Friday, May 8, 2009

March, April...and now May!

Time flies and I find that it's been over two months since I've added anything new to the blog. I'd like to say that I've been trying to get the Nautilus ready for the '09 show season, but that would be a lousy lie. In truth, the past couple of months have been a bit of a blur. I've been focusing heavily on my day job. I've been acquiring a lot of nice parts and spares. I've been gathering a bunch more Volkswagen knowledge and lining up resources to help finish my car. And, I've been hitting the shows. Yes indeed, the season is well upon us, and I'm now forced to admit the sad truth that I'm really not ready for it this year, as my car is still a very long ways from being done.

Still, I have been very busy with Volkswagen related activities. Next weekend is the Volkswagens on the Green show here in Colorado, and it's 'a given' that I'd be in attendance for that. But this year I also set a dangerous precedent and actually planned ahead and attended the Kelley Park show in San Jose, California, which was held a few weekends ago. It was a time spent visiting with old acquaintances and friends, but I also did meet up with others with whom I have only exchanged emails. I also got a chance to meet new faces that I previously have known vicariously through others, thanks to that gadabout, Kingsbury.

One of the latter folks is Jacin Ferrera, who runs the Type 3 Registry. You can bet I was all apologies over not having had my car in the Registry. I SWEAR I will get around to it, soon. His car is pictured here, both above and to the left, and is a worn but well cared for and maintained example of the breed. It's still way too nice a car to seriously consider a full pan-off restoration, though. And much like my old '66 Type 343, this car has history. Sometimes I wish I had kept that old '66 because in addition to history, it really needed nothing to be a great and functional car. Unfortunately, having a '66 just wouldn't do, because I really needed a '64 model year car to have the features I wanted, such as push-button dash with small diameter speedometer, 1500S engine, flat hub caps and Emerald green paint, which is only correct up through the '64 model year. I don't know--maybe I'm just a sucker for those perky early style bumper overriders.

While the early cars have a whole lot going for them, Rich Chrisensen's '66 hit me just right, pictured here at Kelley Park. With its Pedro roof rack equiped, Arcona white exterior, and a seriously clean interior. Sure, the details can be improved upon, but I really like this car, as is. I'll bet it's a hell of a driver, too.

Rich and his son, Alex, were both present at this show, so I got a chance to BS with two of them. They are both Type 34 owners, and it also turns out they owned for a brief time my first Type 34, which was a real basket case. I know they had it up for sale, and I kept meaning to ask them what happened to it, but got distracted. Anyway, they also got the sunroof section that I originally bought from Frank Fox out of South Carolina, so the mystery of where that sunroof piece eventually went is now solved. I believe the plan is to eventually graft it into one of their cars. They'd eventually like to add sunroofs to both cars. Hey--great minds think alike! We'll see those guys at the Classic, maybe with some newly acquired Type 34 sunroof parts in tow.

As much as I did enjoy my Sunday in Kelley Park, it was the evening before that was of greater significance. I took the time to travel up from San Jose to Oakland to hang out and enjoy some grilled eats and adult beverages at Richard Troy's industrial dwelling. We were in good company, as Michael Gregory (owner, House of Ghia), his daughter (name escapes me) and John Copello (machinist, original thinker and rejuvinator of sad Ghia hinges) also took time out of the weekend to make the trek to Richard's. If you've never been to Richard Troy's and are a vintage Porsche and VW enthusiast, do yourself a favor and go. I'll leave it at that!

As the drinks flowed and food was consumed, debates raged on a number of subjects, from rants regarding authenticity, reproduction parts quality, shortages of NOS components, cross-hybridization between the VW and early Porsches, parts interchangeability, and ended on the topic of electrically powered VWs...all done whilst pawing through Ghias and associated parts no newer than model year '59.  I can certainly say the event filled my head with knowledge and motivation to keep pushing forward with my own automotive pursuits. I needed that long evening of fanatical debate, if for no other reason that to give me impetus to keep the faith! Fallout from that meeting will make its way into the final results that are the Nautilus, no doubt.

For me, the best VW weekend, ever.

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