So I have been a little behind on my blog these last couple of weeks be cause I was primarily sanding and painting on Mr. Kidd’s Pope. That does not equate to the most exciting of blogs and I prefer not to bore my readers and chase them away. I can honestly say that I had to Keep Calm and Sand On, as a sign in the paint lab of McPherson says.
One small, but I thought interesting thing that I did do that was not sanding, was to install the leather straps that go around the live axle of the Pope. Nothing earth shattering, but one of those neat little details that one does not think of or rarely gets the opportunity to actually do. I am assuming that it is a backup in case the live axle comes loose, I could be wrong though. I am just now learning about these horseless carriages, and you know what they say about assuming…
The high point of last week goes to the 1911 Pope coming back from the paint shop. Chris parked his truck and trailer which contained the “package”, in the middle of the street and came in to assemble the staff. Once assembled we all did our part to “escort” the Pope, by that I mean us pushing her, across the street and up the driveway and into the shop. I can also tell you that I was a bit shocked to see it’s sparse state and then hear that this vehicle is going to be ready for Pebble Beach. Of course as soon as this one was in…I started sanding on it.
I should mention though that all of my sanding efforts have not as of yet lead to an actual finished product. I have been multi tasking on two vehicles, the 1909 and the 1911. I swear I am not just a slow sander. One of the days I had to sand and clean the cylinder heads to the 1909 Pope. After a full day of cleaning they were perfect to paint. So we masked and rolled the ol’ girl out and our resident painter, Bob, started spraying. I will say that a few things were odd to me. First off we were painting something fairly noticeable outside with no booth, second no one was wearing respirators. I mentioned that to Mr. Kidd and he said, “Well that’s what that thing on Bob’s mouth is for”, referring to his mustache. I have also since learned that you can actually legally spray up to one gallon of paint outside without a paint booth. Huh.
Aside from taking on a new projects we had a few visitors breeze into the shop. The first being a a 1933 Rolls Royce. It was in for about 2 days and then *poof* it was gone. I didn’t really take any good pictures of it because I didn’t expect it to be gone so soon. A mistake that I had yet not learned from.
The other pit stop was a 1938 Mercedes 540. This one was definitely a pit stop, because it came in for some brake work and to get some tuning. Yet again, I did not take any pictures with my Nikon, because I did not expect to to disappear so soon. Lesson learned, always take pictures.
The two other nifty vehicles, probably my two favorite thus far, are a Lagonda and a 1909 Peerless. I was drawn to the Lagonda because of it’s lack of running boards, the cycle type fenders, and the leather body. It is the kid of sporty race car that I could like, additionally it has two rows of seats. I could bring some friends along as well. Who knew a four door race car even existed? . The Peerless is just plain nifty!
I was later tasked with steering and braking as the Peerless was towed up the driveway. It appears to be very original, or maybe just a very ratty car, because the upholstery was very worn. The steering wheel was cracked(part of it broke off in Kyle’s hands), paint was sparse in areas, and it may have even been stored in a barn and used as a chicken coop. Bert, one of the regular visitors to the shop, snapped a picture of me as we pulled up. It looks as though Jethro, from The Beverly Hillbillies, just pulled up. Later on the big cheese (Mr. Kidd) had me bring it into the shop, and as I started to back down an extremely tight hallway he said, “left hand down”. I was puzzled for a second. I threw my left hand down, looking for a lever or something to grab, something that wouldn’t surprise me on an early car, but none was to be found. Instead I used my right hand and started fumbling with my right hand with the levers over there. After that my boss told me to hold on, as he proceeded to pickup the phone and said, “Hello McPherson College, I have a student I need to talk to you about”. “Don’t you know left from right? Or will I have to refer to those as wheat and barley?” He then explained to me, which he clarified might purely be a story, saying that at one point in time (World War I, I believe) they used to train people who did not know left from right by putting wheat in the left hand and barley in the right hand and referring to them as such. It makes for a good story at least. After a good teasing I was then told that left hand down is referring to turning the steering wheel to the left, apparently used with tow truck drivers and such. You learn something new everyday.
Last but not least I will tell you about our firetruck. In the shop we have a 1917 Seagrave, being the city of Monrovia’s first firetruck, and is currently undergoing restoration. With the San Marino Classic Car Show at Lacy Park coming up we needed to get it out of the shop and allow access for the tow truck to pick it up the following morning. It was being brought to the car show in order to help raise funds for the restoration. Once again moi was at the wheel. There was a lot of fooling around and 20 point turns but we got her out. I have to give a lot of credit to the firefighters back in the day. They got their workout by just driving the dang thing. Even when we were moving at a good speed it was tough to steer. I really had to hoof it at times. Forget it when I had to turn and was not moving. I was putting my weight into it and nearly zilch was happening. Luckily I had Chris Moore pushing the tires, as my power steering.
Well that is all I will discuss for the moment, however the next day I assisted in judging at the Lacy Park Show in the Brass Era Section, so there will be much more to tell.
Until then Smeltzer out.