Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Tale of the Phoenix

After getting the professional estimates for what it would cost to get the car racing again Hugh was pretty down and beginning to think his season was over. He had even borrowed my fresher tires to run the first race. We run on very limited budgets and it was looking pretty much out of sight for this year.

Knowing what needed to be done was not encouraging. We were beyond our personal skill level at fabrication and the cost of hiring it out was beyond his racing budget. The car could not be run as it was, so we were stumped.
When Hugh was feeling like maybe his season was over, we got a call from the Gary up in Hammond. Arrangements were quickly made to take the car to his shop the following weekend.

One of the things that I have always loved about racing Vees is what happens when you have a problem. It is your competitors who pitch in to help you get back on the track and back into action. Of course you do the same thing to help them when they are in your areas of expertise.

When we got there the first task was to separate the car from the trailer. This took a floor jack, a two by twelve, some fabricated supports, a step ladder, a roller skate, one small dog, two water barrels and three beers, but we got ‘er done.

With the body stripped off, we were able to find the parts of the right trailing arm supports that were damaged as well as the cracks in the frame welds.

Gary didn’t even blink. Within a few minuets he decided it was no big problem and was thinking that Hugh could maybe get back on the track and only miss two races. Gary would guide the metal fabrication and welding and we would do the fiberglass and body work.

Remember this is the same guy who had just won the first race of the season because Hugh had not been there to challenge him. If he did nothing he was a shoe in to take the class championship. Now he was about to fix the car that could beat him.

That’s one reason we call him the wizard.

Once the trailing arm connection was re-established we would still have some work to do. All of the standard set ups for the car would have to be redone to make sure it was going to run straight and true.
What the hell, that’s all part of racing. At least he would be racing.


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