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 Post subject: The Thing
PostPosted: August 30, 2018, 8:58 am 
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Joined: May 29, 2018, 8:43 am
Posts: 184
Location: That point where the humidity and the temperature combine forces to destroy all that is good
We called it "the Thing". Not a VW thing; those were years from realization. This was a four-wheeled accumulation of parts; the culmination of a year's worth of weekends and summer days; of arguments over what to include and what to take off.... it was supposed to be a group effort that the original core of builders would share in equally, but, as time passed, more contributors to the effort expected to be rewarded with time behind the wheel, so to speak.... nobody had a welder, or knew one, or knew the importance of solid welded joints in certain areas, like the frame, for instance. A few guys had real tools, or their Dads had real tools and they would "borrow" them as needed.... The importance of getting "the Thing" operational by opening day of school was of utmost importance, and as summer winded down, effort stepped up. The idea had formulated the previous year, when some of us realized that Christmas was coming, and a lot of us had relatives who had no idea what to buy us for Christmas, so they simply sent money. We pooled our Christmas money, four of us, and arrived at the huge sum of eighty dollars even. A couple of us had paper routes and grocery store jobs, so we had a little bit more to contribute, but not much, as earned pay was expected to be put into our savings accounts. Around the end of January, when the worst of winter was breaking, we sat down to work out the details of our plans, first of which was, what car to start with? Where were some powerful, roomy, and cheap cars to be found? Eddie had the paper route on the north side of town, and said there were a couple of cars for sale on his route. He hadn't been able to make more than a cursory inspection of them due to the time constraints of the route, but we could get there on our bikes easily enough. Jack's paper route promised a couple more, including a Hudson sedan. I was always checking the community bulletin board in the grocery store for cars for sale and a couple had popped up. Sam lived on his parent's farm and knew of a couple on the road out to his place. The four of us went off on a chilly Saturday afternoon on our bikes in search of a unicorn, a list of highly dubious suspects tucked in our jacket pockets....

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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: August 30, 2018, 10:13 am 
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Joined: May 29, 2018, 8:43 am
Posts: 184
Location: That point where the humidity and the temperature combine forces to destroy all that is good
First stop was a few blocks west of my house, where a supposedly pristine Nash was reported to reside behind the owner's garage. Reticent to allow four freezing teenaged boys access to the back yard, he finally relented and we followed him back to the Nash nestled in brambles under a huge holly tree. Just getting TO the car was a half-hour of Frank Buck and Jungle Jim chopping through brush... four completely rotten, flat, and separated tires on rotting wooden wheels... the roof insert had fallen in and the interior was full of prickly holly leaves and briars. Good thing it was still winter, which would keep snake encounters to the far side of improbable. The owner stood in his coat, stamping his feet against the chill, and not-so-subtly encouraging us to make haste in our inspection... Eddie and I raised the hood as far as it would go against the resistance of the combined weight of wet leaves and brambles, and found the Nash six neatly cracked in half. Shot down in flames! Hopes fell like rain as we looked at each other and silently agreed that, this one, at least, was far beyond our capabilities.....

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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: August 30, 2018, 4:43 pm 
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Joined: May 29, 2018, 8:43 am
Posts: 184
Location: That point where the humidity and the temperature combine forces to destroy all that is good
One by one, the prospects failed our initial inspections and we were left with a forlorn old Packard sedan, pale green, musty mohair interior, and some risky looking recaps older than Eddie..... but, it ran, and only used a quart of oil a day.... the clutch was worn and it didn't like taking hills from a standstill, but it did exude some aura of class four fifteen year old kids sorely lacked. It was driven out to the farm, clear of wiser eyes than ours for the time being, and stored in a shed to await our labors. Only a few hours a week until summer, when we might devote more time if possible to the renovation of the once-serene old Packard....

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 Post subject: Re: The Thing
PostPosted: August 30, 2018, 5:15 pm 
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Joined: July 17, 2008, 9:11 am
Posts: 6218
Location: West Chicago,IL
Ahhh, recaps. I remember them. One step down from Blem's and a step up from used tires for those on a budget. I bought recapped snow tires back in the day. My brothers both worked at a State Gasoline station where they sold re-refined oil in glass bottles for those who had cars that used a lot of oil...… "Stop to fill the oil and check the gas". My first Brit car was a Spitfire. Let out the clutch and a few seconds later, the car slowly started to pick up speed. Those were the days!


Keep on writing.

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Chuck.

“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Visit my ongoing MGB Rustoration log: over HERE

Or my Wankel powered Locost log : over HERE

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