Bruce The Nomad

Hot Rodding in Arizona part 2
This travel log covers our activities, since November '09, in Tucson, Arizona.

We have been busy doing some remodeling of a house for our landlady. It has involved putting up new siding, building a large porch with steps for the main entry. Eventually I will make railings for the stairs at two locations.

The rest of our time here has been spent working on the hot rod and taking in a couple of car shows, and a car swap meet, where I purchased a new chromed alternator. Of course we enjoyed some of the sights of Tucson, local restaurants and we cooked most meals at our temporary home. We got a Weber bbq from the landlady so we used it for a bunch of our meals, including our Thanksgiving turkey. WOW! That was great.

The Hot Rod is based on a Ford Model T pick-up body. This is a fiberglass replica body with a shortened pick-up bed, and widened fenders. The frame is custom built with modified suspension components. The engine is a modern Chevy that I estimate has around 250 to 300 horsepower. The transmission is an automatic for ease of driving and assembly. Some of the items we need to work on are installing a wiring system, tail and headlights, turn signal lights, engine gauges and speedometer, fuel tank and lines, transmission shifter and linkage, brake lines, windshield, upholstery and a few more items.

Bill spent Christmas in Oklahoma with his lady friend. They came to Tucson for a while. She went to Las Vegas to spend time with her daughter then they returned here packed up Bill's stuff and headed back to OK. He will spend a month or so there, then he plans to go back to work. I guess the easy retired life is too boring for him. So Molly and I are here by ourselves. We will miss Bill, it was fun spending some time with him, and wish him well.

I was invited and spent Christmas Day with dear friends, Sandy & Bob, at their home in Tubac. Their son, his wife, grandkids and friends were also there. We had a grand time, cooking, talking, drinking, and eating fabulous food. I really wasn't invited there - they asked for Molly and I had the task of driving her. She was the center of attention. She loved all of that.

It has taken me more time than I wanted nor expected to get the hot rod finished. Here it is mid January and it isn't registered yet, the weather hasn't been cooperative. I guess it must be winter. We've had heavy rains, high winds, cold and even snow in the foothills. This has kept me indoors doing other things. Local cruise-ins have been cancelled, and a car event I wanted to attend was deludged with rain, so I stayed home. Below is a report about the storms and affects on a Phoenix car auction:

Winds, rain tear through Scottsdale auction venue
January 22, 2010 by Old Cars Weekly Staff

"Heavy winds and matching rain destroyed tents and devastated one of the main auction venues in the annual collector car auction extravaganza in Scottsdale, Ariz., Thursday night.
Three tents were ripped from the ground at the Russo & Steele event, leaving several hundred collector cars exposed to the elements and the wreckage during some of the worst weather in the Scottsdale area in recent years.
Remains of one of the tents wound up strewn across nearby Highway 101, forcing highway crews to temporarily shut down one of the city’s main arteries.
No injuries were reported and most of the audience had already been evacuated by the time the tents collapsed."


Also due to the weather, I haven't done any work on the rental house for the past week. My indoor activities have been occupied with doing some remodel to the interior of the motorhome. I have removed the carpet and old vinyl flooring. I added a new TV and a pair of leather bucket seats. I have added black & white checked vinyl flooring and modified the dinette area. I did not use the old dinette in the past, except when I had visitors. Dining will be different but still manageable. I am applying photos and images of cars and food to the walls, ala decopage. I am changing the window treatment and will be getting the cockpit upholstery changed in the near future.

Below are photos of some of our activities in Tucson.

This a photo of one of the cars we saw at a local car show. It is similar to mine, but without fenders, the way Bill likes. The weather was warm in November. Here is another photo of one of the cars we liked at the car show. It is a '23 Model T completed in a style called "Track T". In the 1940's and 50's this type car was raced at tracks around the country. This was pre-NASCAR racing.
Here are pics of the hot rod after assembly. These were taken right after a rain storm so it still needs to be washed and polished. I still have some interior work to do - carpet, a little vinyl on the interior walls, and also tonneau covers over the cab and bed.
Molly is ready to go cruising.
These photos show the Hot Rod in various stages of construction. The engine and undercarriage were previously painted red, now they are silver colored. Fenders will be added, but the exterior paint will remain flat black for a while.
Here are some photos of the inside of the motorhome - from original dinette,
gutting the dinette, and to almost complete.


I hope you enjoy this and other travel logs that I've sent. We will probably be here for most of the winter. I've become a 'Snow Bird'. I made the trip to Los Angeles for the Grand National Roadster Show. The last time I went to this great event was over 30 years ago, back then it was located in Oakland, CA. I have photos and coverage of this event at the link above.
I had a nice visit with my cousin, Jill. My old buddy Skip met me at the show on Friday, it was good seeing him again.

I will continue to work on the house for the landlady and should have it finished by the end of February. I hope to go to Bakersfield in early March to see Terri and family and to attend the NHRA Heritage drag race event. I was last at this race two years ago. My friend, Gene, is an official here. My plans for the remainder of the spring and into summer have not been finalized. I have a listing of some of the events I would like to attend HERE . It would would be great to go east this summer and visit with you out there. I'll keep you posted.

Bye for now. I will send more info and photos as the winter in the desert saga continues.

Bruce and Molly


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