Rik brought his new project home and immediately did an assessment. Basically it looked like, as the late Jim Croce said- in the 1970s song Bad Bad Leroy Brown, “a jigsaw puzzle with a couple of pieces gone”.
Most of us have been there-stories surface about GTOs being strewn across forty heavily wooded acres in some kind of bizarre, sick ritual that seemed to involve the brutal sacrifice of vintage American iron.
Nobody really understands why these atrocities happen, but the aftermath takes a strong stomach.
Fortunately, Rik was a guy with a strong stomach and more… that priceless component of any restoration-a game plan.
Rik started with rule #1in the restoration game-know exactly what you are facing.
This is not unlike a doctor holding back very pertinent information about cancer in one of his patients.
Imagine what you would think if a doctor told you that you were in great shape – then suddenly you’re scheduled for surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Not understanding the extent of the damage in old cars and trucks is no different-except for the life and death part.
And even that isn’t certain-nobody keeps statistics on how many restoration shops have lost technicians to a hail of gunfire from a customer who took exception to a six-figure undiagnosed repair bill.
Rik didn’t worry about that-he did the diagnosis himself and put his game plan into action “So after getting it in to my garage and slowly stripping it down to the chassis, l started to clean and then sandblast (not a good idea in the same garage that is attached to the house, lots of dust and sand,) then lots of rust killer, primer and rust paint, with pictures taken as much as possible, the only thing l didn’t do is the radiator and heater core leak, had a go and made a pigs ear of it, so off it went to the man who can”.
We can’t stress this enough-if you have a working knowledge of vehicles, do it yourself and save the aggravation of a giant bill at the end of a project. Rik did the right thing when he admitted that he couldn’t fix that radiator leak but up to that point he was on track with this project simply because he was systematic and documented every stage.
This sounds like obvious advice-almost to the point that it’s condescending, but Rik’s approach is a classic example of the right way to see a project.
PT 3 –the pieces come together