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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: December 28, 2008, 11:05 pm 
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JackMcCornack wrote:
There was no snow on the roads in downtown Ukiah (to quote from Wikipedia: temperate Mediterranean climate...Light snowfall occurs about every other year. The greatest recorded snowfall was 1.5 in (3.8 cm) on March 2, 1976) but that didn't fool me. I pulled into the wet-but-not-crunchy parking lot of the first tire store I saw and checked my tire size...and wouldn't you know it? There was a nail in my left rear tire. I'm glad that was the tire I looked at, but it meant I wasn't going to beat the UPS truck to Cave Junction. and in fact I'd barely be home by dark. I left town an hour and a half later with a fully inflated tire and what may have been the first set of tire chains ever carried in a Locost--and four more gallons of diesel in the tank. I'd topped off in Monterey, which was probably plenty for the trip, but I wasn't going to take a chance on racing the sunlight over the coast range on fumes.
[snip]
It's 69°F outside right now. After reading this I'm going to put on a flannel shirt to walk my dog! :oops:

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PostPosted: December 29, 2008, 2:17 am 
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Hang in there, I'm almost done.

My motel had covered parking (I'd picked it on purpose) so I post-flighted the car on dry ground. There wasn't much to note but that everything steel that wasn't painted was now rusty, so I don't think one should skimp on paint. Then I gave the rear fenders a closer look, and saw the "shadow" of the clamshell front fenders in the snow pattern on the rear fenders. Interesting. I drove to a casino for dinner, it was pouring rain on the way back to the motel, which rinsed off the snow, and rinsed off Yours Truly a bit more than I'd have liked. Snow is exciting, snow is a rare adventure, rain is..just rain. Oregonians don't tan, we rust. Much like unpainted Locost parts.

Next morning, I saw where the rear fenders had been peppered...

Peppered. Damaged by being struck with small objects at high speed. You know, like when our outgoing vice president shoots somebody in the face. Anyway, since the DOT had been putting sand on the roads, I'd been peppered a'plenty by passersby, but most of my peppering was self inflicted.

...the rear fenders had been peppered by sand thrown up from the front wheels, which blasted the cheapass green paintjob off the white gellcoat. I doubt I'll repaint them (it's not just the $3.98 it would cost for another spraycan of green paint, it's that I think it's cool that it's taken me less than three months to get the rode-hard-and-put-up-wet look) and they're a clear indicator of how the front fenders are working.

Look, before this trip, I thought the clamshell front fenders were strictly a styling issue and, well, a bit of an affectation. I now think they're a practical minimum for anything but a summertime se7en. For you cycle fender users who have hit puddles and gone "Yech! Ptooey!" when you got a facefull, imagine 500 miles of that. MAX wears Curtis Unlimited's wide clamshells on Curtis Unlimited front fender supports (no rear supports), you can contact them at curtisunlimitedATaolDOTcom and that's probably enough raving about the competition for one day.

I decided to wait for the road to thaw before driving the Final 58. Checkout was 11Am, but they gave me 'till one in the afternoon, doubtless shaking their heads and saying to each other, "That poor man, he's been through so much."


Attachments:
File comment: As well as the snow pattern, check out the upholstery and luggage. I think I'll stencil "Gucci" on my next set. The yellow bag in front holds the tire chains.
EG00RearFenderCresentCity.jpg
EG00RearFenderCresentCity.jpg [ 31.1 KiB | Viewed 1719 times ]
File comment: On the driver's side, the pattern of peppering shows the shadow of the exhaust pipe. Cycle fenders are for fair weather fliers, clamshells are for road warriors, and here's the proof.
EG00PepperedFender.jpg
EG00PepperedFender.jpg [ 46.88 KiB | Viewed 1719 times ]
File comment: A charming seaside town in mid-December, the smell of salt in the air, frozen puddles glinting like diamonds...what is this, Nantucket? Crimeny, the California cost is not supposed to be like this.
EG00CresentCityParked.jpg
EG00CresentCityParked.jpg [ 51.12 KiB | Viewed 1718 times ]

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PostPosted: December 29, 2008, 3:28 am 
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At last, the thrilling conclusion. <spoiler alert> I lived.

Highway 199 goes inland, northeast from Crescent City, with the Oregon/California border roughly in the middle. Both sets of Highway Patrols said their end of the road was open, a phonecall home told me it wasn't snowing in Cave Junction at the moment, so I hit the road. It was a lovely drive, a full tilt Winter Wonderland once I hit the border. I pulled up to the shop not long after UPS had left town. Oh well.

Looking at me standing by the car, it's hard to believe that the guy in the classy portrait is hiding in there somewhere. I look like Spike the Pooh (Winnie the Pooh's ne'er-do-well younger brother) in (from top to bottom, outside to in) a leather helmet, a ski mask, a rain jacket, a leather bomber jacket, a sweatshirt, a long sleeved t shirt, a regular t shirt, a pair of Miller work gloves, rain pants, work pants, fleece lounging pajama bottoms, boxers, shoes, and two pairs of socks.

Okay, so it ain't There and Back Again by Bilbo Baggins, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Attachments:
File comment: Oh boy oh boy I was almost there. This tunnel marks the high point of Highway 199, from here, it was literally downhill all the way.
EG00Tunnel199.jpg
EG00Tunnel199.jpg [ 24.89 KiB | Viewed 1711 times ]
File comment: It was good to be home, or anywhere close. This is what I see when I dream of winter. Except for the snowplow. In my dreams, the roads clear themselves.
EG00Wonderland199.jpg
EG00Wonderland199.jpg [ 47.53 KiB | Viewed 1934 times ]
File comment: It's amazing I could get in and out of a bikini topped Locost in this outfit. On the bright side, if I can, you can.
EG00HomeToKV.jpg
EG00HomeToKV.jpg [ 44.64 KiB | Viewed 1936 times ]

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PostPosted: December 29, 2008, 9:08 am 
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Great story Jack.

It wouldn't be too much trouble to build running boards and box the side. Then when the exhaust rusts, it can't be seen. Less goo on you too.


Attachments:
runningboard doodle.JPG
runningboard doodle.JPG [ 60.82 KiB | Viewed 1701 times ]

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PostPosted: December 29, 2008, 10:53 am 
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Jack

You had me worried for a while, writing about your LAST blat.... I had visions of the FINAL installment being a xerox of a Highway Patrol Accident report! Kindly use the word LATEST in your next title!


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PostPosted: December 29, 2008, 1:49 pm 
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You're more man than me Jack. I'm not a huge fan of cold. Especially windy cold. Wet, windy, no-escape, my life is miserable, shoot me now cold - forget it.

But I do commend you on your choice of plastic bag luggage and seat covers. Economical, functional, and best of all, light weight. A true locost solution.

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PostPosted: December 29, 2008, 2:17 pm 
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Sorry McT, I meant Last Blat of '08, not Last Blat of Forever. Gosh, I hadn't meant this story to be genuinely suspensful. The next adventure will be my First Blat of '09.

MiataV8, I'm making full pontoon sides for the car, both for aerodynamic and structural/impact reasons, but it would sure look snazzy with running boards as per your drawing. I like the top too.

The problem with running boards is, people step on them. The problem with pontoons is, how to keep the classic look. I fear the pontoons will make it look like it's trying to be an ALMS car. So I'm thinking hard about how to combine low drag, a classic look and feel, and cheap, with fender function as good as clamshells. I think if there were a simple answer, Colin would have done it in the '60s when the SCCA started grousing about the Seven's cycle fenders.

It's an interesting problem. I think I'll start a thread in the <Exterior> forum. Mind if I put your drawing in it?

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PostPosted: December 29, 2008, 2:33 pm 
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Anything I post is free. I don't think I'm ever going to finish a book anyway. I have enough trouble getting regular stuff finished.

I like this a little better:


3M has self adhesive black anti-skid which can be applied to the top of the running board.


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aerodoodle.JPG
aerodoodle.JPG [ 57.4 KiB | Viewed 1664 times ]

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Last edited by Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F on December 29, 2008, 3:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPosted: December 29, 2008, 2:49 pm 
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Wow... When I read that you hit snow 20 miles out of Petaluma, I figured that you must have lost track of time and were talking about the grade between Ukiah and Willits. I was more than a little shocked to read about your stop in Ukiah AFTER the snow. :shock: Many years back I worked as a courier in that area for a year with a daily route of Lakeport -> Ukiah ->Santa Rosa -> Ukiah -> Willits -> Lakeport. I think I had issues with snow twice heading up the grade to Willits, but never south of Ukiah.

So the good news is, you could probably make that run 100 times over and never see the problems you saw this time. :wink:

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PostPosted: December 29, 2008, 3:48 pm 
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Great story - might not have been fun during the drive back I think you've got years worth of macho tales. I remember from my time of driving a Triumph Spitfire in winter that ground clearance is a big issue also.


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PostPosted: December 29, 2008, 4:21 pm 
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JackMcCornack wrote:
Sorry McT, I meant Last Blat of '08, not Last Blat of Forever. Gosh, I hadn't meant this story to be genuinely suspensful. The next adventure will be my First Blat of '09.

MiataV8, I'm making full pontoon sides for the car, both for aerodynamic and structural/impact reasons, but it would sure look snazzy with running boards as per your drawing. I like the top too.

The problem with running boards is, people step on them. The problem with pontoons is, how to keep the classic look. I fear the pontoons will make it look like it's trying to be an ALMS car. So I'm thinking hard about how to combine low drag, a classic look and feel, and cheap, with fender function as good as clamshells. I think if there were a simple answer, Colin would have done it in the '60s when the SCCA started grousing about the Seven's cycle fenders.

It's an interesting problem. I think I'll start a thread in the <Exterior> forum. Mind if I put your drawing in it?
Maybe something along the old Jaguar flowing fender lines?


Attachments:
Jag SS-90.jpg
Jag SS-90.jpg [ 30.16 KiB | Viewed 1640 times ]
Jag SS-100.jpg
Jag SS-100.jpg [ 34.75 KiB | Viewed 1639 times ]

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PostPosted: December 29, 2008, 6:47 pm 
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Titus wrote:
When I read that you hit snow 20 miles out of Petaluma, I figured that you must have lost track of time and were talking about the grade between Ukiah and Willits.

Doh! You got me wondering too. There are risks to writing up a story two weeks after the excitement, and using wiki and mapquest instead of taking notes along the way. Anyway, I didn't think I'd hit snow 20 miles out, I hit a snowplow, and I was wondering where the heck a snowplow was going from here...for about another dozen miles.

So just now I went to the hangar to visit MAX and check its snow tire receipt, and (gulp, there goes my credibility) you sure called it: turns out I got the chains in Willits.

Had I gone crazy with the cold? I called the Ukiah Chamber of Commerce, and while the woman there didn't feel qualified to coment re my sanity, she did confirm that yes, they'd had snowplows working their way into Ukiah from both south and north.

> So the good news is, you could probably make that run 100 times over and never see the problems you saw this time.

Yeah, that's what the Chamber of Commerce lady said. This was the first time in her lifetime they'd had weather this bad, and I shouldn't let it discourage me from coming back.

Looking over my photos, the snowstorm north of Ukiah was far more spectacular than the snowstorm south. I must have macho'd my way through Ukiah and by Willits, had cursed myself enough for not having chains yet. But I was off by 25 miles in the chain buying narrative.


Attachments:
File comment: The snow packed on the windshield severely 'twixt Ukiah and Willits. That's probably where the trucks passed me too--those look like a mud speck craters in the packed snow at mid windshield.
EG00WindshieldSnowpack.jpg
EG00WindshieldSnowpack.jpg [ 12.48 KiB | Viewed 1621 times ]

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PostPosted: December 29, 2008, 7:55 pm 
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JackMcCornack wrote:
Titus wrote:
When I read that you hit snow 20 miles out of Petaluma, I figured that you must have lost track of time and were talking about the grade between Ukiah and Willits.

Doh! You got me wondering too. There are risks to writing up a story two weeks after the excitement, and using wiki and mapquest instead of taking notes along the way. Anyway, I didn't think I'd hit snow 20 miles out, I hit a snowplow, and I was wondering where the heck a snowplow was going from here...for about another dozen miles.

So just now I went to the hangar to visit MAX and check its snow tire receipt, and (gulp, there goes my credibility) you sure called it: turns out I got the chains in Willits.

Had I gone crazy with the cold? I called the Ukiah Chamber of Commerce, and while the woman there didn't feel qualified to coment re my sanity, she did confirm that yes, they'd had snowplows working their way into Ukiah from both south and north.

> So the good news is, you could probably make that run 100 times over and never see the problems you saw this time.

Yeah, that's what the Chamber of Commerce lady said. This was the first time in her lifetime they'd had weather this bad, and I shouldn't let it discourage me from coming back.

Looking over my photos, the snowstorm north of Ukiah was far more spectacular than the snowstorm south. I must have macho'd my way through Ukiah and by Willits, had cursed myself enough for not having chains yet. But I was off by 25 miles in the chain buying narrative.


OK... that makes more sense. :lol:

It is too bad you didn't know to stop in Hopland. It is the home of the Real Goods Solar Living Institute. They have biodiesel on site and would have loved to see you. My dad used to be on their Board of Directors so I might have been able to arrange special treatment for you.

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PostPosted: December 31, 2008, 12:05 am 
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You have confirmed my thoughts. I intend my car to be a daily (but not only) driver and have been leaning to the clamshells over fenders.

Nice trip Jack. Kind of reminds me of leaving Florida in 75 degree weather on a bike, and doing the last 175 miles (Knoxville TN to Lexington KY) in the sleet and snow. .


Gene

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PostPosted: December 31, 2008, 2:08 am 
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Location: Sunny-Okanagan, Canada, eh?!
The clamshells are indeed nice.

In this short clip at 0:29 you can see the water fleeing off to the sides of the clamshells. Clamshells rock. Slicks don't....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJTONhHVOyY

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