Saturday, 10 November 2012

Monday, 5 November 2012

The Eagle Has Landed...

Back at the end of August I wrote about a problem I was having coming up with a machinist who didn't want the family jewels to turn a pretty simple base of a gift I had bought for my son.

It got worse.

I went with Plan-B and solved the base problem myself, but when I took my little package to the post office to send it to him, I got the second shock of my life.

My kid now lives in Dubai for a few years, so I packaged up the gift with as much padding as I could gather up as I figured it was going to be in for a rough ride. Presenting it to the clerk who weighed it. The package came in a just under 2 kilograms, or about 4 1/2 pounds.

If I wanted it there in a hurry, they wanted $250. The Canadian Post Office's idea of a "hurry", is 3 to 4 weeks.

The next one down on the list was $85, which would take 4 to 6 weeks. I was already late with the gift so I laid down the 85-bucks and left the package.

Today, 49 days later (that is 7 weeks according to my math), the parcel finally arrived.

This is what was in it...

It is a radiator temperature gauge made by the Moto Meter Co. in, or around, 1928. The meter itself was New/Old Stock and is in perfect condition. The wings could be from the same year or older, as they came off a 1928 Chevrolet in California. The wings were in good shape as far as nicks and wear goes, but it didn't have any plating left. I sent it out and had it nickel plated, as that is what it originally would have been, as chrome didn't come into play until one or two years later.

The base is just a 4" block of polished acrylic. I drilled and tapped a hole to match the meter's sensor stud and cranked the whole lot home.

The thought behind this gift is that it is an "after-market" piece. Neither Ford nor Chevrolet offered these as either standard equipment or as an option, although you could buy one through their dealers. My son is into after-market parts. He has taken a basic Scion tC, which pumped out 160 h.p., and through the magic of his mechanical ability, not to mention his ability to pay for after-market parts, the thing is probably pushing over 300 h.p. now.

I wanted to show him that adding things to cars to make them your own didn't start when he was born, but has been around since the wheel was invented. I'm also hoping to make a "collector" out of him.