It’s Not Dead Yet
Hells yeah. The Toronado is BACK! If you missed it, the Toro has been out of service since September 2012. A bracket that secures the output shaft busted so there was no way to hold the passenger side axle in place. Thus, the car wouldn’t go. After spending a few months hunting around for parts, I finally took the broken part to Dad to have him weld back together. A couple weeks ago I got the part back (a long with a bunch of old work shirts to securely pack it) but I haven’t had time to put it all back together until today.
In the process of getting everything lined up, I sliced open my thumb pretty good. Not enough to need stitches or anything, but I could have helped out the Red Cross with all the blood that came out. The above is the best I could do bandaging it up with one good hand. Andrea was able to help me later get a better wrap. After this I almost considered calling it a day. But I wasn’t going to let it beat me. I figured if I gave in, it would see my fear and know it could get away with muscling me around. I wasn’t going to let that happen.
There’s not much to report as far as the work that went into it. It’s all been documented here before in more detail than anyone besides me cares about. The only part that matters is when I got it all put back together, it works! HUGE thanks to Dad who was able to do what I wasn’t in welding up the old part.
It took quite a while to start up. The carb was dry from sitting so long so it took a while for the fuel to get all the way up from the tank. But once it started, it was as smooth as always. I put the car in gear, just waiting for a gruesome noise and for all my work to be for naught. But it firmly grabbed. I lightly gave it some gas, and it moved! Like a grand ocean liner sliding from its ways. It was a good feeling! So quiet, so comfortable, so smooth. Ever since I got that car, it always had this feeling about it that it could almost drive itself. Everything about driving it feels so effortless. I drove it around town for a bit and really wanted to take it out on the hiway, but the thing hasn’t been tagged or insured since its been out of service. So I reluctantly drove it back and parked it, right where it’s been for the past 8 months.
So now that it’s running, here’s where I’m at with the car….
We don’t need it. We’ve got two cars and a pleasure car already. What we really need is an old work truck. But I can’t really justify getting one of those when we’ve got so many things with an engine already. If it weren’t around, that might make room for something like that.
It’s not worth anything. Realistically I figure I might get $500 for it. It has 260,000 miles, hail damage, rips in the seat, and the vinyl is really starting to show its age. It’s just an old car. So considering it’s worth so little, I just as well keep it around. I DO really like the car. It’s comfortable, until the axle busted it was remarkably reliable. So right now the sentimental value outweighs its intrinsic value. I wasn’t motivated to get rid of it when it WASN’T running. So I’m even less now.
So… what the Toronado might do, is help preserve the Cutlass. I figure, especially during the winter, when the weather is nasty, the roads are all salty and idiots are sliding around, I’ll take the Toronado. It will keep the salt from eating up the Cutlass and if some doofus slides into the Toronado, so be it.
In the mean time. There’s a few things it really NEEDS done before I can confidently drive it out of town. 1.) Ball joints. The lowers are SUPER worn out. Might as well do the uppers at the same time. They’ve probably been like that for a while, but now that I’m aware of it, it really bothers me. 2) I need some thread lock on some of the fasteners I used. I have deduced that the reason the bracket broke in the first place is that one or both of the bolts came loose. Then as the torsion caused the axle to wobble, eventually the bracket broke from the vibration.
Then there’s the long list of little stuff that needed done before all this.
At any rate, it feels supremely good to have it mobile again. If we want to play basketball in the driveway, all we have to do is move it. It’s not just a broke down old car any more, it’s an OLD CAR again! I love old cars! And I really love that old car. It’s been the best car I’ve ever had. And having it going again is like being back home after a long vacation. It’s… comforting.