At the recent monthly swap meet I spotted a derelict looking, rusty wrecker. It instantly reminded me of the steampunk zombie apocalypse survival vehicle that we had talked about a couple of weeks ago, and it easily sucked me in for a closer look. From every angle this thing was an absolute monster. It had enough leaf springs to haul the heaviest of loads, enough steel to thwart off that nastiest zombies, a single headlight for creeping around, and perfect patina to keep things ugly. If I didn’t have so many projects, I would have loved to have taken on a new toy like this. No, I wouldn’t clean off any of the rust. I would just get the truck mechanically sound, and ride crusty. Literally. Who doesn’t need a classic wrecker in their driveway? “You want to take the wrecker today?” “You’re darn right I do.”
In New England, rust free cars don’t exist. When you buy an old car, a “solid body” means that it will only need doors, fenders, floors, and quarters. Replacing sheetmetal is just a way of life for us. So when car enthusiasts up here see a car for sale that still has good original floors in it, for cheap cash, it sends us into a panic. That is exactly what happened to me this last weekend, and it reminded me of the two most important rules to being a proper gearhead:
1) Buy now, think later.
2) Always….. ALWAYS…. keep an extra spot in your yard just in case you need to bring some rolling stock home on a whim.
I failed hard on both accounts, and can only blame my own procrastination & cheapness. (more…)