I’m back home in Michigan this week after a quick trip down to Houston to experience the Knuckle Up: Double Cup event and to hang out with Jimmy for his birthday. As always, I had an amazing time down there with lots of really great people- both old friends and new.
I left early in the morning from Detroit on Friday and arrived in Houston by 9:30 AM or so. I was greeted by my friend Harris of ~Essence~ in his Panamera. We cruised over to his place to pick up his AE86, then cruised over to Jimmy’s work to surprise him. It was Jimmy’s wife’s idea to invite me and have me come down, so I wanted to try to make the surprise good for her. Of course, Jimmy and I talk every day and know each other pretty darn well at this point, so he more or less knew I was coming the entire time. But it was still great to be reunited after not seeing each other in just over a year. We usually get to hang out 2-3 times per year, but COVID really put a damper on that in 2020.
Jimmy debuted his refreshed car with a new look- pretty dang awesome. I was skeptical about the Garsons, but I think it turned out amazing! The car looks tough as nails. Every time I ride in drift cars with FRP aero and crazy interiors, I realize how tame my cars really are. Sometimes it bums me out, but it sort of made me feel relived this time. I don’t know how these guys do it!
The trip essentially consisted of hanging out at the track… a lot. It was warmer than I expected, and I also forgot that sunscreen exists. Without really making a trip to Wisconsin last year, I nearly forgot how much a weekend at an event can take out of you. I picked up a really slight cold from my kids before I left too which was annoying. But the event went really smoothly and I had an awesome time. There were lots of really nice cars and amazing people there, some that I met for the first time. Always a blast!
I was a fill-in judge for the competition, which felt a bit strange since I don’t know how to drift. Jimmy said I was the style judge which I felt more comfortable about. It was definitely a difficult job since all of the driving was really really good, but it was a lot of fun. Watching all weekend from on the actual track spoiled me as well.
It was unfortunate to see two of my favorite cars crash at the event- Triggs from FatCats and Kev from ~Essence~. I know it’s all a part of the game, but I still get bummed out to see it happen. Fortunately the damage wasn’t too bad for either of them, and Triggs was even able to drive a bit on Sunday which I was really happy about. I realized that both of their cars were on the event t-shirt- I guess it must be like the Madden curse.
It rained on Sunday which was kind of a bummer, but thankfully the weather was great on Saturday. Before I knew it, it was time to head back home to Michigan. I am so grateful for my Houston family for always being so kind and generous and ensuring I have a great time when I visit.
As far as things at the home front go, I once again managed to let another week go by without accomplishing much of anything. I did end up stripping and painting my spare brake booster before installing it in the coupe. Last night I bench bled the master cylinder again and installed that as well. Tonight I need to have Alicia help me bleed the brakes again and then I can see if all of this solved the issue, or if I still have some more troubleshooting to do. My hunch is the latter, but it would be incredibly motivating if the brakes are fixed and the car is now ready to drive.
I did get a couple of packages this week. The first is from RHD Japan and includes a breather hose for the hatch (I plan to install a stock airbox and catch can down the road like I did on the coupe, so I wanted to have this on hand) as well as a small factory heat shield for the driver’s side engine mount. This piece is probably pointless, but I got one for the coupe when I put it together and figured I would grab one for this car as well. Finally, my KTS roll center correction tie rod ends arrived, which are hopefully the last piece I need to get the suspension back together.
The other package that arrived this week was one that I have been waiting on for a while. A month or two ago, Johnny from Zilvia shared a raffle that a seller on Zilvia was having. If you made a donation to the LA food bank, you would be entered to win a pair of brand new OEM S13 fenders with very light damage from shipping. As fate would have it, I ended up winning the fenders and he covered the cost of shipping to me. This was an awesome surprise since I had really been wanting to buy a pair but couldn’t justify the cost.
The fenders are both bent at the very front near the headlights and front bumper. After talking a bit to Rad Mike, it sounds like they should definitely be fixable. I’ll try to bolt them up to the car soon to see what I can figure out. I am really excited to have these for when I eventually paint the car someday!
My plan is to spend a few hours in the garage tonight to try to get these cars back together and on the road. The weather looks really nice early next week, and there is some consistency beginning to take hold. My motivation has been pretty low lately as it feels like there just isn’t enough time in the day to spend it working on the cars. But maybe I’ll dive into that a bit in next week’s post…
I’m hoping spending a whole night out in the garage wrenching will bring some motivation and leave me in a pretty decent position going into next week, but we’ll see what happens. Maybe it’s just a matter of getting through the last hurdle of the winter blues before the light at the end of the tunnel.
Thanks to everyone that still comes by to read this- I appreciate it! Reach out any time if I can ever do anything to help. Have a great weekend!