Thursday, April 23, 2009

Boys and Their Cars

We are a car family, thank to my husband. He's always loved cars and during the 13 years I've known him, he's owned more cars than I am old.

We go to car shows. We watch car movies (The Fast and the Furious, anyone?) and we collect cars. We've got five licensed and insured now, plus a handful or two of other project cars on the farm – including a nice little stash of vehicles tucked behind my barn, that once things start growing, are conveniently hidden in the tall grass.

We work on cars.

And if you are 3 that means:

  • You tote around ratchets, wrenches and play in the grease.
  • You also play “going to the car show” on your trikes.
  • On ambitious days you try to put the cat in a wagon to take her to the car “scruze” (cruise).
  • Then you're confused why the cat runs away whenever she can wriggle out of your arms.
  • When it is too wet to play outside you play “car cruise” and line up all your little cars on the couch. It's a drag when you mother tells you to pick up your little cars, so you find unique ways to store them. This is my rocking chair.

Spring is a particularly busy time of year a car family. Weekly car cruises started two weeks ago and neither of our classic cars – a 1969 Lincoln Continental, with suicide doors, and a my 1949 International Pickup – are road worthy at the moment.

The front brakes need to be replaced on the Lincoln – a fact we discovered after the first day J took the car out of the shed from the winter. Let's just say finding replacement brake pads and calipers (the thingies that hold the pads and actually “squeeze” the rotor to make the car stop) are a little hard to find.

We bought the pickup last year and my husband transplanted the engine, transmission and rear end from a 1977 Monte Carlo into it -- the "donor" just happened to be living behind the barn. He had to rebuild the front suspension to accommodate the modern engine, transmission and brakes. This spring, he discovered one of the welds holding the shock mounts in place broke free. I can't drive it until it is fixed. We've also got to replace the seats with ones taller ones so I can see out the window. Oh, and seat belts are also nice addition.

Of course, it's difficult to work on these projects when the main shop is full. My husband's beloved 1-ton pickup is ripped down to the frame and is in the process of restoring the body and installing a turbo on the engine.

Here my hubby is in happier times with his pickup. We were in college and I needed an environmental portrait for my photography class, and this was one of them. Shot with an old-school Nikon with a true fisheye lens. I had to hold for an 1/8th of a second (I was much more steady years ago). It's still a little grainy and of course he doesn't sit still, but it's a great shot of his truck and the shop.

This is the first year I'm actually looking forward to the car cruises and shows. I think it has something to do with the fact I'll have my own to drive. This was last summer right when we were test fitting the engine and front end.

I think my pickup needs a name. Any suggestions?


Robyn said...

Hmmm- it looks like a "boy" car to me- and maybe a European name- like Gunther or Heinrich or Sven---- maybe Wolfgang?

Kelli said...

An International pick up needs a manly name...something strong and silent...farmer-ish if you will.

I dub thee Floyd the International a good name for a pick-up or as a mobster nickname.