Project Why Wait: Hot Rods Are For Kids

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Project Partners:
  • Detroit Steel Wheel Co
  • Ididit Steering Inc
  • LS Fabrication
  • Performance Improvements
  • Piscitelli Design
  • Taylor'd Customs

I’ve been working on my 1951 GMC project for five years now. That’s quite a long time in hindsight. If you’ve been following along then you know, at times, those five years have felt like a real grind.

Recently however it feels like I’ve rounded a bend. Rust repair is finally complete and lately the truck has spent more time together than apart.

This is going to change shortly, because I do need to take it apart once more, but this time I will be doing so with intent.

That intent will be final preparations for paint. I’ll be touching up the door jambs and panels I replaced myself, but the firewall, roof and dash will be done professionally.

For all it’s trouble COVID-19 has produced several productive garage sessions simply because there wasn’t much outside my garage that was acceptable or safe given the circumstances. Garage nights provided a secluded escape from a world that was spinning itself off axis.

Bumpers, doors, and hoods were put on and removed several times over in the name of test fitting.

This means the truck, has looked like a truck for longer than it ever has in my ownership.

A rather pleasant result of Project Why Wait looking like a truck is that my son Ash has started to express a real interest in it.

I mean it’s been around for the majority of his life, but it’s always been just an idea. An abstract thought yet to be proven.

As a conceptual pile collection of parts Ash never formed much of a connection with the it.

When the front end, doors and steering wheel came into play however he really started to come around and realize what I was doing in the garage, besides making a mess.

A few weekends ago he suggested we go in the garage and take a few pictures. The last time his work appeared on this site was two years ago, so I was all for it.

Seeing the project through his eyes was really quite interesting. Things I stress over every time I shoot the truck (like dust) he paid no mind.

Components I take for granted he found intriguing. Take my water pump. There’s nothing inherently special about it, but Ash took several photos of it.

He wasn’t able to really express why he liked the water pump, just that he did. Water pumps are pretty important so who am I to tell him they’re not particularly interesting?

In general he spent a lot of time poking his camera around under hood. But, again, not having any of the preconceived notions we have about what’s ‘cool’ within an engine bay, he took photos of anything that caught his eye.

To him the Hooker cast manifolds looked like spider legs, so there you go, a photo of the manifold. Glad I got new hardware.

He also took a photo under the (just above the transmission tunnel) because “I can’t see it too well”.

The photo above was staring back at him in the view finder and his curiosity seemed satisfied, at least for now.

Bolting up the steering wheel had the largest impact on how he interacted with the truck. He’ll now happily spend a few minutes pretending to drive while I tinker away at a minor tasks.

Ash’s new found interest in the project really cements in my mind that this project was the right project for my family.

With school around the corner he asked if, when finished, I could take him to school in the truck like I occasionally do in my “regular” car.

When I said yes his face instantly lit up.

If that’s not motivation I don’t know what is.

Here’s to being able to live up to my son’s goals for 2021. 2020 certainly isn’t making it easy but I’ll try my gosh darn best.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Coming together nicely, also saw the update on speedhunters. Cool that Ash is taking an interest in the truck and already wants a ride to school when it’s finished.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Dude, that’s badass. And I’m not talking about the truck.

    Sharing interests is about the best way to get a long lasting bond with your kids. I still remember the things I did with my father some (uh…) 40+ years ago. He was a master carpenter and cabinet maker, and while I’m a tech nerd, the things we did all that time ago still come in useful today. It’s not so much the “what” as the “how;” the work ethic, the thoughfulness, learning the way things work to make them better, the kind of things that you can’t really put a finger on but are as important as the hard skils. From me seat here, looks like you’re doing a good job.

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