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Old 02-27-2008, 11:18 AM   #41
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Default Re: Rough Drafts & Lessons Learned

It's funny, a friend of mine and I were talking about this sort of subject yesterday, and it really had me thinking. I have learned so much that it would take hours for me to write it all here. Early on I learned that I am not nearly as good as I once thought I was (although I am much better than I was 10 years ago). I learned that I must have ADD, as I have had so many cars and projects that it's ridiculous. I now know that the big name builders that I once looked up to and damn near idolized are actually no better than the majority of the people on this site. I know that I do not like doing my best work on someone else's ride, and then watch it drive away. I've learned to take my time and plan shit out, as many times I have been extremely quick to start cutting or tearing into something, only to change my mind. I also learned that I am extremely hard headed, don't listen to anyone, and actually seem to like learning shit the hard way.
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:36 PM   #42
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Default Re: Rough Drafts & Lessons Learned

So, one sunny day in '84(ish) a few buddys and I got together at a friend's place. After a few hours of beers and conversation, it was decided that the carby on his '59 Cad. needed some work. So it was every one into his old wood floor garage. Off came the carb. Out came screws, springs and ball barings, many of which ended up on the floor. After drunken searching in the cracks between the floor boards, most parts were recoverd and reassembly done. The carb. was then refitted to the car and amidst much fooling around, the car started. Cough cough bang, it caught fire. "Quick grab the hose!" This happy little tale ended up with a hydrolic locked engine with bent rods. Lesson learned; save the pissup until the work is done.
RETRO Spec. (tive) -Getting to where you're going by knowing where you've come from.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:37 PM   #43
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Default Re: Rough Drafts & Lessons Learned

Who is Batchelor, Montgomery, and Southard?
1953 Pontiac Chieftain
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:40 PM   #44
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Default Re: Rough Drafts & Lessons Learned

"all i"ve ever built is motorcycles and i finally decided to build a car. i have a 34 chevy sedan and i will have it done by june 07 if it's the last thing i do. at this point i really don't care about anything else."

That's what I wrote in my introduction. Guess when that was? December 1 2006. What am i still doing? You guessed it. I work on that beautiful piece of crap about 3 days a week. Cars are a bit harder to build than a motorcycle. i've learned so much, I feel like I can do anything. I read, research, and ask questions. I take everything with a grain of salt because you never know how accurate it is. Then I get to it. No secret really.

I thought id be done for BTTF's in '07, I was there all right. I took my Pops 64 t-bird. my '34 stayed in the garage.

Will I make it in '08? I'm doing everything I can to get there. I'm sure it will be right down to the wire.

Last edited by ct; 02-28-2008 at 01:51 AM. Reason: bugged me
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:59 PM   #45
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chesapeake VA
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Default Re: Rough Drafts & Lessons Learned

My first lesson was learned on my very first car, a pristine one owner '48 Chev in royal blue, that I was actually only looking at - merely considering buying - and not all that keen on it anyway except for the price and I needed wheels. The guy wanted forty hard-earned 1962 dollars for it. This car didn't have so much as a parking lot ding, or a stain on the interior, or a flaw in the engine compartment.

I really wanted that '54 blue and white Bel Air hardtop at a local dealer, but they wanted ninety-nine bucks - way out of my range. I had about sixty to my name after a long summer of hard laboring... Instead of finding more work, I took the '48 for a test drive on a wet oiled-dirt parking lot. Car fish-tailed just a little, and somehow "I" broke an axle. Guy gives me the "You broke it, you pay to fix it or you buy it " speech. An axle cost $35 to replace. I bought the car.

Got a buddy to rope-tow me home. On the way home, the rope jerked me into the rear of his car and bent my perfect grille and bashed a headlamp. In addition to my headlamp and hours spent straightening the grille, it cost me another $10 to fix his tail light. And the axle change was a real nightmare. I think three of the cover bolts or studs snapped off, and the catch pan had a hole in the bottom and leaked all over my dad's garage - stunk up the place to high heaven and the car got evicted to a muddy corner of the driveway.

Then somehow I got my little finger pinched in the gears so badly that they talked about amputating it (45+ years later and the tip is still stone numb.) I was out of commission for a month after that. Took about two more months to get the axle finished. In the meantime, a cat took to running in place on the hood and tore up the paint. Two tires and the battery went permanently flat, and I could only afford to take care of them one at a time. I learned a few lessons - patience, for one, and to keep my fingers out of rotating machinery, among others. And drove it for the second time, right after Christmas.

I sold it that summer, at night, when the buyer couldn't see my half assed sewing job on the seat or the scratches on the hood or the steady drip of 90 weight from the rear. And for exactly what I paid for it, although somewhat richer for the experience and the skinned knuckles, amen.
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:25 PM   #46
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Default Re: Rough Drafts & Lessons Learned

PLAN.....well....somewhat plan and have an idea of where you want the build to go.

Otherwise end up like me...have a car for two years that gets worked on all the time but never gets anywhere because I change things 3 and 4 times.
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