Triumph of Hope Over Experience

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Guest post by Tim. 

For those of you that can’t make out that date, it is February 15th, 1989. That’s a very important date that we’ll come back to at a later.


It has been quite some time since there has been an update on The Burg, mostly because life just got in the way. That isn’t to say that nothing has been accomplished with the 164. Quite to the contrary in fact.

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When last we left the Burg, it was still immobile, parked in a garage. I managed to get the car registered and insured, so it was legal to drive on the road, if and when that time ever came. The patience of the garage owner was wearing thin, so a last big push was made to wrap up working on the fuel system, changing the water pump and taking care of a few other odds and ends.

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That lovely green stuff you see is of course anti-freeze. There might have been a misplaced gasket, which in turn necessitated taking the water pump off and reinstalling it, not an easy task. It took a lot of brute strength to get it properly placed, and none of us were happy to have to do it twice.

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One of the many times that would happen in the resurrection of the Burg, some parts for the B30 just don’t exist. Take, for instance the lower radiator hose. There is one company in Australia that currently makes the hose that is properly formed. All of the domestic supplies offer a “one size fits all” hose that actually doesn’t quite work right. A little fooling with the coil inside the hose managed to give it some semblance of proper shape.

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Once it was all buttoned up for the second (and last time), the new water pump (and the new alternator) looked rather good. Or at least we hoped.

That, my friends, is the true Triumph of Hope Over Experience.

After a twenty-five year slumber (remember that inspections ticker above? That came from the car that donated it’s engine, the orange 164 that hadn’t been on the road since 1989), the mighty B30 engine ran, and all things considered ran quite well.

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With the hood finally back on after having departing from the body months and months ago, the 164 was ready for it’s (second) maiden voyage to it’s new home in Rhode Island.

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I can’t quite describe the feeling of driving this car for the first time. Wait, yes I can. Ear deafening. At this point the car had basically two straight pipes, exiting somewhere near the mid-point of the car with an ear splitting roar. Combine this with iffy brakes, tires that had seen better days, and the thirty mile jaunt back home was exhilarating and nerve wracking at the same time. It was one of the most exciting rides of my life, simply because a lot of people thought it couldn’t be done, myself included. 2013 had been a rough year, and having a project like the 164 to work on with my fantastic group of friends was just the antidote. Driving in on I95 that day in July was the culmination of that time and effort, and I couldn’t have been happier.

2014-07-18 08.29.21Of course this isn’t the end of the story, and there is much more coming.

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