The Milkman Cometh

I’m not much for 1:24th diecasts(my 1/64, 1/18, & 1/16 already take up too much room), but when I saw this Ford stepvan looking forlorn at the flea market I knew I had to have it.

It is labeled as being made by Crown Premiums, but some research shows the same van made by Phoenix Unique Replicas. It appears Phoenix sells to the public and Crown made custom-branded versions for giveaways & promotions.

This is somewhat confusing as the only references to Wesner’s Dairy I can find show it did once exist in PA, but is long closed. So why custom-branded trucks with their logo would be made(and end up in RI) is beyond me.

Back to the truck though. In addition to the overall look, it has incredible levels of detail. Both side doors fold open, the rear doors open, the steering works, the engine cover opens, and the seat back folds down.

They also have a battery compartment that makes a light light up when you open the rear doors, and some versions have a bank hidden in a box in the cargo area(mine is missing the box).

It was in fairly rough shape by the time it reached the flea market. I ended up having to drill out & put in a nail in place of a snapped king pin(along with a cut down pen spring). Replace a missing hinge pin with a bent & cut straight pin. Re-glue the exhaust & mirrors, re-install the engine cover & battery cover, and give it a thorough cleaning.

I think it came out pretty good. It still has some significant issues(missing wiper, missing floor panel in the back). But I’m going to be happy to put it on display.

Goes together like Roast Pheasant and a lukewarm Natty Ice.

One way to make yourself a classic convertible is to cut out the middle of a Chevy Lumina and graft in the body of a 1939 Mercury Convertible. Then paint it purple and add lots of 80s Mercury badging.

Not a good way, mind you. More of an”Eye-Searing Horror That Causes Involuntary Rectal Bleeding” sort of way.

Every angle of this thing is horrible. There’s isn’t a part that doesn’t look like a crime against basic automotive design.

But at least you’ll have the very best of 1990s front wheel drive GM technology to power you along.

So, if after looking at the photo below of a stock ‘39 Mercury convertible you decide you’d rather have this rolling horrorshow, you can buy it for only $47,999.00.

Angle grinder burnouts!

Yesterday was the start of getting the motorcycle in shape for the riding season. Top on the list was replacing the dry-rotted tires with new ones. I briefly tried prying the old tire off, then realized I was going to scratch the hell out of the rim getting a junk tire off. So out came the angle grinder and I made some smoke.

You can’t see it well in the pics, but there is a pry bar keeping the tire up off the rim while I’m cutting. I’m a hack, but not a dangerous hack.

Of course it isn’t a proper burnout until you get down to the steel belts.

New tires were installed using the “zip-ties & swearing” method.

I also bled the brakes,I think the front fluid(left container) might be vintage 1996.

The latest in 1957 appliance technology!

I may be turning into Steve. I just picked up this mid-50s Hotpoint refridgerator for my kitchen.

My current fridge is a battered beige one that used to be my mom’s garage fridge before being gifted to me 3 years ago when I bought the house and needed a cheap fridge so I could move in. The compressor mount bushings are shot, so it clunks loudly when the compressor turns on or off, and the drip tray is missing, so it piddles on the floor.

My kitchen still has its 40s era cabinets, and I’ve been wanting to renovate it in a postwar style. So getting vintage appliances was always going to be part of that. I’ve been surfing craigslist for them, and lucked into this fridge cheap. I paid all of $200, though I did need to make a 4 hour round trip yesterday to pick it up.

This was quite the fridge in its day, with a brushed stainless panel on the front, and stainless and aluminum detailing throughout. The three shelves slide out to make it easier to get things off them, and there are separate cheese and butter compartments in the door.

Also it has Butter Control. Does your fridge have Butter Control? I don’t think so.

Right now it needs a deep cleaning, some minor paint/rust touch-ups from wear, one cracked plastic trim piece inside fixed, and I need to fiddle with the thermostat to get both the fridge & freezer portions to the right temp(it does cool, but getting the balance right will require some adjusting).

I’m super excited about this, and looking forward to getting it properly installed.

All the flake!

Saw this at a show this weekend. It was covered in a ton of big silver flake, then shot with enough clear to be smooth again.

Double cool was that they’d carefully ground the chrome plating off, leaving the copper underlayer(and painted the stainless pieces to match).

Trolling the future.

So when I tore out the trashed wood floor in my upstairs hallway(and the even more trashed linoleum under it), I found this hidden hole in the floor.

This was an old vent to allow heat from the kitchen to get upstairs before the house had steam radiators(the house was built before 1895). Now it is hidden by sheetrock in the kitchen, and was hidden by flooring in the hall.

While working on other renovation projects that needed finishing before replacing the hall floor I pondered what to do with this space. And finally, the perfect idea came to me.

Step 1) Buy teddy bear at Savers.

Step 2) Make the bear a sign.

Step 3) Put the bear and his sign in a bag.

Step 4) Stuff the bear in the weird hole in the floor.

Step 5) Install a quality hardwood floor in the hall, completely hiding the existence of the hole.

Step 6) Let some future person find the bear, and be deeply weirded out.

Given that the floor I pulled up was ~60 years old, there is good odds that I’m trolling someone who hasn’t even been born yet.

Car Show insanity

What you are looking at here is a 1958 Cadillac Eldorado body sitting on a stretched 1972 FWD Eldorado chassis, complete with 500 cubic inches of torque-monster V8 under the flip-front hood.

My favorite part was the owner/builder’s off-hand comment that he built it with “stuff I had lying around”. I envy anyone who has this much Cadillac goodness just lying around.

The first actual repair to the bike.

A prior owner had drilled out the muffler to try and improve the sound, instead it sounded like a bike with holes in the muffler. The pipe on the GS500 doesn’t take a slip-on well as it has a bend right at where the muffler mounts, and used stock exhausts started around $100 for a system with rust & dents. So fixing what I had seemed to make the most sense.

I welded a cap on the end of the muffler, drilled it out for the center pipe and welded that up too. Then it got a quick coat of high-temp paint. Looks a bit lumpy up close but not too bad, and fixed the muffler sound.

Wrapping up my present to myself.

Wrapped the bike in Matte Copper Vinyl

I had known when I bought my motorcycle, that I didn’t want a red bike. But it was too good of a deal to pass up. I wasn’t interested in painting it, because that seemed like more of a hassle than it was worth. Instead I bought a 5’x5′ piece of 3m Matte Copper vinyl, so I could try wrapping it.Wrapped the bike in Matte Copper Vinyl

It took two evenings, and was quite interesting to do. I couldn’t manage to wrap the tank in one piece, and ended up doing it in two pieces. I was amazed at how much it changed the look of the bike.

Wrapped the bike in Matte Copper Vinyl

Wrapped the bike in Matte Copper Vinyl
One unexpected part of the project, the “Suzuki” lettering on the tank had been clearcoated over at some point in the bike’s history. AS I couldn’t remove it, I wrapped right over it. This resulted in an interesting ghost effect on the tank that I quite like.

Wrapped the bike in Matte Copper Vinyl