Work was extremely pretty busy as expected. Between that, and the holidays there was little time to head up to Lou’s yard and check things out. Finally I had an unexpected half day off so I went over to see his race car and drop off my deposit.
When I showed up, I quickly realized things were not quite as I was expecting. There was a large collection of junk and unfinished projects stacked and strewn about. This was more what I would expect from an eccentric old hippy than a race car driver. But there were a few actual interesting projects sprinkled through the grounds. Talking to Lou it turns out he was indeed an old hippy from Arcata, a place I once knew well… oh the memories…. Yipes.
He showed me his “race car”, the same Exoskeleton Jag I saw from the Altamont race, with its trunk cut off and huge pipes welded into the bodywork around the perimeter. But the engine was partially disassembled, and Lou pointed out a dozen “improvements” he had made to the car, and another dozen he was in the middle of or plotting out.
He also showed me the second Jag he was about to build for the team, a nice old V12.
I asked if it was going to all be done in time for the race, and also asked if they actually let him race the car like it was… it seemed a bit… different… (Sing; One of these cars just ain’t like the others…). He assured me that he knew the guy who runs the race, who was a good friend of his, that his team was guaranteed a spot on the track, and that we wouldn’t be hassled through tech. I was more concerned if it was going to be safe, and he promised me it would be the safest car out there when he was done with it.
I also got a lecture on how wrong and upside down modern safety standards are. The man was obviously passionate about the subject, which surprised me considering...
It was quite dark by then, and there were no lights anywhere in the yard, so show and tell finally came to an end. He then offered to show me some interesting old race memorabilia. It was fun talking to him for a few hours that evening. He showed me a collection of copies of photos he had from his glory days, talked my ear off with old stories about racing and dirt bike riding, and occasionally broke out into limericks… often suddenly, and without warning.
When it came time to go, I was 50/50 about the whole deal. It could be a mistake, or it could be fun as hell. He seemed quite a likable guy, but there was only one way to find out. I left him just a deposit. I’d give him the rest as the time got closer.
When I got home, my sohowdiditgo-spouse asked “So, how did it go?”
I told her, “Well… the guy sure is eccentric” and described the evening. At the end she laughed and said “Do you realize you used the word “Eccentric” about 7 times?”
Huh. Well that about sums it up.
“Do you think he is for real?”
“Hmmm… well, I don’t know. We will just have to see. I only gave him half though. Just in case.”
"Good thinking" she replied. But I know what she was really thinking.
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From The Begining - The Hook... (Part 1)
12 hours ago