Spurgeonís Vehicles

Events are in chronological order. Acquisition of new vehicles are indicated in bold. Some vehicle events overlap.


Summer 93 (14)

††††††††††† When I was 14, I, like all teenagers couldnít wait until I could stop riding my bicycle around. One of the kids living near me had this cool thing that he rode around. It was a bicycle with an engine attached to it. I liked the idea, and got started on my own version. I started with a BMX bicycle. I took out the pedal assembly and chain. Next, I spread the rear forks in order to fit the larger wheel-gear assembly in it. I got a large 12 inch belt pulley and attached it to the rear wheel with copper wiring. I received a 2.5 hp edger engine from my friend Greg Edlund. I bolted the engine on the side using a two by four as a support between the bike frame and the engine. I did not use a clutch, that would have been another $30. I used a straight pulley. The pull starter was broken too. To start the thing, I had to just push it down the street. There was no throttle either, so while I rode I had to sit sideways and throttle the engine by hand. To stop I had to just put on the brake and stall the engine.

††††††††††† Soon after I built the mini-bike, that other kid that had one had his stolen. He saw me riding by one day and chased me down on his ATV. He almost ran me over he was so mad. He thought that the one I was driving was his. I just tried to avoid him. I got home and he went back to get his dad. This is the kind of confrontation I wait for, so I ran inside and got all my receipts for all the parts I used to build it. When his dad came over with him I showed them. Then they apologized for the confusion and went home.

††††††††††† I rode that thing all over town. I can remember driving it to my friend Greg's house up to 5 miles away from where I lived. I do not know how though, because I also remember it breaking every time I went somewhere. The copper wire holding the back wheel to the drive gear kept breaking until there was almost nothing holding it together. I found that old bicycle tubes worked the best to replace the copper wire. It was tough but flexible enough to let it flex instead of snapping the wheel. The axle in the rear wheel also kept breaking. This was because there was only bearings on one side. The other side kept grinding through it. If I had kept it longer, I probably would have fixed all these flaws. I ended up trading it to a kid down the street for his mopeds. At least I would be able to register a moped and drive it legally.


Summer 93 (14)

In the summer of 93, my whole family got together to go on a vacation out west. Since I was still 14, and without a license, so, my mom had to drive the entire time. On our way out of Study Butte, TX, my mom decided that I could drive a little of the way. This would give her a break, and would give me a little beginnerís experience at the wheel while there wasnít anyone around for miles. We were in the middle of the Texas desert. I drove for a while, then my mom said, "Now make sure you stay in the lane." as I drifted closer to the dotted yellow line. "There is no one out here for ten miles!", I responded. Then I swerved in and out of both lanes of the two-lane road, passing over that dotted yellow line. Right then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a car swerve from behind and left of me off to the left shoulder. He apparently was trying to pass me, but I didnít see him. Luckily he avoided my stupidity, floored it, passed finally, and disappeared into the horizon.


Fall 93 (15)

††††††††††† I finally traded the Mini-Bike for a Murray moped. I figured it was time to start driving something legal and a little more dependable around. I received two '86 Murray Mopeds for my mini-bike. One was drivable, the other would be used for parts. They were 49cc 2-cycle engine, pedal start mopeds. I got one in working order and stripped the other. I painted it black. It was the best looking moped I had ever seen. I also got a larger drive gear so that I could get a little more miles per hour out of it. At one point I strapped my stereo on it. It was the only moped ever equipped with a CD player. I still needed more speed though. I found an old Harley for $700. They would take my moped and $400 cash for it. The sparkplug hole was stripped by the time I took it in to trade it. It was loosing compression and barely ran. It is probably better that I got rid of it before it cost me any more.


Dec 93 (15)

††††††††††† When the moped was about to die we took my cash and my moped to trade it in for a Harley dirt bike. There were two bikes that were in my price range, a Honda 400cc street bike or an old Harley dirt bike. Because I was only 15, I was only allowed to ride something that was 150cc's or less. I decided on getting the Harley. They told me it was a Sprint but I found out later what it really was. They did not have a title for it either. I gave them my $400 and my moped, trusting them to process the paperwork for the title as soon as possible. They delivered the cycle that evening. As soon as it got there, I got on and taught myself how to ride a "real bike". This was the first one I had with a clutch and gears. Months passed and I still didnít have my title. They then asked me for an additional $100 for the title. That was not part of the deal. The dealer that I got the bike from was trying to get around the "Florida Impact Fee", a fee to bring vehicles into the state. By the time I had my title, a year after I purchased the bike, the "Florida Impact Fee" did not exist any more. I had to do most of the work at the Department of Motor Vehicles myself.

††††††††††† As soon as I learned how to ride, I started having mechanical problems. Every week it was something else. It seems that I was working on it more that I was riding it. I had to replace the whole electrical system including the magneto and wiring harness. The bike had been switched to a 6 volt system and the wiring had been seriously mutilated.

††††††††††† One day I was riding to my friend Greg's house. It was near rush hour, so there were a lot of cars on the road. I was almost to his neighborhood, but still on a main road in the middle of traffic. All of a sudden, my engine, transmission, and wheel locked up. I screeched off the side of the road while keeping the bike up.  I popped the bike in neutral and pushed it the rest of the way to Greg's house. It turned out that my piston was bad, causing it to overheat. I had the cylinder re-bored, and put in an oversized piston. Needless to say, I eventually ordered the full repair manual. I also made good friends with the mail order parts people. After two years and over $1400 in parts, I had an almost finished Italian made Aermacchi AMF Harley-Davidson '73 TX-125.


Jan 94 (15)

††††††††††† This had been my dadís car. I got it when he passed away. It was a good car when I look back on it. It took everything I dished out to it.

††††††††††† Taking it to the forest. Getting it stuck. Pushing it out with a bulldozer we found, with the keys in it!

††††††††††† Driving it for the Homecoming parade my senior year. (They ran out of classic Mustangs, so I had to fill in because I was the only other one with a convertible.

††††††††††† Having it on two wheels around the Palmetto - St. Andrews corner.

í82 Suzuki RM-80

S 96 (17)

††††††††††† What a piece of garbage! I got this heap from a friend of mine. I traded him an even bigger piece that I wont even mention in this paper. There were parts falling off of this thing from the very beginning. I spent $300 on it within the first few months of having it. I had to replace every little screw because the kid that had it before me stripped all of them. There were wood screws holding some of it together. I also had to have the seat recovered and painted the fenders and tank.

F Ď96

After I had it put together halfway decent, I had to go to college. I gave it back to the same kid so he could try to sell it. Well he did not. He broke even more of it. Well I did not have the money to dump in it now or later, so I put it in the back of my garage and let it sit.

S í98

††††††††††† Well, it was still sitting here in my garage. Now I was running out of space. I needed to sell it. The paint was kind of peeling off so I decided to try to repaint it. Well, I screwed that up! It looked like garbage. It wasnít worth hardly anything, so I placed a free ad in the local paper for $100. One guy came by, and turned out to be not that interested in it after he took a good look at it. Then, the next day a lady called and wanted to see it. She came over and after discussing it for a while she offered me $50 for it. I took it, for a $300 overall loss. I helped her put it in her truck and hope I never see it again.


S '96 (17)

††††††††††† The title itself, "pre-owned automobile" does not serve justice to the majesty of a used car. They should call it "Motor vehicle of which all resources have been exhausted and do not try to actually try to drive it anywhere, because you will not make it to your destination without spending a minimum of five hundred dollars for repairs, and at least sixty dollars for towing expenses". If the vehicle is more than seven years old you should probably add to that at least one day of waiting while they find your parts.

††††††††††† My experience with the truck all started when I was a senior at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, FL. I had just received the Palm Beach Post Technical Pathfinder Scholarship. This was based on my knowledge of how things such as cars and motorcycles worked, not to mention the experience I had working on and building those things. My mother out of the goodness of her heart wanted to reward me for my achievement. She thought that buying me a truck would be a good way to do that. See, the car that I had been driving was falling apart. It would have never made it to Purdue University in Indiana, which is where I would be attending school in the fall. That is over two thousand miles away. We ended up getting five hundred and ninety dollars for that car so it was obvious that I needed something else.

††††††††††† I had been searching through the classified adds for months trying to find a four wheel drive truck that was suitable for my needs. I had gone to look at several of them but none of them seemed to be worth my momís hard earned money. We agreed to try to find a truck for around three thousand dollars, but every time I showed her what that could get us, she offered to shell out a little more cash. Finally, we found a nice looking 1987 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 Stepside. It was not four-wheel-drive, but we decided that it was not totally necessary to have four wheel drive. Besides, four-wheel-drive reduces gas mileage.

††††††††††† It is really a nice looking truck. We agreed to finally buy the truck from Sunnyside Auto and Marine in Pompano Beach, Florida for just under five thousand dollars. Later that week we found out that the front left flip mirror was broken and that there was a part missing from the emergency brake that made it inoperable.

††††††††††† The next day I received a speeding ticket. This was because the speedometer was off, because the tires were oversized and the speedometer had not been recalibrate. That was a two-hundred-and-five dollar fine. This was just the beginning of my problems. Originally I wanted a "fixer-upper", but my mom thought that we would have to many problems with it. Little did we know, anything less than brand new is a "fixer-upper".

††††††††††† We have had To perform several major repairs and have over four thousand dollars invested in repairs... so far. The first of these repairs was my fault. I was acting stupid and did an extremely light neutral drop. This is where I put the transmission into neutral while going about 20 miles per hour. Then, proceed to slightly rev the engine, and then place the transmission into drive. It always worked in the other car. Little did I know that having twelve-and-a-half inch tires would make a difference. The result was pretty much like putting the insides of the transmission in a blender. I mutilated my planetary gears and ruined my pressure plates. The whole thing had to be repaired. That cost me six hundred dollars. Not to mention, having to get a new drive shaft because I warped it, and two new universal joints because I shattered both of those, for one hundred and eighty dollars. Other than that, Everything was fine... or so it seemed.

††††††††††† Over the summer I built a cover for the bed. I wanted something to enclose the back without having to remove my roll bars. My only option was to try and build something myself. I Obtained plywood from an undisclosed source, and $90 worth of 2x2ís, screws, hinges, wiring, and other stuff I needed. I drew up plans and built this awesome "living room" for the back of my truck. It had speakers hooked up to the stereo and its own interior lights. I wanted windows but did not have enough time to put them in before I left for school.

††††††††††† I also worked on the wooden bed in the back. It had lost its finish and become pretty cracked and rotted. I took the wood, and brackets out and while I would be making and finishing new planks, I bolted a piece of finished plywood in the back. It looked pretty good for a temporary bed.

††††††††††† The rest of the summer went pretty smoothly. Except for the small leak from the speedometer converter on the transmission because it was not exactly the right size. Finally, it was time for me to get ready to go off to school. I took the truck to the transmission shop to have the leak fixed which did not get completely fixed, and asked if I needed anything else for my road trip that was approaching ever so fast. I also did some preparation by myself. I changed the oil and filter, plugs and wires, and cap and rotor. I was ready to go.

††††††††††† I was on my way. Four hours from home, I think you can imagine, the truck died. I had to use the roadside call box to call a tow truck. The guy hooked up my truck, a process that I would become very familiar with. The driver took me to the nearest transmission shop because I knew that the torque converter had gone out. Aal Transmission in Kissimmee, FL, probably the most unaccommodating, slowest, rip off shop in the country was where I was delivered. My experience there was ... amazing, to say the least. My truck and I were dropped off at Aal Transmission at about 12:00 noon. The manager Mike said, that as soon as they had a lift open, they would take a look at my transmission. So, until then I walked to nearby tire store to buy a spare tire, another thing my truck did not come equipped with. Around 3:00 I was informed that I could put my truck up onto a lift that had just opened up. Mike then said something like, "well you donít expect us to push it onto the lift? It is too heavy. You are going to have to call a tow truck to help you put it up in the bay. When the tow truck lady arrived, I proceeded to push my truck with almost everything I owned in it, around the building to the open bay. As soon as I got it there, one of the mechanics drove another van into the bay just as I was pulling up to it. Mike then said, "Itís too heavy for that lift, weíll have to put it on the lift out back." That was something that he failed to mention before I pushed it to the other bay. I then started to push my truck back to the other side of the building, where I started, where the big lift was. The tow truck lady then called another guy to help us get it onto the big lift, which was up a two-foot incline. After we got it onto the lift it still took them two hours to look at it. Even when they did look at it, all they did was take the pan-cover off which accomplished nothing. "It isnít going to be possible to look at it until tomorrow, so you better get a room for the night. Frustrated, I then rode my dying bicycle the three miles to the nearest restaurant and decent lodging for the night.

††††††††††† The next morning, I came back expecting results, since they told me that my truck was the first thing that they would be working on in the morning. Was I wrong? When I got there they told me that they couldnít be sure what was wrong with it until they took the transmission out and apart. I told them to go ahead and get started. Another day of waiting went by and at the end of the day something was still wrong. They had to take it back out and fix it because something was still wrong with it.

††††††††††† On the third day they finally finished. I paid my bill, which included a one year twelve thousand mile warranty, and left. As I drove out of the lot I realized that it would not accelerate for crap. I dismissed that fact, considering I had so much stuff in the back, but then I wondered why it would not accelerate at least as well, if not better than before. I could not worry about it though, I needed to be in Indiana the next day. I got to school and unloaded all of my stuff, but it still did not seem right. †††††††††† A few weeks later I drove to Indianapolis, which is about an hour away from school. It stalled while I was driving away from my friendís house. It would not restart, so my friend, Jacob, gave me a jump. I got about twenty minutes away from his house and I was driving up a hill and my torque converter went out again. Jacobís dad came to take me back to school, but I had to leave the truck on the side of the road over night. All of the shops were closed because it was Sunday. When I got back to school, I called Indiana Highway Patrol and told them my situation and not to tow it. The next morning I called a tow truck and had them tow it to McKinney Transmission on Indianapolisí Northeast side. McKinney said that he covered the warranty and took the transmission apart He found out that everything that Aal Transmission had done was messed up. McKinney ended up replacing almost every internal part in the transmission and had to rebuild the transmission cooling system. That cost me another thirteen hundred dollars. This one was covered by a two year twenty-four thousand mile warranty.

††††††††††† Weeks passed without incident. Then one night I was waiting for some friends outside of Taco Bell. I was just idling in the parking lot and it stalled. It restarted with no problem, but I could not figure out why it stalled in the first place. I just over looked it thinking that my idle speed was just to low.

††††††††††† About a week later my roommate and I were going go to Pittsburgh. We were set to go. I was to go to my grandfatherís house to get my bed box, a room that I built to slide in and out of the back of the truck. On the way to his house to get it the truck stalled again. This time my temperature gauge was buried (on the hot side). This was odd considering that I had only been on the road for twenty minutes combined with the fact that I was on the highway which usually makes vehicles cooler. I waited for it to cool off and tried to restart. It would barely do that. The starter could barely turn the engine over with a new battery. I made it to the next gas station, where I called my grandfather to inform him of the situation. We thought that the thermostat just needed to be replaced. Were we wrong! I let it cool off again and then tried to make it back to the dorm. It was probably a bad idea to drive it as far as I did with it overheating, but it turns out later that it did not make any difference. I made it back to the dorm, luckily and had to tell my roommate and the other friends that were going to go with us that we would not be making the five hundred trek to Pittsburgh in my truck, which meant that we were not going.

††††††††††† Several days later, I drove the truck to the Chevrolet dealership to have the damage estimated. It took them two days to do that. Finally, they called me and said that they wanted to show me the damage.

††††††††††† Well, to say the least, it was not just a worn out thermostat. The guy at the Chevrolet dealership took me out to my truck and showed me what was under the hood. They had taken the intake manifold off so that they could see the top of the valves. There were four quarts of oil on top of the valves. It looked like shit sitting on top of my valves. The oil had partially solidified. They were not sure if I needed a new engine but strongly suggested that I put a new one in to be safe. They wanted a little over three thousand dollars to complete the job plus any other expenses that might be incurred. I thought to myself "Three thousand dollars that I donít have right now for something that we are not sure even needs to be done? I donít think so." I told them I was going to have to arrange for the money and call them back. That week I arranged for the truck to be towed to my grandfatherís house by some small-town-tow-truck-guy from Beanblossom, a small town, if not a village, near his house. Later that week I was at my grandfatherís house for the weekend. I rode with the tow truck guy to pick up my truck. When we got to Chevrolet, he hooked up the tow truck to the front of the truck. He was going to take off until I suggested that he hook it up from the rear so that the transmission wouldnít be dragging. That would have destroyed yet another transmission. He did switch it, and then he left with my truck. I then went to the service desk and asked them to call me a cab. They asked me if my car was being worked on, and knowing what they were getting to, I said "Yes they were working on my engine, but I am still trying to work out the money situation." They then drove me home in the courtesy van.

††††††††††† I found out later from my grandfather that when the tow truck guy dropped off my truck, he was piss drunk. He then asked my grandfather for a hundred dollars more for the towing than he said it was going to be. My grandfather, being the honest, easy going guy that he is just paid him and made a mental note to never do business with him again.

††††††††††† One weekend my roommate and I decided to go down to the house and work on the truck. That weekend we took the engine out and stripped it down, completely. We had to chip out about an inch of rock hard solid oil from underneath the manifold. By then, we had to come back to school. A couple of weeks later my grandfather took the engine to his favorite auto parts store, Stiles Napa of Shoals, IN. He has been friends with that family for years. Well they cleaned up the block and ran some tests. They found three huge cracks in my block. One of them four inches long. The weird thing is that none of the cracks were in the cylinders, where cracks from over heating usually occur. That explains why it did not seem like there was anything terribly wrong.

††††††††††† Now we knew we had to replace the engine. Mom decided that I should be concentrating on my schoolwork and insisted on having the engine put back together and dropped in by someone else. I agreed, partly because I did not think I could do it right, having only taken car engines apart in auto shop class. I arranged for Napa to build the engine and for another guy to put it in. It end up costing me about $2850 for the whole project. When I went to pick up my truck we realized that we forgot my license plates. I had taken it off to re-register it. I just drove to my grandfatherís house without it. Luckily, I was not stopped during the hour and a half drive. When I got to my grandfatherís house I put my plate back on and went back to school.

††††††††††† I was out one night driving around with my friends. I turned a corner and noticed a (pig) a police officer on my tail. I kept on driving. Then he turned his lights on. I had about five people in the front seat. He asked me for all the usual info. I gave it to him. When I pulled out my driverís license and gave it to him, I had my fake ID in my other hand in plain sight. I did not even realize it. Fortunately, neither did he. He asked me if I had built the box on the back of the truck. I told him I did. He said that people donít go around building things on their cars. (So you are saying that all cars that I see on the road are stock? I donít think so! ) Well, he still gave me a notice to repair for obstructing my rear view. He said, "You need to convince me that you can see out of the back." When I asked how, he said, "I donít know how, but you need to do it." How was I supposed to know, if he did not even know, how I was to correct the situation?

††††††††††† I had 15 days to correct the situation. I was leaving campus the next day and would not be back until my time had expired. Then, according to the ticket, the police had the right to arrest me as soon as I came back. In order to avoid this, I went out to my truck with an electric jigsaw and proceeded to cut a crude hole in the back of the box. Before I even cleaned off the sawdust, I went to the Purdue Police Department to have the situation cleared up. After requesting to have an officer sent out, they sent out an older officer to inspect my truck. Walking towards it he said, "Thatís a really nice truck. What year is it?" I explained, as I have many times since then, that it was made from all different years of trucks. He looked at the ticket and said, "Did Officer *** write you this ticket?" I said, "Yes." He just made a face that said to me, "That guy wastes so much of our time by harassing kids and writing these stupid tickets for offenses that donít to be worried about." Really, I got all that by the look on his face. After he agreed to take care of it, I was on my way to my grandfatherís house. Later, we had a window put in that hole by some screen and patio place for $55.

††††††††††† Getting the truck stuck in the mud in IndianapolisÖ.

††††††††††† It was time to go back home. My freshmen year was over. All I had to do was take finals and I would be done. One of my girlfriends from home asked me to go to prom with her. The problem was, it was the day after my last final. I would have to leave the night of my last final and drive overnight, through the day to get there in time. I planned it all out. I was going to make it. I called her back up to tell her I could make it and she said, "I was just kidding. We canít go I do not have enough money to go to prom." Well it was too late now. I was set in my plan. OK, so Iím not going to prom but, I want to get home as soon as possible anyway.

††††††††††† My last final was at 7:00 pm on Thursday. Well, I finished the test in 30 minutes. They are scheduled for two hours. I went back to the dorms. Said goodbye to the friends I had made that year. Then I was off. I had told my mom I would be leaving the next morning so that she would get some sleep that night. One of my friends from home knew what I was doing. I checked in with him periodically to report my progress. Five states later and daylight at full power I hit Florida. I did not think that Florida had been this long when I left. It took me another eight hours to get home from the border. After 21 hours of driving, no eating, lots of candy, $100 + in gas and falling asleep at the wheel a few times, I was back in my driveway. No time for sleep though. I had people to see. After being up for a total of 36 hours, I slept for two days.

††††††††††† While at my grandfatherís house, a few weeks before I left school we built this steel bracket to hold my motorcycle on the back. It is much easier to load it onto this rack than to put it into the bed of the truck. Most of the time, I leave my bike on the back of the truck just in case something happens to the truck again.

††††††††††† That summer I got a job. Guess what it was.............. I was going to be a pizza delivery guy. Guess what I was driving................. I was still driving my truck. Every once in a while my mom would let me take her Ď95 Cavalier. But most of the time I was driving "Oleí 10 mpg." Hey, it was not too bad. I was still making $11 an hour...after I paid for gas. I made some good money that summer. Nothing like a real job, but good for a college guy during summer break. I bet I could have made a lot more using a Honda Civic though.

Aug Ė Sep Ď97

††††††††††† Another year of school is here again. Time to load everything up and go back North. This time I had some help. My roommate flew down from Indianapolis to Fort Lauderdale just to drive back with me. I still didnít get much sleep. It is a big truck to begin with. Now, we had three trunks on top and a motorcycle strapped to the rear bumper. I was just afraid of us tipping over. Nevertheless, we made it all the way to school with no incident. THANK GOD.

††††††††††† This year I have my truck and my kawasaki here at school. I had a problem though. Each student is allowed only one parking pass. Well I went ahead and got two. When they were processing my passes, they found out about it. I had to give one of them back, so I gave them the bike pass. For the next month, I just parked my bike right in front of the truck in the same parking space. No problem, until one day I got a ticket for not having a parking pass on the bike. Well I knew it was coming. It was just a matter of time before the police bothered to get out of their patrol cars to check if I had a pass. So, I called university parking facilities and they said that if I had my hall manager write a letter, that they would give me another pass. No one even knew this was an option. Well I paid the first ticket and got my new motorcycle parking pass. The next morning, I had another ticket on my bike for the same thing. I realized it was the same cop and figured he didnít check to see if I had a pass now. He just assumed I didnít. I called parking facilities and they voided the ticket. I tried to call the police department, but the officer wasnít there.

F Ď97

††††††††††† Remember that ticket I got for not having a window in the back of my truck? I was working on my Kawasaki one afternoon in front of the building. A patrol car pulled up. Let me remind you that this was the university police. You can imagine everything going through my head because of my past experiences with the department. Well he pulled up and rolled down his window. He said, "Hey is that your truck?" I said, "yes." I was thinking, Man, What is it that I am doing wrong now!?! He said, "Didnít you get a ticket from officer W***** last year, for not having a window in the back of that thing?" I said, "Yes." Then he goes on to say, "Well I thought you might like to know that to the benifit of the entire department, he no longer works with us." and he drove off. I couldnít stop laughing.

F Ď97

††††††††††† One night, my friend Alfonso needed a ride home from work. I told him I would pick him up "No Problem!" So, I went to pick him up late that night as the mall was closing. Well, we were waiting for him outside the mall entrance. People kept leaving the mall as they got off work. I was in the fire lane but thought nothing of it. Then, a police officer pulled up behind us. He flashed his lights like he was pulling us over. I got out of the car to find out what he wanted. He told me that someone had called them about a "suspicious black truck with a moped on the back". They were obviously talking about me with my suspicious truck and my motorcycle strapped on the back. He told me not to worry about it and to go on with whatever I was doing. I guess my vehicle does look a little suspicious, but call the police on me, for doing nothing? What the Hell!!

SPRING '98 (19)

5-3-98 Radiator hose

Summer í98 (19)

††††††††††† I am so screwed! I am writing this in the middle of my newest project. I have wanted to give my truck a paint job for a long time. The problem was that the red paint kept chipping off. Then I would have to sand it and touch it up with Cherry Red Krylon spray paint. The red paint goes on to complicate things further. Because the red paint keeps chipping off, I can not put any more paint on top of it, otherwise it will come off too. So, I have to take all the paint off the entire truck. Well, I decided that if I never got started that I would never get done. One night after work I went over to Home Depot and bought a gallon of the toughest paint thinner they had, and sand paper. So, I got started. A few days into it, I realized that I was dealing with a lot more than I expected. Being a step side did not help either. It has a whole bunch of little cracks I can not even fit my fingers into. It was too late to stop a minute after I started, so I knew that I had to see this thing through all the way. Over the next few days my friends and I continued to work on it seeming to never get anything done. About four days into this "little" project my mom received a letter from the property manager ordering us to quit working in front of the house. See, it is against the by-laws here. By this time, my mom was really on my case. I had gotten the driveway dirty, and she was afraid of getting kicked out. So for the past two days my truck has been sitting in my friendsí, RJ and Carol, house. I wanted to rent one of those storage garages to work on it but they do not allow you to work on the premises. Now, I have no idea how or where to finish this project. Tuesday I hope to be able to take it to my high schoolís auto shop and work on it there.

††††††††††† Luckily, I was able to take it to my high schoolís auto shop. I have been working on my truck there for the last three days. Every day I get up early and work until I feel sick from the heat and the sun. Then, I usually come home and go to sleep by eight. I feel like I never get anything done. Today I went to sears before going to school to see I if I could get a power sander to make my job easier. Nothing looked like it would work exactly right. After an hour and a half of sanding today, I broke. I got the phone and started calling to get estimates for local shops to finish the job. I packed up all my stuff, went to return the painting supplies I had bought, and dropped it at the first place to get an estimate. They called me back this afternoon with an estimate of $2262. Tomorrow I will take it to another place to see which estimate is the best. This project is killing me. I canít do it anymore.

††††††††††† Well, I didnít end up getting another estimate. I figured I am screwed anyway. My latest estimate is up to $3125. You realize of course that now, I am going all the way. New windows because mine are scratched and rusted, new passenger door, and racing stripes. I figured if I am going to spend that much, do it all.


††††††††††† My truck is still being painted and this week I am trying to arrange to replace the wood boards that make up the floor of the bed. The kits, precut are $250 for pine and $350 for oak. Like I have that kind of money now! I went to a place and he said he would cut the lumber for $150 if I got it. I got some PT (pressure treated lumber) at Home Depot for $35. It needs to dry out , so it will be done next week. I also have to have my grandfather send the hardware down because I thought we would get this done up there last year.


AUG '98 (19)

††††††††††† Trip back to school. Blowout. Goped Loaded with Plywood, Box, Refridgerator

Strap melted by the first time we stopped.


††††††††††† 30 miles from ATL

††††††††††† Wrong rim

††††††††††† Cop left us

††††††††††† Took Goped to next exit

††††††††††† Called a service guy

††††††††††† No tow truck, just a pickup with equipment.

††††††††††† Cash only, ATM

††††††††††† UF grad '65

††††††††††† Back on the road with a $20 used tire.

††††††††††† Talked to a girl that saw it happen.

10/98New engine

11/98Diff rebuild / brakes / throttle body. "hey, we cant predict what will go wrong. We can only fix what is already broken"


Summer Ď97 (18)

††††††††††† That summer, I bought a 1981 Kawasaki KE-125. It belonged to my friend Greg Edlundís father. He never rode it anymore and it had been sitting in his garage for the past six years. It had under 1400 original miles in it and still had the break in labels on the dash. It looks good too. I gave him $250 for it. I think we were both satisfied with the deal.



My goals for the future are:

††††††††††† 94 BMW 325is

††††††††††† 97 Ducati 748sps

††††††††††† 90ís GM Suburban

††††††††††† 60ís GM Muscle Car (convertible)

††††††††††† 99 Dodge Ram 4x4 Sport