Paid $600 for it in 1981, and drove it out to South Dakota for a summer of Archaeological Fieldwork after Graduation from Uncle Charlie’s Summer Camp – but not before rebuilding the worn-out motor on this Bondo-Bandit – the blow-by was so great you could purposely flick it into neutral and gas it to load the motor with gas, and then drop the clutch to produce big smoky backfires. It kept the old ladies in Cadillacs back a few yards at stoplights. You could also see the road through rust-holes in the floorboard. I filled them with some foamy junk to keep the water out.
On the way to SD it dropped a pushrod and blew a hole in the engine at 4:00 AM on a cold morning while crossing the Continental Divide about 40 miles outside Rawlins Wyoming.
After the tow I worked with Mel at AAJAX Automotive to install a new motor, and lacking funds for labor compensation, I painted a BIG NEW SIGN on the new glass, in his new location – lucky me he’d only been there a few days and needed a sign!
After four days it was done and I drove off – didn’t want to be late for Archaeology class.
From SD I drove her down to a class-reunion in Ohio, and then on to see a friend in Chapel Hill, and out to Ocracoke where I saw mosquitoes the size of birds.
With summer closing I drove north up to stay with a friend in Arlington, where I got day-labor work doing gardening and yard-work with a bunch of recent ex-cons. That was unique…
After more job-hunting I finally landed a skill-set job as a stripper at Harbinger Photographic Services on N-Street in DC.
Stripping that is, assembling negatives into final composite camera-ready artwork – I worked in a darkroom. The real strippers and DC Pros were just down the street. Sometime I’d run across one or two of ’em in a little sandwich shop when I was out getting lunch for the gang. That’s a HARD life and it showed.
Returned to California the following year when the household on Kenmore Street in Arlington disbanded and my sister announced she was getting married.
It’s better to drive cross-country than to hitch-hike – I did that in 1978. Met some very interesting people…
I painted her myself, over time and with many cans of not always matching Krylon, The Egg was originally primer gray, and after a while using un-matching spray-cans to touch-up rust-spots, about four different colors of primer-gray – this was before “Urban Camouflage” was even invented.
She looked like a rolling speed-bump. That’s a kind of dangerous condition for a long, cross-country trip.
I would occasionally get encouraging advice from other East Coast drivers who’d never seen an “Egg” before, (California surfer-lingo for the Ghia) like, “GET A FUCKING PAINT JOB YOU FUCKING FREAK!”
While they’re driving a Ford Mavrick – bwhahahahah — always glad to brighten another’s day!