once the air setup to change a Stacker tire, and it is now a no problem 10 minute job by me alone – compared the PITA Dallas and I use to go through.

I fixed the trunk seal on the Thug, and the Rat washed it. Waiting on the rear glass from Proglass. I’ll be tearing the trunk down over the winter for another coat of spatter paint and clear, and to polish the aluminum. The car also needs to go on the lift for the Rat to scrub the underside and for me to inspect and tighten suspension. I really hope to have the Screamin Woody ready as primary car for Bradenton, and for the Thug to go to back up duty. Maybe Dallas will run once or twice next year as his car is kn need of a total rebuild as he’s working too many hours to deal with it.

Speaking of Screamin Woody, the underside was painted and the rebuilt rear end and 4-link reinstalled.

The high HP 383 that will be going into my 60 Plymouth Post Street car is now finished. The engine compartment has been cleaned, scuffed, and is ready for Petty Blue paint. It will ultimately be wrapped to look like a sun bleached Petty NASCAR that has been left outside since 1961.

One of my all time favorite cars is a 1967 AMC Marlin. It is the rarest of the three years Marlins were made, and the only year made on AMC’s full-size Ambassador platform. The 65-66 were built on the shorter Rambler Rouge platform. They looked weird being that short of a fastback.

So I finally bought a nice southern 67 Marlin about 15 years ago. I drove it for a couple of weeks and then parked it to wait for a restoration. This week it got pulled out to be made running, before being tearing down to restore. It had no brakes, so they were replaced. The fuel pump was missing – don’t ask me how or why. Anyway the 67 for a 343 ci was a one year only, and impossible to find. The 68 was also a one year only, equally hard to find. Both have the fuel filter as part of the pump, one on top and the other on the bottom. Everything I found on the internet says only option is to replace with an electric pump. I was able to find a new 68 for a 343, and it works perfectly. Why isn’t that on any AMC forum? So car runs great, except for a whistle from a failing carb to intake gasket. I ordered the gasket, but it had to be removed so I would order the correct one. Engine uses  Motorcraft 2bbl carb. The GM distributor had the points replaced with a Pertronix electronic, but needs the gasket I ordered to test it. Once the car has been taken for a drive, it will be torn down. Engine compartment, interior, trim,… I’ll sent car to be repainted Red (always loved red with Black top Marlins), chrome to chrome shop, detail engine and covert to 4Bbbl. I need to see what interior I can locate in black. Based on that, I’ll decide if I will change to black or keep gold.

So that’s this past week at the shop.

 

Back Home, Back to Work

So last night I returned after 15 days of drag racing, dropping my Coach off for service, and visiting the “Outlaws” in Western New York. Click here if interested in more of the details on that. Anyway, after 4,000 miles of driving I was 30 miles from home when someone jumped in front of me as the Toyota that was in front of me (with one tail light and no brake lights) locked up the brakes. I had to lock up the brakes harder than I’ve ever had in a rig this big. So hard that the coffee maker in the coach flew into my wife. This morning when unloading the cars out of the stacker, the Genesis on the lift ripped the aircraft L Track out of the lift from that emergency stop.

So got the stacker unloaded and flipped the rig around and opened it up so my wife could clean out.

My shop rat will have a big job of washing 4000 miles of bugs off of it. Speaking of Shop Rat, while I was gone his main job was to take the under belly of Screamin Woody to bare metal, and to apply two coats of POR15 Silver and Black.

The clutch on my 1999 Kawasaki Drifter 1500 was replaced before I left. While the tank was off I figured it was time to change the color from that ugly Maroon, so the fenders got taken off. While I was having the Thug’s body damage fixed at Randy Standsbury’s in Louisiana, I took the bike’s sheet metal for bright metallic red pearl paint. That was delivered last week, and put on the scooter today.

Back to the Woody. The Ford 9″ was torn down, inspected and case painted before I left, and then reassembled today.

My Shop Rat stripped the Four-Link when I was gone, and I taped off ends and hit it with a couple coats of red.

The tail lights and fin trim is now back on the wagon.

I hope to have the rear suspension back in; and the rear compartment stripped, spatter painted, new fuel cell and weight boxes installed by the end of October. The goal is to have the car finished (still dealing with engine) by New Year, and well tested before Bradenton.

I also opened two weeks of boxes that came in while I was gone and mowed the 2′ high grass.

I wanted to paint the “Leaning Tower of Power” that came out of my 60 Plymouth today (Shop Rat made paint ready while I was gone), but only so much time.

Also ordered wipers for 46 Olds; Front and Rear seals for the Screamin Woody’s motor; rocker adjusters for the 383 Motor going into the 60 Plymouth; and brake master cylinder and fuel pump for my 67 Marlin.

Tomorrow is Doctor appointment day, then a weekend on the Lake. Monday I pick up the Magnum’s bumper from the chrome shop and hope to get quite a bit done Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the shop. So much to do, so little time.

Finishing Up The Indy Race

About a week after the fact, but I’ll tie up the loose ends from the Indy race in this post.

Starting with the All Star race, I’m not All Star worthy! All weekend long up until I smacked my head, I was chopping the tree down. However, I red lit for the first time in competition in three years On the All Star race. I when I passed the red light, I figured it had to be 00something red, but it was more than that.

Later that night the ladder came out for the Big show, and I drew Russ Konkowski, one of the very few cars faster than me. I had calculated a few numbers in the bag to play the stripe. We were the first to go down the track Sunday morning. As I made the left from the staging lanes onto the track, the sun was low and right in back of me. I left with a paranoid light after going red in the All Star race. At the thousand foot I could see nothing out the back window from the sun defracting off all of the scratches on the rear window, after it popped out and passed me the day before. As I was coming up on the MPH cone I looked out the side window, saw nothing and got on the brakes pretty hard. I crossed the line first, and saw the win light in the other lane, telling me I broke out.

Russ couldn’t run the number and I gave it to him because I had no idea where he was on the track. In Texas there’s a saying “Sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes the windshield.” I was the bug that week.

I did manage to squeak out a Top Ten in points for the year.

So we loaded up, I made arrangements to leave the trailer and race car at the track, and I drove the coach to the factory in Northern Indiana, while my wife followed me in the street car.

Got to the factory at dinner time, drained the tanks, filled with water and settled in for the night. Up at 5 am, closed up coach, loaded up the car and did a walk through with their service writer. We then drove to Hamburg, NY so my wife can spend a week with her sister. The coach was suppose to be ready Friday, we were to drive there today (Sunday), and we’d check it out tomorrow. However, I got a call Friday that it  wasn’t ready yet. The plan is to leave tomorrow morning, spend the night in the Coach, and hopefully the part they’re waiting on comes in Tuesday for them to install it. Then to Indy to get the cars loaded into the Stacker, and then back to Texas.

Thug’s Qualifying At Indy

First round of qualifying at Indy was at 1 pm Friday, one hour earlier than scheduled. I usually set up to go a number slower on the first round, and then go for broke on the next two Qualifying. I felt like I had  a good launch, so I lifted at the MPH cone.

Got a 9.768 on my 9.75  index. We calculated what I would have run without lifting, and it was a 9.753. Another bad decision. Tough crowd here, so I was number 8 of 53.

I have a street car on the lift, as I’m dropping the motorhome off at the factory and then driving to Western New York for my wife to visit her sister while the coach is being worked on. When walking under the lift fairly fast, I smacked my head on the landing puck on the underside of the lift. I got woozy and fell hitting my head on the trailer fender. When I rolled over and put my hand to my head, blood was gushing out. I had blood running down my hand and arm; and my face and gasses were covered in blood. I staggered to the coach to get my wife to wet down a towel to stop the bleeding. Meanwhile another racer in the staging lanes saw me and ran to the NMCA guy directing the staging lanes. He sat me down and called the ambulance, which stopped the race. They treated me, bandaged the head up, and had me sign a waiver refusing to go to hospital for stitches. I was going to go after the second round, which was suppose to be in another 15 minutes. However, they pushed us back another two hours and we were the last ones down the track – following Pro Thug and Radial Wars, which takes a different prep. I figured the starting line was going to be garbage, and set up expecting a 1.38 60′. Another bad decision, as I had a 1.36 60′ and broke out by that difference. That moved me down to 13, now with now 63 NSS racers.

 

After that round, we called the Urgent Cares in the area and was told I’d have to go to a Hospital Emergency Room. I didn’t feel like I wanted to pay a $400 deductible to spend a Friday night in an Indy Emergency Room. I self treated by rubbing some dirt on it and drinking heavily for pain management.

Didn’t sleep worth a damn last night. It was midnight when I went to bed and at 2 am I had to deal with the Carbon Monoxide detector blaring. We were to race at 8:30 am, which means they call us to the line at 7:45. I got out of bed at 6 am, got the weather station set up, generator running, and the car pushed out of the trailer. At 7 am I started the car, took it for a ride to warm it up. I parked the car in my pit and put the charger on.

The weather was thirty degrees cooler, calling for a lot of weight to be added.

At the line the car stuttered and bogged. Not sure if it was low fuel pressure, wrong jetting, or the car not being warm enough for the cold air. Maybe a combination of all. Anyway the bog caused a shitty light and a horrible 60′.

That caused me to get knocked out of the All Star Shootout. Worst yet, my back glass blew out at 136 mph.

There was a mandatory NSS driver’s meeting after Q3. I wasn’t wanting to go, as I knew I was out of the All Star Shootout, and that’s what it was about. Doug Duell insisted I go, and I thought maybe he was going to pick me as his “Champion’s” choice. The way the shootout works is that 16 NMCA racers go against 16 Victory Series racers. To get the best of each, they each take the Top Five from last year and the 9 best qualifiers (who’s hot this weekend) from this race. Then the past Champion picks one. While Doug and I are good Buds, we’re also strictly business when it comes to racing. Doug picked Doug Wright, who has been on fire this year. It was the right choice. So the rest of us NMCA racers (about 20) Each got a Raffle Ticket for the final “Lucky Dog” pick, and my number was called. I haven’t been feeling lucky this weekend, and debated giving it to someone else.

So now I’m in a race with a car that bogged, has no back window, and I have a screamer of a headache from the day before. Randy Stansbury, who installed the Pro Glass back window when he painted the car, started putting it back in. Barry Dorn, who has done a few came by to help him.

They had it in in less than an hour. Thank you very much Randy and Barry. I then put on some of my wife’s “Happy Camper” duct tape to hold it in until the new Pro Glass, NASCAR window tabs and molding clips arrive at the shop.

So right now I’m “Chillin”, trying to shake this killer headache, before they call the first of five rounds for the “All Star Shootout”. Sunday, NSS has the eliminations or all 63 racers at 8 am.

Qualifying At Indy

First round of qualifying at Indy was at 1 pm Friday, one hour earlier than scheduled. I usually set up to go a number slower on the first round, and then go for broke on the next two Qualifying. I felt like I had  a good launch, so I lifted at the MPH cone.

Got a 9.768 on my 9.75  index. We calculated what I would have run without lifting, and it was a 9.753. Another bad decision. Tough crowd here, so I was number 8 of 53.

I have a street car on the lift, as I’m dropping the motorhome off at the factory and then driving to Western New York for my wife to visit her sister while the coach is being worked on. When walking under the lift fairly fast, I smacked my head on the landing puck on the underside of the lift. I got woozy and fell hitting my head on the trailer fender. When I rolled over and put my hand to my head, blood was gushing out. I had blood running down my hand and arm; and my face and gasses were covered in blood. I staggered to coach to get my wife to wet down a towel to stop the bleeding. Meanwhile another racer in the staging lanes saw me and ran to the NMCA guy directing the staging lanes. He sat me down and called the ambulance, which stopped the race. They treated me, bandaged the head up, and had me sign a waiver refusing to go to hospital for stitches. I was going to go after the second round, which was suppose to be in another 15 minutes. However, they pushed us back another two hours and we were the last ones down the track – following Pro Thug and Radial Wars, which takes a different prep. I figured the starting line was going to be garbage, and set up expecting a 1.38 60′. Another bad decision, as I had a 1.36 60′ and broke out by that difference. That moved me down to 13, now with now 63 NSS racers.

 

After that round, we called the Urgent Cares in the area and was told I’d have to go to a Hospital Emergency Room. I didn’t feel like I wanted to pay a $400 deductible to spend a Friday night in an Indy Emergency Room. I self treated by rubbing some dirt on it and drinking heavily for pain management.

Didn’t sleep worth a damn last night. It was midnight when I went to bed and at 2 am I had to deal with the Carbon Monoxide detector blaring. We were to race at 8:30 am, which means they call us to the line at 7:45. I got out of bed at 6 am, got the weather station set up, generator running, and car pushed out of the trailer. At 7 am I started the car, took it for a ride to warm it up. I parked the car in my pits and put charger on.

The weather was thirty degrees cooker, calling for a lot of weight to be added.

At the line the car stuttered and bogged. Not sure if it was low fuel pressure, wrong jetting, or the car not being warm enough for the cold air. Maybe a combination of all. Anyway the bog caused a shitty light and a horrible 60′.

That caused me to get knocked out of the All Star Shootout. Worst yet, My back glass blew out at 136 mph.

There was a mandatory NSS driver’s meeting after Q3. I wasn’t wanting to go, as I knew I was out of the All Star Shootout, and that’s what it was about. Doug Duell insisted I go, and I thought maybe he was going to pick me as his “Champion’s” choice. The way the shootout works is that 16 NMCA racers go against 16 Victory Series racers. To get the best of each, they each take the Top Five from last year and the 9 best qualifiers (who’s hot this weekend) from this race. Then the past Champion picks one. While Doug and I are good Buds, we’re also strictly business when it comes to racing. Doug picked Doug Wright, who has been on fire this year. It was the right choice. So the rest of us NMCA racers (about 20) Each got a Raffle Ticket for the final “Lucky Dog” pick, and my number was called.

So now I’m in a race with a car that bogged, has no back window, and I have a screamer of a headache from the day before. Randy Stansbury, who installed the Pro Glass back window when he painted the car, started putting it back in. Barry Dorn, who has done a few came by to help him.

They had it in in less than an hour. Thank you very much Randy and Barry. I then put on some of my wife’s “Happy Camper” duct tape to hold it in until the new Pro Glass, NASCAR window tabs and molding clips arrive at the shop.

So right now I’m “Chillin”, trying to shake this killer headache, before they call the first of five rounds for the “All Star Shootout”. Sunday, NSS has the eliminations or all 63 racers at 8 am.

The Thug Is In The House

We’re up at the NMCA Finals, and the Victory vs. NMCA Showdown at Lucas Raceway in Indy. Deb and I took a leisurely 2 1/2 day ride up here from Texas. It was relatively uneventful, with the exception of breaking a strap on the street car that was on the lift. That required me unloading and reloading both cars in a Walmart parking lot. Basically we left Monday afternoon and arrived at the track at 5 pm Wednesday.

Thursday, the track opened at 8:30 am, and we had the pit set up, credentials established, car tech’d in by noon.

Time trials started at 1 pm. Air was a horrible 4200′. I ran a 9.77 without weight.

2nd test and tune hit was a couple hours later. Starting line was horrible and I had a bad 60′.

My final hit was a little better when I took some air out of the slicks.

This morning we had a Time Trial at 10 am. The air was obviously much better, with a little tail/cross wind. I didn’t run with weight, although it was predicted I should put 60 pounds in to hit my 9.75 index.

So the First qualifying is scheduled at 2 pm, hot lapping us for the second at the end of the 2 pm group.

That assumes the weather allows all of that to happen.

Wheelie Bars, Trees, and Bumpers

At the shop Friday, I accomplished the following at the shop:

Last coat of red on the read end housing for Screamin Woody.

That was two cans of red primer and three cans of Banner Red paint. Also, cleaned, scuffed, taped off, primered and painted the wheelie bars.

Pressure washed the engine compartment of the 60 Plymouth after removing hood. The underside of hood needs to be taken down to bare metal and painted Corporate Blue.

The front suspension needs to be rebuilt, washed again, scuffed with brown 3M pads, painted Corporate Blue, and the front suspension painted POR15 Gloss black. The reason for Corporate Blue is that the car will get wrapped to look like the King’s 60 Plymouth (His first Top Rank NASCAR car) that sat out back of his shop for 50 years.

Headers are on the 383 that will go into the 60. Oil pan just came in. Still waiting on a push rod and a pair of adjusters to finish. Yes I’ll put a new Wix 51515 Oil Filter on it.

Bumper came off of my 78 Magnum – Ginger. It took a three hour drive with me to the chrome shop, to be stripped and re-plated.

They jumped on stripping to bare metal and sent me these photos.

They promised it will be ready in three weeks. We’ll see! The huge full width  bumper mount will get wire brushed and a couple coats of black POR15.

While on the topic of Magnum, the radio (from a 99 Durango that I Installed 15 years ago) was pulled out and tested as it has it’s volume and reception goes up and down. It works bench tested, but in car its a big power draw. Testing still required to figure out.

And staying on the subject of my 78 Magnum, about 15 years ago I made a custom dash panel and filled it with Dakota Digital gauges. The tach has gone dim on me, and they’re not as Kool now as 15 years ago. Below is an old photo, as the column shift has been replaced with a floor shift and console.

So I bought a stock dash panel to fill with after market gauges.

The gauge holes measure two at 4″ and two at 2 5/8″. 4″ gauges are limited, and I’m two holes short for a full set if I couldn’t find a combo. While pricey, I did find what I needed.

I ordered them with a white face with black day face and green on black night face. Ordered a clock and a oil temp with same face and bezel to fill the 2 5/8″ holes. It rocked me about a grand, and will take 4-5 weeks to make. I’m sure there will be a lot of Dremel tool action to the dash panel to get them in.

The sheet metal was removed from my 99 Drifter 1500 and taken to Randy Stansbury for a 3-stage metallic red paint job. The clutch was rebuilt and drivetrain serviced a couple of weeks ago. Got the frame all purdied up while waiting on sheet metal to get delivered to me in Indy.

That’ my now almost 31-year-old son on the bike. Saddle bags, windshield and Baby Ape Hangers bars have been added over the years.

Red and black is my favorite color combo. I hope it looks good on this bike.

Finally the trees. At my little cabin on the lake, I had a 30′ Oak tree that died. I had a professional crew come out to take it down and grind the stump down. It was surrounded on three sides by a pool, patio and wrought Iron fence – so I wanted no part of it.

Also had three 30-gallon Mexican Fan palms planted.

All in all, I’ve had a pretty busy and productive week. The plan is to just rest this weekend by paying bills and reconcile checking accounts, catch up on some computer work –  and watch the Stros, Texans and NHRA. Monday we head to Indy for the Finals.

Screamin Woody’s Rear End, Loaded up for Indy Race and 60 Plymouth Engine

The last day and half at the shop I managed to clean, scuff, prime, and put two coats of Banner Red paint on the Ford 9″ housing for the Screaming Woody.

Despite two cans of primer and two cans of red paint – I need to hit it with another coat tomorrow. Then on to reassemble it. The chuck has been rebuilt and ready. Also need to do the same with the wheelie bars and four links.

My wife and I will be leaving Monday for the Finals in Indy. After the race I’ll be dropping the Coach off in Northwest Indiana for a week’s worth of warranty work and service. While that’s happening, my wife and I will drive to Western New York to visit her family. Since “The Thug” isn’t the appropriate car to drive that 400 miles each way, I need to bring another car. I washed up the SRT8, but it wound up being too wide to fit on the lift, with the mirror being  too close to the fender cabinet.

They only other modern car I own that is smaller is the Genesis Coupe that my daughter drives. So we got it washed up and strapped down on the lift. She’ll have to drive one of my trucks while we’re gone.

Then I loaded up The Thug. Since I’ve had a little trailer rash issue with that car, I went from four straps to eight straps – four crossed and four straight. I’m that paranoid.

I also wrapped the handles to the dumbbells, which I’d chopped the ends off for loose weight. I weighed them and threw them in the weight basket in my stacker.

The engine to my 60 Plymouth “Street Car” is almost fully assembled. Waiting on the oil pan, a push rod, a pair of adjusters, a valve cover breather, and a dip stick tube. Also have grind a little off the block for the Block Hugger headers to fit properly.

Polish, D-Rings, New seats, Engine Assembly and Paint

What does all of that have in common? It and more happened at the shop yesterday.

All of the aluminum in the truck of the Thug got polished up.

Before

After

I needed more loose weight as I’d been borrowing from 00Joe and Dennis Breeden, so bought a couple dumbbells and chopped off the ends.

Photo is upside down, they weigh 11.1 pounds each.

I bought an aluminum trailer from Jim Bailey, but since his car was much shorter, I didn’t have enough angle for front straps, and damaged the paint on the Thug. Yesterday I cut 3″ holes through the aluminum floor and took a high speed bit to it to shape for 6,000 pound recessed D-Rings. A few bolt holes, carriage bolts and impact wrench to drive nuts on and I’m now good to go.

Moving onto my 1960 Plymouth, the Leaning Tower of Power was pulled in favor of an approximate 450 hp 383 that was in the Thug when it was a street racer 15 years ago. The 383 was assembled as far as it can go until another parts delivery arrives. Also found a bent push rod a two bad rocker adjusters, so they were ordered.


Also painted and wrapped the low mileage and strong 6-banger that came out of the Plymouth, before putting it into the shed.

I bought a set of like new black leather seats from a 2-door BMW and installed into my 78 Magnum. They looked great in the car but my “Full-Figured” ass  was too wide to be comfortable. So they were yanked out in favor of new leather aftermarket, which took 3.5 months to get here.

Wrapped these seats, which are for sale. If you have a Muscle Car with black interior, there’s nothing like the comfort of modern power seats.

These are the aftermarket leather seats. No power, and they have a satin look to them, which maybe leather conditioner might shine up, but they’re very comfortable.

Also found a couple of hours to mow my 5 acres and wash Zero turn.

Fixin to head out to the shop for another very full day.

Brought The Thug Home & Other Shop Update

As previously reported, the Thug acquired a trailer rash, and I’d took it to my buddy (Randy Standsbury) in Louisiana. He was to fix the damage, redo the bumpers, paint the underside of the hood, and apply the door decals I had made.

So Wednesday I left at about 4 am and headed into the Louisiana swamps. I arrived at Randy’s at about 8:30 and looked over the car before loading. Randy did a great job.

I strapped the car in and headed back to SE Texas. I stopped 60 miles up the road for diesel and DEF, and checked the straps- they were loose and I gave them a couple of cranks to tighten. I stopped another 80 up the road, and again gave a couple of cranks. And yet when I got home, the car had moved over and acquired another little rash.

I ‘d just bought this trailer from Jim Bailey, and he’d towed a Drag Pak, which is far shorter.  I’ve ordered a 3″ metal hole saw, 4 6,000# recessed D-Rings, new straps and I’m gonna fix this problem!

In the stacker, I bought new straps eliminating the short strap, and some 3-stud D Rings for the aircraft tracks. Twenty years of trailering cars, and I’ve never had the problems I’m having with this car!

All nuts and bolts under the car have been checked and tightened and the oil changed. Monday the slicks come off the car to get washed on both sides and polished and rotated to other side. I’ll polish the aluminum in the trunk and the Lexan before loading up for Indy.

In other shop news, the 81 Imperial has been taken out of a 12 year hibernation, had its gas drained, the carb rebuilt, the oil changed, and new master cylinder and wheel caliper installed. I’ve owned the car since the mid 80s, I restored it about 15 years ago with a high performance drive train (380hp 360ci/street-strip 904/8.75″ rear end with 355 gears), but its time to  move on with a lot of these  cars I never drive.

When I bought the Texas Thug in 2001, it was a street racer with 17″ street slicks, a solid lifter/aluminum head 383 that had just been rebuilt, and a V-Gate shifted 4-speed. When delivered I took for a quick ride, and it was scary fast for such a small displacement. I took the car to Mark Artis at Texas Thunder Performance. He needed the 4-speed pedals for Big Red Ram. He took the big brake pedal, engine and transmission that was in Big Red Ram and put into that car – and then back-halved with a 4-link. It was my bracket car, later getting a 540ci with tunnel ram and a pair of 1180 Dominators.

So the engine that was originally in the car has been wrapped and stored for nearly two decades. I’ve pulled the Leaning Tower of Power and Three on the Tree out of my 60 Plymouth (another of my keepers) and will put a bad V-8 and 5 or 6 speed in it. I had my engine guy disassemble the 383 (heads and oil pan) and verify that it had been a fresh rebuild. He says the bearings look new and you can see a cross hatch on the cylinder walls. So I cleaned, primered and painted the short block so that it can be reassembled.

Finally, for 40 years I’ve always had a Chrysler convertible. In the 80s a 67 Newport, in the early 90s a 64 300, and late 90’s a 65 300. Almost 20 years ago, I bought a 64 Imperial Crown Convertible (my Dream Car, besides a 65 300L 4-speed convertible) off a 90+ year old lady who had received it new as a gift for her 50th birthday. I drove if for years and then it developed a lifter noise about 15 years ago, so I parked it. These are fairly rare cars now. Only 900 were made and Haggerty estimates that less than 200 exist in any condition. The best ones sell for $80k+ and ones like mine $30k-$40k.

Well the gas was drained, carb rebuilt, lifter noise fixed, new brakes on all four corners, new wheel cylinders, new master cylinder, and new brake lines. The top pump fixed an levels topped off. Also the fuel sender was replaced as it read empty. Yesterday I took for a 50 mile shake down ride. below are the videos.

I order new carpet and an Electronic ignition conversion kit. After that will be new tires and wheels, and exhaust system. The interior is in great shape, but a little over due for leather conditioner. Some of the interior chrome could use a good polishing. The paint is good except for a little bleaching on the trunk lid. I might see if I can get that repaired and the rest of the car power buffed. I’ve also considered getting crazy and wrapping in the same shade of green, but with wood grain side panels. The AC is worthless, and I looking at my options, including maybe installing a serpentine bracket system with modern AC/Power steering/Alternator.

That about brings things up to date with the shop happening.