I found a cheap 1968 C series pickup on Marketplace, so I took a chance and drove three hours in beautiful fall sunshine to look at it this morning. Having talked to the owner, he didn’t know much about it other than the pictures provided. They showed a 2WD in original Bahama blue, with a floor-shifted manual behind a V8 of some unspecified size. It had a full-length bed, something I like. There was visible rust on the cowl seam and along the side of the bed; this seems to be common with this model. The glass looked to be intact, and the interior of the cab was in decent shape from what I could tell. The camper shell on the back may or may not have saved it from pooling water and rust. The big questions I had were:
What engine is in it, and does it turn?
How are the cowl vent assemblies (the achilles heel of this series)?
Does it have power steering or power brakes?
What shape are the front brakes in? (are they the dreaded Lockheed brakes whose parts are impossible to find?)
Which carb does it have?
The drive up was uneventful, but got off to a bad start; I’d told Google to avoid tolls but it immediately pointed me at the Harbor Tunnel; I reconfigured and made it up there by 11AM.
In person, the truck was in worse shape than the photos (big surprise). The rust was worse than the pictures let on all the way around.
I put the borescope down the driver’s side and found the cavity full with a mouse nest; the passenger side was rusted through in several places. So that was bad. What was worse were all the places the PO had sprayed foam insulation, which is essentially a death sentence for metal. It was behind the front fender, inside the cowl seam, under the dashboard, inside the rear fenders, and a bunch of other places I couldn’t see.
The doors were almost perfect, and the bed floor was in excellent shape due to the cap, but someone had rear-ended the truck and damaged both rear endcaps.
The engine was probably a 304 or larger, due to this truck being spec’d as a Camper Special, but the fan didn’t turn—not a good sign after sitting for 25 years; the last inspection sticker read 1997. It also had factory power steering, which was somewhat rare for a pickup of this vintage.
With all of the faults, I decided to walk away. I’m itching to find a new project, but I really want to be smart about it and move on the right one. This was just too much to tackle too far away; if it was local I’d have offered $1K and brought it home to either tinker with or part out.
Looking at the map, I realized I was only about 20 minutes away from the town I went to elementary school in, so I drove over to look at the old homestead. And from there, I hit the road for home.
I picked up a neat little toy through the Amazon Prime Day specials, something that will get some immediate use and hopefully pay for itself down the line: a lighted borescope, for looking deep down into dark places like cylinders and inside frame rails and down into AC ducts. It’s pretty slick; the control pad has a nice wide screen a little smaller than that of my iPhone SE and a keypad with a set of sturdy buttons. The wire is permanently connected to the unit and is a good bendable but stiff material that makes things easy to direct the way you want it to. It’s got a video and camera feature with a 32GB card that allows for all the photos and videos to fit and be offloaded to a computer. Here are some pictures from the spare SV 345 in my garage:
(Cylinder 5 and 7 are missing because the engine is sitting next to a shelf, making access to those two plugs impossible right now).
There are clearly some carbon deposits directly on top of the pistons; I know the moisture is Marvel Mystery Oil so I’m not too worried about that. The carb on this engine wasn’t burning the fuel completely so it was probably knocking; hopefully it wasn’t run to the point where it overheated. If I get this thing on a proper stand I’ll maybe pull the heads off to see if I can clean the pistons and cylinder walls—but that’s in the future.
This weekend I’m going to use it to peek into the cylinders in Bob’s Chrysler and see what’s going on with the 440.
It’s getting colder and I’m getting no younger. The cold is affecting me more than it ever has; I’ve taken to wearing fleece through most of the winter when I’m indoors. I’ve got some traveling coming up where I’m going to need the Scout, and I don’t relish the thought of a two-hour morning drive under the soft top at 45˚. Putting the hardtop back on is always bittersweet, because I live for driving the truck under a warm summer sun. After 25 years, I’ve got the method down to an art; it took me about two hours to get the soft top off and packed, and the hardtop lowered and bolted down. At some point I’d love to have one of those motorized hoists they sell for Jeeps but I think I need a garage upgrade before I do that.
Meanwhile I’ve been working on the second of two A/C boxes. When I took out the plastic vent housings, two of them broke at the pins that hold them into place, so I cleaned them up but can’t use them. The box is painted and just about ready for reassembly, and once that’s done I’ll have two clean boxes on the shelf.
I follow a bunch of Scout folks on Instagram, and some of them post really helpful tips from time to time. A week ago or so someone posted a picture of Kleen Strip concrete & metal prep, explaining that it’s basically the same thing as Evaporust, in a concentrated format—for a fraction of the price. I got a gallon of it at Lowe’s for $20 and thinned a small amount with three parts water. I was amazed at how fast and how strong it worked. Evaporust is good stuff but I found it dies out pretty quickly after the first batch of whatever I throw in it, so this is a welcome addition to the restoration toolbox.
Now that I’ve painted the transmission tunnel cover black, put in a black dash pad, sprayed the floors with black bedliner, and generally erased as much of the purple nonsense as possible, I’ve been looking at my khaki green glove box door with disapproval. I pulled it out of the truck, removed the lock barrel, and scuffed it with sandpaper before hitting it with three coats of black semigloss. Reinstalled it makes the whole thing look better—but now all I can see is that stupid purple dashboard. Maybe I need to just tape the whole thing off and spray it black…
My hunt for a set of black PT Cruiser seats continues. Our local junkyards have an app that sends alerts when particular cars hit the yards, and I check every time one comes in. It’s been a year and I’ve had zero luck. I think that option must have been in low demand in 2009. Meanwhile, Dan at the Binder Boneyard just announced a new product: a set of seat bases incorporating a locking access door. An added bonus is that they’re an inch shorter to accommodate aftermarket seats, something that would improve my seating position immensely.
The truck has been making a lot of noise on the passenger side for the past couple of months, something I’ve dealt with in the past on the driver’s side. The culprit then was the exhaust manifold gasket, which had disintegrated, so the effect was basically that of open headers—not the most neighborly situation when driving through town. I pulled the passenger wheel off the truck to better access the gasket and found myself cursing the engineers once again; instead of putting the bolts fore and aft of the pipe in easy to reach positions, they put them port and starboard, which makes one easy to reach and the other impossible.
And there isn’t enough room on the top bolt to get a box head wrench around it, so it’s all guesswork and busted knuckles. I couldn’t get the back bolt to budge, but found that the front bolt was still in good shape, as was the gasket. Turns out there’s another gasket above the pipe, two metal plates with something sandwiched in between, which has disintegrated, and that’s where the sound and fury is coming from. I’ve got to call Super Scouts and see if they have a replacement for that.
While I had the wheel off I measured the amount of backspacing on the rim so that I could compare it with the stock rim I have the spare mounted on; this will tell me how viable the spare is or if it won’t fit properly. Measuring the American Racing rims, there’s 4 1/8″ from the edge of the rim to the mounting surface, while on the stock rim there’s 3 7/8″. This means the inside edge of the wheel is closer to the frame on the stock wheel, making the turning radius wider—the wheel will hit the leaf springs sooner on the stock wheel because it’s closer to the truck.
I kind of dig the way steelies look on the truck, I have to admit…
I took the day off from work to burn through vacation time before I lose it on October 1, and after my original plan for the day fell through I decided to tackle the windshield project. As it turned out, I’m glad I had the full 8 hours, because I wound up needing it.
To recap, I had a new windshield frame prepped and ready to go, because I had no idea what condition the frame on the truck was in. I might pull the gasket off and find the metal held together with Ritz crackers and wood glue. I had a new gasket ready and a clean, clear windshield from the Flintstone Scout waiting in the basement. Having pulled that glass from the truck only last year, I was familiar with the process, and all it really took was a utility knife. After cutting the lip off the gasket, I was able to push the glass outward just hard enough to get it free and put a crack right down the center. Oh well; I’m never using it again anyway. With a deep breath, I pulled the gasket off to find that the metal really wasn’t bad at all. In many respects this frame is the best of all three that I have—there were only two small holes on the driver’s side right below the channel, and the only crusty part of the lip was right above them. The rest was mainly just surface rust, and after masking things off I hit it all with the wire wheel and then some Rust Encapsulator.
Next up was mounting the gasket. This took some patience and a roll of painter’s tape, because once I’d gotten the bottom started the top didn’t want to set up correctly. I worked on it for a while and took a break with one area on the passenger’s side to go. After a snack and a pee break I came back out, looked at it a little differently, and got it in place in about five minutes. I’m glad I had the spare and took time back in May to practice on it, because it did take a while to understand exactly how it mounted to the frame.
Now to the hard part. I carefully laid the new glass in place along the bottom and eased it into the channel, then started working the edge into the gasket up the driver’s side. All of the videos and instructions say to use a special rope that has a certain amount of friction to sort of pull the gasket into place; I didn’t have that rope. I found that paracord did not work well—it was too slippery and the glass seemed to shave fiber from the edge of the cord. What I did have were a set of pallete knives I use for scraping, which have rounded edges: perfect for pushing on rubber without cutting it, and wide enough that they could handle a lot of material. With more patience and liberal application of soapy water, I got the driver’s side vertical started and up to the top horizontal section, where I stalled out again.
After some lunch I came back out and rethought the situation. Using the pallete knives I pushed on the rubber while adding careful pressure to the glass to get it to sink into the gasket as I moved to the left. It took some practice and there were some frightening moments where I was sure I was going to crack the glass, but I got the passenger’s side vertical into the gasket and then slowly pushed the glass into the top section until the gasket captured it all with a quiet “thup”.
This gasket has an integrated locking loop, which took more soapy water and the pallete knife to tackle, but that went relatively quickly compared to everything else. I ran out to the store for some rearview mirror glue, and popped the mounting puck off the old windshield with careful application of heat from a propane torch. When that cooled off I glued it in place and washed the windshield down with Windex.
I started at about 9AM and had the glass settled and sealed by 3:30; it took an hour to go get the mirror glue, prep it, and install everything (it needs time to cure on the glass). On the road, it’s a completely different story. The glass is clear and bright; the setting sun doesn’t turn everything opaque, and at night the lights from oncoming cars don’t become blinding. It’s like driving a new truck. After fourteen years of squinting through a vaseline-covered lens, it’s an incredible upgrade, something I should have tackled years ago. I’m glad I finally took the time to think it through and prepare for it properly.
I had a bunch of time on Labor Day to fart around, and after a leisurely start in the morning, I got to work on the windshield project. The first part was sanding the chassis encapsulator drips off and prepping the surfaces for primer. I started with the back and worked my way over to the front, polishing everything with 1000 grit sanding blocks. After the majority was covered I used seam sealer on the top and sides, closing up the areas where pinch welds were all that IH used, and let that sit.
The next big question, based on the plan, was: how easy is it to swap out windshield frames? I’d pulled a whole frame off a truck back in 1999 or so, humorously enough right up the road at West End International, but I don’t remember how easy or hard that was twenty-plus years later.
The frames are built with two braces on each side. The braces mount to the top of the cowl with two bolts and a third on the passenger side to adjust up or down. The A-pillars are built with access panels to reach each of these bolts, but it’s a lot easier to see and adjust things when you can reach them, and for that I figured the fenders might have to come off. I’ve never had the fenders off this truck or Chewbacca—I’ve probably pulled ten different fenders off of other Scouts in the past, but not the two I actually own. I had no idea what to expect. There are somewhere between twenty to twenty five bolts that hold each fender in place, and all it takes is one frozen bolt to ruin an afternoon. Knowing that I was probably doomed at the beginning, I got the impact driver out and started working. And to my shock and surprise, all of them came out with little to no problem.
Actually getting the fender off took a little doing—the space between the door and fender is small—but when I figured that out I could see what I was dealing with. The well at the bottom below the kick vent was full of twigs and leaves; I’ll have to vacuum the other side later this fall. Somebody had gotten in here and hit everything with POR-15 or some other encapsulator, because it’s all in excellent shape. The inner fender is relatively solid except for some rusty spots in the front corner, so I’ll have to repeat this process and hit it with encapsulator.
What I found was that I can’t really see much of the bolts or their mounts from the front side, and there isn’t much gained by pulling the fender at all. The only advantage would be to hit the back sides of the bolts with PBBlaster, something I forgot to do before I rehung the fender.
I did, however, spend time doing something completely useless: I pulled two of the spares off the wall in the garage and hung them on the outside of the truck for shits and giggles.
Oddly, I’m not that upset with how the white fender looks! I don’t think I’d ever paint this truck white, but it’s got an interesting appeal. I wonder if my opinion would change if I hung one of the red doors on it instead of the purple.
It was due to rain in the afternoon, so I got things put back together quickly, finished sanding the windshield frame, and put everything back into the garage. I decided I’d stick with the current paint theme and keep the new frame red, so the color I chose is Chrysler Flame Red, which is close enough to what I’ve already got.
After Amazon dropped off the paint, I sanded the frame once more, wiped it with a tack cloth, and prepped it for paint. I was thinking Flame Red was going to be light and bright, like IH Red, but it appears to be a lot brighter than I was bargaining for. After one coat from the Duplicolor and some quick sanding, here’s how things stood:
I’m considering covering this with International Red, which has more blue and isn’t quite as bright. I’ve got a can of Ace implement paint, basically made for covering scars on farm equipment, and I’m thinking I’ll sand the Flame Red smooth and put a couple of coats of this on it, because I like the color much better.
Owning an antique vehicle requires keeping a number of lists. There’s the standard to-do list; there might be a list of parts sources, a list of trusted mechanics, maybe a mileage or expenditures list, and several how-do-I-do-this-again lists. I’ve got all of these plus about twenty more, and one of them is the why-did-I-forget-about-that list. This list contains all of the dumb little things I should have handled ten years ago when I first got the truck, or stuff I realized was broken years ago and have never gotten around to working on.
One of these forgotten things popped up last night on my way home from Southern Maryland last night. I had the top down and was driving home at freeway speed around 9PM in shorts and a T-shirt. Now, I’m not the biggest of guys—through some freak of genetics my BMI is still exceptionally low at this age, so I don’t retain heat well. By 9:30 I was pretty chilly. I had the chance to put a long-sleeve shirt and a windbreaker on at a red light but my legs were cold. Ordinarily it would be a very easy thing to turn the heat on, right? Well, not in Peer Pressure.
See, the valve controlling the heater core has been almost frozen shut since I’ve had the truck. I could get into the engine compartment and open it with a pair of pliers—which is how it stayed through most winters—but it’s not optimal for September days when the daytime temps are in the 80’s and the nights go down to the 50’s. Having it finally be adjustable from the cabin would be great. I drove home with a blanket on my legs for part of the drive, swearing that I was finally going to handle the situation this weekend.
I’ve had a new valve handy since I refurbished the heater core, so today I took about fifteen minutes to pull the old valve off and replace it with the new one. The hardest part was loosening the hoses from the old metal parts, but with a pair of pliers and a nut driver it swapped in pretty easily. Now the lever on the dashboard opens and closes it with ease; I should be in much better shape this fall.
Meanwhile, the Duplicolor I ordered specifically this weekend suddenly got delayed, so I can’t paint the windshield frame over the long weekend like I was hoping. I’ve got primer and sanding pads here ready to go, so I can prep it ahead of time, but I would really like to get color on it before it starts getting colder, and work toward getting the new glass installed before October.
Peer Pressure has been running like a champ; I’ve taken her down and back to Southern Maryland twice in the last two weekends, riding with the top down under sunny skies, with the tunes on, and the dog dozing in the backseat.
I had a couple of hours to kill this weekend and used them to prepare the spare windshield for paint, based on my plan. I spent a couple of hours grinding as much of the remaining rust out of the visible sections as I could and then hit them with encapsulator. Then I used my can of Internal Frame Coating to cover as much of the interior as possible; I thought it might cut down on the rattling of rusty material inside the frame, but it did not. When I sat the frame on the ground to spray the second one, it dripped the material on parts I’d already sanded smooth, so I’ll have to do that again.
I’ve got to hit it with lighter primer anyway before it gets a color, so there’s more sanding in my future. I bought two cans of Duplicolor’s Chrysler Flash Red, which seems to be a lighter shade that will approximate the original IH shade of red on the current windshield.
A couple of weeks ago I sent off two packages in the mail—one to my internet friend Lydia in Austin, containing an Old Line State Binders T-shirt and a bunch of stickers in trade for the beautiful Austin Binders shirt she gave me. It wound its way through the post office and she finally got it yesterday (I was getting worried).
The second was a handful of stickers to Super Scout Specialists; they’d posted a call for stickers on Insta for the window on their front door, and in return they’d send a bunch of theirs back. I ran a new set of Peer Pressure stickers with my handle and hashtag more prominently visible and sent them off, and yesterday I got a bunch of cool stickers back from them—including a version of the famous Super Scout illustration from the 70’s. I gotta figure out where to put this one.
I’ve been scouring the classifieds for the last six months, looking for some kind of a project vehicle to work on. Peer Pressure has been running smoothly all summer, and I’ve been hesitant to mess with anything (the First Rule of driving an antique vehicle: if it’s running, don’t fiddle with it) but I’m looking for a project I can tackle on the side to scratch a couple of different itches. It’s gotten to the point where there are some nights that I wake up and spend an hour going over the details of a project I don’t even own.
The current market reflects a wide range of options and prices. There are factory-fresh trailer queens available for high five figures, as well as piles of rust for scrap value; and then there are people who think a clapped-out shitbox buried in a field is suddenly worth thousands.
I started obsessing about pickup trucks last year when I was working on the schoolbus, and that kicked back in when I was doing a lot of hauling at my FIL’s house. A pickup would solve a lot of problems: all of the debris and crap is contained outside the cab of the vehicle; the bed is larger and can hold more stuff than the Scout. Several pickups have come and gone, but the right truck within the right distance and right price range hasn’t appeared yet.
Ideally, I’m looking for something in the ~$2K range. I don’t need for it to run (I’d actually prefer it didn’t) and I don’t need for it to be complete. If it’s a pickup, I’d like for the body to be in decent shape, the glass to be present, and the hidden sections of the cab to be solid. If I’m looking at a Scout, I’d like to see the outer body in decent shape, but if the floors are crusty, I can deal with that—I’d actually like to practice welding using that as the project.
There’s a guy who listed a Scout 800 on Marketplace about three weeks ago. He posted pictures of a topless, doorless blue Scout sitting in a forest with plants growing in the rear bed. It looks mostly complete otherwise, and it would be the perfect project vehicle—at least through the photos presented—if only the seller would respond to me. I’ve messaged him about eight times since he posted it, but it’s not been taken down and I’ve heard nothing from him. It’s only miles from here and it’s something I could tow home with a dolly trailer; the price is perfect. It looks exactly the way I want it to; I’m not interested in perfect paint and laser-straight panels.
I guess what I’m looking for is something I can tear down (within reason) and not worry about having to get it back on the road by the end of the weekend; I’d love to practice welding skills on the floor of that ratty Scout and get it sturdy enough to drive, then take it over to Brian’s and use it as a testbed for an EV conversion. I really want to buy some metal and bend it and start shaping things with it.
2022 didn’t go quite as we planned, but I got a remarkable number of things on the list accomplished. The replacement windshield is installed and makes a world of difference. the turn signal is fixed. The spare heater core is finished. And the heater valve is working! With that in mind, here’s the list of goals for 2023, in order of importance and realistic accomplishment:
Fix the goddamn wipers. (2019) I still don’t know what the deal is with the wipers or why the motor works but the switch doesn’t, but I’ve now got a third switch to swap in and see if I can get things to work behind the dashboard. If it’s not that, there has to be a melted wire somewhere that I’ll have to chase down in the rat’s nest back there. I can’t spend another year dealing with this dumb situation.
Move the rearview mirror up the A pillar. I keep knocking into it when I open the door. it needs to move up and out of the way. This is just drilling and tapping new holes, and sealing up the old ones.
Rotate the tires. (2022) This is pretty self-explanatory, and should be easy once I get a decent floor jack.
Replace the wing window seals and spring hinge. My wing windows are leaky and loose. The gaskets are dry and brittle, and the spring hinges inside the door are both broken. I need to replace the rubber and re-weld the springs so that the windows will stabilize.
Swap the gas tanks. I have the original steel tank Peer Pressure came with, and I’ve heard from several places that poly tanks will never seal at the sender properly. I’m inclined to believe this after eight years of suffering through gas fumes and leaks. Having looked at the inside of the tank and cleaned up the outside, there’s a new sender mounted and ready to go. The next step is grounding the tank and checking the wiring before it goes onto the truck, and then actually swapping it out.
Get the spare engine on a proper engine stand. The problem isn’t the stand, but how I can lift the engine up onto it. My garage is in no shape to support a chain hoist or any kind of overhead block and tackle, so I’ll have to borrow an engine hoist from somewhere for a 15-minute operation.
Buy a Scout Shed. (2022) I spent a bunch of time this fall emptying out my garage attic and moving big bulky parts up there; a lot of my space issues have since been solved. So this might actually move to the completed list…
I got a call out of the blue from the seller of Barn Find 2 on Wednesday night as I was about to walk in the door of my boss’ departure party; he said he’d found the VIN on the door of the truck and wanted to know if I was still interested. Given the fact that I’d looked at it quickly on a cloudy, cold day in December where I lost all sensation in my extremities five minutes after I got out of the car, I figured I’d take another look. Brian was available to join me so we set something up for this morning and drove out there in his shiny new hybrid F150 (the verdict: SWEET).
This time I had two sets of eyeballs on the truck, and what looked passable during the Big Chill looked worse the more we dug into it. The floorpans were welded in place on top, but underneath there was a gap of about 1/8″ between the bottom of the pans and the remainder of the floor. The body was not mounted to the frame; there were no pucks or bolts touching the tub. The welds themselves were garbage. There was more rust all over the body than I remember, and as I got underneath to really look at the frame and undercarriage I realized the rockers weren’t as solid as they’d first looked and that the rear fenders on both sides were worse than I recalled. Brian and I talked it over privately and I decided to walk away again. It’s a $2000 truck at best, and with the extra parts maybe $2500 but nowhere near what he’s asking—and a hell of a lot more work than I’m willing to take on.
So I took the four of us out for brunch, and we had a great time catching up.
Update: The seller couldn't find the VIN plate that goes with the truck, and I was unwilling to buy it without a title that matched the chassis, so I passed on the sale.
* * *
I was fortunate enough to be the first person to respond to a Marketplace listing the Tuesday before Christmas for a ratty-looking 1969 Scout 800. What caught my eye was the fact that it was listed in Baltimore; turns out it’s right up the road in Owings Mills. The seller and I set up a time to look it over right before the holiday on the coldest fucking day of the year. I bundled up as warm as I could, figuring I’d be out in a field somewhere, but the cold got into my bones quickly the minute I was outside.
He’s got it in a shed behind his house with minimal clearance on either side to see the driver’s sheetmetal, but the pictures online tell most of the story. It’s an 800 with a 6-cylinder AMC 232 that’s been disassembled for structural body work. He cut and formed new floorpans on each side, claiming they’re 12 gauge, and had a guy weld them in place.
He claims the inner rockers were done, but I couldn’t get underneath to see how the stringers or rockers looked. The rear bed floor was replaced, and the side walls and tops were in good shape, but he welded angle steel on the tops of the corners. There’s also a low bulkhead welded in across the rear bed.
From what I could tell the work was done well; it all looks solid and the welds aren’t garbage. There’s no hard top for it, but that’s not a dealbreaker; I’d put a soft top on it and leave it alone anyway.
The only outward rust I see is on the driver’s side rocker behind the B pillar, and the thought of cutting that out and repairing it doesn’t frighten me. The tailcaps are both bent, so I’d need to pull those dents out.
As mentioned before, it’s an AMC 232, a mid-60’s to late ’70’s engine IH offered as an alternative to their homegrown 4- and 8-cylinder options. I didn’t test to see if it spun, but that would be one of the first things to look at on my next visit. For some people this might be a dealbreaker; I don’t mind as long as it’s not either missing or locked up.
He said he had a bunch of parts to go along with it—a hood, two cowls, two extra doors, maybe a front fender, and boxes of parts—but they were in two other locations. We talked it over a bit and he told me I was first in line; he had family obligations after Christmas break but would be available after that. I told him I was definitely interested but wanted to look over the other parts—that’s a big part of the sale—and that I’d want to see the truck out in the sunlight so I can crawl over it.
I drove up to Mt. Airy today to look over the parts he’s got; he’d returned from York with two spare doors and a grille on his flatbed.
On a trailer in a storage lot he’s got two hoods—one rough, with lights cut and mounted to the surface, and the other a patina’d blue in better shape. Under that was a step bumper in good shape.
Next to those was a tailgate which was pretty well rotted at the bottom—more art than functional at this point.
Inside an adjacent trailer was another tailgate in much better shape; apart from a section on the right side the metal looked to be in good shape.
Next to that was the original 1969 cowl, which was pretty much crap.
It’s definitely a project but a lot of the hard stuff has already been done. It looks like hot garbage but that’s never stopped me before; I’d look at buffing off the rattle-can black first to see what’s underneath, and painting it after pulling the dents later. For the price he’s asking it’s a good deal, especially after being cleaned up and made to run again. However, there’s a saying about buying someone else’s project; you never know what’s going to be there and what won’t. For this truck it’s not like there’s a ton of expensive chrome trim or unobtanium plastic that can’t be found; he might not have the original seats but I’m sure I could source some over the next couple of years.
The biggest question now is that of the VIN plate; it’s not present on the firewall of the truck. He has a title but if there’s no VIN plate, I really don’t want to mess with the DMV to sort that mess out. So he’s looking for that and hopefully he can lay hands on it. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.
One of the guys I met in Austin has a beautiful red Scout 800 that’s been featured in ads for Stetson and some other large brands; he told me he was using an online service to rent it out, which I thought was pretty cool. He told me the name of the site and I soon forgot it in the rush of meeting new people. Fast forward to last week when I was looking for photo reference for a new illustration, and stumbled across Sam’s Scout on a site called Vinty, where he’s been listing it. I don’t know if Peer Pressure is clean enough or stock enough to feature correctly in advertising, but I’m thinking it might be worth a shot. I think I’ll have to shoot a series of clean pictures of her in the spring and get her listed.
Meanwhile, the Threadless storefront has been slowly generating sales; the first deposit came into my long-dormant PayPal account over the weekend from November sales, and soon after that somebody bought two more shirts. At this rate I’ll have made my hourly rate back by the time I’m 73, but I’m not in a huge hurry right now.
A couple of weeks ago, Bennett let the local Scout group know that there was a celebration of life scheduled for our friend Alan, and I was sure to put it on the calendar. We met up at a seafood restaurant outside of Laurel and I walked in about two minutes before him. Alan’s family had a private room set up in back and we introduced ourselves to his sister and brother in law, who were lovely and introduced us around. We were joined by John B. and his wife, and later Ray and his family stopped in; we spent the next two hours swapping stories and catching up. I met Alan’s dad and told him the story of when I first got Peer Pressure and couldn’t sort out the throttle linkage: Alan immediately contacted me to tell me the part I had was for an automatic, and sent me the correct part that week. I said that only Alan would know that, and only Alan would have the part sitting in his stash. His dad seemed to appreciate that story, because he got a little misty. On the wall behind us a slideshow was playing, full of pictures from his early life and a bunch of scouting adventures. There were a few pictures where we realized that several of the subjects were gone, and that was a little sobering. We’re not getting any younger.
As usual, the Scout guys were the last to leave. I said my goodbyes and fired up the truck; the heat blew warm and the engine was full of life. I said some quiet thanks to the Sky Pilot and pointed toward home.