Monday, December 22, 2008

With Progress comes Forfeiture

In 1989, I was a sophomore at the University of Arizona. That summer, my neighbor was selling a 1967 Piaggio Vespa 125 Super for $50. I was excited, and bought it as fast as I could. The engine was stuck as it had been sitting for several years in a garage. I took it to Dave's Kart and Cycle in Phoenix. For $250 they got it running. I rode it the following year down in Tuscon. I transferred to Northern Arizona University the following semester. After the first heavy snow came, I knew that Flagstaff was not place for my Vespa. So it got trailered back to my parents' house. There is stayed for the next 20 years. I rode it to my summer jobs. After college, I moved to Los Angeles. I didn't take the Vespa with me. It was kept in the shed at my parents'.

I met my wife in Los Angeles. When we would come back to visit my parents, we would ride it around the neighborhood. Fond memories. My wife, Tammy, has a younger brother named Patrick. When he would come to visit from Missouri, we would ride the Vespa around the neighborhood. I have a great deal of nostalgic affection for the Vespa. That is why it killed me to sell it yesterday. We needed the money to pay for the things we want done to the Pickle. It was the logical decision, but I can't help but to feel a little sad. Well, more than a little sad.

The good news is I sold it to a guy, Boxcar Chris from the HAMB, who is going to leave it in the original condition, not part it out, and ride it. That made it all worth it...


Patrick and me, circa 1996...


Sunday, December 14, 2008

The new motor has been located!!

Well thanks to Chris Parese, I have found an engine builder. His name is Ron Deneke of Ron's Just Chevys

Ron has been building engines for a long time. I would much rather buy an engine from someone who builds engines in his garage, than a crate engine from some big company. He is a jack of all trades and is definitely going to be an asset throughout the rest of this build. There are a lot of things that I do not know how to do. Ron will be able to fill in those gaps.

I am putting in a Chevy 350 ci, with 315 hp. There should be plenty of get-up-and-go with this motor. The one stipulation from my Dad was that the Pickle NOT have an automatic transmission. "No self-respecting hot rod had an automatic transmission in my day." So we located a Muncie M22 "rock crusher" 4-speed manual transmission. Although this was a large financial investment, it was agreed that the drive train is not the right place to cut corners. So I have attached a copy of two photo graphs of the new motor.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Goodbye to the mill

Well we had a couple buddies come over and help us pull the motor. Chris Parese and Rob Bolvin, fortunately, knew more than I did about pulling motors. So Chris brought over his engine puller. After we finally assembled it correctly, we were off...enjoy the vintage Beasties...
video