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  • BK
    started a topic Race Shop Diary

    Race Shop Diary

    for about a year, I've been posting entries from my Drag Shop Diary in an Off Topic Group (Tavern) in a thread called Whatchadoingtoday. I've decided to instead start to post in the Race Channel, as it all has to do with the goin-ons of my race shop. Below is my first entry on this thread.

    Wednesdays are Thrash Days as I pay an engineer friend to come and help me. Last week we installed my spare race trans in the Vitamin C. That car is the most difficult of my cars to R&R the transmission, because of the 2.25 headers capturing it. Anyway, my new driveshaft came in (I have a slight score around the old one and thought it wise to not use it) - so it was put in and the trans filled with Type F.

    However once the car was was started, trans oil poured out of the front of it. So the spare came out, and the Red one (originally from the Whale), which just had the bent output shaft and broken tailshaft housing replaced, was put in. However the new driveshaft's yoke would only go halfway in the transmission. It was tested on the spare trans that just came out, and the bent output shaft, and it fit them fine - so we knew it wasn't the driveshaft. My bud removed the tailshaft housing (while still in the car) to see if splines were twisted, and found a bur just past the splines and ground it off. By then we were ten hours into the trans issues and decided to finish up next week.

    Spare trans installed last week, but had to come back out

    Trans that twisted output shaft and broke tailhousing in Denton when U Joint broke - now fixed and in Vitamin C, but not without busting balls first

    I had to install a trailer brake controller in my new Coach. Entegra advertised it was pre-wired for brake controller. I searched the Internet and couldn't find anything about it, so I called support at Entegra. Got a guy who sounded very ifish on the topic. I asked for a schematic and he said one didn't exist. He said to pull the dash panel where the stereo/nav system was and there would be four wires that Spartan Chassis had clearly marked when they'd built the Chassis. For the life of me I don't know why Entegra doesn't just wire in a Prodigy P3 to make life easier!

    So I did that and there was a spaghetti bowl of wires including a half dozen RCA connections and two sets of four wires NOT clearly marked. With a 9v battery plugged onto the trailer connector, none of the wires came up with 9v with an e meter. Again I searched the Internet and found nothing. So I get to thinking that the center of the dash is a stupid place to have that wire as the only place to mount in a motorhome is on left side - so I pull far left panel where the leveling jacks are. Couldn't find the wires there either.

    I called Entegra back, and get a different guy. I explain that I have two hours into this, that I'm not stupid, but they need to roll me a bone. He looks it up and says that it is in the dash, accessed from Navigation and climate control panel, and the wires are Red, Black, Blue and White. He said he was looking a photo of it, and I asked him to email it to me.

    Sure enough the photo shows the wires and I start looking where in the photo it shows they're located - but still can't find. I'm staring at the photo and on the bottom edge I see a small piece of the backside of a gauge - so I pull that panel and find the four wires, which were marked. I weaved them back over to the left side of the floor, where I intended to mount the controller. I couldn't tell if there was any fuse in the line, so I wired a 30amp on the power to brakes and a 15amp on brake light just for safety.

    There was no bottom edge of dash to screw controller onto, and the controller has to be mounted straight and in direction of travel for the gyro to sense deacceleration - so I had to fabricate and paint a bracket to mount on left kick panel, and to reinforce the kick panel with a piece of metal glued and screwed.

    I post this much detail in an effort to help anyone else searching the web on how to wire a trailer brake controller on a Spartan Motorhome Chassis - and save them the time I had wasted.

    Next up on the bizarre, was changing the oil on my 2014 Ford F150 truck. I bought this 5.0 truck with 11,000 miles for my daughter about six months ago. It is a nicely equipped truck that had been rear ended with 4000 miles. The owned insisted it be totaled so he could get a new one. I have a friend who buys slightly damaged F150s at auction to fix, slightly customize, and resell after he drives for a while. He drove from 4000 to 11000 miles, until his next truck was done. I got a great deal on it because it has a grey (salvage) title. So my youngest daughter drives for about six months and the truck now has 17000 miles on it. She's going off to college in August, so I bought my deceased father in law's 2013 Ford Escape, which is low miles and loaded to the teeth, as shes gonna be on an allowance to pay all of her living expenses while in college.

    So back to the truck, I'm driving it now and got the WIX filter and GTX blended Synthetic oil to change. Manual says 6 quarts for 5.0 engine. After 6 quarts, it barely registers on stick. Reading the underhood engine sticker, it turns out my 5.0 is actually a 6.2 and needs 7.2 quarts of oil. Damn glad that I took my daughter out of that truck

    Also in the news of being completed, the generator on my toy hauler is now fixed. Thought it was carburetor, but my bud found it was a valve stuck open when he ran the valves on it.

  • BK
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    Clean out one of the garages. Took all cars out, sprayed bug killer for all the spiders, and washed floors before moving cars back in

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  • BK
    It's been about three weeks since I've posted any update on the shop goin' ons. There have been many, actually so many is the reason why I've not posted much. I'll post what I can remember, but it won't be half. First is the Screamin' Woody The motor is finished…

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  • BK
    Shop Goin Ons 2nd 1/2 May 2019

    Clean lake house garage and boat, finished dying seats in Screamin' Woody, and take the Petty Tribute to get shot with high build primer.

    To be honest, I didn't get as much done at the shop as usual – as I spent a week at my lake house.

    ​Spread 20 bags of mulch in flower beds

    Got the boat out of storage, cleaned up and running right

    Spring Cleaning on the garages

    and sold a couch and love seat I had in one of the garages

    And then it was family time for Memorial Weekend. My wife was across country visiting her sister, but my kids and grand-kids came by to keep me company.

    Back at the shop

    the dying was finished on the seats going into Screamin' Woody

    ​this is how they looked before dying red

    to match the exterior makeover

    I loaded up Petty Tribute car to take to get a gallon of high fill primer sprayed on it. It goes to the wrapper in Indiana when I race in Bowling Green (Hot Rod Reunion) in about 10 days.

    Got my stacker trailer and a couple of cars ready and listed for sale.

    Other than that, it was mostly routine car maintenance, like getting my daughter's truck washed and oil changed today.
    and then it was family time for Memorial Weekend. My wife was across country visiting her sister, but my kids and grand-kids came by to keep me company.

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  • BK

    So in my last post, I was racing in Atlanta - and there was a rain delay. When we resumed and I completed the third of three Qualifying passes -- I had qualified 4th of 25. On the ladder that put me up against Jim Netherland in the first round. A little humor was Jim wearing my T-Shirt.
    Jim Netherland Sporting a Texas Whale Championship T-Shirt from the DDC in 2015

    Jim was gracious enough to give me lane choice and I took the Left as I swear the roll out on the Right lane was quicker and had me red-lighting. Jim runs a 10.5 Index and I run the 9.50 -- so Jim got a 1-second head start. I caught Jim too Quick meaning I must have had a much better light, even though I had bagged a couple of numbers. I blipped at the MPH cone and took the stripe by a few feet. I saw my win light come on and when I got the ticket it was a RT win - .039 to .110. Jim Broke out with a 10.497 and I had a 9.550 at a slow 133mph.

    In Round two I had the points leader Mike DiChicco. We both wanted the left lane -- so we flipped - and I lost. The weather turned on us hard, and I had to take any extra weight out of the car. I removed a battery, the weight box lids and the passenger seat -- to shake about 80 pounds.

    Neither of us would lift at the stripe and we had a double breakout when Mike took the stripe by three feet.

    For the next round I had Kurt Neighbor. With just having a .028 light in the right lane -- I felt I'd figured out how to wait -- and now wanted it. So did Kurt -- so we flipped - and I again lost the flip. The weather was really getting tough and I had nothing else to take out. While Kurt didn't have a great light (.05X) -- mine truly sucked (.090). There wasn't enough steam left in the Thug to catch Kurt and my time was 9.58 to Kurt's 9.55 on the brakes.

    It was 7:30pm Sunday night and I wanted to get on the other side of Atlanta while it was still Sunday -- so I rushed to load up and get on the road at 9PM. At about 11:30 I stopped about 50 miles west of Atlanta to spend the night. Up at 6 and back at the Shop in Beasley, TX at 9PM. Tim Frees won the next round against Kurt, and then against Corky Bumpus in the Final. Congrats to Timmy.
    Back At The Shop

    • The trailer was unloaded
    • The seats of the 64 Imperial are now finished, with the exception of one last coat of semi-gloss clear, which is on order.

    Here's a before pick
    • Engine and transmission stabbed into the Petty Tribute car.
      • motor mounts made and welded in
      • transmission mount made
      • clutch master cylinder mounted
      • clutch Z-Bar modified
      • drivetrain yanked back out

    • On the Screamin' Woody
      • Front end metal put on the car - although the red lights need to go inboard
      • The grey seats have 8 oz of red dye on them -- but I had to order another 8oz to finish
      • The roll cage is being painted a hammered gold

    So that's going to be it for a while. Deb's and my 40th anniversary is coming up -- so we'll be leaving for a couple of weeks in Europe, only to return just in time to make it to the Memphis race.

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  • BK

    So we're at Atlanta Dragway, and it's raining - so its a good time to catch up on what;s been goin on since last week's post.

    I'll start with racing. I loaded up Tuesday morning and Deb, I, Smith & Wesson left at half past noon. That's 12:30pm for digital Snowflakes. We drove to just north of Hammond, LA (350 miles) at about 7pm, and spent the night in a Walmart parking lot . We left the next morning at 9am and drove the remaining 550 miles, arriving at the staging area of the track at 8pm. The track started letting us in at 7:30am. By 11am my pit was setup, credentials established, and car teched in.

    On Thursday you can buy two test hits in the afternoon, and I did so. The first was a 9.48 off the trailer. While that's normally OK to run the 9.50 Index, the weather is going to be all over the map and I need to bag a 10th. So I took one of the 37 pound batteries out.

    I made a second hit and got a 9.45. I have another trick or two up my sleeve if I need it. So I put the car away for the night. It drizzled and light rained most of the night. It is still 1pm, and they claim that we'll all hit the track at 2pm - but I'm not thinking so. Still light drizzle, track still wet, and this track tends to seep.

    We were suppose to have a time trial in the morning, then two of the three Qualifying passes today. Now its down to one Qualifying and no test hits - if that even happens. It needs to stop drizzling and the sun and wind needs to appear for that to happen.
    Update 10pm

    The track went hot at 5pm, as they were havinf problems getting the timing to work. They finally gave with right lane not getting an accurate MPH and neither lane getting a 1000' time. We were called at 6pm, but it was almost an hour later that we finally ran because of a lane cleanup.

    I went a little more "go for broke" than usual. I usually just try to get in the first Qualifying, then go for perfect in 2nd and 3rd Qualifying. I'm not sure if we'll get another qualify, so I went for broke. It appears everyone had that plan because my 9.510 on a 9.50 index was only good for 3rd after first round. Pretty amazing everyone did so well as the weather was all over the map, the lanes are way different and you can't plan which lane you get, and we sat in our cars for and hour.

    Family Grows

    Last week, Son number 1's wife gave us Grandson number 4. The wife of his younger brother went into labor a couple of hours later, but Grandson number 5 didn't arrive until the next day. Everyone is doing well.

    My youngest daughter is due in October. We're hoping for Granddaughter number 2.
    My Petty Tribute

    I have a 1960 Plymouth that I've been building to be a Petty Tribute, that looks like its been sitting out in the fields for 50 years. Click Here is you want to start at the beginning of this build. The latest news is that the motor and transmission has been test fitted and mounts made/tacked in. I'll have a professional come in to weld the mounts in purdy.

    Engine is coming back out and the car , and the body will get about 80 hours of wet sanding 400/600 grit; and High Build Primer and more sanding - until the body panels are as smooth as a baby's ass. In June, it has a date with the lady in Indiana to wrap it. I ordered the clutch assembly last night; but I'm still needing to find a decent shifterless steering column and a 4-speed shifter.
    Screamin' Woody

    So the wagon is getting there. I'm pretty sure my last post spoke of the new red paint under the hood. My shop Rat and Assistant Shop Rat spent the week getting the over spray off the brand new Lexan, and polishing it up. I took the headers to get blasted and recoated.

    After blasting, a ton of pin holes were discovered, so I had to go bring back to the shop to get wet welded up. I'll take them back to the powder coater when I get back home from racing.
    1964 Imperial

    Still finishing up the leather on my Imperial convertible. Repaired and dyed the front seat, but the the tint was off a little so we had to coat with adhesion promoter and dye all leather, plastic and vinyl. I had to order more Top Coat last light, so the gloss will happen when I get back.

    Well that pretty much catches me up, and just in time as they just came over the squawk box saying that its time to get cars ready, as they project they're going hot in an hour.

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  • shelbycharger
    Thanks! I never heard of this company but exploring their website is a real eye opener! After seeing your results I will become a customer.

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  • BK
    Originally posted by shelbycharger View Post
    I am impressed by the dye job on the Magnum seat. Can you tell me what exact products were used? I have absolutely no idea how you stay on top of this many projects at once. Thanks for taking the time and effort to document all this, I enjoy following.
    We're your destination for automotive leather dye and other products to maintain your leather items. Browse our popular car leather dye kits and more today.

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  • shelbycharger
    I am impressed by the dye job on the Magnum seat. Can you tell me what exact products were used? I have absolutely no idea how you stay on top of this many projects at once. Thanks for taking the time and effort to document all this, I enjoy following.

    Leave a comment:

  • BK
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    The NMCA race in Commerce, GA is coming up, so a lot of the focus has been on getting ready for that. Today, it was on the lift having the underside inspected and tightened. The torque converter bolts were pulled and had some Locktite applied, and then the death grip applied. A couple of small leaks were addressed, and all nuts and bolts tightened. The passenger seat was pulled and weighed (36 pounds) and thread-certs pressed in the floorboards so I can quickly remove the seat without help, and without having to climb under the car.

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  • BK

    as seen at

    No, no motor yet. Still waiting on the rotating to get delivered to the Machine Shop. However, some progress was made to prepare for the engine's insertion.
    Black paint was scuffed
    car wrapped in Plastic
    Hit with a coat of prime
    Hit with first coat 2nd through 5th coats plastic and tape removed - wheels and tires on
    Hood installed Still to come

    • Transmission and torque converter have been freshened and waiting for the engine to get assembled.
    • New braided fuel line and 00 battery cable has been run to front, and will get connected to it's under-hood components.
    • Rear bumper ready to be installed.
    • Cage painted red
    • Red Leather/Vinyl dye and adhesion promoter ordered, and will be applied over the previously beige/gray seats. After a top coat they'll get installed.
    • New belts will be ordered closer to go time.
    • Engine should be ready to go in this time next month.
    • The front body parts installed
    • The car cleaned up and off to get the cage installed.

    Stay tuned to this site for further updates.

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  • BK

    Here's a recap of the Happenings in my MoparStyle Racing shop in the last week.
    Texas Thug

    If you followed the hood ejection story at the Bradenton race earlier in the month, you know The Thug lost it's hood in warm up. A quick repair with pop rivets and duct tape got me through the weekend. Once back home, about 10 hours was spent repairing the broken off corners, the rivet holes, and the scrapes and breaks. On the underside it was reinforced where the reinforcement was broken, sanded and skimmed.

    This poor hood been through Hell. Dallas lost it warming up the car in Maryland 6 or 7 years ago, when the car was black. Its been repaired so many times that it weighs more than a metal hood. On Thursday I took it to a friend who owns a body shop. He says still needs about ten hours worth of putty, sanding and three coats of high build primer before the paint. I should be picking up next Tuesday Morning, and put it on in the afternoon.

    The Thug had its oil changed, interior cleaned, and aluminum tank and weight boxes polished. Valves were run, header bolts tightened, and plugs looked over. After the hood is reattached, the slicks will get swapped, the car washed and wheels polished by my Shop Rat (a 70-year-old Latino who is strong like Bull) and my Assistant Shop Rat (youngest daughter Hope, who goes to College in morning and works four hours in evening). I also got Summit racing to swap out my 16v battery charger.
    The Stacker

    I took it to get inspected today and renewed the registration. Shop Rat washed it. Assistant Shop Rat cleaned out the cabinets and washed the shelves. She'll polish the wheels and scrub down pit mat. Have a few repairs to make, like reattaching the rear strap hanger, the fire bottle holder and gluing up some pads for the straps to bang against. The Coach is cleaned in and out and full of 15 gallons of DEF.
    The Screamin' Woody

    If you've been following the progress at , you know the car is pretty close to finished. The underside stripped and painted, new fuel system, new 00 battery cables, new wiring, back compartment finished in spatter paint, new fuel cell and weight boxes, rear end rebuilt, transmission rebuilt, converter freshened and new Lexan. We're waiting on the rotating to arrive so Damon can build the engine. I hope to bring the car to the Hot Rod Reunion in June.

    Today, I took the tailgate to Tasco and had them match the color to a quart of single stage paint. The engine compartment was wet sanded with 400 grit and the first coat of red sprayed.
    60 Plymouth Post

    Moving on to my street cars, I've had this car for many years. In the last year or two, the interior was pulled and floor sanded to bare metal before getting a couple coats of POR, and new interior made from Indian Blankets I bought in New Mexico.

    I bought a 8.75" rear end out of a 68 Newport and rebuilt it with new brakes. The understide was also taken to bare metal, painted with POR15, and new rear end installed.

    The Leaning tower of power and three on tree yanked and a bad ass aluminum head 383 built.

    That engine and a yet to be purchased Passon Performance 5-Speed 833 will be installed. The car will be wrapped to look like Richard Petty took his NASCAR from 1960 after the season and drag it out back to let 58 years of weather beat it up. This brings me to what was recently done, and that was to paint the engine compartment Petty Blue before the engine goes in. The front end was also rebuilt last week.
    1978 Dodge Magnum GT

    I've owned 9 Magnum XEs, but this is the only Magnum GT I ever seen in person. I've owed it for about 16 years. I'm in the process of selling what I don't drive, so this whole car has been gone through to make run like new.

    The driver's seat was looking worn, but not ripped.

    So I Cleaned the leather and redyed it red.

    Last week top coated the leather. It looks pretty damn good.
    1964 Imperial Convertible

    For the last 40 years I've always had a big Chrysler convertible. There's nothing like cruising down a country road at 70 with the top down in a big barge. First I had a 67 Newport, then a 64 300 and then a 65 300. About 15 years ago I bought this off the original owner old lady, who was in a nursing home. We've been going through it to fix anything not perfect. I intend to keep this car forever. The driver's seat was a little rough, so I bought some leather repair and green dye.

    It took about 10 coats to cover the repair. It still needs top coat. The closest match was a Ford color called Evergreen. Its a little too blue, so I ordered another pint so all of the interior can be done.
    and Finally

    I managed to mow five acres before the sun set, getting the Zero-turn stuck in the mud and having to pull it out with the John Deere.

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  • BK
    Shop Goin Ons - EOM February 2019

    Leaving Sunday evening for the NMCA race in South Florida, so a lot of the last week was spent getting the Motorhome (Not driven since October), Stacker and car ready. Loaded the car and golf cart today as it appears to have had the only two hour window of no rain between now and Sunday.

    Getting my Magnum GT ready to sell, and the only real sore spot was the front seats.

    I bought some dye from, watched the video, and taught my shop rat how to do. He dabbed on six light coats to get to here.

    Next he needs to scrub the dye off the buckles, apply the Semi-gloss topcoat, and finally the conditioner. The pictures don’t do the job justice, and it will look pretty damn good when finished. I ordered dark green dye and self-leveling crack filler to do the seats on my 64 Imperial.

    My Magnum XE (Ginger) has had a ton of retro-mod upgrades over the years. Motor, 8.75 Rear-end, stereo, convert from column shift to factory floor shift, new carpet, addition of power windows, headers and 2.5″ dual exhaust, modern leather seats, and a new dash and custom gauges. Click here to read more. This week it was new wheels and fabricating the missing console plate out of 1/8″ aluminum plate and black wrinkle paint to match the dash. The AC leak was fixed and recharged, and the turn signal issue from the gauge upgrade fixed. Also added a deep trans pan with temperature sender to go to the gauge. I normally wouldn't have an oil temp gauge, but I had an extra hole to
    fill when I did the gauge panel.

    There was some work done on the the Screamin' Woody. The fuel system’s AN -10 hose was run to the front of the car, as was some double-ought battery cable. Stopped short of running under the hood as that needs to be freshened up with new paint.

    Turned the shop rat loose with some sand paper to scuff it up. Need a couple days of 70+ degree weather with no rain before being able to paint. Ordered the rotating and bearings for the wagon's motor. The block is done, so assembly will start soon. Getting down to home stretch.

    Wheeled my 60 Plymouth into the bay. While it doesn't look like it, a lot of work has been done in this car. Click here to check out it's story.

    Its getting all new front-end parts. Then then engine compartment will be painted Petty Blue. Then the trim will get removed, body wet sanded and spray with clear. Then a bad ass lowdeck and 5-Speed stick installed.

    Finally it goes to the wrapper to get wrapped to look like Petty’s 60 Plymouth in the woods in back of his shop for last 55 years.

    So other than a little cleaning of the shop and some parts that I'm selling/sold; ordering new parts and shipping sold parts - that's most of it for this last week.

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  • BK
    The back of Screamin' Woody had two (cutdown) Aerospace Components battery holders, two weight boxes, fuel cell, and battery cables mocked up; taken back out; the compartment Spatter Painted and Cleared; the aluminum polished; and finally everything reassembled with fuel plumbed to Fuelab Pre-filter. New Double-Ought positive cable to the front. New AN -12 braided also going from pre-filter to Fuelab pump, and then new AN -10 heading to front for the post filter & regulator. Allante got it's first power buff since it left the factory in 1993. I bought this car new in June of 1993. Did some Spring cleaning on the cars in one of my warehouses. All walls and the floor cleaned, and all cars detailed in and out. The Superbird, Demon, Barracuda, Grand National, Drag Pak, Magnum GT, Marlin and 58 Pickup are for Sale. I also have a nice 2014 Ford Pickup for sale. I might even sell the Viper if enough money was waived in front of my face. It has sentimental Value and I have mixed emotions on that. It would have to be someone wanting the best 3000 mile 99 GTS available. I've posted an album of thumbnails that can be right-clicked and enlarged to full size. If you know of anyone interested in any of these cars, let them know. Below is my business card. Email or text as I don't answer the dozens of unknown calls I get daily. Last month I sold the Vitamin C to Dave Lewis in Oklahoma, under the condition that he kept it as the Vitamin C. He stripped the car down, did the minor bodywork needed and repainted with replication of the Original Graphics. Looks great.
    A couple of years ago my 3000 mile Viper GTS had it's fluids drained, battery and tires removed, and put in a climate controlled bubble. Last month we took it out, restored fluid levels, replace plugs and wires, replaced the battery, puts its wheels back on, and completely went through it. Broke it back it and then I ran it up to 140mph.

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  • BK

    So the new Lexan is in, replacing the 2006 version. Moving onto mocking up the fuel cell, two battery hold downs, weight boxes, and fuel system. Them pulling back out for a couple coats of black spatter paint and a couple coats of clear top coat. Then all back together. After that, new fuel line and battery cable will be run to the front.
    I n 1996, I promised myself that if I ever hit a homerun selling the largest of my three businesses at the time, that I would reward myself with a new black on black Viper GTS; and my family with a lake house and diesel pusher motorhome. In June 1998 I sold that business and ordered this car. It took almost a year to arrive. I never really drove it much, and in 2005, with only 3000 miles, I took out the battery, drained the coolant, took off the wheels and put in a bubble. Last month it came out, all fluids changed and topped off; new plugs, wires and battery, and the car started and taken for a ride. It ran great (and fast) and my shop rat power buffed the paint and my youngest daughter detailed the inside. Today, I applied for collector car insurance and when I receive the card I’ll take to get inspected and register It was raining today, so I’ll wait before taking for photos.

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