13 September, 2010

The Details of the Craftsmanship

If I were actually an outside reader of this blog (of which there may be one or two poor souls), I would be inclined to think that Woodsie was dead. Certainly from the frequency of which blogs have been posted it would appear that someone so eager to work on and report on old cars and racing must be dead or else he would have published something earlier. Well, contrary to popular belief I have not been dead nor have I been excommunicated or detained for unwittingly chasing a small rabbit across the Iran border. No, the factors influencing the blog frequency have been slightly more normal (like summer class, medical school applications, radio stuff and current schoolwork). Nonetheless, I'm trying to get myself caught up on all of the many topics that have run through my head since June about which I'd like to write.

For now, though, a brief update. My time that I can spend working on the Maxwell and Corvette have been pretty limited, normally to weekends now that school has commenced again. As a result I can't spend a great deal of time doing something as intensive as opening the rear axle of the Maxwell or affixing the new brackets and soft top frame to the '61. Instead we have been trying to appeal to the Garage's needs first. My father decided a couple of weeks ago that our incessant sweeping of the earthen-looking floor up there wasn't working, so we decided to power wash the concrete. It was a mildly interesting experience peeling back layers of dirt and loose concrete; I began to see old dried paint from the many years my dad used to paint cars for extra money. There was some Roman Red from the Corvette and some silver from my car. There were also countless colors belonging to cars that had been born and sold from the Garage's confines long before I was a fleeting thought in my parents' minds. In the end, though, it was nice to get the floor looking good again (well, as best the uneven floor can these days).

When I wasn't doing that or some other random cleaning task (like moving the old Maxwell fenders off the floor before the winter), I would periodically go back and work on the Maxwell. I began by employing the incredibly powerful carb cleaner that comes in a bucket. I took the oiling caps from the rear axle, originally covered with black grease and dirt, and I put them in the metal basket that gets dipped into the solution. After leaving the caps for anywhere from 15-30 minutes, I would remove them, douse in water and wipe off, and voila! I would have shiny caps again! It was pretty neat, but more importantly it was easy. No spraying or wire-brushing, just dunk and leave!

While the caps were off I would scrape the rust off and apply some spray paint, and overall I'm happy with the product so far. Over time the car gets more and more covered with protective rust, and it's neat to see the car for what it is, not what it looks like covered in distracting rust that blurs the details of the craftsmanship. After all, thus far I've found the car living up to its old tagline of "Perfectly Simple, Simply Perfect." I couldn't agree more, even though I'm yet to understand how this car can come to life when it's all put together.

Oh well, that's for another post. This was just a teaser, though, for what's to come. Now off to bed!

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