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Not Really House Related…

April 1, 2013

Well, it didn’t take very long for the threats of buying a car that would fit in the garage to come true.  This weekend Alexandra and I drove out to Las Vegas and picked up our new (old) car.  What did we end up buying?  A 1975 Triumph Spitfire 1500.

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We bought the car from a very cool guy who has spent most of his free time for the last 15 or so years restoring various Spitfires.  This particular car was special because he was only the second owner and it had been stored for about 30 years.  This of course meant everything rubber or soft was destroyed so he replaced the entire interior and about a million other parts.  But, the reason this car was so cool is two fold, it only has 19,000 miles on it and every, little, tiny, thing, works!  It is in such great shape and everything was done perfectly according to the shop manual, so there is no botched work for me to sort out.

So, after having the car looked over by a third party, and picking up a spare engine and transmission for a song (because, why not?), we started the long drive home.  Alexandra drove with the dog in the station wagon and I drove the Spit home.

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The only real downside to this car is that it’s a 4 speed with no overdrive, so I had to drive at 60 mph for about 5 hours through the Mojave desert , where the temperature got up to 100 degrees.  Yes, I got very sunburned.   The above photos are from one of many stops to let the dog out for a walk.  She could only handle about an hour of driving at a time. We didn’t even make it all the way home on Saturday.  By dusk on Saturday we had made it to Rancho Cucamonga, about 35 miles from Pasadena.  Traffic was getting pretty heavy so we left the Spit at a hotel and just drove home.

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On Sunday morning we drove back out to Rancho Cucamonga and puttered the rest of the way home on surface streets mostly.  All in all, the car did great driving nearly 300 miles through the desert.  There is a decent oil leak at the oil pan gasket that meant a quart of oil over the trip, but that just gives me something to fix.

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On Sunday afternoon I re-taught Alexandra how to drive a stick, and then we went for a few errands. Then I had a beer and enjoyed sitting in the car with Alexandra and talking about cars.

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Then the car got put away in the garage.  It is a bit of a snug fit lengthwise, but isn’t as bad as it looks in the (blurry, sorry!) photo.

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So now we have a new toy to run around town and get house stuff in!  Which is fun.  We do need a name for her so any ideas?

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