So back around February it became obvious that the Chinese weren’t letting on that they’d lost control of the deadly COVID-19 virus, our ‘Merican government was blissfully ignoring said killer virus, and we sure as heck weren’t ready as the nation’s health care “system” begged for the nation’s DIYers stash of N95 masks. So like good gearheads, we surrendered our N95s and adapted, which given that those of us in the northern latitudes were snowed in anyway, wasn’t much of a sacrifice.

Thus every hair brained “project” and “build” we’ve been fooling ourselves into believing we were going to “get a round to” was dragged to places of honor in our shops and on our benches. Parts were ordered en masse- Harper’s Guzzi reports their biggest parts volume ever, VW Diesel parts supplier ID Parts reported thousand dollar plus parts orders for whole brake and suspension systems on A4 vintage VWs that are over 15 years old, and Max BMW hasn’t had to do any sales lately.


So how come the Mini ain’t all restored yet and I think I’ve got no more running vehicles than I started winter with? And shouldn’t that Guzzi and flatbed ‘hack be married and sharing the garage with the two other hack outfits?

Well, for a start, I kinda got interrupted- Back in march when we were in panic mode, being a techie I was drafted into a bunch of missions impossible like reverse engineering N95 masks, making face shields with found (around the shop) materials, and hacking realtime traffic counts out of embedded in the road sensors to assess the success of stay at home efforts. I learned a lot- like how fabric makers gagged sewing shops who wanted to make masks (I suspect Gore-Tex is the ultimate mask material), contemplated acquisition of volumes of plexiglas from a closed and bankrupt company by degrees of nefariousness, and convincing state leaders that the county next to me didn’t have citizens flaunting quarantine as measured by cell tower pings, because all those pings were because the county was on a ridge and it’s cell towers served several counties. Ain’t science fun!

DSC_6747But did accomplish a few things- That’s the old TDI on the lift, it being after Memorial Day I figured it was safe to take off the winter tires. Replacing a few brake and suspension parts while it’s up there, whenever the back ordered parts come in. The Golf 7 TDI will be next on the lift for 40,000 mile service and a bash plate. The LS airhead and Guzzi got oil changes and thousand dollar new mufflers for the ST are outa stock, which gave me the perfect excuse to borrow the R100GS’s. Been nibbling away at the Mini restoration- try to loosen fastener which don’t budge,  drench it in penetrating oil, try a couple days later with same results, repeat, give up and apply the power tools! Same with the Ranger rebuild, which has been giving me an education on just how cheap Ford really is…

And did I mention that I tried to buy a new van three times and Ford failed each time? I’ll save that for a future missive…