Thursday, June 12, 2008

Took My Hot Rear to the Mustang Ranch.

Really I did...the story goes like this...(skip to the end if you want to hear what happened to the car skip to the end)
I was driving to Long Beach for Ink and Iron with Miss Cris. I thought I smelt something but than we blamed it on Semi-Truck brakes. She mentioned coffee..talked about getting coffee didn't. Next stop 38 miles. Ranchero seemed to kick-down a gear than I was hearing a whirling sound when I hit 70. Made it to the next stop - Coalinga. Open the hood, had some oil burn from the warped valve covers. But than I kept smelling something...looked at the rear and she was SMOKIN!

Knew this was no good. Went to a shop across the way and he said I needed to take it to Fresno for a chance at parts. Had friends at home lending moral support, Miss Cris was totally positive and we had folks from 'The Wanderers' car club in Fresno paving the way for our grand entrance into town. Called AAA, thank god I had auto-pay set because my Gold membership expired the day before. Spent the next 55 mins. calling around to shops. The tow truck driver thought the tranny may have problems to from all the fluid on the ground so I was trying to find a place that would look at both - no one would, especially once they heard '59 ford' because of 'the parts' I kept trying to tell them its a 9" rear everyone still works on these babies. Didn't help it was Friday at noon and no one really had much interest in getting us back on the road that day. After calling a dozen places got referred to the MUSTANG RANCH. Turns out to be a alley shop, with a salvage yard and rows of axels on a shelf - I knew I hit pay dirt. They offered a reasonable hourly rate but couldn't get to it till Monday.

I had already called our hotel in Long Beach and they wouldn't let us cancel so I had to make a we went and got a rental car. All they had left was full-size trucks a Dodge and a Ford. In honor of Nameless I went with the F150-Ford 4x4. I have to admit I felt like a bad ass and the air condition was a bonus. I kissed Nameless goodbye and we were off. Only to discover a tomato the crisis and the increasing gas prices along the way.

Ink and Iron certainly wasn't worth bringing the car to! There was very few cars there. It was fun to check out for the day but we called BullSh@t on Sunday and drove to Hollywood for Safari Sams Rockabilly Brunch.

From there we proceeded to East LA for a Tee Pee BBQ, met a neighbor who could have his own car show and stayed in our spiffy F10 motel - (got to see it to believe it).

Monday, back at the Mustang Ranch round 1 they were putting the finishing touches. The Diagnostic: Last owner had a drive shaft that was too long. There was NO Fill hole. All the focus on my car has been on the front end. No one noticed this and after 4,300k of my miles on top of who knows how many miles before I got her she was running dry. He said that if it was night time the rear axel would have been glowing it was so hot AND we were lucky it didn't get the gas tank. He replaced the center piece and had a shorter yoke to compensate for the shaft.

We were on the road by two in the blazing heat. Man we missed the air conditioning a little bit but its all part of the adventure.

MORAL of the story:
- Don't book a hotel room in advance if you can avoid it
- Try to leave a day or two before a weekend
- Don't plan to make it back to work on Monday
- Shits going to happen, be sure you have friends with you who understand and maintain a network of car enthusiasts along the way
- Bring a credit card or plan to spend several days having friends try to help out (LOVE YA for offering)

#1 Rule of Hot Rodding - never leave your car behind...YES, I know I cheated with the rental car but I ask forgiveness because I did leave her in good hands and not the Shell station on the corner.

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