Family visit, help, progress and delays

November 18, 2012

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Doors going back on car.

For almost the past 3 weeks, my brother Tom and sister in law Cathy have been here visiting, but mostly helping me with what reconstruction on Phiona that we could do while the car was still in the shop. The help Tom and Cathy provided really helped me out tremendously. Tom, being very mechanical, and being a farmer, has seen and done a whole lot of repairs in his life that has really eased handling the mechanical breakdowns and repairs that I've encountered over the years. I know I'd not be this far along with Phiona if not for both of their patience and help. I'm very grateful for all they have done to help me muddle through. Thank you!

Tom and Cathy installing a door hinge.

Over the course of several weeks, Tom, Cathy and I have completed reassembling the front clip of the car, including the headlights, parking lights and associated wiring and have done most of the work reattaching the doors down at the shop. None of those activities went perfectly smoothly, but, they are completed. That is progress. Thank goodness.

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Mike and I attaching one of the doors.

This morning Tom and Cathy headed out on their return drive to Gibsonburg, Ohio so that they can arrive before Thanksgiving. It was sad for me to see them go (Cathy would have been very happy to have stayed a while longer). With their help I feel I'm  now over a huge hurdle and can manage to tackle the remainder of this project.

What's life without disappointments, eh?

This fine Sunday morning in Arizona, found me feeling a lot of disappointment. In the past week, I've encountered unsettling situations on my car, including a botched installation of the rear window, lost door bolts and screws, delays on completing parts of the work and more. To top it off, yesterday, Saturday, Phiona was SUPPOSED to be delivered back to me via a flat bed truck. That was to have happened around 1 p.m.. Well, 1 o'clock came and went, as did 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,…p.m. and no car. No call. Nothing. 

So, by this morning I was discouraged, again, that the shop did not follow through as they promised. By the time I met up with my car buddies at The Good Egg, disappointment was tinged with a good helping of anger. But, talking about it was also a bit cathartic, whereupon, I, again, just accepted that I needed to look at the "good" side of this event. When I left after breakfast with my friends, I still couldn't figure what the "UP" side of this was, but I was receptive to discovering it.

I installed the re-chromed door handles - myself.

Adds a nice touch.

As I passed the shop driving home, I saw that someone was there, so I swung around and stopped. Mike Fish, the one I most talk and interact with was there. Mike also is the one who is in charge of finish work on the paint. He explained that yesterday, he got left at the shop alone, and the boss left, so no arrangements were made to haul the car to my place. BUT, Mike did complete the finish work on the paint job, cleaned the engine (it was looking nasty after all these months exposed to dirt, dust, grime from body work, etc). As we talked he explained that in the morning, Monday, he will have Z, the body man, straighten the front bumper bracket while that part of the car is exposed. 

And then the "UP" side of the car not being delivered occurred to me. 

If Tom, Cathy and I had managed to reattached the front clip on the car, then the front frame would have been covered, making it very difficult to have free access to attach the bracket to the now exposed frame and get it reshaped to the curvature of the bumper.. With the front clip off of the car, the bracket straightening will guarantee no damages to the front fenders, radiator cowl or grill. As has happened on countless occasions, the good of a disappointing situation was revealed, in it's own good time.

So, for now I'm content. As I've written previously, the car will be done - when it's done. I can't put an end date on it, but now it's looking a lot more likely that Christmas time would be an estimated time for Phiona to make her debut.

Photos from the past several weeks:

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Radiator cowl, grill and right fender


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Under wraps

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Front clip nearly reassembled.


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What a day! I deserve this beer.

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Completed assembly of the front clip.

Those headlights and associated parts caused us fits, but we managed to get them put back together.