Apr 28, 2005

What's wrong with old things?

And I don't mean Great Aunt Gertie, either.

If you've read this blog for more than a week you know that I'm in the process of restoring a 1971 GMC Sierra pickup. Have been for years now, and it's a labor of love, because the market for those trucks is not exactly exploding at the seams, but hey, she's mine, I'm proud of her.

My brother restores 65-66 Mustangs. They're HIS passion, he's got three in the works right now, one complete, one getting there, and a third that's just a rolling chassis, but they're all destined for OEM greatness.

I love fountain pens. To me there's nothing quite as nice as writing with a fountain pen. Gel pens are all right, ballpoints are bland as milk, pencils are good for drawing, but if you want to write with style and character, toss that rollerball and get you a good fountain pen. And I don't mean one of those disposable ones, either. A disposable fountain pen makes as much sense as putting a Dutch door on a Boeing 747. Fountain pens are from the dawn of time, when things were made to last, when something like a pen was an investment, not something that you bought at the Wal-Mart for a buck a dozen. You refill them, but the refills don't come as long pale white tubes with black ink in them; you had to keep a bottle of liquid ink somewhere in your desk drawer, so that when the time came you got out your bottle, uncapped it, and inside your pen was a very clever reservoir, operated by a twist end or a lever, and you simply drew up a load of ink into the chamber and you were off to the races again, after you cleaned the nib of the pen and put the bottle away.

It made you slow down. So does a truck with no power steering nor power brakes, nor A/C for that matter. So does wearing a fedora when you go out, as does having a long-case clock that requires a key to wind it's dual springs every few days. It all makes you take a little more time, and there's nothing wrong with that, in my book.

So what is all this about? I've got another restoration project, that's what. My grandfather, dead long before I was born, left behind a yard swing that he built out of parts of two old Model T trucks. When I grew up around it, it looked a lot like
THIS. My apologies for the pop-up ads around it, it's just that I've got a lot of pics of it, and those guys do storage and hosting for free. You can even see Rita's front end sticking out of the garage there.

So what we're doing here is restoring her back to what she used to look like, which is THIS. I've enlisted the help of my brother and a very good friend to come out Saturday and take her down to her component pieces, there to be sandblasted and painted, and I'm going to handle the woodworking side of it, as I am very fortunate enough to have enough of the wood left on there, as well as pictures, to show me exactly how the original was put together. I've even got two of the three original curved bases that made the seat's curve, so she'll even have the original dimensions on the seat and back.

I know the picture is not the best, it's a picture of a picture taken circa 1940, but you get the idea. The folks there are my mother and my aunts and uncles, and I think old boy in the middle is someone's boyfriend who didn't last. I could be wrong, my source of information about these people is still asleep at her house. *grin* The thing is, I'm going to start yet another blog (to match the hole in my head) to sort of keep track of where it's been and where it's going. It's not up yet, I'm still deciding on a photoblog vs a regular one, and I'm still not crazy about all the links that come up with imagevenue, but we'll see what happens. I'll post the link here when it's up and running, and you can know more than ANYONE ever wanted to know about restoring a 1940's era swing made from bits of two old Model T trucks.

And what does Dennis Gage on My Classic Car always say? "Don't crush 'em, restore 'em." You go, boy.

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