Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Little British Car (part 1)

I've mentioned the move. I've mentioned the job change. Both of these things take quite a toll on your time and energy. Before I left that last job, though, I received that one last, albeit disappointing, bonus. I had received enough to cover my share of T's college tuition and had about a grand left over to piss away on something stupid. Enter something stupid:

Little British Car
sample, but it looked like this
My first real girlfriend had older siblings, a sister and a brother. Her sister used to hassle us about our shared love for Led Zeppelin. Her brother had an old racing green chrome-bumper MGB he had been carefully restoring that looked like the picture on the right here. I remember the family got him a wood steering wheel for his birthday and watching him melt before our eyes as he unwrapped it. As I think about it, that may have been my first within-arms-length exposure to fixing up an old car that wasn't a piece of crap. Anyway, I really liked his old MGB. I liked it so much that when I later won some money on a radio contest, I started making plans to go buy one of my own. Well... the radio contest turned to bust when they learned I wasn't 18, so my dream of an MGB drifted away. Until this past September.

As I mentioned in the move-again post, this new-to-me house is 20% smaller than the last one. I have found that the shrinkage applies to the garage as well since the laundry facility is out there. Careful measuring demonstrates that the bus can technically fit in the garage, there won't be any maintenance work performed upon it in there. Truth be told, there aren't many projects left on it that I want to tackle anyway. I really just want to drive it. So, combining the small garage, bus fitment and interest in something new, I went looking for something small. Like a Ghia or a Beetle... or maybe something not German.

Seek and Ye Shall Find
I admit that I spend more time than I probably should cruising around Craigslist cars_and_trucks and auto_parts sections. When I had some stupid money around, of course I went there. I'm always pricing cars in one way or another, so I had a pretty good idea of what I could get in a 30 year old project for a grand. The market for Ghia's is off the chart and even older Beetles are fetching a high price for no-floor, no engine/tranny projects. In the case of MG's, I found a concrete floored barn-car in Molalla, some yard art in Eugene and a few projects that looked like parts car sell-offs. Not exactly the treasure trove I'd hoped for, but with high hopes, T and I hopped into his Subbie and set off for cowboy country.

GoogleMap of Molalla
If you've never been to Molalla Oregon, it is a contemporary version of an old west town. For example, if you pull it up on Google maps, the first business that appears is the Molalla Buckaroo Association (the Molalla Buckaroo is a rodeo). Through the center of town runs main street, and this is where you'll find most of all the businesses that operate within the city. T and I spotted a Mexican restaurant (el Charrito), and stopped to eat. It was happy hour, and the place was about 1/2 full. All locals, all friendly. We were seated in a booth, served well and ate well. We figured that since we were in the center of town, we had to be pretty close to where our barn-find lived.

Where in God's Green Earth Are We?
Not exactly. Our Google Map had us driving seemingly all over the hills surrounding Mollalla. We had to turn around a few times, but we spotted a driveway hidden by bushes on both sides. The No Trespassing sign was also obscured, but since we were invited, we turned in and headed down the gravel drive. After about a 1/4 mile, the shrubs gave way to grassy lawn spread out in front of a farmhouse. There was a large barn on it's left and a vermillion (c'mon, it's orange) MGB parked in between.

sample MGB image. Actual car much crappier

That's it for today. More next time...

No comments: