Sunday, February 27, 2011

For Sale...1950 Morris J Van LHD (not really)

I had some hinges cast from samples given to me last year. In November I dropped them off a Talvan, a machine shop recommended to me by the foundry. Well, three months go by and and the friggin' hinges haven't been machined. "Sorry, I didn't have time" Mark Fialkowski owner of Talvan Machine Shop (604-312-4691) told me yesterday when I stopped by to pick them up. Bullshit. You had them for 3 months! You simply didn't care to be honest with me at the outset and you didn't do it. Mark's a young guy, and that's good. It means I have many years ahead of trying to kill his business. Because the Talvan shop was close to Aaron's shop, I thought I stop off there and thereby avoid another trip on Saturday.

When I last left the van, the rear side windows were about to be closed in. Aaron had bought the metal. I was hopeful that this had been done and I wanted to see it. However, this wasn't the case. Instead, The Dude tried to fit the rear doors -- the one that had been there for the past five months -- only to determine that the inner pressed section wouldn't fit. To make them fit he cut the top off the rear cross member and made in shorter. In doing so, though, the outside diameter of the rear lights could no longer fit on the exposed surface. I had brought a sample light out there and a drawing showing how I proposed they fit. He didn't get the light, look at the drawing or talk to anyone. He just cut. The upshot is that I had an expectation that we would have progressed on the project in the past week and, instead, we regressed. The side windows need to be closed in yet; the floor has to be put in place, the fenders all need to be repaired, the engine cowl needs to be fabricated, the internal structure to support the engine has to be done and the hole in the roof needs to be closed. That's a lot of effort, and I've already exceeded the amount quoted to me by all the other shops I asked to do the metalwork. Thus I told Aaron this week to slow down the pace.

While at Aaron's shop I examined the rear doors that Fairmile sent me. Above is a photo that shows a piece of wood (not the only one) jammed into the door and used to ensure a "proper" contour for the rear doors. Aaron nearly peed himself laughing at it. I guess it's a technique that's an option when you client doesn't live close enough to come over and kick you you in the head. On the way home from Aaron's shop I was beating against Friday afternoon traffic. It took me an hour to get home and the whole way I though about the project. For the first time I have genuine misgivings about starting it. I tried to think about what my life would be like without it, what my family, the friends and other would think if I the in the towel now. Then, I thought about what I would think about myself. Honestly, I'm not good at finishing things. Soemone sent me an email when I started this project -- I think it might have been Lou -- that said "enjoy the process..." I've tried, but right now, I'm not.


Bugly said...

Hi Charlie - I can understand your frustrations, and sympathise completely with you about the Fairmile door! Remember back when I voiced my frustrations with Iain to you, and you convinced me to be a little more tolerant towards him as he had fallen on hard times? My Gawd, I really don't know how he is still in business. Hard times aside, his business surely relies on the manufacture of what should be a quality product! Your doors show this not to be the case.

But hey, like the graph on the wall charting progress, at the moment you've hit a trough in the Victoria project. The GOOD thing about that is from the trough, the only way is UP! So slip on out and buy a lottery ticket mate, from here on in it'll be a cruise!

OBL432 said...

Hi Charlie,
You should have bought my rear doors! and got your body shop to repair them, I said you could have them for free as long as you paid for transport, sorry you went down the route of having Iains repaired items instead. Any way every vehicle restoration I've ever done has been a steep learning curve, most people give up and thats why so many projects are always for sale. These always have "all the hard work done" in the sales pitch. Please finish this project you will be glad you did on your first drive round the block.

Tim said...

Hi Charlie, don't quit now, you've achieved so much. Those of us just starting out are relying on you for inspiration.

Bugly said...

Victoria ...

Charlie said...

Victoria is a girfriend that takes all your money and never give back, if you know what I me. No chance. I'm going to fit the floor this week. I'm hoping the effort will make me feel better. Of course, if it doesn't fit, I might throw myself in the ocean!