I have a problem. I am aware of it, and I admit it, but I believe it is under control.
Some people gamble, some people do crack, and some people drink. I do cars. It’s not a problem really. I have attained a shaky equilibrium of space-vs-projects-vs-angryspouse, and have acquired nearly a dozen of the top 50 dream vehicles on my top 25 list. I don’t feel the need to get any more cars, unless I happen to see another one I can’t live without of course. But unfortunately I have been put on a moratorium. I can buy any car (or other vehicle) I want to; I just have to sell something first.
But a RACE car. Surely that would be different. Yes no?
When I decided I really HAD to go racing, I had the full support of my wife, supportivespouse. She smiled and gently but firmly reminded me of the deal. “I can buy anything I wanted, so long as I sell something first”. This applies to a race car as well. Damn.
She is on to me. A few years ago before I was put on a moratorium, she said I couldn’t buy any more sports cars, so we bought HER one (That I drive). When she said no more MGs for either of us, I bought a sporty Datsun sedan.
When she said no more buying cars PERIOD, a friend gave me two 1st generation Honda Goldwings, which caused much chagrin in my life. But I didn’t BUY them I pleaded. “I meant No more vehicles at all!” she said. What are you going to sell? Then to make matters worse, I got a call from a friend saying he was moving and I could have my old Kawasaki sport bike back for free. Aw man, I really wanted my bike back. And it’s not a car or sports car. It’s a sports BIKE. And I didn’t buy it, it was already mine… sort of...
None of this held water. To keep the peace, I promised to sell one of the bikes and “Brownie” the motor home. I just had to fix a few things on it first. Surely it should count for more than just one vehicle, no?
I found homes for and adopted out the 2 Goldwings which got me out of the doghouse for a while, and let me hang on to the Brownie for now.
Then I got nostalgic about my old Harley Davidson Sportster, and told guard-is-down-spouse all the great stories about it, for weeks at a time. With big puppy dog eyes… She mentioned in passing that I should buy another one, and sell Brownie. GREAT! I’ll do it! I just have to fix something on Brownie first before I sell it…
So I bought an Ironhead Sportster a few days later from some queasy Russian Mafia crankster on the cheap. It was a beautiful bike that needed a good dose of TLC to get back in shape.
Perfect, except on the way home the thing puked its guts out the exhaust pipe. Steelygazespouse was not amused.
(Whats left of the top of the piston, in the bottom of the cylinder)
Great, yet another project. I planned on rebuilding it anyways, but I had hoped to ride it a little longer first. Most expensive 20 minute ride of my life, but MAN was it fast! Now it was jockeying for position in the line of projects in my garage, between the Kawasaki, an MGBGT, and a 67 Dodge Polara that I drove cross country on the 2nd annual Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour, and of course Brownie the Motorhome, that I had to fix before I could sell.
And Brownie is no ordinary Motorhome. Oh no! He is rare, oh so very rare! The chassis was built in 1979, and includes the vaunted 440 motor. For those in the know, the 440 and the 1 ton chassis’ were discontinued in 1978. A handful of leftover 78 chassis’ were delivered to coachbuilders late and sold the next year as ‘79s, but this one was a bonafide 1979 440 Dodge chassis, built in early 1979 as listed on the VIN. It’s not listed in any parts books or literature that I have found which made for interesting conversations/confrontations at parts stores until I started ordering for a 78.
In addition, the coach was built by a travel trailer company that got into motorhomes for a year or two, and then went back to just trailers. Double rare. And it’s been in the family for years!
Alas, none of this mattered to grumpyspouse. Bike came, RV goes. A deal is a deal. Ok, you are right… we should sell it. I just gotta fix something on it first. I’ll put it in storage until I can get to it.
Which brings us back to the race car dilemma. Where to keep a race car? My home was chosen for it’s unusually long driveway. My cutefunnyspouse had sold her Honda and bought a smart-car , which really helped on the parking space, but I was told point blank; “Not to be filled with race car”.
The next LeMons race came, the next LeMons race went, and I decided I HAD to find someplace else to store and work on the yet to be purchased (on the down-low) race car…
Family and friends were approached and schmoozed, with promises of victory and fame, but as the deadline approached and the need for real money and effort arose, I found myself a 1 man team with no car, and no place to park even if I had one. There HAD to be other race and car obsessed people out there on this planet, I just did not know any of them. I was hanging out in the wrong circles, with seriously bad people like engineers, whom always eyed me and my hijinx with suspicion.
I decided to take a new approach and hang out at the next event, Altamont 08 for the whole race. Maybe learn the ropes and find out what it REALLY takes to run the 24 Hours of LeMons. Maybe I could talk notonyourlifespouse into going with me...
Next: The Sinker... (Part 3)
From The Begining: - The Hook... (Part 1)
8 hours ago