Chapter 42, the weekend of June 4,5 &6, 2005
48 hours, 3200 miles, and the GT-1 Camaro
Now Say Hello To "Scratcher"
What a trip. This has been a blitz trip of the highest degree. Since we only had a weekend to get the car we left Friday at 1300 (all times are Texas times) and went straight thru the night and got to Bath, NC at about noon. Loaded the car, all the parts, and were on the road at 1300 again! Here it is 1215 and we are a scant 45 miles from home so we should be back home at nearly exactly 48 hours from the time we left. Total miles covered will be somewhere close to 3200. Going to have to change the oil in the truck.
Speaking of the truck, we currently have the hammer down and we are blitzing through the Sunday early afternoon with San Antonio on our nose. We have traded off driving the whole time, and have a rather nice bed in the back seat. With the seats folded down the back is completely flat, and it is quite large and with 3 moving blankets under a sleeping bag, pretty darn comfy. We have not done a complete all-out hammer-down run across the south and back, but we have been pretty darn quick. We have stopped to eat a few times and don’t rush our fuel stops. We have seen diesel as low as 2.01 and unleaded as low as 1.91. Our diesel use has been quite good considering that we have been running 75-80 the majority of the time. On our departure we sat in Houston traffic for quite a while and then again in Beaumont. Ditto on the return trip on I-95 and slowed a long time in Atlanta. We saw Atlanta at night both times and both times there were deer nearby the outskirts.
(the reason for the I-95 traffic jam)
The car draws a lot of attention. At every fuel stop folks look and usually ask questions about where we are racing tonight or what engine it has, etc. Folks will go to pass us and sit next to the car while they stare at it. It is flattering and annoying. I am not a big fan of folks camping next to the trailer as we go down the highway. If a tire goes or they screw up, we could get tangled. I prefer nice open roads with minimal traffic!
I have mentally started making notes on stuff to finish the car and get it running. I was surprised to find the short block parts were still assembled with the dry sump pump and all plumbing still attached. Literally, it needs heads (it has studs) and an intake/carb and distributor and fire it up. I will likely go through the bottom end, but it is nice to have a fully forged bottom end to start off with. The custom-made headers (each side, not 180) came with the car, but they stop at the collectors so an exhaust system for both sides will need to be added. Lots of small stuff, but nothing that I see is real difficult. Hopefully next year I can get the thing to move under its own power for the first time. The original owner actually had a running engine in it, but never a differential. It is nice to get such a deal on a car that hasn’t been bent up or damaged.
Interesting places along I-95
First up is to start designing a paint scheme. Probably yellow and black (duh) but I am not sure how I want to do it yet.
More updates when they happen…time to get this baby in the shop.
Ok, first update. Stopped at Home Depot to buy some wood to fab up some ramps to unload this thing. NO WAY it is coming off without some serious help. Walking back up to the truck there is a complete redneck (early 70s Ford truck, all primer, exhaust leak, with mullet, with small boy child who possessed similar mullet, ‘slot’ mags and raised white letter bald tires). He was sitting in his truck looking at the car and said (I swear I am NOT making this up) ‘I bet this thing goes NINES!’
It took me several minutes to explain that no, it is not a drag car, and no it is not a circle track car. Sheesh.
Ok, later that afternoon I need to get the motor out of the bed of the truck. Frank still has NO clue that I have a GT1 car. I know I can’t keep the secret long as he and I have storage/shops at the same place and go out there together. So, with Ricky with me (it is a heavy motor…) we pick up Frank and go out to the shop. We pull up to the door and Frank gets out and walks around to the back of the truck and actually starts looking at the shortblock. I am getting out of the truck and have some toilet paper hidden in my hand as Frank starts talking ‘dry sump?…..studded for the heads….hey, is this Todd’s motor?…’ I just ignore him and unlock the door and step back. Frank has walked up to open the door and I say ‘here’ and hold out my hand, he opens his hand and I hand him the toilet paper. He gives me a quizzical look and I pull the door the rest of the way open. The GT1 is facing him, not 4’ away. He turns to see it and I say ‘Because you are going to sh!t’. He smirks a bit and turns to look inside and his eyes go wide. Very wide.
After several moments of astonishment he figures it out. He was the most shocked I have ever seen him in my life. I told him the above story about the long drive and all. We pull off the hood, the nose and the tail and take a more in-depth look. He is as psyched up as I am.
Forged 355, Studded, Dry Sumped....