Thursday, July 8, 2010

Realistic expectations.

After rebushing the carbs, I'd gotten to a point where the Amazon was in pretty good order mechanically. The body on the other hand... well, a trailer queen she is not.

For a variety of reasons, I've been putting off body work for a while. First off, body work involves a lot of dusty sanding, noisy grinding and banging, and spraying of smelly, noxious chemicals. Work that isn't terribly conducive to being performed in a backyard.

Second, it's expensive - especially if you don't already have tools. Most shadetree mechanics can get thier hands on sockets, wrenches, and the like, but few of us have metalworking tools at our disposal. Not to mention expendables like paint.

Finally, I was afraid of reaching the limits of my skills. After reading an article about Ken Sakamoto, I'd gotten it in my mind that I wouldn't settle for anything less than meticulously metalworking every dent and ding back to smooth, bare metal. But I knew I didn't have the skills necessary to meet my own expectations.

Then, one day, I had a moment of clarity. I realized that my Amazon is never going be a concours car; that first and foremost, it's supposed to be a fun project.

That is, I realized the importance of being honest and realistic about one's goals and budget for a project, and to work with that in mind.  I'd never meant for the Amazon to be too precious, and besides, I could never bring myself to spend the money necessary for that kind of treatment anyway.

Anyway, the truth is that just about anything would be an improvement over the car's current look: faded Earl Scheib paint job, patches of Bondo...  Sometimes, doing something is better than doing nothing, even if "something" happens to be imperfect. Let's face it:  the world is an imperfect place.

And so, while I was still pondering the issue with a beer in one hand, the other hand had already picked up a DA sander and laid into one of the doors.

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