Monday, February 18, 2008

Milner's walk through the junkyard

We are in desperate need of some parts. The front right fender is trashed. The Pickle was in an accident at some time and the front right fender was smashed and crudely repaired. I don't think its salvageable. Also, we took the back-up lights off and found that the bezels were completely rusted through. Also not salvageable. So we took a trip to Deer Valley Auto Salvage

We drive to Casa Grande since, we later discovered after a wasted trip to the north Phoenix location, that is the yard that has the pre-1959 cars.

There were thousands of cars all in some state of disassembly. As I walked with my parents, we had instantaneous moments of excitement as we would point and call out the different makes and models we recognized. I was besieged with numerous stories my parents had about specific cars and their life experiences they had with them. They would also point out the differences in body styles from year to year. It was great.

As I looked at the rows of vehicle lying in this yard slowly rotting away, I had a moment of nostalgia, thinking about how each car had its own story. I would imagine the original owner buying the car off of the lot, and being so excited to get it home and take some loved ones for a ride. I would even think of different life events that took place in those vehicles. Now they are left abandoned in that yard. I felt somewhat responsible as a human being for their current plight.

We came across an old panel van. It had "Whiting Bros." on the door. My parents became excited and said, "That used to be a gas station, God, I haven't seen those in a hundred years."

They also had motels. This is a drawing of one from Flagstaff, in Northern Arizona.

Unfortunately, all things pass, die, and fade away....

And from the yard....

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Putting a Face with the Car

One of the days when I was working with my parents on the Pickle, they told me about the time of year when all of the auto manufacturers would release all of the new models of their line. It was a really big event. Entire families would get dressed up and head down to the local dealership. There would be spotlights that lit up the night sky to attract people. Folks would go down to the dealership just to LOOK at the new models, to see what changes in body styles and features there were.

Those days are long gone. Gone also are the days that car owners took pictures with themselves next to their car. My parents explained that everyone took a photo of the car they had with themselves standing by it or sitting in it. They said that people just don't do that anymore.

I thought about what they said. It took me back to my very first car, a 1975 VW Bug. I couldn't have been more excited. I took a ton of pictures, but none of me with the car. How sad.

I did a little search on the internet and here are a few photos I found. 'Seems there is a long history of people taking pictures of themselves with their car. When did it end? I am guessing it coincided with the first plastic bumper.

Some traditions need to be kept alive...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Back At It

The Holidays were a killer on the Pickle's progress. But we are back at it. The last time we worked on her, the grill was stuck on the front of the car. All of the screws that were securing the grill were rusted on. I got a 30-gallon compressor for Christmas but I didn't have the one thing I needed to get the grill off, a cutting

My wife shows one of our Great Danes in dog shows, so I stole her Dremel tool which she uses to grind the dog's nails. Its a high speed one that has a cutting wheel. So we took the Dremel to the grill. We pulled the grill away from the body enough to get the wheel behind it and cut through the screws.

We were finally able to remove the old grill.

We were also able to get the bumper and that pan behind it off. That wasn't too bad.

The old grill is really rusted and I found another one on eBay. There is only a little spot of surface rust on the side of one of the teeth of the new grill.

One of the previous owners removed the back up lights and placed them in the front fenders under the headlights.

Then the brake lights went out at some point and they put red lenses where the back up lights used to be and had that jerry-rigged for the brake lights. I ordered new lenses for the brake lights and after Mom polished the rings up, they were installed.

Though not wired, I was really happy to get them in. It was the first aesthetic thing we did to the car. We were probably more excited to see that than we should have been, but it was really cool to see them in.

And finally, I continued to sand the driver's side of the car. I finished the door.
I found some small pin hole of rot under the paint. I think those can be filled with MIG.