Saturday, April 30, 2011

Creepin' Along

After we completed the monumental task of installing Daisy's gas tank, not much else has happened, or so it seems to me........a girl who can't even remember what Daisy looked like when we had her shipped here from Michigan a year ago.  Can you believe that?  We've had her a year now and I've never even been for a ride.  Roger's only driven her two times. Once to some public scales to be weighed so we could get her tags and once to the shop so we could start tearing her apart.

Sometimes I think this is all a dream/nightmare and I'll wake up any minute to discover we really never had a little yellow pickup at all.....Miss Daisy never existed.....none of this ever happened.  But, alas,  I'm not asleep.  And we really do have a 1931 Ford Model A pickup. And her name is Daisy.

All I have to do is step out into the garage and wade through a maze of yellow and black body parts to remember Daisy is real.  She's not a figment of my imagination.  And then, of all things, I start to feel a little bit guilty.  We've had her for a whole year and we've done our best, but, bless her heart, she's still in a million pieces!

I try to remind myself that although it seems like we are just creepin' along, she's in fewer pieces now than she was a few weeks ago.  Roger got the wood slats for the seat rest installed one night this week.

He also got these door dovetail do-hickey's installed this week.

And look at this!  A Ford truck bed in a Ford truck bed!  Now that's something you don't see very often!  Roger went to Abilene this morning and picked up the last of the pieces that we had painted.

Now that I think about it, we marked off three things this week on our sixty step list of things to do to put Daisy back together.  Maybe it wasn't such a slow week after all!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Let's Try This Again

Roger and I went out to the shop yesterday to tackle the installation of Daisy's gas tank again.  I guess we must be getting a little better at it because it only took two tries this time.

After almost two hours of adjusting the position of the tank and properly lining up vinyl welting, Roger was able to screw that thing down.  And, hopefully, it was for the last time!

Here's a little video showing all of our hard work!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gas Tanks, Welting and Slots

When I visit the shop, I'm there to take pictures.  I'm there to photograph what progress is being made.....or not.... and I'm there to ask questions.  Important questions like:

"What is that your working on?"

"Are you sure you are installing it the right way?"

"What are those little gizmos?"

"How much did they cost?"

"When will this thing be finished?"

Again, I'm there to take pictures and ask questions.  Never have I gone out to the shop with the intention of actually working on Daisy!

See this thing floating around like a flying saucer in the paint booth at the body shop?  It's Daisy's gas tank.  Little did I know I would be called upon to help install it!

Here's a view of it from the top.  1931 Ford pickup's weren't large trucks.  By today's standards, they are downright tiny.  While gasoline tanks in modern day trucks are discreetly hidden away somewhere underneath the back part of the truck,  Daisy's gas tank is pretty much front and center!

I couldn't believe it when Roger told me I had to help him pick the gas tank up and lift it over Daisy's engine and set it in this..... this...... this slot...... between the firewall and the windshield!

That might not have been quite so unimaginable to me if it wasn't for the fact that I've been around Model A's enough to know there is absolutely nothing on them that is square with the world. 

And to make matters even worse, Roger put this "vinyl welting" around the outside edges of the gas tank and somehow when we dropped the gas tank into the slot, we were supposed to keep this vinyl welting straight.  We were supposed to keep it from wadding up between the edges of the gas tank and the edges of the slot!

We lifted that gas tank up over that engine five different times.  Five different times we dropped that gas tank down into that little slot only to have that welting slide up, slide down or end up in a wad.

Five times, we tried.

And that was just Thursday night!

We gave up on it on Thursday and it was Sunday until we had a chance to get out to the shop to try it again.

This time Roger made a few minor adjustments...... such as taking a hammer to one side of the gas tank.  That must have helped because after three tries the gas tank was properly sitting in the slot and the welting was all lined up where it was supposed to be.  

We stood back, took one last look at it,  decided it was as good as it was going to get and Roger started screwing that baby down.  We didn't even want to breathe on it until he got it screwed down!

Yea! We did it!  And I helped!  

I was so happy! 

Fast forward to Monday night.

Roger goes out to the shop.  He had been gone a couple of hours when I decided to give him a call.

"What are you working on," I asked.

"I just put some insulation on the firewall,"  he answered.

"Did you get finished?" I wanted to know.

"Yes, but..." he cautiously replied.

"But, what," I hesitated to ask.

"I had to take the gas tank out to do it," he answered.

I've set up an appointment with my therapist for Thursday........

Friday, April 15, 2011

She's Baaaack!

Daisy is back.  She's back in our shop.

And let me tell you, getting her here wasn't without mishaps!

Roger went to Abilene by himself to pick her up.  On the drive back, somewhere around Fort Chadbourne, he looked in his rear view mirror and noticed Daisy's wheels were moving. Considering she was strapped in tightly (or so he thought) with four different straps, this shouldn't be happening!

As quickly and as gently as he could, Roger pulled over to the side of the road.  Sure enough,  the two front straps had come loose and Daisy had rolled all the way back to the end of the trailer.  One more inch back and Daisy would be lying in a ditch on Highway 277 from Abilene!

After Roger's heart started beating again, he tried to push her back up to the front of the trailer, but every time he pushed, the front end of the trailer would elevate slightly.  It caused just enough of an incline to make it too difficult for Roger to push her to the front of the trailer all by himself. 

With no one stopping and offering assistance, Roger decided he was going to have to MacGyver it.  He unhitched the trailer from his truck and tied one end of a strap to the hitch on his truck.  He tied the other end of the strap to Daisy's front axle.  He hopped in his truck and very slowly pulled Daisy to the front of the trailer.  After he got out of his truck, walked back to the trailer and saw the maneuver was a success, he promptly fainted......face a patch of bluebonnets.  Just kidding!  We didn't have any bluebonnets this spring!

He was over an hour late, but he finally made it back to San Angelo with her.  She's sitting in the shop safe and sound.

At last, Roger can get started on his 60 step plan to put this girl back together again!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Exercise in Patience

The good news is Daisy's cab and chassis will be ready to pick up on Sunday.  The bad news is the running board and fender won't be ready.  That's OK, though, I've still got a little patience left.  (Did I just say that??)  There is plenty of work Roger can be doing on the cab and chassis while we wait for the other parts to be painted black.  What's one more trip to Abilene and back? (Oh, about $50 at today's gas prices!)

While I sit here and give my patience some much needed exercise, I'd like to share this picture of our dear friend, Leroy Palmer.

Leroy left San Angelo a couple of weeks ago in his Model A.  He's headed to Charlotte, N.C. and he's taking the scenic route the whole way!  In this picture, parked behind his beautiful blue Model A coupe, you can see a small tent trailer.   Leroy designed and built the trailer himself!  He wanted it to be small enough and light enough for his "A" to tow.  Looks like he did a good job and he's sure putting it to good use.  Weather permitting, he's staying in state parks and RV parks all along the way.

Leroy must of took this picture while looking out the windshield of his coupe.  I believe he said it was in Natchez State Park.  He took almost this same trip last year.  He saw so many beautiful sites and met so many wonderful people he wanted to do it all over again this year.  Leroy is quite a guy and I'm sure there are lots of people from San Angelo, Texas to Charlotte, N.C. that will agree with me.

If there is one thing I've learned about all this "Model A" business it's that you sure meet a lot of nice folks.

If there is a second thing I've learned it's that restoring a Model A takes a ton of patience!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Not Ready Yet

I don't think we are going to be picking Daisy up from the body shop this weekend after all. We've hit another bump in the road.  Something to do with "trash" in the bottom of the can of yellow paint being sprayed on Daisy and causing some dark colored flecks to appear.

Thankfully, it was just on a couple of pieces and thankfully, our body shop guy saw it before we went up to Abilene to pick her up.  Don is sanding those pieces back down and in the process of repainting them.  Looks like it will be sometime next week before we can bring her home.