In short, a lot.
You may have noticed that I haven’t written a blog post since April. Much has happened since then.
We got the second load of Porsche 914 parts in May, which I am still working my way through. There are still a few things to retrieve (mostly glass) but, for the most part, it’s in my workshop. I have seats, gauges, interior parts, assorted relays and modules, steering parts, a transmission, and much more. Visit our eBay store to see what we currently have listed. There is more being listed every day.
In June, we got two more goats. Tiara and Thompson were born in March of this year. They are Kinder goats (a cross between pygmy and Nubian goats) and are, of course, extremely adorable. Tiara will be old enough to breed next Fall. Thompson is her brother. We adopted them both so they could pal around together – Goats tend to pair up and we figured it would be good for them to have a similar age/size companion.
July and August brought lots of gardening and outdoor adventures. We even started a new Facebook page to showcase our homestead adventures: https://www.facebook.com/witzendfarm/?fref=ts
Our nearly 1000 square foot garden was planted with mostly tomatoes for canning. This was the first summer that we had the goats, so mowing the yard was just a run of the mill chore, not an all-day project like last year. 2 acres is a LOT to mow and weed eat. When it wasn’t too hot to be at my workshop, we waded our way through Porsche 914 parts, tinkered with our 1985 Mercury Capri, and took in a few valuable consignment items. Our friends at AutoInterests had some assorted Mustang, Taurus SHO, and Jeep parts that they consigned to us to sell. You can find them in our Assorted New and Used Auto Parts category on eBay.
September was warmer than normal, so we enjoyed our swimming through the end of the month, more gardening, canning, and of course, garage time. Around this time, we started expanding our fenced area at home in anticipation of (surprise, surprise!) two more goats. They arrived at our farm a couple of weeks ago. Elliott is a 100% ABGA registered purebred Boer buck and his companion Blondie is a Boer/Alpine cross. He dwarfs all of the other goats at approximately 200#.
That’s our past few months in brief. Here in the next few days, we will be receiving a Ford Escape to look at, plus I have been perusing our collection of automotive magazines and listing them in amongst the other parts. 2016 has been a very productive year for us all around and I hope to continue the trend.
Sometimes, I look around the garage and see (or trip over) stuff that is decidedly not sports car material. WJ Jeep parts. An ATV. Maybe a dirtbike or two. Eclectic collectibles. And more.
In what language does “Sportscar Salvage” translate into “PT Cruiser?”
We definitely speak barter. In dealing with small business owners and others in the community, sometimes cash is at a premium and we get items in exchange for goods or other services. This doesn’t bother me; in fact, sometimes I uncover some real treasure troves in the process. 🙂
I will say, though…Speaking of PT Cruisers, I don’t always encounter rear seats, but when I do, they weigh 100+ pounds. I’m glad I was able to sell those to a local customer in need of new rear seats.
Visit our eBay store at http://stores.ebay.com/sportscarsalvage and you’ll see many of these “funny looking sports car” items online. The “Oddities” and “Other” store categories feature the more obscure items. Happy shopping, and stay warm!
The pizza my husband and I ordered a few nights ago must have been sprinkled with an extra layer of fairy dust, or something. We both had the most off-the-wall dreams.
I joked that day on Facebook that a shrink-wrapped combo of WD-40 and duct tape would be a good giveaway item to include in our outgoing shipments. We make sure to send out a free goodie with each package – Hot Wheels, postcards, cleaning supplies, and other car-related surprises. Some people have commented, both on Facebook and eBay, how tickled they are by what they got. “It’s like opening a box of cereal and finding the toy inside!” I love when something so simple makes somebody’s day like that.
Cue up my oddball dream…
A father had bought something from us on eBay for his teenaged son, who was working on a project car so it would be ready for him to drive when he was old enough. I thought, “hmmm, a younger guy – I have something with Perry the Platypus on it! I’ll throw that in the package. Plus, I have some cute Perry stickers I can put on the box.” (For those of you who don’t know, I LOVE Perry the Platypus!) But, when I mentioned it in passing to the dad, I found out that his son despised Perry the Platypus and most cartoons, thinking they were too babyish.
Oops! I then made a long and winding trip to this person’s hometown, trying to intercept the package before it was delivered. Except it was in one of those towns where everyone looks at you cross-eyed because you’re not from there, and even the way you talk rubs people the wrong way. (I’ve lived in a few of those kinds of places in my life. It truly IS the stuff of nightmares!) I finally found it in at the customer’s workplace. It had been delivered before he showed up to work, so I did a quick switcheroo and saved the day. I was hugging the box to my chest when I woke up….to a cat sleeping on my chest.
This is how much I want people to be satisfied with what we ship out. I take as many pictures as I can and add as much detail to the listings as possible. If a problem arises, I also want to find out what I can do to solve it for you. If you ever have any problems, feel free to contact us at any time.
When asked “Can you be comfortable with being uncomfortable?” in the context of entrepreneurship, I don’t think this is what most people have in mind:
As for me, I find my comfort in these situations knowing that whatever car part I’ve gotten myself into a pretzel shape to deal with will be worth the hassle in the long run.
Nope, haven’t forgotten about the blog….just been very busy inside and outside the garage.
1) Reorganizing the shop. It’s been….Interesting. Let’s just say that we have the proverbial 5-pound sack for 10 pounds of, well, you know. Before I even think about getting another car, I need to have everything in order or I WILL pull my hair out. I have been even more inclined to give good deals on big items just to get them out of my hair 🙂 But read my next bullet point before buying one.
2) Making shipping exceptions on eBay. Always an adventure. When I post something as “Local Pickup ONLY” or specify that it will be shipped via Greyhound Package Xpress, there is probably a good reason for it. Size matters, for one. Shipping large items, even if they are very light, can be a PITA if you have to build a custom box for it. I don’t ship used gas tanks. Also, I usually don’t ship glass unless it will fit into a standard-size moving box and can be shipped via USPS or FedEx. What happens every so often is that we get these literacy-challenged customers who not only overlook this very important part of the item description, but then get impatient when it takes some time to accommodate THEIR unique-snowflake exception. Really, I *don’t* make the shipping rules and I can’t bend them for you. If I get a really out-there request (can you ship a glass hatch marked local pickup only? and by the way, can you remove the aftermarket tint first even though you sell items as-is?) it could take days to chase everything down.
3) New business cards are in. I love VistaPrint. Plus, I even got some matching t-shirts for the special people in my life. I send them out with every eBay shipment, along with a surprise. Next goal – give our website a makeover.
In non-car related news, we got a kitten. We adopted it (or maybe we adopted each other) after the family of stray cats living under the porch moved on, except for one orange and white kitten. Butterscotch is adorable. How I had forgotten that kitten cuteness is God’s way of making up for their pain in the butt tendencies 🙂 I have to hand it to him….he stole a treat from under Spanky’s 20-lb chubby beast nose.
We had, at one point, a 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD. We did our homework and this suited our needs best (at the time,) so, after scouring eBay and dealing with some, ahem, rather “interesting” car dealers in Miami, completed our purchase. It had the fuel mileage and the towing capacity we needed. Sounds easy, right?
Here’s a hint: if it were easy, I would not be discussing this in the “funny stories” category.
First of all….Diesel. The diesel Liberty was a rarity. So rare that for the first few months we had the thing, every trip to the gas station was a 3-ring circus. “SIR (or “MA’AM, depending on which one of us was outside,) you are about to put DIESEL FUEL into your Jeep.” It was cute the first two times, but every fill-up? By the time it came time to register and plate the thing, I was so sick of hearing about it that our chosen vanity tag was “GRNR DZL.” Greener Diesel in short form. Emphasis on DIESEL. To prevent well-meaning but incorrect folks from having heart attacks as I fill up with diesel fuel.
Second of all…..Towing. We did quite a few cross-country trips then, purchasing cars out of state or delivering items via rented trailer. It would have been OK if booking a trailer through Uhaul’s website actually worked correctly.
But no. The drop down boxes on the pages wouldn’t let me combine Jeep, Liberty, and diesel. To make matters worse, calling Uhaul’s 1-800 number was sometimes just as unhelpful. Let’s just say that I eat smarmy 20-something guys who think I’m STUPID about cars just because I’m female for breakfast. They taste great with barbecue sauce. (“Of COURSE my Jeep can tow, and don’t call me ‘ma’am’ out of spite. I don’t care what your computer system says, I know its specs. I didn’t buy something that wouldn’t be useful for towing cars. May I PLEASE speak to your supervisor?”) I think my personal best (or worst) was speaking to five different representatives before booking my reservation.
We now have a more “typical” ride – a Dodge Ram. A lot of large Corvette parts barely fit in the bed of the truck, so it’s more useful on that front. However, the gas mileage leaves a lot to be desired. It’s almost enough for me to track down that Liberty, kick myself in the butt for getting rid of it, buy it again, and strap Corvette parts to the roof a la Fred Flintstone and his rack of ribs. Almost.
We just got back from a road trip to Texas, where we picked up a recent purchase – a 1984 C4 Corvette. It just so happened that we came back a different way, allowing me to stop by the National Corvette Museum with the ’84 in tow.
I finally took it for a drive out in the parking lot of our garage today. Although it probably still has the original shocks (bouncy bounce bounce….) and no power steering, it was actually kind of fun! It doesn’t have a dash (in fact, it has a pile of rainbow spaghetti where the dash should be) so I used my musical training in tempo and pitch to shift gears by ear. I’m sure my piano teacher would be proud.
Still not sure if I’m going to restore it or part it out….We shall see.
While I was at the National Corvette Museum, I picked up some goodies to throw into the packages we send out 🙂
It was so bad, I almost swore I would never complain of being bored with Mickey D’s ever again. Almost.
After several days of traveling, we had BOTH had enough of McDonald’s, Burger King, and the like. We settled into our hotel in Georgia, ordered some Chinese takeout from a recommended restaurant, and made plans for the next day. The goal was to get home as fast as possible.
The food. It was underwhelming, at best. I swear, some takeout places purposely skimp on traveling customers in order to save money, and the even “better” ones pretend like nobody speaks English when you offer some constructive criticism. We both got a shrimp dish with approximately 10 broccoli pieces to each shrimp. Shrimp that weren’t deveined, even.
What’s worse than finding you have a sensitivity to shrimp? Finding it out when over 1,000 miles from home*. Our plans? Hah. The only thing happening quick and snappy were bathroom trips. We only got about 20 miles down the road before we found another hotel to crash in. Forget our usual preference for continental breakfast – the LAST thing either of us wanted to think about was food.
Moral of the story: Some kinds of food are best enjoyed close to home. Chinese, Mexican, and Cracker Barrel are the three I can think of off the top of my head. Oh, that’s right, I don’t enjoy Cracker Barrel any more, but I’ll leave that story to the imagination. It’s pretty crappy.
*It’s not an issue with peeled and deveined shrimp, just the, ahem, “intact” ones. We eat shrimp quite often at home.
(Composed by our Top Banana and edited by the Big Cheese)
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the shop,
Not a tool was still working, not even a mop.
The stockings were hung over the welder with care,
In he hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.
The lug nuts were all tightened on the alloys with care
And dreams of Nitrous kits filled the air.
And ma in her Rusty robe and me in my Dale cap
Had just snuggled up for a winter’s nap.
When out in the yard there arose such a clatter
I jumped out of bed to see what was the matter.
I tore to the garage door and hit the lights
Wondering who I might have to shoot this of all nights.
The moon shone brightly over the new fallen snow,
As bright as day with a magical glow.
Then what should arrive all red, shiny and good
But a Cummins powered sleigh with 8 reindeer ornaments on the hood.
With a little old driver with a beard like ZZ Top,
I wondered if that rig was gonna quite stop!
More powerful than Reindeer, and no problems with PETA,
The sleigh gets 40mpg and burns biodiesel!
Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer and Vixen!
Comet and Cupid and Donder and Blitzen,
Have all retired to condos at the South Pole,
Instead of burning hay Santa now rolls coal.
So up to the rooftop the big rig flew,
With toys, and tools, and St. Nicholas, too.
And then with a squeal of slammed brakes,
And turbo spooling down,
on the rooftop I heard the man climb down.
As I pulled in my head, and turned around,
Down the stovepipe St. Nicholas did bound.
He was dressed in all Carhartt, from head down to toe,
With sponsor’s patches everywhere on could go.
A bundle of parts and tools flung on his back,
He looked like a sales rep opening his sample pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He said not a word but went straight to his work.
Filling stockings and tool boxes, and then turned with a jerk,
Laid his finger against his nose and up the stove pipe he rose.
He jumped in the cab and laid some air to the horn
Then sped off into the night in a cloud of black fog.
But I heard him yell back as he sped out of sight,
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
…Sometimes, it’s just a mother.
About three years ago, we went to pick up a Doug Nash 4+3 Corvette transmission from Tennessee. It was actually cheaper for us to pick it up than it would have been to ship to Ohio. (They are quite a bit heavier than a normal transmission.) We thought we’d add some value to our trip by seeing what we could find in the area. Ohio cars, especially older sports cars, can be a bear to deal with because of rust.
So, on that lovely Sunday morning, we consulted the oracle in Craigslist to see what all we could find. What we found in Sunbright, Tennessee, was a first generation Mazda RX-7 in beautiful shape (minus a few bad apex seals) for $400. We called and made arrangements to look at the car, and possibly pick it up.
What we ALSO found is that no Uhaul location even remotely close to Sunbright was open on Sundays. The closest open location was in Georgia. Off to a hardware store commonly known as “Horrible Fright” to purchase a 5,000-lb capacity tow bar. We had seen quite a few people use these without any problem, so we figured it would be more than enough for this RX-7.
We traveled up winding mountain roads up to Sunbright, where we met up with a very nice family looking to sell their RX-7. It was a project they hadn’t gotten around to and were more into bikes and such, so the RX-7 was ours. It almost wasn’t.
What we do when towing is travel for a block or two, check and adjust everything, go for a few more miles, re-check our load, and then go on our merry way. It can take a few stops to get everything to seat in properly, but after a few adjustments it’s usually smooth sailing. The worst I usually have to worry about is a misbehaving ratchet strap. HOWEVER….before we could even find a place to do our first check, we heard an ominous “SCREEEEECH” and a pop while rounding a corner.. Our Horrible Fright tow bar had split at one of the mounts. To make matters worse, we were on a pretty steep slope and the car was dangling. We were not in a very populated area and the closest hardware store was the Horrible Fright we stopped at 20 miles before.
Lucky for us, the man who sold us the RX-7 had a tow dolly that belonged to his brother in law, and he was nice enough to let us borrow it. He met up with us at the gas station we’d pulled into with along with the RX-7 hanging from one side of our errant tow bar. True to our word, we brought the tow dolly back to Sunbright a week or so after that. Other people’s trust and generosity? Awesome. Horrible Fright tow bar fail? Not so awesome. Don’t worry, we’ve already learned to call UHaul *first* before anything else.