The joke goes something like “Friends help you move, but real friends help you move bodies.” The reality is that real friends help you build cars. Yeah, I’m sure some of you out there build 100 percent of your cars by yourself, but the rest of us get a helping hand or two from fellow car guys (or gals). Sometimes it’s not even because it’s needed but because hanging out with your friends and slinging wrenches is just a good time.
Other times it’s needed, badly! I had promised SPEC Clutches that I would have our project Track Rat 1968 Camaro ready to display in their booth at the 2016 SEMA Show. Well, 10 days before move-in we finished the 440 LS engine over at Evod Garage in Escondido, California, and bolted it to a dyno. Yep, 10 days. A week before the show I was staring at a rolling shell with no interior, no drivetrain, and no front wheels. So I made some calls and everyone stepped up to help make the deadline. AutoRad Radiators express shipped a radiator, Holley hooked us up with last-minute fuel system parts, and Inland Empire Driveline crafted a driveshaft. There’s a thousand little parts that go into finishing a car that hasn’t been more than a shell in over a decade, but Ed Navarro over at Classic Industries kept taking my phone calls for “that one last part” we needed. Forgeline Motorsports even burned more than a little midnight oil to get us front wheels in just the right offset and Falken Tires found us some hard to locate 315/20/18 RT615K tires. But as much as the companies stepped up to help, my friends were the real stars here. Matt Alcala, Efrain Diaz, and Mike Selvaggio helped nearly every day in the week before SEMA, sometimes until nearly midnight to get the Camaro together for the big show. Jon Lindstrom even drove over from Arizona to do a final polish on the paint he so expertly laid down while Joel Rode spent a whole day working on the fuel system with me. I have a day job and a family so the extra hands made the impossible possible. Two days before move-in the Camaro had a gutted interior, but thanks to TMI, and more friends, it looked ready to go in record time. We were literally assembling the car as it went on the trailer, but the Camaro made it to SEMA and looked damn good. Sure, we still have a host of things to sort out on it, but after a very long journey it’s an actual car again! Thanks in no small part to friends willing to help make it happen.
In the end that’s what this hobby is about. After all, without friends to share the whole experience with this endeavor would be missing a large part of what makes it what it is. So, thanks to all that helped get my girl to the party, and to those that helped you have my number when you need an extra pair of hands to work on your ride.