The inauguration just happened yesterday and news photos compared Obama’s large turnout in 2009 vs. Trump’s smaller crowd. So Trump called the media liars, saying “there will be consequences.” Spoken like someone born on third base. What’s ahead? An intermission with Looney Tunes or a bad acid trip?
The reality is it’s very foggy this morning. Driving in these conditions is unnerving, a good analogy for our new domestic politics. Yet the worst thing you can do is stop, a sure way to see a split second of panic in your rear view mirror.
I shouldn’t allow my fears to stall my car projects again. After all, I borrowed an old-school distributor and got the plugs to spark. My tricked out bitsa Alfa engine is finally ready to burn fuel. I want to run it gently a couple of times to check for leaks, etc. before I attach the 5 speed and install it in my Giulietta Sprint.
I’ve decided to upgrade to the Version 2.0 ignition later. Success with installing a modern motor and fan in the old heater plus an all new wiper system for the windshield made me shoot for the moon too soon. And I’m just about done adapting and installing a proper floor-mounted handbrake from a later Alfa; only half the cable needs to be altered.
On the other hand, my Alfa Spider is now at Hooligan Racing LLC with Bill Gillham. He thought it looked nice when it was still on the dolly that my previous painter fabricated when Bill Clinton was president. I thought the body needed just a little touch up in the two places where paint had blistered. All but the engine and transmission were shipped for assembly by THE guru in Oregon so I can focus on the two Italian jobs in my garage. So far Bill’s shop has removed two trash cans of Bondo and paint. I hope it won’t cost more than I spent decades ago to shrink back the stretched original sheet metal and butt/hammer weld proper patches and repair panels in place. His goal is always not to exceed the thickness of two playing cards with filler. My consolation is that it won’t be red again. We’re leaning towards black. Also Bill has been very active on the Alfa Romeo Owner’s Club (AROC) board for years and he has restored Keith Martin’s Alfas among about thirty other Giuliettas and Giulias so my car will be come from a shop with a great reputation. Plus it’s a genuine short wheelbase Veloce with all the proper OEM mechanical bits. For sure it beats spending money on booz or drugs to feel good. At least this is what I tell myself.
Two days later, I am very happy to report that my Alfa engine screamed like a healthy newborn. It was nice to have enthusiastic friends like Conrad Zumhagen jump into the role of midwife offering sound advise and calm concern.
Photos by Peter Pleitner.