Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hangin' Out in Amarillo

Day 6: 242 Miles
Total: 2,154 Miles

 No pictures today. We got up early with the intention of making it to Amarillo in the early afternoon. We were plugging along without event until I pulled over to the side of the road to return a phone call. When the call was finished I went to start the car. Nothing. This was the second time on this trip that the car wouldn't start. The first time it had stalled after being very hot. This time it didn't seem to be the case, yet after 20 minutes I tried it again and it fired right up. So we were on our way again, but with a second apparent problem looming with the '37.

As we got to Amarillo the ambient temperature was in the 90s. I was worried that the car would get very hot. It had already been running 15-20 degrees warmer today, and I knew that once we hit all of the stoplights in Amarillo it was likely to be boiling. It did get quite hot and the car was barely running when we turned the corner to the radiator place. In fact the engine died, and of course it wouldn't start. So four guys helped me push the car into the shop. They spent the next hour and a half looking it over before telling me that they couldn't fix it. The custom radiator, and more importantly, the custom installation was beyond the scope of what they could do. So they gave me the name of a local place called Vintage Autohaus that specializes in restorations of cars like mine.

I called them up and they said they were located about six miles from where I was currently sitting. If I could bring the car to them right then they could take a look at it. I said I would...if the car would start. I held my breath, turned the key...and success! We quickly drove over there, but the route was mostly expressway so there was no issue with heating anyway. The service manager was very knowledgeable and professional. He said they can fix it, but the amount of time it takes is dependent upon how much of the front end of the car they have to remove before being able to remove the radiator.

There was a nearby Courtyard by Marriott hotel so we took the car over to it and checked in, gathering all of our personal things out of it. We then returned it to Vintage Autohaus where they moved it inside and drove us back to the hotel. Sometime Tuesday they will be able to give us an accurate account of the time it will take to repair. It could be as much as three days; one to remove the front end of the car, one to repair the radiator, and one to reinstall everything. So we will rent a car and get to know Amarillo. We got to meet a new route 66 friend named "Crocodile" Lile tonight at the hotel. He is the one I have been talking to over the last few days regarding our car problems. A great guy. He has offered to show us around the area while we wait, so that is the plan. Once we get the car back we will look at our schedule and decide where we go from here. Presumably the car will be fixed, so then it just becomes an issue of timing based on the number of days we have lost. Since we don't have the time to make up for the lost days, we will have to skip major parts of our trip or alter it completely.

The adventure continues.


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