Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dub Culture

BTW, that "For Sale" sign is covering a hole, not an indication that it's for sale.

So this past weekend, we geared up for another Volkswagen show to try to sell off some of the gems that our dad left behind for us.

We've made out like bandits at the autumn swap meet at "Transporterfest" - a VW show that is geared towards old VW buses and air-cooled models.  This time though it was a show called "The New England Dust-off".  The best part about the show is that it was only 15 miles away, within the mileage restrictions of a AAA tow.   In case the ol' Bus decided to die, AAA could tow us to the show instead of home.  Actually maybe they could tow us to the show, and then a few hours later, tow us back home.  As it turned out the bus ran well and AAA's serviced were not needed.

Well, we did okay.  In past Transporterfest Swap Meets we netted like $400-$800.  Today we only made about $150 after entrance fees and lunch.  Being Earth Day, the Earth decided to say "screw you" to all these cars on asphalt and rained on us.  Not a lot, but enough so to make it chilly and uncomfortable.

After a month of little to no rain,  today was the day that April decided to finally live up to it's reputation.  I was also fighting off a cold so it was a recipe for misery to be honest.  Plus since we got up early, I sorta was half awake when I got dressed.  Somehow I chose a pair of pants that had a huge hole in the nether-regions, so from about a few hours in, I was consciously aware not to turn my back on the customers.  As soon as the rain picked up a little, that was our cue to leave.

Mostly though the patrons of this show were decidedly not the clientele that our "product" was aimed at.   The crowd here was primarily of the water-cooled, front engine VW persuasion.  These guys cruise around in "dubs" or something, whereas I refuse to use that silly lingo (it's a Volkswagen, dammit!).   So yeah, it was a lot of young whipper-snappers with their Fast and Furious Jettas and Audis.  I think we sold more hubcaps and VW insignias to Beastie Boy fans than people who needed them for their vintage air-cooled Beetles.

Come to think of it, The Beasties are seriously old-school even for these guys.  Oh crap, I think I just seriously dated myself, Ms-Grew-Up-In-The-80's. 

The bottom line is that 90% of the stuff we brought with us, went back with us.  Still we impressed them them with the rusty bus with the hideously torn pop-top tent that only keeps out the largest of mosquitoes.

Hopefully the next swap meet will be better.  And we're getting a sense that you can only sell ANY of this stuff if it's in pretty decent shape.   I'm beginning to think that a lot of the junk we got from Dad was just that - junk.   I can't tell you how many times we opened a parts box that Dad had saved to discover - not the new part that was in it,  but the broken part that my dad replaced off a customer's car, saved of course because it was not 100% broken, you know, only like 75% unusable.  Ah, hoarder mentality permeates every thought process, doesn't it?

Plus it seems like a lot of what we have is incredibly common.  We're not talking about rare Bugatti parts of Lanborghini engines here, sadly.  It's pretty clear that most VW bits are available brand new, and with the Bug being the most popular car design in history, probably 11 million of these things were parted out, so that brings down the prices too.

So we may indeed make a scrap run out of the inevitable purge of the unsellable stuff.  Which of course,  as you know I'm going to say it- there's always more.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rock On Gold Rust Women

Well, now that the weather is getting warmer and things are slowly turning green here at the Best Little Hoardhouse in Massachusetts, it's time once again to start ramping up the clean-up job. So today we made, guess what, another iron run.

This time the heavy bit on the bottom was this Saab engine that took a while to muscle into the back of ever-patient Larry the Volvo station waggon; on top of that was the ancient iron dolly-cart it rode in on. That was a bit of a problem, that dolly-cart; it was mostly nothing, but the structure of it was just huge and awkward, and of course still heavy; fitting everything in there for this load required a bit of puzzle-piecing it together. But we got it all in there, eventually.

The rest of the load was made up of some truly hideous jagged bits of rusty rust pulled (and Sawzalled) off of the rotting corpse of Genviève the Citroën; good Gods look at this nasty pile of stuff:

Don't let the heavenly-looking light fool you; this stuff was a clear and present danger, and bad-tempered to boot. But we made it through, thanks to luck and a stout pair of gloves each. Well, not that the gloves necessarily matched each other; I was lucky to find a couple of right ones, though we had about eight left gloves. I don't know where they go; probably a Universe parallel to the ones socks are sent to after being devoured by the washing machine, I imagine.

Here's the backed-out view; as I said, nasty stuff, and hopefully not too much damage to the headliner.

Both pictures by Tara, by the way.

This load came to 760 pounds, with a little aluminum (and everyone's favorite, 'irony aluminum' though don't ask me what's ironic about aluminum, I'm nowhere near hipster enough) and a bit of brass thrown in; that brings our total to 36,640 pounds of iron removed from this place starting about four years ago; or in tons, 18.32; it was our forty-third trip to the scrapyard.

Tara has already talked about this Triumph engine hanging out in the downstairs breezeway, to form the start of another iron run; so that should be happening fairly soon, probably next week, as both Tara and I are busy the rest of the week. Because yes, there is still more. Somehow.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tipping Point

So today was the day of days, O wonder and splendour! Today we passed the half-way mark in the number of cars removed from the yard. Today we got rid of car number fourteen. Rusty be praised.

Well, okay, that's only counting since the beginning of this blog, which we started in June 2010. If we go by the number of cars here in the yard at its worst, we've gotten rid of sixty-six cars, or a good 84.6%, which is pretty damned impressive if you ask me.

Today's sacrifice to the Gods of clean yards was the old brown Saab over by my (poor neglected) vegetable garden. It was, in fact, the old junker under which a certain batch of kittens hid once upon a time; but such sentimental concerns did not save its rusty self from the scrapyard. Mind you, to a hoarder, that would have been a perfectly valid reason to keep it, forever. And you know I'm not kidding.

It was a little tricky to tell just how rusty it was, as the thing had been painted rust-brown to begin with; but I'm pretty sure it was, like almost all the other cars in the yard (including the fiberglass ones), the inevitable rusty hunk of rusty rust.

But it went, and that patch of grass can get started on growing in again. Here's the before:

And the after, yay!

And there it is up on the ramp truck. The guy taking it away, José, gave it the usual dubious look. It is a little surprising he found something solid enough in the front to hook the chain to. But he did, and away it went.

So like I said, that makes fourteen down, with twelve left to go in our Mr. Rusty Jones's countdown. I don't know about you, but I'm thinking that means the single digits are in sight. And that is good news!