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No, I have not watched that yet. But I definitely will - thanks for sharing it!

Still nothing happening with the Avanti - work and weather are conspiring to keep me away from the storage unit. But I shall return! (to working on the old car)

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Well, rocktown, I finally made it through the youtube video that you linked about the Avanti. I guess all things have their time, then they just fade away. Of all the iterations of the model, my favorite is the 1963 R2. Just my personal preference. I love the car - sure glad I scored one!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally, a couple of days strung together with temps in the 50's. Something I can work with - I have abandoned the project of removing the newly chromed rear bumper and sticking the original one on for awhile. The newly re-chromed one is 99 percent perfect and has just the issue on the right end. Fits in with all the rest of the little issues - perfect for a driver. So, the car has been sitting in her little storage unit with barely any attention paid to it while I fight the daily fight of trudging through the woods all loaded up with equipment. Cold, windy, snowy, we've had it all this winter. So I was more than ready to get things going again - a couple of weeks ago I managed to make it by the unit and partially install the antenna. Partially because I haven't attached the grounding strap yet. But it turned out OK - I'll attach the strap soon.

Yesterday I stopped by the storage place and considered starting the old girl, but instead I shoveled the snow away from the door. And fiddled around with the antenna a little more. Today, I couldn't stand it anymore so I headed back over there - the doorway was all clear and dry because of my snow removal efforts yesterday. It's been quite awhile since the old rocket has been started, so I pulled the survey truck up close and hooked up a set of jumper cables. I let the truck idle for a couple of minutes while I checked the oil in the Avanti - then I hopped in and cranked her. She liked the extra boost from her survey truck friend - soon she fired up. I always love that sound - the sound of raw power coming to life!

And in what has become routine in this lovely winter, I pulled the car out and turned it around, letting the exhaust face out the door. And that's as far as we drove - just idled and some vroom, vroom again. But the day is approaching - that wonderful day when I can take the old rocket ship out and let her run! A little video link below - she's ready to go!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/79664412@N04/12666893694/

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  • 3 weeks later...

I figured I should check in before Avanti Rescue disappears from the list of threads. It's been a long, arduous winter, a winter of our discontent, if you will. No fun to speak of with the Avanti, other than a couple of short visits to fire her up and rev the engine a little. But today signaled a return to the old days somewhat, we will see if the weather holds and we can once again see some progress on the old car. Ignoring the lost hour of time last night I went to the storage unit this morning, just like old times, and opened the old car up. I hooked up the battery booster box and let it stay on for ten minutes or so while I checked the oil, added a little, and loaded up the tool bag and other necessaries into the car. I hopped in and cranked the motor - she fired in about ten seconds and it seemed just like old times. Soon we were headed to the gas station, where the old girl got half a can of Seafoam and 6 or so gallons of premium.

After that we were ready to hit the road, and that's what we did. And yes, it was just like old times, rumbling down the highway with the engine humming and the supercharger whistling. We logged 50 miles that went by too quickly, the car ran like the champ she is, and we even got a couple of thumbs up. Not a bad return to normalcy - let's see if we can hold it.

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I'm jealous!! We had a wonderfully sunny day today but it was only mid-30's and snow still on the ground. Besides both front seats are out of the Avanti and in the basement still, would be really hard to drive the old girl..... just has been too persistently cold to even get much done in the basement shop at 45 or so. Hopefully we break out into spring after the storm at mid-week! Our traditional pattern is one last big storm in mid- March and then some cool wet weather as spring wakes up.

I did finally find a gear to remake the windshield crank mechanism for the 1931 Hupp and that project is progressing. Also sent the last markups/changes to LA for the windshield weather strip for that car, will talk to them this week. I know what I want to do with re-upholstering the Avanti's driver seat- now it is finding the money and convincing the dealer to sell me material for only one seat. So I guess I have been doing some but spring fever is creeping in so, like I said-

I AM JEALOUS CHRIS!!

- Bill

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Hey John! It's good to be back! Let's hope we can keep moving in a warm, dry direction and put this dreaded mess of a winter behind us. I have lots that I want to do on the old car - time and energy supply will dictate what happens though. And after reading Greg's report on your thread - I completely forgot about York! Ain't that a kick in the head!

Bill - I don't blame you for being jealous - last weekend I saw a '57 Chevy and a '64 Malibu SS out and about and I felt the very same way! And yesterday, as I was cruising around, I saw another '57 Chevy. So they're coming out of the woodwork - undoubtedly suffering from the same withdrawal symptoms as the rest of us.

And Paul, if Mr. Tennyson had driven some of these cool cars he may have changed his verse to just what you have written! Ha!

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Here it is 5 months later and I still don't have the headlight covers back on the car from the paint job. I resolved to attack that next, if the weather cooperates. A while back I was looking at the chrome plated rings that hold the glass in place - I was surprised to see that one of them had a crack at one of the mounting holes. Split all the way through. And since the reproductions are 140 bucks each (!) I decided that the old ones are gonna have to do. So tonight I fetched the JB Weld and glued the crack together. Let's see if it holds.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's Saturday annnnnnd, it's raining. Snow, rain, wind, brutal cold, polar vortexes, you name it, we've had it this winter. Who knew we would be treated to such a fine winter season. Couple that with me carrying the load in the field and I am one worn down puppy. But, I continue to hope things will level out and I can have some Avanti fun again. Last week, on a Friday, I was able to drop by the storage unit and fire the old girl up - and actually hit the road for a bit. It was great to be cruising again - just made me want to hit the road more often. First I want to get the pieces back on that make the car complete after painting. Starting with the headlight covers. As you may remember last time I posted (yah, it's been too long), I glued the headlight cover ring back together with JB Weld. That fix held pretty well. Last week, when I drove the car, i was looking over the headlight areas and noticed that the painter missed a little area. Maaco, you know. I could take it back and have them touch it up, but then I would probably have to leave it for a couple of days, get a ride, etc. So, I ordered a can of touch up spray paint and some clear coat. Just to cover the little missed areas in the headlight recesses. Should be interesting to see how that goes.

Tonight, I cleaned up the glass covers and put the rubber gaskets on - in preparation for the final re-install. Slow progress....

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Weekend is over and dry, warmer weather has returned. Thanks, Mother Nature - just in time to go back to work! Speaking of, while I was at work late this afternoon I got a text from my better half letting me know that my touch up paint had arrived. So, with a little better weather arriving and a package landing on the stoop, I'm starting to get a little excited about possibly getting back to the Avanti fun and getting some more stuff done.

After I got home this evening I checked out the paint - I got the base coat and clear coat cans. They include a test card to lay some paint on and then compare the match before you spray some on the car, then get mad that it doesn't match. I sprayed the card with a few coats of the base coat, waited half an hour, then sprayed the clear coat. Looks a bit more silver that the car, but that color is tricky - when I was there last week and brought the car out into the cloudy day it looked silver. In bright sun it looks gold/silver. A really cool color on that car, I think. If things go well I will go by the storage unit tomorrow and check the match. I'm not terribly concerned about an exact match, as I am not trying to blend in a repaired panel or something like that. I'm just touching up a couple of areas in the headlight recesses that were lightly covered in the paint booth. I will also use that paint for under the hood painting - it should be fine for that stuff.

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Hey Chris, good to have you back "reporting" ! If anyone says anything about the shade of the paint being a bit more silver, you have a couple of great excuses to use : 1. Yeah, the silver surround makes the headlights reflect brighter, and 2. Yeah, the factory painted them all a bit brighter under the hood to help us see better and to reflect the chrome engine bits better..... see ? Hope the headlight glass installation goes well - - do be carefull, mine seemed to not fit as well as they did before I took them out for the repaint, and we'll not mention the "light" rear-ender I did that ended their glassy life, ha !

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Hi John Byrd! Good to be back - I hope I'm able to keep a string going (get it? Thread? String?) Ah well, looks like I won't have to tell any stories about the paint matching - the touch up paint matches very nicely! I went by the storage unit today at lunchtime and checked the match. Pretty darn good! Now I just have to squeeze some time into the schedule and get to it. I really want to get the headlight covers on, along with the other bits and pieces so I can start planning for the next item on the list. Speaking of headlight covers, I do think about the fragility of those things, but I also figure if they made it 50 years they'll make it a few more. Maybe? Well, actually, as I was cleaning the covers the other day I noticed that the left side cover was in much better condition than the right side cover. Meaning it had been replaced. Ah, I remembered, the car had a little boo boo on the left side, the repair of which is visible underneath, somewhat. So, I guess the right side made it 50 years, but the left took a hit. All in all, as I walked around the car today, she's looking pretty good. Not a show car, but a pretty nice driver.

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Chris, good to see you making some progress on the Avanti! Life has a way of getting in the way of car fun, doesn't it!!

Me, I only seem to get about 4 hours a week in on car stuff...... :(. Hoping that will change with retirement looming on the horizon, but then I talk to folks who say they are busier once they retired than when they were working. Oh well.

I need to wash off the '54 Studebaker and go for a ride this weekend, to put me back in the proper frame of mind! ;)

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Hi Paul! So true about life getting in the way of car fun :(. If I'm not working out in the woods far from the storage unit it's snowing or raining. Jeez, can't catch a break here. I was going to go to the storage unit today to spray some touch up paint in the headlight recesses, but it's still a bit cool and windy too. So I'm going to try for tomorrow with the paint - after I take the old rocket out for a run first of course!

I saw a guy in a '63 Corvette split window coupe out for a drive today - of course I was envious. I hope you get the '54 out tomorrow - let's take back the roads!

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It is Sunday, April 6, and the weather wasn't too bad. Could it be that spring is upon us? Or will it be snowing later this week? In any case, today was nice so I took advantage of it and headed over to the storage unit this afternoon (too cold this morning) and fired the old car up. I headed out for a short ride and all I can say is, Halleluyah (or however you spell it) for spring and summer coming our way! Make note of the previous comment so you can hold it against me later in the year when I am bemoaning having to work out in 100 degree weather :)

After the ride I got the headlight recesses ready for some touch up paint. I wiped the areas down with grease remover, then scuffed them up with some sandpaper. After another wipe down I masked everything up and sprayed the base coat. While waiting for that to dry I fooled around with the "Supercharged" emblems. Some time ago I tried to attach the new emblems I purchased, but since they were reproductions they didn't fit too well. Today, since I had some time to kill, I filed the mounting posts and bent them this way and that until the emblems fit nicely. I thought I would leave them until I found my Gorilla Glue epoxy, but then I spied some Krazy Glue in my trunk. So I glued the emblems fast, then got back to the headlight areas, spraying the clear coat on. All in all, things turned out pretty fair - another couple of steps forward. And a nice drive on a nice day too!

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Chris and all other Avanti drivers- I need some opinions on tires please. I have always had Firestone 670-15 bias ply tires on my Avanti. I now have some serious sidewall cracks and want to replace them before going to Maine in June. With all original suspension, rims, etc. does anyone have experience with a switch to radials? Coker site suggests a 205/75R15 and the American Classic 1" whitewall would be my choice from their offering. A few things concern me on spec: (bias/radial)

tread width 4.50" v 5.68"

cross section 7.01" v 8.30"

OD 28.58" v 27.00"

rim size 4.50-5.00" v 5.50-7.00"

The tread width jumps out. The Avanti with it's infamous understeer and foward weight ratio is already a slight steering load at low speed. How much heavier will the steering feel?

The OD being smaller on a radial - will affect my speedometer of course but what about revs on bearings, etc.

A biggie with the rim size!- my original rims would be way small for the radial per their numbers. Is this true and too undersize?

I have thought of this before but never got into it seriously but the time has come to change them anyways. I have a erad a lot where people switch and have no issues on many different cars but now I am not sure which way to go. I would like to decide and get them at Spring Carlisle if I can. Any thoughts?

In the meantime I got material from TN and the one seat is in the shop of an old friend who has done great upholstery for decades. I am happy with that as I did not want to do the whole interior and I know it will be a big improvement. The material is NOS Studebaker but the TN guy has a great repro I will get some day when I can afford it and the whole car needs to be done. Right now the other seats are phenomenal for original condition. I am also progressing on the floor repair- cleaned up things last weekend and made up my patch panel. I hope to install it this weekend since the weather will be 70's warm both days. See the pictures for the damage I am working on, driver's seat inner rear floor by seat bolt.

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Bill

First I enjoy the Avanti episodes you all are having ,a frend of mine had a new one and now one of my neighbors owns it.

Now for the tire question when I changed to radial on my 53 chevy the recommended size was about an inch smaller od then the original which was not to my likeing so I went to the local tire shop and found a radial tire that was the same od and slightly wider, they work just fine.

Now for the bad part the spare does not fit the tire tub in the trunk I will make the tub wider about 3/4 inch.

Al

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Hey Bill - glad to hear you are thawing out from the hard winter! Looks like a good job on the floor patch too! About the tires - I took my advice from Dave Tbow, who told me that the stock Avanti wheels are too narrow for modern radials. Also, he said the original wheels were not designed for radials (as they didn't exist at that time), therefore the wheels would flex too much due to the better grip of the radials. And your hubcaps would spring off and roll out into the woods, or oncoming cars, etc. Some people do not agree with that, but I wanted a modern, wider wheel anyway so I went with a 6" wide wheel. I will have to check, as memory fails me at the moment, but I believe I put on a set of 225/70/15 (or 235/70/15) tires. I went with the tire that most closely matched the outside diameter of the original tires on the Avanti. And they are wider - provides a much better look (in my opinion) than the "ice skates" that Dave Tbow calls the narrow originals. And my Avanti cruises down the road just as nice and comfortable as can be. So I am happy - but you may want a more original look and feel. All depends on what "floats your boat".

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Bill, I put American Classic radials on my 63 R2. Bought them from Universal Tire in Hershey, PA. Used the original Avanti rims. They have been excellent the past three years. Nice ride quality and no performance issues. I have not had any issues with either the rims or the hub caps coming off. And to me, they have the right look. Here are a couple of pics as they came out of the mounting shop.

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Thanks for the input on the tires. I still have a week or so to decide. Part of my problem is that I am a stickler for original and on this car it is hard to not be. I have the original window sticker my father peeled off and it says he paid extra for the Firestone 670-15's. Kinda hard to argue with if you show the sticker- and I do sometimes just for fun, it is laminated and I put it right back in the quarter window so people can see it.

On the great news side I got a call from the upholstery friend yesterday and went and picked up the seat at lunch today. He did it in about a day and it looks awesome!! It is a little loose in spots but he says it will tighten up some in use. He has been doing upholstery since I have known him (30+ years) and he still does really good work at good prices. Fascinating guy- does restoration, rods, built a mahogany boat that has won a million shows, never married and enjoys the heck out of life. Used to have an L29 Cord, just finished a frame off on a 53 MG for a customer, went to Charlotte last week from here in upstate, has a Cameo pickup that does flames, and did my seat in a day before two cars rolled in today for work.

I hope to get the floor patch done this weekend and be driving the Avanti by next weekend, we'll see-

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Hey Bill - I did a bit of research before I decided on what to do with the tires. I talked to Dave Tbow, talked to the local tire shop owner, Donnie Weber, who was a wealth of knowledge and advice. My situation was that at least two of my wheels were so rusty as to be unsafe. So it was an easy decision to go with four new rims. And for the size tire I wanted, Donnie Weber showed me in the tire catalog the recommended wheel width, which was 6". It all came together after that. Sounds like you want to stick to original as close as possible, but you'll be hard pressed to find a radial in the width of the original Avanti tires. As Donnie and his counter/shop guys said, the only radial made in that width is a Volkswagen tire, and they don't have the load rating that the Avanti would require. Good luck in any case - keep us posted on what you end up doing. And your friend sounds like quite the guy. Living large - staying busy and enjoying life. Good for him!

So, in the last few weeks I have been trying to get the headlight covers ready to go back on the Avanti. A couple of weeks ago I pulled the rubber gaskets off the plastic lenses and put them on the glass covers. Then I got to thinking (uh oh) about the possibility of the glass ones getting broken. So I waffled back and forth and asked a couple of people and checked some threads on the matter. Today, I finally got the mounting screws for the retainer rings, so I am ready to reinstall the headlight covers tomorrow morning. I asked one final person what they would do. My wife. Without hesitation she reminded me that one of the glass fog light lenses on her '03 Acura TL got broken by a kicked up rock. Twice. At $200+ dollars each time. Made the decision easy - I stuck the gaskets back on the plastic covers and they will go back on tomorrow. Since the glass covers are hard to find, and quite expensive when you do find them, I think I will keep them in the museum for the time being.

I also have been looking at the windshield washer nozzle, mine isn't too bad for a driver, but the feeder tube on the underside is broken off. I'm not sure if I can get another - maybe I can fix it if not.

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Sunday, April 13, and Spring is here. I think. Supposed to get cold later this week, but I took today's warm weather and ran with it. I headed over to the storage unit early this morning. I got right into it, re-installing the headlight covers. I started with the right side - the chrome ring wasn't fitting too snugly, so I began to "adjust" it a tad. Snap! Whoops! The top portion of the ring snapped right off at each mounting hole! Dang pot metal! :mad: I continued with the installation, then put the left side cover on. I put some Krazy Glue on the right side ring where the breaks were, then gently tightened the screws down. I added a piece of masking tape to hold the portion of the ring in place while I drove it. I guess I'll have to look into some of those new, pricey units out there - bite the bullet time, I suppose.

Before hitting the road I remembered that the antenna I recently installed did not have a screw and nut in the grounding strap, so I took care of that. The original grounding strip that runs from the ground on the antenna, down the wheel well to the trunk floor, then along the trunk floor to a body bolt melted away a long time ago, a victim of the ugly rust monster. So, the ground strap that I connected doesn't ground anything, it just adds a little bit of stability to the antenna. The radio doesn't work at the moment - bigger fish remain to fry, so I will leave the grounding of the antenna for a later time.

I hopped in and cranked her a couple of times and she fired! Hmmm, I'm not the only one who likes this warmer weather. I headed to the local gas station and got a few gallons of gas, then headed out for a long ride. I logged about 60 miles and she ran like a champ - steady, powerful rumbling down the road - a terrific run.

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Edited by SeventhSon (see edit history)
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Hi John - yeah, I was aware of the L and R designations on the rings. It was on the correct side, just seemed a bit misshapen. And then broken - ha, not a big deal, as the 51 year old ring had seen better days. The pot metal was due to break, all brittle - it broke at its weakest spots, the screw holes. Remember, I discovered the left ring had snapped at a screw hole and I don't even know how that one broke. I fixed it with JB Weld - something I considered with the right ring, but they have seen their day - time for a new set.

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Chris, while mine are not broken, they have seen better days. They do not fit very well either. I will be anxious to see how your new ones look and fit. Then maybe I will spring for them too. You are the guinea pig.

Drove Greg's hopped up maroon Avanti yesterday. The monster scared me to death. Greg put his foot into it, and it just leaped straight up and took off like a rocket. I thought "I am going to die". That is one hot machine. And he has taller gears in the rear end so he can cruise at lower rpm. Made it a bit more difficult for me to start off from a stop. He kept telling me to "keep those revs up!" The Jaguar is a much tamer machine too.

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Well, I am not sure I am supposed to get the Avanti fixed up at this point. Sunday I tried to stop the radial arm saw with my left hand as it was spinning down and the saw won. At the expense of a serious cut to of my left middle knuckle of course. Slowed me down for the rest of the 80 degree day where fiberglass resin would have set up nice..... No stitches but today the hand is infected and we got antibiotics and a tetanus shot. Man I hate shots! Drawwing the blood test almost stopped me from getting married thirty years ago....

Woke up this morning to a covering of snow and 25 degrees and tonite we will get back to 20 I guess. Can all you Southerners please each mail a small bit of springtime to upstate New York? I'll pay the postage!

I have had to play clean handed this week so not much getting done in the shop anyways, maybe this weekend! The floor patch is almost done and ready to rivet in so one warmer day could get me there!

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Sorry to hear about your accident, Bill. Gotta watch those power tools! We would send you some Spring, but ours has gone and hid again. No snow, but dipping below freezing at night. OK Winter, you've worn out your welcome - now GIT!!

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As fast as things go bad they turn around too! The finger is now just a huge nuisance- never realize how much you use, hit and twist a finger on your off hand until you hurt it....

I came home from work today to mid-seventies so I had to get some shop time in. Called a friend over and we got the floor patch all in and riveted. Now just one more warm day and it will be fiberglassed over and the seats can go back in. Next is charge the battery and then DRIVE TIME! Except this weekend is Carlisle and next one is Rhinebeck. I am scheduled for both at this point but only as Saturday trips.

Speaking of Carlisle I am getting all four tires I guess. I checked them quick last Saturday and thought about only two had enough dry rot sidewall cracking to need immediate replacement but a closer inspection tonite shows some sidewall cracking on all four. Since I do not want any trouble in June in Maine I will bite the bullet and get a set. I think they will be the original bias ply as I am still not sure about how under width my rims are but I will talk to the guys in the booth there. The sub radials are cheaper and probably handle a lot better but I just don't feel right about the 1.5 smaller than suggested rim width- seems like a lot that might change the radial performance or wear. Below are pics of the floor patch and the new seat bottom- both will be great improvements!

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Bill,

Sorry to learn of your new saw-blade-stopper!

You're not supposed to get blood all over an Avanti --- c'mon down here and enjoy our 75 - 80 degrees and crystal clear skies --

Driving to a seafood restaurant and Destrehan Plantation this sunday --- miss you and Linda -- maybe a visit after the Buffalo Meet late May?

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Hey Bill! Hope you're healing up - you're right, fingers are really handy things to have around and you realize that when one or more are hurtin'!

Looks like you are getting things together on the Avanti - myself, I broke down and ordered the headlight cover rings. Unfortunately they were shipped to the address of the shop that worked on my Avanti (2 years ago!) and that shop has moved to another location. So now my expensive rings are out there somewhere in limbo. Hopefully it will get straightened out today.

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You are correct about being concerned over the rim width. I had radials with the original rims and then with 6" Ford rims. The tires on the original rims were visibly pinched and the contact patch was not as wide as it should be. I had a constant issue with hubcaps moving and had to run only 22 lbs of pressure in the rear tires to alleviate a very noticeable twitchiness in the rear. Mind you my car had an entirely refurbished rear suspension, leaf springs, bushings, and quality shocks.

Once I went the wider rim the hubcaps stayed in place, less strain on the rim so less flexing, and I could run 26 lbs of air in the rear. The car just didn't like a lot of air pressure in the rear and I experimented a lot with different tire pressures.

With the P215 radials and 6" rims it still had a tall 60's style tire look. If you aren't running 6.70 bias ply there's no reason to run the original rims since originality went away with the tires.

As fast as things go bad they turn around too! The finger is now just a huge nuisance- never realize how much you use, hit and twist a finger on your off hand until you hurt it....

I came home from work today to mid-seventies so I had to get some shop time in. Called a friend over and we got the floor patch all in and riveted. Now just one more warm day and it will be fiberglassed over and the seats can go back in. Next is charge the battery and then DRIVE TIME! Except this weekend is Carlisle and next one is Rhinebeck. I am scheduled for both at this point but only as Saturday trips.

Speaking of Carlisle I am getting all four tires I guess. I checked them quick last Saturday and thought about only two had enough dry rot sidewall cracking to need immediate replacement but a closer inspection tonite shows some sidewall cracking on all four. Since I do not want any trouble in June in Maine I will bite the bullet and get a set. I think they will be the original bias ply as I am still not sure about how under width my rims are but I will talk to the guys in the booth there. The sub radials are cheaper and probably handle a lot better but I just don't feel right about the 1.5 smaller than suggested rim width- seems like a lot that might change the radial performance or wear. Below are pics of the floor patch and the new seat bottom- both will be great improvements!

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Yay! My chrome rings showed up tonight! After a quick call last night to Dave Tbow the package was re-routed (only the sender can re-route, as I understand it) and arrived on my doorstep this evening. Pretty nice little chrome rings - I believe it was Dave who got the things reproduced. Bottom line, they are much better than the ones I have. I wonder though, could I fix mine and have them re-chromed? I doubt it - I'm sure I'll be quite happy with the new ones once they are on the car. We'll see this week!

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Thanks Ernie, John and all who spoke up on the tires, that is why this forum is fun and good to have! Like I said I am pretty sure of the path forward since I value original highly and I think I got most of the speed bug out of my system- LOL. I rarely do the speed limit when modern but I do not drive the old iron hard anymore so the only thing to miss is the improved handling of the radials.

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I headed over to the storage unit today at lunch to see how the new headlight rings look. I removed the old right side ring first (you can see it below, in two pieces) and installed the new ring. Fits pretty good - there is one spot where the rubber gasket lifts up a tad, and despite the temptation to "adjust" the ring, I did not. I don't care what it looks like - I'm not gonna break the new ring! The left one went on straightaway, and looked nice. Not perfect, but, once again, it's STAYING THE WAY IT IS. ;)

All in all, the new rings really make the new paint "pop", I think. It was worth the expense to provide a "finished" look to the front end and not have the beat up old rings on there. I'm glad I got them. I didn't drive the old car, the suburban frenzy was just too much to expose her to - I'll plan on taking her out on Sunday when things are (hopefully) calmer. I hope to wash the car that day too - she's getting mighty dirty in her stall.

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It's Sunday, so it must be Avanti day! I headed over to the storage unit early this morning, added a little oil and fired her up. I headed right back from where I had just come - home, so I could give the new paint its first wash job. First, since I had her in the garage, I decided to install the old windshield washer nozzle. I asked Dave Tbow a couple of weeks ago if he stocked such an item and I was surprised when he said yes. He said they had them reproduced - but I was kind of disappointed when I found out they were $70. I told him I would have to wait til Christmas for that item, as I was already raiding the piggy bank to get the headlight cover rings. So, the old nozzle went back on today, not usable because of the broken feeder tube (pictured below, still stuck in the tubing that supplies the windshield washer fluid). It's not usable anyway, as I don't have the windshield washer bag and assorted items that make it all work. So, that's something for the future - always something to do to one of these old cars.

After putting the cowl vent cover back in place I gave the old car a wash - it really needed it. A couple of neighbors stopped by and gave their approval of how the old girl is coming along. I was concerned about leaks, so after washing the car I had a look around. Hmmm, the driver's seat got some water on it from the tattered side window gasket. There was a couple of tiny drops of water at the bottom of the rear window on the package shelf. No water appeared to come in around the windshield, the trunk stayed dry too. The left headlight cover seemed leakproof, but the right side fogged up a bit. Oh well, it'll dry (it was pretty clear by the time we got back to the storage unit).

After washing and drying there was nothing left to do but drive! So we did - here and there we went, it's probably just my imagination, but I always think a car runs better when it's just been washed. Whatever the reason, the old rocket was running top notch, just rumbling along, happy as could be. I hated to take it back and park it - oh well, more fun to come in the weeks ahead. I took a couple of pics of the shiny clean car - looking good!

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