Archive for January, 2011

Reality check and adjusting expectations…

January 29, 2011

Just a quick check in. Mark and I have chewed everything over recently and have come to a conclusion or two. Given that we are both in the same boat that many of us are in economy-wise – I recently got my pay whacked and I’m still up to my eyeballs in alimony – and the realization that to build the car the way we had originally intended would take a few years longer than either of us care to think about, we’re adjusting our performance/equipment expectations a bit.

Originally Mark wanted to build a bulletproof motor with all the best brand new parts, and go with a new powerglide that has a Deadenbear or Reid case and all that jazz. As nice as that would be, we’ve decided that where it makes sense, we’re going to aim for getting good, clean used stuff, and if we end up with a nearly stock SBC and we only run 10’s to begin with, that’s fine. We can always upgrade later. The first outings will probably be sans paint or the swoopy tail section we hope to have eventually. The goal is to get out there and have fun, and then we can revamp and go faster over time. As super cool as it is to have Rocinante as a roller sitting in my garage, the truth is that it gets a little depressing to not make progress, and to know that how we wanted to do the car all zooty to begin with, just pushes finances and a completion date out so far that it gets to be a little disheartening.

Just to be clear, we aren’t deviating from the purpose of this whole deal, which is to build a dragster as period correct as possible, but she’ll be a work in progress. It still might take 6, 7, 8 years before she’s truly finished- but I hope that by that time we will have been running her and having fun for a few years already.

The goal this year is to get the pumpkin, spool and gears, and the brake system finished.

In the mean time, if any of you reading this have, or know about good used stuff that would work for us for not much money, please drop a line. Finned Cal-custom or Corvette style valve covers, a moon style fuel tank, Hilborn-style timing covers, a Hilborn 150 fuel pump or shut off are part of the list of things we could probably swing now if it was cheap enough. Heck, even let us know if there is a decent 283, 327 or 350 out of someone’s hot rod with no place to go, or a decent shorty powerglide that a bracket racer you know no longer needs.

Not saying we could do something right away, but if the price was right, you never know.

I hope that this doesn’t come across as feeling sorry for myself- it certainly isn’t intended that way. It is clearly understood that building a dragster is about as non-essential to survival as anything. But like the role everyone’s hot rods play in their lives, it serves to allow you to dream a little and the joy and excitement of those hopes and plans makes it easier to endure the bumps and bruises that life hands out. So in so many ways, this reality check is liberating and exciting because it puts the carrot on the end of the stick back into view.

Thanks for reading. Here are a few photos for your enjoyment…