Monday, September 7, 2015

A few buddies had their annual shop party  at their garage.  As usual, the minibike racing was the highlight of the night!  This year it took longer than expected to get them running, and after the bloodshed last year I decided to leave before things got ugly.  

Johnny D's machine was probably the most complete, but it had a slight fuel leak.

Ingredients: Metal, Gasoline, Danger.

Tim's machine required the most work.  He had to mount the clutch and fabricate new engine mounts.

While hanging out, I couldn't help but notice how many V8s were just laying around.

Back to reality!  I started mounting all of the body panels to the Jetta.  Now that the interior is coated in epoxy primer, I can focus on bodywork - first on some components, then on the main body itself.

First I turned down some bolts to mount the hood hinges.  These are 18-8 stainless steel bolts.

They look much better without the markings!

I mounted the steering column and dash brace back into the car so I can wheel it around a little more easily.

Doors and fenders

Isn't it beautiful!

I started to continue the putty work on my fan shroud.  I paused this a few months ago when I started ramping up my preparations for school to start, now I can get back to it.  Hopefully I can get it puttied and sealed in epoxy primer before it starts to rust!

Adding all of these ribs and details are going to look good, but it certainly isn't making my life easy at this point!

At the end of August, I went to visit my buddies in California.  We flew into LAX and promptly found the nearest In-N-Out!

We drove up to San Francisco and cruised the Pacific Coastal Highway back south to LA.  It was a great weekend!  

Jason, Neel and Jimmy admiring the Golden Gate Bridge.

There were some sweet roads leading up to the overlook, this would have been a lot more fun in anything except our enormous Toyota Sequoia rental SUV.

There was much more detail in the metal work on the Golden Gate bridge than I expected.  

We cruised down Lombard street, despite the fact that we were violating the two rules for descent - no vehicles over 3 tons and no vehicles with more than 8 passenger seating capacity.  

The roads in San Francisco were extremely steep!

We ate lunch under the Bay Bridge.

I think this says "Wash Me"

Since we were passing through Monterey, we decided to stop at Laguna Seca Raceway.

The infamous Corkscrew.

The amount of elevation change on this course, and especially this corner, is so difficult to capture in photos.  The entire track is built on a hill, it's difficult to see in photos and video games just how steep some sections of track are.

There happened to be a Skip Barber Racing School event happening on the day we arrived, so there was some action on (and off) the track.

There happened to be a few folks from Ford there as well... and they brought a bunch of 2016 Mustang GT350R test mules with them!  They were preparing for a media day.

They had a few different options available!  There were another half dozen in the tents and trailers.

In the town of Monterey, we saw a few other cool rides.  

The Pacific Coastal Highway from Monterey to San Simeon is absolutely beautiful.  Do not miss an opportunity to take this drive.

Neel and Jimmy on the edge of the continent.

We saw this sweet ride parked outside of our hotel!

BroTruck Dog.

We stopped to check out the Hearst Castle in San Simeon.  It sounds like a tourist trap, but it was a really cool experience.

The outdoor pool has been drained for a few years, it would be amazing to see this filled.

The indoor pool is still full, it was a little creepy with the blue tile lining.

Back on the road.

Morrow Bay

We stopped at Pismo Beach.

We might have got a little stuck.  Apparently our rental Sequoia was not 4x4.

We decided to rent some motorized fun and cruise the dunes!

Within the first 3 minutes, Jason rolled his.  No surprises here.

We were riding as the sun was setting on Sunday evening, so we had the dunes to ourselves!  Most of the Monster Energy drinking motorhead bros were headed home for the weekend, so it was wide open.

ATV Jimmy.

There were still a few Bros out on the dunes thrashing the hell out of their new trucks.

After we escaped the dunes with our lives, we decided to celebrate with some Mexican food!

When we got back to LA, we visited the Chump Car you may remember from a previous trip.  It's currently not in working order; a rod decided it didn't want to race anymore!