Summer 2007 & The Great Stall

The whole time the car was over in my parents' driveway,
I remember thinking "Man, if only I had this car over at my
house... I'd be able to get more accomplished."

Well, now I had my wish... I could walk outside and there it was,
staring at me, beckoning me, all day, every day. It was also staring
at my wife; she stared back. Nobody blinked. Stare Tanya! Stare!

Why am I whining about this? Isn't this what I wanted?
Well, yeah, except for two things... Money & Heat.

The Money thing is easy to understand,
I had already made a mockery of my projected budget.

Jiminy Cricket was a fixture in my ear:
"Hey Brad, didn't you promise to re-do the kitchen?"
"Yeah, I'll get right on it." was uttered from beneath my
ever-growing Pinocchio nose.

The second factor, the Heat, well that just comes with the
territory: Bakersfield summers routinely hit 105+ degrees.

So, the Ranchero project kinda stalled for awhile...

Around this time Rich convinced me to nix the 750 Edelbrock
carburetor (which was actually a Weber carburetor with
an Edlebrock nameplate on it) and get a Holley. So bye-bye
750 Eldebrock, bye-bye $400, hello 830 Holley Double Pumper
(ensuring many "Hello gas station" salutations for the future).

We had a few test and tune runs (I won't say where) and we were
quite pleased with the performance; anything past half throttle
made the weather-checked rear tires go up in smoke...
The car didn't accelerate very much do to the poor traction,
but man, that reving 429 sure sounded great!

I'll have to get a video of that someday.

Rich did some more wiring, and as the daily heat index began to rise,
the motivation began to fall. We drank many beers while standing
around in the heat looking at the car... standing around looking at it
wasn't getting much done. So, I prompted myself back into action
by returning to the place where it all started:

I figured that if I had a few new parts laying around, I would be
more motivated to wrench on the Ranch. The bumper
arrived and we got back to work with a new mantra.

New mantra: If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the sunlight

So Rich and I spent many nights staying out of the sunlight...

We decided to make a project out of stripping the front end down
to bare metal. At first we tried to drive a dual action pneumatic sander
with my wimpy little air compressor. My compressor wouldn't keep up.
So, I borrowed my dad's compressor; it wouldn't keep up. So, we bought
some air fittings and hooked the compressors in tandem; my garage
circuit breaker couldn't handle the load.

It was enough to make a guy want to drink ice cold beer (in the shade).

Later, my neighbor Kenny backed up his work truck
that had a diesel powered air compressor mounted on the back:

The aforementioned diesel compressor had little or no muffler;
so the noise brought my wife Tanya and son Ross out of the house.
Once they saw how well the sanders worked with adequate air
pressure, they volunteered their services. Unfortunately, the diesel
fumes and deafening exhaust clatter, turned the truck mounted
compressor into yet another non-viable option.

Not willing to be thwarted that easily, Rich and I made a trip to
Harbor Freight Tools where we found some reasonably priced
random orbit sanders. There was no stopping us now.

With all of the ugly red "paint" removed from the front end,
the old mounting holes for the simulated wood grain could clearly
be seen... Great, Bondo and ripples. Great.

After un-painting the front, we decided to un-assemble it in
preparation for a little primer:

Next, the fender extensions, headlight buckets, and hood scoop
insert had a date with the sandblaster:

Heck, we all had a date with the sandblaster...

After the blasting was done, it was time for a little primer...

First, the little pieces:

Then, the big pieces:

Wow, now I have a half primered hot rod... just like a real redneck!

Now it was time to see if I remembered where I put the body bolts...

So far so good... Let's try that EBay bumper now...

Nice... no more painted-over chrome (on front anyway).

If you've been paying attention to the dates on these pictures,
you probably noticed that the elapsed time between getting the
car home, sanding, primering, and reassembly was a dismal
116 days... Woo! I'd better slow down or those cobwebs might
fall off of my skeleton...

Pretty lame eh?

Well it's nothin' compared to September 2007 through January 2008...


My beloved hot rod reduced to a catch-all junk heap.

I can only blame it on holiday poverty (financial, mental & emotional).

New Years Resolution:

Finish this car!

(Right after Tanya's new kitchen)
(Which has now been bumped by new patio project)

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