Here on the east coast, this is the time of the year when many of us begin to get a little “skip in our step”. For most, this is due to the first glimpses of warm weather and the hope for all things great about spring and summer. For fellow car enthusiasts it is the thought of being able to finally dig your favorite “summer ride” out of storage and begin to enjoy it again.
Personally, I don’t have a million dollar restored classic (though I have grand dreams about owning a restored Porsche 356 in Ponyantha Red someday when I hit the lottery), but I still partake in this routine with some of my “Patina Queen” Volkswagens. My trusty summer car to cruise to the local GTG’s and shows is a 1977 Scirocco. This car was rescued from the “ghetto” in Brooklyn,NY of all places. Even though it had relatively low miles when I found it (only 77k!), it had lived a hard life the past 5+ years. But regardless, I still get excited at the thought of being able to cruise around with the windows down in one of my “Summer Cars”. The 0nly thing I dread a little is all of the hand polishing of the chrome and polished bits I have on the 77. I know Autosol will be my best friend one Sunday afternoon very soon!
Another thing I’ve found is that with the hint of warmer weather coming up, a lot of stalled projects get a much needed jump-start from this inspirational warm weather. I personally am very guilty of letting the cold, snowy weather get me down. Instead of tinkering with projects I tend to hide inside away from the cold. Now that it is starting to get a bit warm, I find myself exceedingly excited to start getting major progress done on one of my dozens of major projects. I seem to have a vehicle at close to every stage of the restoration process these days. First I have my convertible project that is in the major rust removal and panel replacement stage. If you find that we are out of Rust Converter, Rust Encapsulator and PRE next week you know who is to blame! Not to mention my 76 rabbit that is a shiny bare shell (I’ll be firing up the Powder Coating Gun and oven real soon!); to my recent Rabbit Pickup acquisition that has yet to be started (already picked out our Euro Racing Green to repaint it with). I sure know a good chunk of my paychecks this spring are going right back into Eastwood for supplies! (the horrible downfall of working in the industry of something you love!)
The last of my favorite early spring routines is to go on the hunt for “field/barn finds”. Early spring and late fall are the best for this activity. You can even kill two birds with one stone (honey I’m just going to fill the car up with gas before the cruise this weekend, be back soon!”) and drive your recently-uncovered summer ride on these exploratory trips. I find that if you go very early in spring you catch many more things you wouldn’t notice or see many other times of the year. The foliage hasn’t begun to grow back on the trees/plants and you can clearly spot those forgotten gems tucked away in back yards, fields, or woods with ease. The other nice thing is the age old routine of “spring cleaning”, people tend to have their barns and garage doors open while cleaning and you might spot that classic tucked away in a barn underneath piles of “junk”. I have spotted and pulled a handful of cars out of barns/yards just from this exact method (calling some of them “gems” is a far stretch I’m afraid though).
So whatever your favorite spring routine is, make sure you get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. I know after this long, hard winter we had here on the east coast, I’m not wasting a single sunny day!