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Old Barn in the Snow

Winter Is Coming

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

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Like me, most of the cars I like don't do well in winter weather.

They like dry pavement and warm temperatures.

In fact, if you look at every vehicle in the Car Projects section, you will note that not a one is built for anything but pleasant days. Even my daily driver, the Cobalt SS/SC, with its front wheel drive platform has far more engine than is prudent for inclement weather — she will eat her front tires in the dry if I so much as get frisky with the throttle in first gear, or pull out of a corner too aggressively in second.

Don't get me wrong, there are a handful of cars I like that are functional in winter — I just don't own any of them.

When it snows, I'm house-bound and almost always have been — with the exception of the times I owned the '97 Saturn SL and the SL2.

Why am I sharing this? More important, where is this going?

So glad you asked.

Winter is almost here.

It's gotten me to thinking about the misery I used to experience working on Car Projects this time of year — a decade ago when I worked on Car Projects.

It's been ten years this year since I had to quit wrenching on the cars. I was working on the LX '93 Mustang at the time. The engine for it was freshly rebuilt, sitting on the engine stand, the interior had been completely repaired, and the original 160,000-mile transmission was blown apart and waiting for a rebuild. The chassis still needed to be redone, but I had fresh rubber on the original 16" Pony wheels. The body and paint needed only minor attention to be nearly perfect.

The LX currently sits, patiently awaiting my return. It needs to have some mold removed from the interior, now. The engine's cylinders are rusted and need to be bored again. The transmission still waits for me to put it back together. The chassis still needs to be rebuilt, but I think the tires on the wheels are still good — they were never installed on the car, so they aren't flat-spotted and the last time I looked, the rubber was in perfect condition. The body and paint are no worse for the passage of time.

I just need a place to get to work — one not out in the winter weather and heated to keep my fingers and toes from freezing off whilst I tinker.

Something with a little more winter protection than the barn, pictured above.

That's waaay easier said than done — but it is all I need. That, and the money to do it, I suppose — both for the place and the project. I'm not on the prowl for a place yet, but who knows what the future may hold. A new year is coming and with it, new possibilities — like summer.

Summer is an excellent possibility I can wholeheartedly endorse.

Welp, that's all I got for this week, just a little waxing of the nostalgia.

I hope you're getting a jump on your winter projects and that your garage is a pleasant respite from the frightful weather outside.


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