Hot Rodding, Then and Now
Rumbleseat's East Coast Run 2003 Part Four
PART FOUR. Some good two lane roads as I traveled southeast. The next morning, Saturday, I skirted Birmingham and picked up the I-20 frontage road to Moody, AL. It was late morning when I called Ron in Moody to get directions to his house. He was waiting with the garage door open and motioned me inside. Good to see him and Joyce again. Ron retired from GM. He's always been a Chevy man since I met him in '48. We've always ragged each other over the years. He ended up working for GM as some kind of regional rep for the performance Chevs. Good job. He retired a few years back. Recently he went back to work..... for Chrysler! Shocked me! Seems to like it though. Joyce had a bad bout with the "Big C" awhile back. She says she's over it and doing fine. Joyce fixed us lunch and we dawdled over it talking about old times etc. They wanted to go for a ride, so I emptied out half of the rumble seat and Joyce got in it. Drove through the town and out in the country. Pretty scenery. The weather was a perfect roadster day.... cloudy and warm. She wanted to drive the old heap, so she drove it back to their place. It was mid-afternoon when I started loading up the rod. They wanted me to spend the night, but I declined. Joyce didn't need the stress and extra work a guest brings. Would have like to have spend more time with them though.
On the road again. The weather was good and the two lane roads were good. So I ran later than usual. I no longer run long hours. I'm geezer age and, combined with my recent illness, I get pretty tired by mid-afternoon. Also, finding a motel late in the day often presents problems. Got into Phoenix, AL (near Columbus, GA) early evening. Washed the roadster and got a good night's sleep.
Sunday, May 25. Crossed over into GA and ran two lane roads through Americus towards Fitzgerald. Ran into heavy rain. Found a car wash to shelter me while I put the top up. It was pouring pretty hard. A problem I have on my roadster is the windshield wiper. It's vacuum and works really good........ as long as the top is down! When the top is up, the front of the top extends forward over the windshield frame. It comes to rest on the wiper arm shaft. This keeps the wiper from working. Definitely not one of Ford's Better Ideas. So I have a choice... leave the top down and have a wiper..... or put the top up and have no wiper. Been that way as long as I've owned the car, but it doesn't bother me much since I usually just leave the top down when it rains. With no side curtains, I get soaked whether the top is up or down anyway. But I discovered something when I put the top up this time. If I raise the driver corner of the top about 1/8" before I tighten the top's wing nut hold down, the wiper will work! Great news. But this creates another problem..... the resultant gap between the top and the top of the windshield frame funnels water into the car. Oh well, nothing is perfect in these old cars. Doesn't really matter since rain comes in between the windshield and frame, in the windowless doors, around the wing windows, and between the cowl and the bottom of the windshield frame. I figure the inside of the windshield gets wetter than the outside! One solution would be to run a wiper on the inside..... or sell the car. And don't forget passing trucks and cars......... they splash pretty good at times! Oh yeah I almost forgot, the canvas top material gets soaked quickly. This means every time you hit a bump, or the wind snaps the top, a fine mist of rain settles down over the inside of the car. Neat thing about all the rain pouring in, you stay busy wiping up a constant flow of water which runs over the top of the dash and onto you. Every time I get in a heavy rain, I always have to laugh (I must be sick)..... I'm the one that wanted a roadster and to be out in the rain. Dumb! Got into Fitzgerald and found a motel. Unloaded a damp roadster and found a car wash. Washed the mung off and vacuumed water out of the front and rumble seat carpets as best I could.
Called JWL to see if he could meet me for breakfast the next morning, Monday. John lives near Fitzgerald. He and his wife, Judy, brought his '40 standard sedan to meet me. Then I followed him to his place. His '40 sounded strong and is a super car. He's got a huge shop. About every thing a person could need to build cars. Even has his own dyno. Really into the dyno and has various different heads and intake manifolds laying around. He's a firm believer in stock heads... claiming they breath better than after-market heads. Toured his place for a couple of hours and then I got under way late morning. I was anxious to see Don Garlit's Drag Museum in Ocala, FL. Drove two lanes road south to Lake City, FL. Then I got on I-75 since it was a straight shot to Ocala. Traffic was increasing considerably, but it would get a lot worse before it got better...... rumble seat.