Friday, September 2, 2011

The break, the strip-down, and the plan.

After leaving the car in the trailer while I headed north to Scotland for what can only be described as the best week in a very long time, on my return we put the car in the workshop so we could assess the damage.   It had been loaded up under such bad circumstances that the trailer door had been slammed shut and it had literally been forgotten about!
With at least two of the wheels definitely not going to go round, unloading it firstly from the trailer, then manhandling it into the workshop, was always going to be something of a challenge.  Being a scrap man can have its advantages though and I would almost class us as experts when it comes to moving smashed vehicles about.  We do it time and time again at work.   Armed with a jack and some clever little trolleys called ‘go jacks’,  they push against the wheel then you can jack the car up off the floor with them and push it around using the four wheels on the trolley.  Clever.   We managed after some serious pushing to get it back in place and onto the ramp.
With it up in the air and some time to look around the car it wasn’t as bad as first thought.  Everything looked pretty awful with wheels pointing in every direction and bits of body work hanging everywhere but the actual main structure was fine.   Literally every bit of damage is a bolt on item and although there is quite a list of damage it’s all stuff that can be easily sorted.   I spent the weekend stripping bits off and just having a good old look at it.  The resulting car looks pretty sorry for itself with no panels, no front suspension, no rear axle and no crash frames but now we know just what’s what and can start rebuilding it.
The panels have all been sorted and the salvageable ones sent back to Boss to be repaired and replacements ordered for the ones that looked just too far gone!   The crash frames arrived from Hairds this morning and there is an axle in the trailer . . . . so fingers crossed it will be looking like a Hot Rod again in no time.
I think Hednesford is the first meeting I have missed for the past three years and it felt pretty weird being out walking the dogs when normally we would have been travelling up there.    I declined an offer to go up with Jason and mechanic for him as I just felt I needed some time away from racing to get my head back round it all.   I did find myself itching to be there a few times during the day but I have managed to keep myself pretty much away from racing completely for the last few weeks and the only conclusion I drew is that I do still love it and want to get back out there and have another go!
My plan now is to take my time and get the car rebuilt.  It won’t be done in time for Yarmouth so I’ll be missing that meeting too although curiosity could well get the better of me and I might find myself going to watch.   Then it’s going to be a full scale come-back for Ipswich.   Any plans of qualifying again are long gone so I’m going to come back out with the sole aim of enjoying my racing. 
I’m waiting for a phone call at the moment that could lead to a very exciting blog next week involving a trip overseas!   Either that or I will rant on some more about rebuilding my car.
Thanks to everyone who helped me keep the faith!
Until next time.

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