02 September 2014

How to - gettin to the Ventura nationals 2014

If there is one car show I'll thrash extra for,
it'll be the Ventura Nationals - ex-primer nationals.
One reason is the location,
our old home of 14+ years.
A great excuse to visit old friends 
and check out all the changes in the small town.
The other reason is now the show is put on by an old friend Holly,
who rose through the hot rod ashes and is now the big so-cal promoter.
When you go to these car shows,
realize each car has it's own drama on how it got there.
You figure for each running car,
there are some that broke down,
there are multiple unfinished projects that missed the deadline,
and even more that may shoot for next year.
I bet it's like 1 out of 30 cars that'll show up.
There's a bit of luck and hard work in each.
Early in the week a decision was needed,
which hot rod to take up.
The 40 and the 29 are both runners,
and it was tough to choose.
The comfort or the fun.
Last year the drive in chief was a handful.
After some new rear tires 
and switching the fronts,
it drove like a new car.
The rears were 13 pounds lighter each side!
No wonder it was a handful.
On Wednesday the plan was set.
Drive up with a friend Mario with his f100.
Something happened Thursday.
I had the wild idea to do a double.
That was actually the original plan weeks ago,
but the schedule didn't allow it.
At 5:30 Thursday the kids and I started the thrash.
Jaxon was amazed I'd procrastinate this hard.
I said let's put in an hour and see how smoothly things go.
Reinstalling the engine was the easy part.
After a scrub down,
the trailer load was gonna be fun.
Like there hasn't been time 
to rig this utility trailer with proper ramps!
A little alignment issue...
Using a chainfall or chainhoist,
there was no way we were gonna redo this!
Were done by 10 pm!
So much work in that time.
Couldn't have done it without the kids.
Jaxon learned that pulling off stunts like this 
just reinforces the power of procrastination!
I left San Diego at 330,
hoping to catch the 730 southbound train.
200 miles later I arrived with 11 minutes to spare!
The key was the old breezer bike.
I parked in a safe spot up by the old shop,
and cruised the mile or so to the station.
You'd think this was the easy part right?
In my rush I was too late to buy a ticket,
or more importantly make a bike reservation.
Heck I wasn't sure if I was gonna make that train!
The conductor was adamant about not letting the bike on.
It was either dump it off at the next station or wait for a later train.
Holey Chit!
Fortunately we have family in Camarillo.
I frantically called my cuñada Vanessa,
and she saved the day.
At the stop,
I ran out, 
tied the bike up,
and hoped for the best.
Such a relief when she texted the pic!
You know I kept tabs of the bike compartment.
This was the fullest it got.
There's even empty shelving up top.
I think AMTRAK has a lame bike system.
For a 7+ car train,
you'd think there would be sufficient room,
or at least allow creative storage.
The rest of the ride was relaxing.
I usually take the night train,
which misses he sights of the California coast.
The no bike part kinda sucked.
Fortunately the wife picked me up part way.
After a little rest and packing,
Jaxon and I got on the road about 7 pm.
Chief ran without a hitch.
We hung out downtown for a bit,
then dumped the 40 to save time the next morning.
We all rallied up early the next morning to get in line.
I don't think I've ever done that before!
More later...

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