Sometimes, I actually drive them.

Posted: August 16, 2010 in Hot Rod, Rat Rod

The point of all the hard, dirty, sometimes frustrating work is this.  Thursday, on the hottest day of the summer, with the humidity just as high, I headed out with the ’36 for our place up north, at Fife Lake.   I’d decided to take M-66, rather than the freeway, for this, the “maiden voyage” in the car.

Of course, I’ve driven it a lot around here, but this was the first time the car has been driven any long distance.  It was a solo trip, as Kim was working and was to head up later in the day, so I figured this was a good opportunity to drive the car up.  In my mind, my cars are not “complete” untill they’ve been driven “up north”, so it was time.  I packed a change of clothes in my duffel back, charged up the cell phone, left the tool roll and Tom-Tom at home and headed out.

Since Ionia is on 66 just 35 miles or so north, it was fitting that I stop and visit my friends Dennis and Matt at Ionia Rod Shop.  M-21 is completely torn up in town,  it turns out you can’t get there from here.  I finally called Matt, who happened to be in his truck, at the intersection I was at, directly in front of me!  I followed him through the road construction back to their shop.   I am awestruck at the level of craftsmanship these guys achieve, it’s very humbling and inspirational.   Makes me (almost) want to build a new roadster!  Thanks guys for the tour,  and the education.  

 With new appreciation for what a Hot Rod is supposed to look like, I got back in my pale imitation of one and headed north.  While we’d been visiting in Denny’s shop, the sun had come out, the humidity approaching jungle levels.   I soon came to regret my choice of foot gear, as the sun shining on, and reflecting off, the aluminum panels of the interior turn the car into a rolling convection oven.  My feet were roasting, and I had nothing to cover up with.  I dug in my duffle, and pulled out the only article of clothing I felt I could sacrifice, my extra underwear.  Pretty effective!  A good reason to bring a change of shorts!

I got up to the cottage in time for a glass of wine and a nap before the Marguerita party my folks were having.  The McCool family reunion was Saturday, and lots of cousins and my Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Foster came.  Good to see everyone, since I couldn’t make the reunion (work), it was fun.

I had to head back late Friday, took 131 home.  Driving in the evening was SO much nicer.  I had fun, the car hums along pretty comfortably at 70, and it gets remarkably good economy.  I got almost 18 mpg!  After about 20 miles, the bias ply tires actually get round, it smooths out, the exhaust sings along with the tires humming along on the road, it was great music.  Too bad I left the camera at Fife Lake!  Next time, I’ll remember, and get some shots of a comfortable trip.

  1. Larry Henderson says:

    underwear on your foot! You are the man! very ceative!

  2. craigmccool says:

    he gets it from his mother; grandma once wore underwear on her head for a trip down the driveway to the mailbox. strange, but true. fortunately, grandma is not a computer user and thus will never know i’ve now told the internet about it …

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