Last year, around this time, I was on my way to Oregon to pick up some old-car parts I had purchased on eBay. My parts chaser is an '88 Chevy C1500 "cheapie" pickup that has a lot of "seat time" on it.
I traveled no farther than Minnesota before I had to replace some tires. The kid at the tire store did two things that kind of annoyed me. First, after selling me the tires with full warranty and mounting them, he said he had to give me a "warranty disclaimer" until I got a wheel alignment. Second, when installing the new spare I bought - which mounts under the load bed - he broke all the wires to my rear lights.
I drove all the way to South Dakota before I could find a shop willing to do a same-day wheel alignment and they wanted to rebuild the whole front end for $900! So I pushed on to Idaho, before I discovered I had no taillights, brake lights or back-up lights! Not wanting to visit another shop that wanted to make a quick $900, I looked around for an old-car business and wound up at Elder Automotive in Couer d' Alene. Tim Elder checked the front end, then assured me the truck was safe to drive to Oregon, where I had the wheel bearings adjusted for all of $20.
The reason I mention this is I just visited Randy Sharpe's website and noticed a neat thing posted there. Randy operates Deluxe Auto Interiors (www.deluxeautointeriors.com) and "builds" interiors for hot rods. His Website says this, "To all hot rodders, racers and travelers, we have a hoist and a full tool box if you need a place to make repairs while on the road."
We think Randy's suggestion to fellow car nuts in trouble is great. Wouldn't it be great to have a network of private collectors and collector car business willing to give anyone who breaks down in an old car a place to fix things and the tools to fix them with? In fact, I'll volunteer - anyone who breaks down in Iola can call me. Like Randy Sharpe, i have a hoist and tools I'll let you use to get rolling again as long as you buy the hot dogs.