Friday, September 20, 2013

Origin Story


Unless (or even if) you’re a car enthusiast with very democratic (read: cheap) tastes, you may see a guy with a 30-year old non-running station wagon built by a long-defunct manufacturer, and the thought that might come into your mind is “um… why?”

Why go to the trouble to get it? Why try to restore it? And for the love of Mopar, why put pictures of it on the internet? A couple different people recently have had questions like these. Why did I choose *this* as a project car? Short answer: like a pathetic homeless animal, I didn't choose it, rather it chose me.

But in any case, it seems to be time for a little background before we get back to our regularly scheduled programming. So… ::cue the wavy lines on the screen::

Some time ago (not sure how long), on old friend in Utah found the Eagle for sale near where he lived, and bought it for two purposes: as a second car for the family, and as a way to learn more about car repair and maintenance. But as the saying goes: men plan, and God laughs. Long-story-short, many things happened and the Eagle, with a broken drivetrain, was consigned to a spot on the street near my friend’s house.

Months later I was visiting Utah with Lydia, and we decided to meet said friend and his wife, with their newborn spawn, for some frozen yogurt. I was curious about the Eagle, having seen something about it on Facebook when it was purchased, and so I asked. Somewhat sheepishly, my friend confessed that he had driven the Eagle for only a month or so before grenading the transmission, and that it hadn't been driveable for some time. They had replaced it with a 3-series wagon which a previous owner had lowered for some reason.

As the death (or paralysis) of almost any car is a somber and sensitive thing, condolences were expressed, and the conversation branched off to some other subject. Days later, I was talking with Lydia and said, very tongue-in-cheek, that "Worth and Paige have two station wagons, and we have none. They should give us one, and then it would be fair. I would even take the busted one."

The intended humor was not lost on Lydia, who said, “that’s going on Facebook.” It did, and the owners of the broken Eagle saw it, probably had a brief laugh, and that was it, or so I thought. Weeks later, out of the blue, I got a fateful text message: “Ok, so hey. You want this Eagle or what?”

Many things happened, and a month later I flew to Utah, loaded the Eagle onto a trailer, and it was in my garage a couple of days later. 

And now you know the rest of the story. Although really it's just the beginning, and as Robert Plant put it: "as the Eagle leaves the nest, it's got so far to go."

More details to come.

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