well, my trip to and from Solvang, California for the 2018 RGruppe Treffen went well. mostly.

I left NC a day late (monday afternoon) but was in my hotel in CA wednesday evening as planned – I’d caught up to folks I knew in ABQ that morning and rode in with them.

Our track day at Streets of Willow was the next morning:

I cut that day short and headed on to Treffen to catch up with Julia.

Treffen was great; it’s like a family reunion – or a traveling circus? – seeing buddies every 6 to 12 months for a few days. My ’75 won a GT award this year, which was fantastic. (I’ve since picked up a YOM [year of manufacture] NC tag: “RGT”.) 🙂

Julia took her rental back to LAX and caught her flight Sunday morning; Bob and I hit the road. I stopped to see a 4Runner buddy for a beer and an hour, then headed East. The next morning, we swung by PartsKlassik in Flagstaff (Kurt likes to fry my noodle with ignition/electrical data) then grabbed lunch at LaPosada in Winslow. It started to rain shortly thereafter, and at 8:08PM, I caught some water flowing across I40 after a crest on an off camber curve and hydroplaned into the cables in the center median (which was a substantial ditch, naturally.)

The 1600 miles home were a different experience, but I made it.


I missed the Texas Hill Country Rallye for the 4th or 5th year in a row because the car wasn’t ready. I’m going to have to start putting it into the shop schedule, I suppose, as my evenings and weekends are allocated more so than when I was younger.

In any event I used that time to dig into the RS/RSR and move things forward. 8-pin boxes are in; carpet installed; rear swaybar in process; clutch replaced; engine harness cleaned up and amended; and the fuel system (pumps, filter, lines, and regulator) is being reworked.

I’m thinking about the remote start switch (engine relay panel), ignition kill switches, and battery disconnect wiring as well.

Here are some photos:

The modern regulator and those AN lines must go!


This happened:

windshield (with rain sensor) – check
non-sunroof roof, black – check
non-sunroof headliner – check
LCM with auto lights – check
good trunk lid, black – check
good driver’s door skin, black – check



Cleaned up the ZHP today.

– the smell is almost completely obliterated (no kidding; the soot wiped away with the smell with some warm soapy water)


My Brother’s birthday (Happy 44th, Dru!)

Also, between the time I signed the paperwork this morning and the time the tow service got the car loaded up (while I was at the DMV), this happened:

as of this moment, the wrecker driver is denying it, but come on – here’s the post that the car hit when it came loose while loading it:

and here’s where the rivet on the left pocket of your jeans scratched the paint while you were frantically trying to stop the car rolling off of your inclined bed (left rear door):

We’ll see what happens next.


It occurred to me I should mention that my multi-year Mary Stuart RSR (MSRSR) project is back from its first round of paint.

Back on the Celette to finalize fitment of the Mary Stuart rear quarter panels I sculpted for this project (I reproduced them from internet photos – thank you Art Degree.)

This has been a massive undertaking for both me and the car’s owner – it’s a labor of love at this point. LOTS of metalwork in this one (it began as an ’87 3.2 Carrera)

(yeah, I need to finish construction work in the shop also..)

So what’s the first thing we do after paintwork? Cut out the custom cage so that a historically-correct roll bar can go in its place for that perfect silhouette!



Happy Thanksgiving!

I had some time to work on the rear bumper design for the 3rd Gen 4Runner; this is designed to work in conjunction with my F150 tank conversion crossmember, and is a straight ripoff of the AssBurns bumper (except for being for a one inch body lift):

I still need to work out the receiver and recovery points, bolt access, and hi-lift jacking points. Like Steven’s this will require cutting the “udders” at the rear sides of the body for clearance (what are those for, anyway?)

Steven’s “AssBurns” bumper is the best design I’ve seen for clearance and departure angle, and it’s very cool. If I weren’t using the body lift to work toward a flat belly I’d be using his design entirely!