As 2024 gets rolling…

l want to talk about something that can really be neat if you’re a Car Guy or Car Gal and have a special project vehicle that you’re working on. As a seasoned citizen as Rush Limbaugh used to say, I have several grand kids and several more great grand kids. In early December I happened to ask my 23 year old grandson Austin if he wanted to make a little extra money helping me work on some of my vehicle projects. As it turned out, he was more than willing to help. A few years back, Austin, who had never worked on a car before, helped me switch out the interiors from two 1989 Ford Mustangs. One interior was nice, the V-8 Mustang’s interior was not so nice. I was so impressed with how Austin attacked this complicated conversion process. He watched some YOUTUBE videos and simply dove in and each time he got stumped, he went back to the videos and before long the V-8 Mustang GT had a very nice interior that helped the car sell for a lot more than it would have before the conversion.

So far in the half dozen times that Austin was able to help me in December, we’ve worked on the ‘65 Mustang, the ‘70 Camaro and the 2007 Chevy 2500 pickup. And, just like a few years ago the YOUTUBE videos have helped us on these projects. The ‘65 Mustang has a black top that looks like a vinyl top, but it’s actually a sprayed on bed liner coating. Together, we have removed about half of that thick bed liner. We’re using a heat gun and metal putty knife to strip away the material. We’ll get back to the Mustang, after we finish prepping and then painting the big Chevy truck. In between the Mustang and the truck, Austin basically removed a pair of old and leaking air shocks from the ‘70 Camaro and then installed a pair of new original style rear shocks.

This was another time when the YOUTUBE videos really helped both of us. I’ve done shocks before, but it had been several decades since the last time. Austin simply figures out what to do and just methodically attacks the project. I always stress safety, so before anything under the car was done, we made sure the Camaro was secured with jack stands placed in the proper place. On the Chevy truck, we both did several hours of prep sanding with 220 grit sandpaper. Austin had never done any vehicle masking tape to protect the trim and glass, but again he simply listened to me and watched how I did it. He understood how important it was that the tape be very tight on the surface you were protecting.

I’m happy to report that on the Dec. 16th weekend, we finished the primer painting on the truck and yes we used paint rollers in that process and will most likely use them again after we sand the primer. My goal with the truck is to simply get it fully prepped and painted so it will look better than before.I mentioned working with Austin, because #1 it’s great spending time with him, but it’s he has taken an interest in helping me work on these older vehicles, and obviously he’s gaining experience in doing so. Who knows, maybe Austin will become a young Car Guy in the process??

Jerry Hutchcroft