11 November 2011

prequel of the '40 coupe project - "shanghai express"

One of my few regrets is not starting this blog thing years ago.
So much random stuff has happened that I've forgotten,
and its a good way to remember while I can.

I wrote about the trip to Portland to get the 40 over 3 and a half years ago.
It is on my not very used Myspace account,
so before it disappears I just cut and pasted it.

It was a good time!

shanghai express

So a month or so ago won this ebay auction for a rusty 40 coupe.
Not a resto-quality project! but something I like to do.
Restoring a car & hot-rodding a car are two very different things,
and i’m definitely not a restorer!

Before the auction ended though I studied alot,
and I gotta say the internet rules.
Found some cheeeeaap flights to Portland (1000miles away) for $100 a pop!
www.bookingbuddy.com - has all the ticket sellers on one site.
(hint-buying from the airline allows you to modify the ticket, date/name, but you can find the
cheapest flight/seat on the priceline/expedia/etc and cross reference it to in our case delta.com)

Then went searching for a way to get it back.
Driving there and back in our van pulling a trailer woulda killed it,
so looked at all the truck rentals, uhaul, hertz, penske etc.
and found what I thought was a mistake.
All the other ones quoted $370-500 for a small 10 foot box van one way, w/o insurance.
These guys are insane- $115 oneway, plus 90 for a $500 deductible insurance!
Its all done online so it doesn’t seem secure, but it all worked out, no surprises.
(I guess everyone is leaving california, so a one way out of CA is $1000!)

So thursday night Luke and I flew out non-stop to portland arriving there at 11pm.
Of course its raining but I hadn’t been on a good trip for a long time, and luke just kinda broke up with his longtime girlfriend,
so we were ready for an adventure.
Unfortunately the truck rental place didn’t open til 8am the next morning so we had time to kill,
and too cheap to finda room,
so we hopped on the mac-trolley and fortunately met someone who knew where to go.
(Alex from Rochester with one of the craziest hats i’ve seen a guy wear to meet an ex-girlfriend!)
Of course the headline on the newspaper in the train says "gang violence down, 13 deaths this year"
Ha now two outta town white boys walking around with a bunch of hundereds...

on the MAX trolley

anyway we stopped off at "old town/china town" which was sposta be the place to go.
(wish we’d seen the video before leaving, but the doughnut place was good!)
It was crazy.
It was raining, not sprinkling but raining, and there were hundreds of people walking & driving around,
going to clubs/bars/restaurants with no umbrellas or jackets.
Seriously girls were walking around with tight shirts, dresses in the rain.
Real strange, in ventura no-one goes out when its sprinkling or even windy!
After an hour or so of walking around in circles checking the place out,
a bar was needed. 

Kelly's Olympian
Portland, Oregon

This place was awesome. $2 pabst on tap, tons of old bikes hanging up - bsa’s triumphs, honda race bikes, an prewar indian in the window, the biggest collection of metalflake helmets i’ve ever seen, gas pump toppers, and a great live band.
Even Tim Robbins was hanging out with an entourage. and no cover!

inside kelly's olympian

The other cool thing is the bars close at 2:15.
the bummer is the trolley stops at 2.

2:30 in the rain
streets of  portland

So we walked around, it had its shady moments since all the homeless people converge under protected areas,
but we found a restaurant that closed at 4am! and planted ourselves.

Fortunately the trolley restarted at 4:20 so we decided to huff it back to the airport,
and sleep there til the "morning"

I guess lotsa people do that cause we got hassled by a cop,
Luke first, and he was still a little drunk,
you know when you get asked a question when your sleeping...5150..
(and he had the stank-feet jeezus no wonder he got hassled!)
Fortunately we had tickets, airplane blankets and no warrants, so he let us stay.

long walk

in the morning we decided to save the $25 taxi cab and walk 4+ miles to the budget rental center.
I’m not sure why we were so cheap but the walk was refreshing, along a slough.
The reservations worked out and we were on the road.

made in Oregon

After visiting a skatepark under the burnside bridge we went to get the coupe.

burnside 4 life

The guy had just moved back from kentucky, and had brought everything he could load,
and dumped it at his sons house.
He had a decent ’51 merc that was kinda east coast, a ’37 sedan w/tci projects.
We went to the storage yard and I was relieved that the 40 was what I’d expected.
They were too! so $620 shorter we were off.

1940 coupe
all loaded up

The drive down was so different from driving to LA. Lotsa trees, and nature. Trees, and trees I ended up falling asleep after a while...
We ended up driving down to San Jose to meet up with some friends,
but of course misjudged the mileage and slept in a rest stop overlooking 6 flags.
Fortunately we had those airline blankets, but Luke was miserable.
It was funny actually I can sleep pretty good, maybe cause I’m older and tired,
but it was cold and we’d turn the engine on for the heater,
I think I passed out for a long time with the engine idling...

Anyway we met up with Pat Lash and Sloppy Sin and friends down in San Jose.
Pat (& wife sharon) had just bought the most bitchin house, with a 4 car garage...

pat lash's garage

sloppy's RPU
Pat's machine shop

Pat's 29 roadster
Sloppy's 29 RPU

It was a good day, very rare to be able to completely f*ck off on a sunday!
One of the cool things was not going somewhere "far" because of a car show, just a random weekend.
Getting to hang out and seeing friends shops was kinda cool for a change.
However we soon realized their friends are kinda wacky, they had a surprise planned out. Actually Billy had the surprise planned out and the other 13 guys and girls were the pawns.
Of course it was the most random thing and when "ice skating" was the surprise it was one of those "what the fuck" moments. Imagine a bunch of car guys going to a mall ice rink. Sloppy and I were thinking "we could be working on his hot rod" but we were stuck. 

Add caption

As the hour went by, me and sloppy were the last ones off the rink. It was kinda fun after some falls. Luke who was the star hockey player astounded everyone. My legs still hurt...

It ended great though cause one of their friends Thane is a bartender at the coolest bar in San Jose, Trials. An english pub it was cool to hang out with everyone and get a good buzz.

sloppy's self portrait?

We left after hanging out at Sloppy’s house, its crazy his sisters posse is addicted to "rock star" which is kinda like guitar hero.

Anyway we got home ok and spent about 270 on gas, which wasn’t bad, about 15mpg.

Now don’t be scared of these next pics!
The car is actually really complete except grille.
Its amazing that someone could let a car in decent condition sit outside somewhere rusting.
The whole back half I ended up cutting off just for ease of moving it around.

1940 ford coupe first mock up

side view

here I thought
no problem...

The decklid has a good outer skin, but the inner bottom is flakey, ok for me.
The dash is crazy, so complete yet so rusty. Fortunately its solid not flakey.

crusty 1940 ford dash

So Now I wish I had detonators 40 chassis he just dismantled!
Actually I have other ideas for a more current frame/running gear,
And also the chop from that model too.
The best thing is the steel is surface rusty but not cancerous, on the top anyway.
He gave the rear quarter bottom patch panels too, and some door bottoms.

I’m actually excited about starting it,
but right now I need to clean my plate of the stagnating projects first :P
at least its here.

Anyway thats about it!
Talk at y’all later...

So I wrote this around the 18th of March 2008!
Damn alot has happened since then!


Oh yeah,
here's why it was called the "shanghai express"
Shanghai Tunnel
people would get kidnapped at bars,
and shipped out as forced sailors or into prostitution!
Crazy times!

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