Sunday, June 7, 2020

Taking the sea-nic route with a 1966 Deville Convertible,

If there's one thing I'd like to do in my lifetime, is to create an unrivaled lega-sea of vehicles to drive cross country. Most of which, have absolutely no business making a journey at the most inopportune time of year.  Enough of the yacht puns...So this time around, a 1966 Cadillac Deville Convertible in ULTRA rare mist blue. I was to drive it from Chicago, pick up a rogue Canadian, a hot rodding mullet from Las Vegas, and a meat eating vegetarian from Kansas City, MO and proceed to drive to Las Vegas. Mind you, through the Rockies in the dead of winter.... this was all to take place over the course of 3 days. 

So here's what I'm starting with, a flying car. 

First order of business, replace the shocks. While the car rode like a Cadillac should, there's no replacement for a proper functioning shock. Removed the OG Pleasurizer shocks in favor of some new OEM shocks. The pleasurizer's will definitely be a display piece in the shop though. 

Precarious positioning

One of my first orders of business was sorting out a non operating alternator. The system has a brand new alternator on it, which I've installed as pre-trip preemptive maintenance, but the system runs on an external voltage regulator. 

As we see here, the field coil had absolutely disintegrated with age. The system has a solid state regulator installed and operates wonderfully. 

While this next picture is seemingly of a stack of tires, what it isn't showing is the logistical nightmare that happened with (insert name here)  tires. I had a set of tires arrive DELAMINATED after a 3 week wait for a 4" whitewall. I refused the delivery and had to immediately find a set of whitewalls to install on the Caddy's wheels. I had to settle for and overnight a set of 3" Cooper's to go not the car. Ultimately it proved to be a good move, for some reason these are the greatest snow tires humanity has ever created. 

With tires sorted, attention moved to the trunk area. While there was no rust and the original metal was in great shape, we elected to bedline it for durability. 

Some neatly cut matting glued in place to leave the trunk in nice presentable shape 

The whitewalls installed 

The whitewalls installed the afternoon before leaving. Looks like we'll make it just in time

Classic sound radio to go in 

but first, 

The entire dash had to be removed as the car tried to light itself on fire THE EVE OF LEAVING FOR THE TRIP. I spent the entire night, rewiring the entire under dash area in the car. The harness melted from rubbing through it's insulation onto the metal frame of the dash. Mind you, this is an unmolested original vehicle that's never had it's dash touched. Just unfortunate timing and I'm glad it happened in the shop, not 3000 miles from home. 

I had an alarm set for the next morning at 7am as I was planning on leaving at that time regardless. At 7am my alarm rang and the final screw was placed in the dash. Time to go. 

Heading back home to take a shower after 24 hours of work. Little would I know, I'd be awake for another 16 while making my journey south. 

Later that day: finally crossing the a 1966 Caddy Deville. 

While entering into Iowa, I noticed the alternator light glowing very dimly. Great, I thought, I either blew out a regulator, a belt, or the alternator took a dive. Fortunately, or unfortunately, it was none of the above. A bolt holding the alternator to the engine block had sheared clean off and left my alternator dangling in the engine bay. I managed to limp it to the World's Largest Truck Stop and made an attempt to jerry rig the alternator back in place. Unfortunately the bolt was broken off in the block and there was no way for me to get it. 

After looking around for about 45 minutes, I noticed the semi truck service station was I drove the caddy in there, hoping for a miracle. 

BOY did I get it. Had a tech come out who had a Caddy himself, they fixed the problem and sent me on my way for the cost of the bolt they put in..... small town America baby, gotta love it! 

After the debacle in Iowa, finally made it into Missouri. What should've taken 7 hours from Chicago to KC, took the better part of 12. 

Made for some good rest area pictures though!

After picking up the crew, I hauled ass to try and make it into Colorado. We made it to Burlington CO before my body couldn't handle it any longer. 

Got up bright and early the next morning and made a point to head into Montrose Colorado. 

Ended up taking route 50 over the Monarch pass, a usual for me when I'm passing through this area of the United States. 

The route snakes along along a river, passes the Gunnison River and the Blue Mesa reservoir. 

None of which we could see because another bolt broke off the alternator. This time around, we ended up fixing it by removing bolts from the AC compressor and threading them into the block to hold the compressor in place. 

Drove through a snow storm over Monarch pass. The Cooper classic whitewalls are the ultimate snow tire. Absolutely no slipping whatsoever, was incredible to pass a F150 on snow chains. 

Common occurrence on this trip, could only drive 180-200 miles per tank before having to stop to refuel. I don't even want to know how many times I've had to stop to refill. 

Waking up early to make it to a cafe in Montrose CO and get moving down to Vegas. Taking the million dollar highway and cutting over through NM into NV. 

Had to visit the black canyon before leaving 

An old fisherman's tale for bad luck involved having a banana on the boat. I've had so much bad luck on this trip with the alternator falling off and heat being sporadic, I decided to mount a banana to the dash to fend off the bad vibes. 

Car worked flawlessly the rest of the trip, so well in fact that we were able to do some stops for sights. 

met some good pups along the way in Navajoland.

This was somewhere after visiting the 4 corners monument, DOUBLE RAINBOW

She made it to her new home, safe and sound. 

She's right at home 


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