Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summertime in Royal Oak

I haven't blogged in quite a while. It's hard when i go to bed at 7 three days per week! Luckily that episode of my life is wrapping up...hopefully. I've been back to the doc's (retinal opthomologist, dermatoligist, oncologist...maybe a few other oligists i can't think of) and my treatment appears to be back on track. Barring any more surprises i'll be done in September. About time! I'm really looking forward to getting some more of my free time back. Even though it's extremely hot out right now it's been almost a year since i've been up late enough for Southpark on Wednsday's! For the sake of that example, you have to ignore the fact that i don't have a TV.

My new Alfa project is progressing well. It needs far more metal work then i planned but i wanted this car to be a learning experience. I got it in more ways then i thought! I put a few more pics at..

2009 06 Body Work

The rear end of this car presents the biggest challenge. New sheetmetal is available..but it's very expensive. I've been burning up the phone lines trying to find a rear clip for a reasonable price. i've got a few leads. The rest of the car is repairable with not too much investment. The reason i have the doors cut apart is that in '73 Alfa Romeo added side impact beams and they weight about 25 lb's each! That kind of weight just won't stand for my race car! so off came the skins and out came the side impact beams.

My basic plan is to complete all the repair work then get it off to Roman Tucker (a local Alfa expert) to cage it and do a few other select mod's (panhard bar setup, cell install). I'll take it from there to finish the setup, wiring, plumbing, engine, tranny, etc. My original goal was to have it trackworthy next year, that may yet prove a bit optimistic. AT least i get to buy lots of cool tools!

Mel and i recently got a new addition to the house. NO, it's not what you may think. Her youngest sister moved in with us about 2 weeks ago. She's heading off to college in the fall and was looking for better opportunity's to make a little money over the summer. Amazingly...Michigan fit the bill! Within two weeks she had a job though, her first i might add. Good Luck Beck!

The auto industry is a bit crazy right now. One company's been in and out of bankruptcy (already?) and another one is in the midst of it. For anyone that survives the next year in this industry, looking back years from now, this year will be a defining moment in the industry, detroit, michigan and the country as a whole. From my viewpoint (as a supplier) it's been both positive and negative in many respects. New business opportunities have all but dried up however i definitely get the feeling that whatever emerges in the next weeks/months will be more efficient than the industry of the past. Everyone is getting lean. Those who can afford it will survive.

and of course it's summertime in Royal Oak! Mel and i head to Aruba on the 10th! This break couldn't come at a better time. This feels like my first real vacation since 2007 and Mel hasn't taken a trip like this in even longer. Aside from a bit of diving we plan to relax, read, and spend as much time on the beach as possible....under an umbrella of course!