May, 2001

Hi all.....

So much went on during the trip to Oregon, thought a few diary excerpts would be in order, forgive the lengthy post!

Mikey 62 Crown Coupe

Dear Diary.....OK, its 4:30 in the freakin morning....the darn birds are still sleepin! Kids look like zombies - maybe they wont be talkin till later! Cars full of fuel, thereís nobody on the road and we are outa here! Got this whole highway to myself....lets see what she will do!

Wow.....not even 6 am and here we are in the gorge....and the stupid headwind! Felt like we hit something when we got slapped by that first gust, thatís gonna cost a couple mpg! Hmmmm.....lots of trucks on this road, finally I will be able to " draft " behind something, not the usual in this car.

Guess from the expression on his face he's never seen one of these before.....well, I could care less if he loves it or hates it, I know I wont be seeing a 39 year old Hyundai Sonata even if I live to be 200 - let alone a group of people dedicated to keeping these beauties on the road. Wish I hadnít forgotten Roger's phone number though.....almost to Hood River and I'd call him if I could. Hope he doesnít wait around for me too much.

OK....fill her up. Woodburn for fuel...thatís further than we did last year. So far so good....cant get over these guys HAVE to pump the fuel for ya, no self serves in the state at all. Havenít had this privilege since I cant remember when. Guess I better show him where the fuel filler is, and check the vital fluids while Iím at it. Wow.....nothin low, leaking or smoking. Thatís gonna take a little getting used to.

Kewl 55 Buick.......wish I could hear what that guys saying. I know the thumbs up is a good thing, and I donít see any single digit waving going on.......oh I see, heís saying " 62" , makes more sense than High 5 and a peace sign. Wish I had an aerial view of the 2 of us cruisin side by side here for the last 2 miles. These folks down here seem to be pretty casual......back home we all drive like New York cabbies but without the sidearms...mostly.

Thereís the cleaners.....oh, look., Leslieís hard at work - NOT! Lets get out, stretch and all that. Might as well see what she was talking about on the Titanic, hope the carb isnít really dead. Better remember to get something tie dye for Linda while were in there.....course with me and the 2 other kids being gone, thatís a pretty good gift she's getting anyway.

Well that was a no brainer.....worn throttle shafts, Les will have to get a new carb eventually, she may as well get an Edelbrock and be happy. Must have been a stuck needle and seat when it was flooding, sure seemed like a good runner today. Nice car.....gotta remember not to give her quite so much crap about it at chat...well, lets think about it anyway.

OK Diary....lunch time. May as well do the Burger King thing. Kids will be happy. Hmmmm......this guy is arguing with the girl over 13 cents on the bill and heís having her itemize every item on the receipt. This could be awhile. Oh great, now they got his order wrong on top of that......

Now off to see the local Mopar guru and his cars......geeez.....73 Imp I think, duster, charger, DeSotos, what the heck is that a valiant....must be a 60?, what a variety. Wish he was here so we could see the real kewl stuff on the inside. Should tell Les to make real nice to this guy, make him some cookies. No....she better just buy him some cookies hehehehehe. Guess we can come back here later, may as well go to Leslieís.

WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!!!! 0 oil pressure, sh*t son of a bit*h turn this fu**in thing off now!!! Man Iím glad I heard that when I did.....great!!! Drive all over hell and back at home and nothin, 2 miles from where Iím going and this!!!! OK...calm down, what are yer options: Cry, yell...no, cry is better right now.... nah, better not do that. Lets think about this...oil pump drive shaft broke, pump broke or... .hmmmm maybe pick up tube but I doubt it. Wont matter anyway, have to get this thing towed to Leslieís first. Thank the Lord for that towing insurance. Wish we were on a better spot, no shoulder, on a curve, at the base of a hill and traffic is busy. Only a matter of time till we scrape a Taurus off my back bumper!!!!!!

Geez....must have a guardian angel. This guys got a big enough truck, a tow rope, and some intelligence. At least we are better off here till the tow truck gets here. Have to get his name from Les later so I can send him a proper thank you. Glad Les is here......she can talk to this nice little old lady for awhile....and awhile, and awhile.......WHERE IS THAT TOW TRUCK!!!!

Geez......oh sure, Les got her camera!!! if I am lucky, the tow truck guy will drop my car 3 feet and she can get some even better shots!!! hehehehehe....maybe it will roll off the truck and go thru her garage wall into the house " wow Les, nice big grey double couch you got there...howíd ya get it in the living room?"

Well, time to get to work....pull the distributor, lets mark where it is pointing first, make life easy OK. All right, hmmmm......better make a note of where that drive shaft gear is pointing too while were at it. OK...well thatís that, sheared hex on the drive shaft! YES.....man thatís so much better than busted engine internally....great, now the pump has to come out. I am sooooo glad its externally mounted. Must remember to thank whoever designed this engine for that. Just loosen the motor mount bolts, lift it a bit....there ya go! Man...hope Les has a big drain pan...thereís gonna be some oil. Yep...there it is, seized inner rotor. Wonder if thereís a parts store within a time zone that might have that around here......wonder if thereís a drive shaft within a light year of here.

Well diary...thatís enough for today.. its dinner time, supposed to have parts in the morning. What a day!!! Eric's car didnít make it...glad he did, Roger made it, Lee's car didnít make it...mine is sitting in Leslieís garage.....the fury guy is somewhere around I think....sure hope the Titanic doesnít mind sitting outside tonite just for me! Les and Bob are being very kewl about this......bet a buck that Bob is just hoping I get mine fixed so he doesnít have to be " Uncle Bob " for a week or so.....or that I get to come back in a couple weeks and fix that darn car. Time for bed.....well see ya tomorrow

Hey Diary.....

Well, here we are ..350 miles from home, with a busted Imp. May as well go get some parts and fix this baby ........hope that pump came in or there may be a riot at Napa! Looks like everyone else went to the car show.....wonder if they have a class " primered derelicts" I could really clean up this year.

OK.....new pump, 37 bucks.....not bad. Hope that drive shaft is around, guess I can scope out some cars while Iím at the show waiting for Jim the Mopar guy. Thankfully he lives here....every town needs someone like him.

Got pump, got drive shaft.....lets go to work! Hmmmm......nobody here to kick me cuz I didnít get some new bolts, this standard pump is 1/4 inch shorter than the old hi vol unit......guess I get to go back to Napa again. GRRRRR..............

Well, lets prime it and see what it does......glad Jim had this primer shaft and Bob has a reversible electric drill....címon, come on you.....grrrrrrrrrrr! OK...there it is, drill is slowing down big time - good sign. 40 psi priming....think we dodged a serious bullet here. Get that drive shaft and dist back in.....lets double check everything again.....OK....moment of truth here. Do we drive home or does Les get some yard art! She will have to provide her own foliage though.....

OH thank you Lord for that one!! Thereís more than one kind of religious moment in this boys life.....50 pounds and steady. Smooth....no rattles or clanging or those really bad deep low thumps.......3 oíclock....there goes the show but who cares! Now to clean up and give Les her garage back.

Dinner time already.....oh man, Bob made some killer lasagna. Too bad heís already married..Iíd adopt him. This stuff is good.......good dinner, good people, good weather ( only blowin 30 mph constantly and 45 seconds outside is about all you want with this darn sand flyin around....) and the car moves.

Cruise time.....what..no cruise? The town moron police chief closed off old town...no bikers waving and cheering from both sides of the street as all the cars go by!!! That was the kewlest part of it all last year! Half the route had people sitting in their yards watching the cars go by.....that was sooo neat. And downtown, the same thing. If that was considered a riot, then I want to have riots like that back home. Hope Sergeant Friday gets his act together and wises up for next year.....either that or next time he trips over a rope and breaks his arms he blames the right person - himself.

Well....not a bad idea, do our own cruise. Lets pile into my car and go driving....plus, we have enough to push now if something else breaks! Last year it was a hood cable, this year an oil pump......so by that logic next time a tree should fall on us. Oh man.....this is good ice cream, worth the trip right there. Watch this...gonna give Les the keys and let her drive. hehehehe...this should be good.

OK Les....yes it has power seats, they had electricity in 62. works just like yerís does.....yeah, its a good thing to reach the pedals. oh man...what a Kodak moment! sheís lookin at those push buttons like a 2 year old looks at a nuclear reactor " what does this do?" hehehehe..... Les, R is reverse....just like yours. D is drive.....this is so good. Now the brake release, see the handle marked " brake release..."

Man!!! What was I not thinking......put Bob's ice cream dish on the dash when Les got in, her hands were full. I knew it would slide right off it when the car moved.....so did I remember to hold it? Well, these clothes will wash. If we get pulled over, act like Iím one of her kids and I dropped my cone - that will be worth the trip too.

What a moment....I get to drive the Titanic! Watch Les get her revenge on me now.........starts OK, sounds good. Lets move the seat back a bit.....must be driven by a munchkin. Ahhhhhh...much better, OK lets give it a go. Nice....good power, shifts nice.....nice feel. Not much difference than driving mine, pretty much takes up as much road as mine.....not bad at all. How the heck do you do this door handle....oh, this little thing kinda keeps the handle from being opened by a kid or something.....press this down and it opens. Glad they all enjoyed laughing at me for that one. No, I donít know what that noise is....lets go to this parking lot and figure it out... what am I thinking! Here we are, Iím trying to look at the front end with Les driving it ....why not just lay down in the street and wait, same final result....tire tracks on my torso! Maybe we should forget this after all.

Chat......finally get to see how much everyone enjoyed our antics. Wonder if moron got the " manure post " thing...hehehe. Wow, nice crowd......since its Leslieís computer maybe I can fool someone into thinkin its her doing the typing...

2 am....Iím talkin to Robb ( darn,he knows his stuff on these Chrysler products..geez I havenít even heard of some of this ) and were typing, and thereís what...3 conversations going on at once. everyone else stopped chatting at least an hour and a half ago.....its late, long drive tomorrow. All things considered its been a very good day.

Well its day 3....geez, if I post all this to the list I may finally get that booting Iíve deserved now and then....... ok, its 8:30, better get up. Nothing like 5 hours sleep to sharpen the wits...DUH. maybe a shower will help, at least it will make me feel better if I donít think any better. kids are awake....wonder why the wind and the sand and the ocean doesnít freeze them like it does me?

ok......were packed, cleaned up .....bob and Les have an excellent place, should come back in the fall and rent it for our anniversary - leave the imp at home unless maybe Linda would like to work on it with me hehehe. great.- Ryan just threw up on their carpet......man how embarrassing. can we go home now.

ok...got munchies, got fuel, got the salt spray washed off.....were outa here! if we donít get out now, theyíll close it off for the parade and we will be that unknown entry from Florence scrap metal with my luck. we can get gas and lunch in junction city , its an hour away.

ok....next time pay closer attention to Leslieís directions., that was a nice road and we did end up where we were suppposed to.....just a bit more scenery to enjoy along the way. make note to follow 126 all the way to Mapleton and not take 36 so soon.....thatís another DUH for the day.

what a moment....the kid at the gas station was soooo funny. " man...I never even saw an engine or a radiator that big before" Iím gonna miss this full service thing when we get back home. kewl.....hereís another couple who are doin the thumbs up thing,....bet a buck this guy remembers these when they were new. been a lot of them this weekend, or the real young types who just like it for whatever.......course, theres always someone who just stares....like maybe "what the hell was that supposed to be .....who styled that? " as they try and comprehend what the car is all about. notice they are usually driving metros or sonatas.......known Imperial crumple zones hehehe.

Back in Washington......love that hood river bridge. 10 feet wide it seemed like, and grated metal deck. close as ill ever be to ice skating in an imp.....must be why they have that 25 mph speed limit. hope we didnít strain the structure at this weight....

Well diary....thatís it, were on the home stretch. Looks like were gonna get 300 miles on this tank...and were not even on the empty mark..Imp must be happy to be back! sure beats having to call Lindaís dad for the car trailer and having to go back and get her. sure was a good trip all in all, got to meet some great people, got to see Roger's 81 up close...been awhile since Iíve scoped one out, had some nice tech sessions - yeah right. now if the auto imp cop detecto-matic thing doesnít see this whole post as some kind of virus we might just be able to tell about it.

Later, Mike Sutton