Home!

Hit the road at 2am yesterday morning and  drove to meet Mark in Fairfield to pick up the truck and trailer that his friend Randy so kindly lent us to go pick up Roc. We were headed to Burbank and the Old Crow Speed shop where Lucky Burton really helped us out by letting us store the dragster for a few days after Aaron Grote dropped it off for us on his trip out from Illinois to pick up his cool car “Atomic Punk” after the Grand National Roadster Show is over.

We hit the road shortly after 3am and pointed the car south, complete with the Austrailian lady in Mark’s GPS spouting off directions every mile or two, and in a thinly veiled, slightly frustrated, but persistant tone would say “recalculating” and then re-assert, and almost insist her directions every time I took a turn or road that I wanted to take that I thought was a better route. I felt like I was married again.

Driving the truck at 60 MPH down I-5 made for painfully slow progress.  Made a stop about a half hour out of Burbank to call Lucky and let him know we were close to the shop. Found a pay phone at the WalMart. Mark and I are both Luddites and don’t have electronic leashes, errr… I mean cell phones. (I know, I know…) I knew I was in Southern California because as I was walking to the pay phone in the store, I overheard a lady who seemed to be in her late 70’s, loudly exclaim to her girlfriend “My vagina is tingling!” Yup, So Cal is a different planet.

Lucky was waiting and got to see my 3-Stooges act of making hash of trying to back a 20 foot trailer into his  driveway. I finally swallowed my pride and sheepishly asked him if he could do it for me.  Sigh.  Trailer backing is a skill that strangely has risen to the top of my “to-do” list.

Loaded the dragster onto the trailer and fiddled with the tie downs. Mark and I were functioning like the two guys working off of a couple hours sleep that we were, so coupled with my ineptitude at backing the trailer up, I’m sure Lucky looked at us and thought “These guys are going to run a dragster?!”  Really, I’m not normally that much of a knucklehead who looks like I might be defeated by industrial tie down straps. But with the way life usually works, we tend to have our bonehead moments in front of folks we’ve just met.  Or at least I do. Once again, sigh…

All loaded up, we took a quick tour of the shop, being mindful of the fact that we were probably keeping Lucky from getting over to the Grand National Roadster Show, so we shook hands and were back on the road by 11:45 with the truck pointed north again.

As is normally the case, the trip home felt a bit like the Bataan Death March as acute sleep deprivation kicked in and I was having to stop a bit more frequently to  stretch and walk around for a minute and pound caffinated drinks to make the slog back home. Mark had mercy on me and Adam (my 12 year old son who came along for the ride and was the total trooper the whole time) and rather than stop in Sacto to drop the dragster off and then slog back over to Fairfield to pick up my truck, we swung into Fairfield first so I could get my truck and not have to do a return trip, and Mark drove the truck and trailer from Fairfield to Sacto.

I made it back here ahead of Mark and quickly called up a few friends who kindly sped right over to meet Mark in front of the house and unload the dragster. The dragster gods were smiling upon us- I was worried that we’d have to just block traffic and stop the rig in the middle of the street, but the stars aligned and no one was parked in front of my house or my neighbor’s house, so Mark could pull to the curb. Andy, Allen, Tim and my neighbor Chris all helped us grunt the dragster down the long skinny driveway and install the car in my small garage. Mark was beat so he split, and I guess having the subconscious relief of completing the task of getting Rocinante from St. Louis to Sacramento unscathed, I had gotten a second wind and spent an hour or so talking about the car to the guys and making them all try her on for size.

Once I got inside, I checked my voice mail, and there was a message from Brian just checking to see how the trip went. It’s nice to know that we worked with a guy that has as much care and emotional investment in the car as we do. I can’t say enough about how I feel that Brian was the absolute right guy to build our car. I can’t imagine any other scenario or articulate just how pleased Mark and I are with Brian’s work and how much of a pleasure it has been to work with him. On some level, Brian will always be the 3rd partner in this car.

Anyway, here are photos that my son took during the day from the trip bringing Rocinante home. I hope you enjoy them.

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6 Responses to “Home!”

  1. Tom Stephens Says:

    Dean and Mark,

    Congratulations, looks fantastic. Now time for the next step!

    Tom

  2. vince Says:

    Great to see the car is home. I’m looking forward to seeing the next stage. If there is anything I can do to help just let me know.

  3. rocinante rides again Says:

    Thanks! If the stars line up I’ll be picking up wheels and tires at the March Meet! (front spokes from Hayden, and John from M&H said to drop ship the ET wheels, and he’d mount and balance the slicks and bring them to the track with him)

    That will pretty much exhaust the budget for this year- although there is plenty of work to be done that doesn’t cost much that we can do. We start mapping out controls in the cockpit this weekend.

    If for some reason you come across a vintage hilborn or enderle stack injector set up for not too much money, please keep us in mind. Sadly,(for us anyway) because of the popularity of converting old mechanical injector setups to EFI, the days of the used setup, complete but needing refurbishing for $500 seems to be gone. At least on the open market.

    Mark and I are kicking ourselves for not jumping on a hilborn setup on ebay that was complete from the manifold and stacks to the front cover, fuel pump and shutoff for $650. But it was at the point where the Portland car didn’t work out and we hadn’t heard back from Brian, so we didn’t know exactly if this project would see the light. Oh well…

  4. Michael Edick Says:

    The car looks great in it’s new home! Looks like a mini speed shop to me, what with the motorcycle, the karts, and now, a dragster!
    But, for the love of gawd, please don’t go near that frame with that welder! I can’t tell exactly what it is, but I would highly recommend that anything that needs welding on the chassis be done with a TIG welder, and by someone who knows what they’re doing…like ME! I’ll gladly come down with my portable Miller TIG machine and weld up what ever you need for the cost of some pepperoni pizza or a burger, preferably with cheese, no pickles.

  5. rocinante rides again Says:

    Michael-

    No worries! My dumpy little mig welder was bought years and years ago to weld in new floors on a Morris Minor I used to have. It has hung around and served me well on little things like karts and mini bikes, but nope…no dragster weldong with that one.

    There is a TIG welder on its way! Mark has a friend who doesn’t use his Miller anymore and is loaning it to us for the duration of the dragster project. But if we get stuck, I will certainly call on your services and have burgers fresh off the grill for you!

    Dean

  6. Michael Edick Says:

    have welding hood, will travel…for food! 🙂

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