HOUSTON TRACK DAY
Well, like every day of this race, including a few after, I didn’t sleep well, and woke up early. My mind racing, calculating all the different ways I could get the car home, if I couldn’t find the shut off problem, deciding what to do while watching the weather channel and seeing a storm front headed to Oklahoma City, my eyes popped open and I was up. So while Christopher slept, I left him a note and went down to the front desk. I sat through the meeting for the guys headed to the race track (you had to be race certified, roll bars, helmet and insurance to take the cars on the track) watched those that were racing go off to the track.
The front desk lady said there was a firestone place right next door that worked on her car all of the time, and it was walking distance. I called and told them of my problems (rubbing tires in the back from cutting my springs and not installing air shocks), sudden shut off of the engine, etc.) and they said they could fix me up. So down to the garage I went, took off the cover, drove it to the place less than a block away, and cleaned out the car in the humid heat.
THIS WAS AFTER THE RACE, BUT JUST FOR AN IDEA OF THE TRASH THAT WAS IN THE CAR! I HAD DONE SOME WIREING SO THAT’S WHY THE UNDERDASH BOARD IS PARTLY OFF… ADD ONS FOR THE TRIP, NEW CD PLAYER, GPS, COLOR DUAL REARVIEW CAMERAS AND NEW SCREEN, BLUETOOTH SO PHONE CALLS COME THROUGH THE SPEAKERS, OR THE BATPHONE DIRECTLY, THAT’S PRETTY COOL!
(AS LONG AS I DON’T DISCONNECT THE POWER!)
I was dripping sweat every time we got ready to leave, just organizing stuff behind the seats and getting set for the day due to the heat and humidity! So I leave the car with a list of safety items to check. It was running fine, but after that mysterious shut off, I wanted a mechanic to go over it, and check my brakes as they were acting weird, not that I used them much!
Once the car was squared away, I took a walk over to a Walgreen’s and got a LOT of drinks to rehydrate us. 2 kinds of Gatorade, Orange juice, Diet coke, and a few extras, batteries for the camera, Blistex and an ice bucket that was a great idea that helped us keep cool water in the car longer. Before I bought it, we were drinking hot or warm water all day! No time to stop for a cool drink on this rally!
The rest of the day in Huston was great. We drank and drank and drank, to get our kidneys working again. We had missed breakfast so we had the same great burger for an early lunch. We went to the pool and Jacuzzi, worked out in the gym, and went to the mall. Got Chris a haircut, and then had dinner at Chili’s.
A much needed day of rest was great, and Chris and I had a great time, expecting to pick up our car at 7 pm with everything fixed up. What all had to be fixed? Well, the electronic ignition control had over heated, and had never been replaced since I bought the car as a donor, so that was what shut us down the day before. Then I had asked them to flush the brake system, they did and found that two of the brake lines also from 1979 had partially collapsed, and so two of the brakes were not always working. I knew that something was wrong based on how it braked. They also replaced the rear cylinders that were leaking, also 79 original parts that I had never replaced. Then the rear tires were getting cut every time I hit a bump so they installed air shocks in the back, and raised it up, and solved that. Also a problem I was aware of and a solution I had figured I would do, but I put it off when I was just driving to closeby car shows, but with 2500 miles in front of me I figured I should do it now as I had no spare tire! A blowout would be a big time loss and could damage the car, so it was cheaper to put in the rear air shocks. Dig em!
So Chris and I wander over to pick up the car at closing time, and the car is up on the rack. More problems? They had done all the work, but when taking it for a test drive, they couldn’t get it in reverse!
Back on the rack we discovered that the shift cable that a mechanic pal had installed melted due to sitting on the manifold while I tore across a third of the USA. It also needed two front tires as a steering rod had been bent, and worn away the insides of both front tires over the last 1000 high speed miles. They looked brand new from the outside, but the car is so low that unless it was up on a rack, you would never know! So change of plans #1253! We left the car, I told them to replace the front tires (asked for Futuras, but now I am half Firestone, the original tires the #1 wore and 1/2 Futuras!) and fix the bent rod, and find me a shift cable. Now we were in trouble, as the fireballers were taking off at 7 am the next morning, and all of our pre-paid hotels and meals would be going off in the distance with them! We decided to go back to the pool and cool off, and see what happened the next day. Fell asleep watching the weather channel, and a big storm front moving towards Dallas and Oklahoma City! (Sorry, no photos from this day, didn’t think to get a shot of the great guys who worked on my car! I sent them a toy batmobile and n8mobile shirt when I got home!)