Monday, December 29, 2008

And we're back!

After a long break for the holidays away from the Steelworks post, we're back in the office and thinking all things gearhead once again. It's been one of the more pleasant holiday breaks that I can remember, of course a bit more traveling than I'd like as I do plenty of traveling throughout the year, but a very nice time all the same. As the tour came to a close in Nevada I opted to hop a plane for So-Cal instead of heading back to Nashville. I wanted to visit some friends and have a bit of a mini personal vacation before the family get together for the holidays started. California is always a blast and I'm certainly glad I went, but because I went straight from LA to the studio in Nashville to help track the new Floating Men record- for the three days that I was home before shuffling off to Buffalo- I'm feeling a tad bit unsettled ( especially considering the last time I was really home was the 4th of Dec. ) and very much looking forward to getting home and starting on the many projects waiting for me in the new year.

This time of year gets the mind working on many things past, present, and future. A sort of mental life-inventory... how it has been going, how it's going now, and of course the very dangerous,"What I need to accomplish in the coming new year." We all do this of course and I can think of some years when I've done better than others with my list of goals for the new year. This go around will be no different I'm sure. Some things will be accomplished and some things won't. My list is, unfortunately, quite long for '09, so I'm sure I'll disappoint myself when it is all said and done. All I can do is keep my head down, work steadily on the tasks at hand, and see where we end up at the end of the next 12 months.

My '09 list has a lot of items on it that are both mundane and of no real relevance to this forum, so I'll not get into them here. The usual home repairs, yard upgrades, financial tweaking, professional objectives, etc., are all over the place of course... the real stuff of interest, involving shop time and getting my hands dirty, is what I want to talk about and, thanks to an ongoing lack of maturity, are always at the top of my list.

Number one of course is finishing the old GA Bronco project. We've really entered the last minutes of play on this one and I know there are many out there who will understand this when I say it... I just want it finished. This is not to say that I'm not still jazzed about the project. This is not to say that I can't wait to see this thing in my driveway at idle, asking me to jump in and drive. I just want it finished. It's time. Number one, my customer, and boss, would like to have his truck sooner than later...( you can see the double whammy there obviously ) , and number two; I need to move on. I love this hobby and I don't like the feeling that grows from having a build drag on. It sours me. Also, I have an itch that is calling me in the form of the next project in line- my '29 A-V8 roadster project. All together it forms a bit of an anxiety stew so, again, I'm looking forward to being back home and back in the shop.

In addition to the roadster project is the ongoing '71 Chevelle rebuild that I just can't seem to leave alone. I've been driving it daily when home and am just not satisfied with some of the body work. I just don't want to be able to see any of it... of course! and when I can, it makes me crazy. I'm learning as I go so I can't get too hung up but at the same time it needs to be right. I'm looking to redo the rear quarters, the hood, the trunk, and to finally lay out and shoot the factory LeMans stripes back onto the car. In addition, I may have to dig into the engine on the old gal for the first time in many years as I think some valves and push rods were recently bent after letting a friend take a rather seriously spirited drive while home last week. We'll see where that goes. For quite some time I've been wanting to upgrade the cylinder heads and cam on the old 406 and this will give me the perfect opportunity to do so. Go ahead and laugh fellow gear heads as you watch me spin out into more project than is really necessary. I'm trying to leave that car alone as it is a consummate rat's nest but you fellow knucklebusters know how it is.

Mostly I just want to work on my roadster project and nothing else. I became infatuated with building this '40s style dry lakes hot rod sometime around 1993 and it has been a very very long time coming. I began buying period correct parts for it around that same time and now have the better part of a complete, but yet to be assembled, car. A lot of life has gotten in the way of this build over the years but now I feel like I may actually have a window to work in. Maybe '09 will be the year. I truly feel that once I get going on it and stay on it the build will go relatively quickly. Could it be done by the end of the year? It's possible. A talented guy with time on his hands could knock it out in 2 months for sure. Unfortunately, I don't have as much of either of those as I'd like. The engine is ready, the frame is ready, again, most of the parts have been gathered, but the body is going to take some doing as will the front and rear suspensions and driveline. It's unusual for me to be in this spot with a project but for once with me it's not about financing it's about time... and as always, time will tell.

Stay 'tuned' and welcome back!

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