June 11, 2008

Crashwagon: fair condition

The Crashwagon R.I.P. post was haltingly but inevitably forming in my mind about this time 20 days ago. I say haltingly because it wasn’t obvious Sadbearblog material at first; I was unaccustomed to being separated from friends too, and didn’t know how to break the news.

For a day, the Crashwagon had died. The throttle body had sprung a leak, allowing coolant to wash across the engine, and one day it wouldn’t start.

I got word, ironically, while on the road with Katie. My mom asked me to pull off the highway to call her back, then she broke the news. The diagnosis was $500 to $1,000 repair work. Only my family’s personal mechanic spoke on the Crashwagon’s behalf, but all other advice streaming in was advising that I pull the plug.

I took this news hard. We had dumped $800 in for catalectic converters a month prior. The move to Minneapolis was days away.

I spoke a night later with my mother, who gave me until morning to make up my mind. Based on all the advice, I acquiesced. I decided to call it quits with the wagon.

Then Juan, my brother, changed his advice. Having trolled around the Bonneville Club online, he concluded the coolant hadn’t had time to do serious engine damage.

He asked me for the Crashwagon.

So I pitched the idea of a Crashwagon Repair Project to all involved and gave over responsibility to Juan. Now, days after it was towed back to the driveway, the Crashwagon runs. Juan drives it to football practices. He vacuumed the interior and is repairing the side paneling and a host of other dilapidations. Which all keeps hope alive that he and I will be able to parody our favorite Roadmaster video someday soon.

He even ordered a new emblem for the hood.

“That’s going to be pretty sweet,” he said.

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