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X Plus Wind and Rain

Equals Adventure

Tony Kelly Mar 11, 2004

Going to Chicago means you're in the Windy City but we enjoyed it more than the rain we found later in Columbus. SUPER CHEVY fans are good sports as we found in Ohio when they drove their show cars in the rain for photos after the awards ceremony. That's the idea!

We love our time in Project X but are often reminded that it is, after all, an old car. We laughingly call it "our rental" because we drive it everywhere, a testament to all the aftermarket parts and workmanship that went into building the car. Along with that, though, is the wear and tear not usually associated with custom vintage cars. We have stressed it and only found a couple of glitches.

Our fun with the gas tank began in Indy when we heard a metallic noise from the rear end during a trip to the track. Looking underneath we discovered one end of one gas tank strap had come loose and was dragging, so we merely hung it back where it had come from. Heck, we've got three so one's not a problem--bad thought! When two out of the three came loose, it was time for getting down and dirty. Hard to do it on the side of the road but we found an accommodating gas station that had closed their lube room but still had a floor jack. Lucky for us since the tank was filled with about 20 gallons of gas (it's a 26-gallon Rock Valley stainless steel unit, so it's sturdy). The jack held the tank up while we did our best to re-install the straps.

A rough railroad crossing brought us back to "strap city" in Ohio. This time we just hauled X down to a local garage, got it on a rack and did the job better. A final fix was done courtesy of Autostar's media director and race announcer, Mike Fornatora, when we parked Project X with him for a couple of weeks. Nothing about what went wrong was major but you know the old saying, "the devil is in the details." Truer words were never spoken.

From Columbus, Ohio, our journey will take us down to Houston and then east across the bayous to Montgomery, Alabama. We'll be stretching X's legs out some more, and then it will be time to bring it home to California in one really long run. Catch up with us next time when we let you in on the fun.


Before we drove to Chicago we were at Norwalk, OH, for that Super Chevy Show. We couldn't resist using some of the 502/502 GM crate motor's torque. Project X will do this until we let off--quite impressive.

Not that it's any trouble to get this car noticed, but if you really want to cause some traffic around it, park it in front of the Lonestar tent on the midway at Super Chevy. In this case, it was Chicago and the fans crawled all over it.

What's this? Project X going up on a jack? It happens to the best of them.

Now that it's up, and this isn't exactly a pro shop (we were lucky to find a floor jack), maybe we should have a jack stand. Can't use the cooler because we're going to need what's in that later. A big tire carcass works; just make sure what's in it before you start to roll it. We were lucky, it was only rainwater, but you never know.

Of course that strap isn't supposed to be hanging like that; it's supposed to be holding up the tank. Two out of three came loose and had to be put back in position.

Using our most sophisticated hand tools, we bent and tried to match the gas tank straps to (obviously) the gas tank. We managed to get it right at least for a couple of hundred more miles.

This is a farm road in the middle of America. We didn't pick it; it picked us. A railroad crossing dislodged our gas tank straps again only this time it was "flatbed city" and into a shop for some major beating and repairing. Fortunately that lasted until we got to Columbus, OH, and did a permanent fix. Pretty place to stop, though.

As we said, you can draw a crowd with Project X almost anywhere. Even a local kitten came out and hung around until the tow truck got there. Then it was time for the nearby cornfield and some "mousing."

In Columbus, OH, Autostar's hometown and home track, we lined up Project X at the Danchuk booth and had trouble getting out of the car with people standing at the door.

Here's a good example of admirers standing at the door of Project X. Of course it looks as good inside as out (well, almost).

X isn't the only car with history at Super Chevy Shows. Tom McEwen's Funny Car from the '70s has been restored and looks great. For lots of fans it brought back fond memories of early Funny Car days.

X isn't even the only yellow car to draw lots of attention.

Here are some fine examples from the Columbus show.

It's dark when we leave the track. Drag racers fight it out until the last "win light" and then come to collect their checks, trophies, jackets, and photos. Sometimes we even have the X machine standing by.

The "gunsights" on the hoods of '57s might be a trademark of that year Chevy, but we found ourselves looking at some very impressive versions on this machine during our jaunt from Chicago to Columbus.


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