Took the morning off – no Datsun 280z resto today! Just planning the interior and scouring through google images :]
There’s a slight drizzle today so it’s time to test out those rear wheels. Anticipating this weekend as my brother’s coming down from SF to help wrench.
Till then, this blog has even inspired my dad to write about his first car – it’s awesome – enjoy!
After reading Justin’s November 1 blog, I wondered how many cars I’ve actually owned. With memory short in supply, this is what I’ve come up with. It began one late afternoon back in August 1968. As I recall, I came across a car that had some interest. It was a 1963 Chevy Corvair, with a 3 speed manual on the floor, needless to say having it on the floor was the only way to go, since current manuals on most cars were located on the colluum…all for $400, as I thumbed thru a Want Ad magazine (for those who remember). I told my Dad about it and agreed that we’d take a look at it. I preceded to contact the owner and set up a time when we could see the car. When that day came, my Dad, Gong (I think) and I took the journey to some parking lot somewhere in the Boston area – it had to have been in the evening. As we arrived the owner was already waiting, we exchanged greetings, and proceeded with the process. It was as Justin said, my first love! I test drove it around the parking lot for about 30 seconds and that did it, without further investigation we offered $350, well… lo and behold…. he accepted the offer. From that point, we made arrangements with him to deliver the car to my Dad’s place of work, which he then insured and registered the car.
About the car – one would think that a car that was only 5 years old would be in pretty good condition…RIGHT. One has to remember cars in those days lasted only a few years before rust took over. Well, rust took over alright!! After a thorough inspection of the car, I found the entire left rear floor panel rusted out – leaving a gapping hole as large as a water melon under the vinyl mat. This was your basic model, not the Monza, which was then the top of the line Corvair. So rather than having wall to wall carpeting, it had wall to wall vinyl covering… hey it makes for easy cleanup, a good wet sponge would do the trick. Anyhow, I thought a hole this size was not a good sign as to what the rest of the car would bring. bBig dilemma, what to do??? Go to Tofani’s body shop (no longer in business) down the street and have it repaired or try to fix it myself? Well I chose the latter option. A simple fix I said – I would just cut a piece of 3/8 inch plywood and place it over the hole and it would be good as new…yeah! GOOD AS NEW.. After all, it was much cheaper since the plywood was laying around in the basement in the work shop that my Dad had. So from there, it was all about getting the car to “look” good. I did a super wax job but that didn’t improve it much so I decided to add a cool racing stripe. A wide white stripe over the length of the car over the drives head would be cool with the maroon paint, similar to the color of my current Harley. Went to the local department store, Caldors, and proceeded to the automotive department. Well they were out of white, but had plenty of blue, sort of sky blue, which totally didn’t match. But what the heck, having the racing stripes was more important than color. The application wasn’t too hard as I had managed to get most of the bubbles out. Over the next several months I added rear speakers – rear speakers was a BIG deal back then. Well I thought it sounded really good especially it was only an AM radio …and mono, not stereo. Only more established people had AM/FM radio, and stereo was even over the top. With a clutch job and a good tune-up the car ran well…even though it burned some oil and leaked even more. But the simple fact was …. it was my first car!!
Over the next 2 years or so we had our ups and downs. Like love, I had to overlook the challenges and heart breaks and move forward. Well the old girl just didn’t do it for me anymore and I had to look elsewhere. My love was replaced by a new 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger in yellow with a black vinyl roof. Well that’s a whole new chapter and many modifications made as well…lol.
…to be continued.