Maybe in a few years I'll look back at this and reflect.
Black and White and Blue All Over
Last night I packed up the stuff that was going to go with the car and cleanout my stuff. At 5:30 in the morning I head out and top off with gas for one last drive. Two and a half hours later I was at my destination, a few minutes later the buyer showed up with cash in hand.
After a quick tour of the car and money and paperwork exchange we were on the road to Phoenix.
November 12, 2020
Right away we head to the place that was selling the car and made contact, the car was in a service bay to be washed but we dove into it right away. After a cursory walk around we got in and checked out the interior and fired it up, it was immediately apparent that there was an exhaust leak. Next up was to check the top and windows, the top motor was making noise but no movement, gave up. The power windows tried to go down but the switches were intermittent and I chose to not end up with the stuck down.
We asked if they could put it on a lift so we could look it over from underneath. With the car on the lift we were pleasantly surprised to see that there was no rust and it was actually quite clean. It was hard to not see the exhaust and what a mess it was, so bad we asked them to wire it up in multiple places. We checked the engine and transmission numbers to verify that they were original, they are. The front suspension was well worn but looked safe.
Happy with what we saw we talked number with the seller and agreed on a price. I still wanted to take it around the block and see how it drove and confirm it should make the 540 mile trip home. Once they finished washing it I took it out and put it through the motions and was happy, no funny sounds and it accelerated well and the brakes were solid, steering was true and held.
We needed to wait till an individual got back so we went to lunch, while out we got some transmission fluid and exhaust wrap. We get back and patch the exhaust and put the transmission fluid in. A few minutes later we were able to finalize the deal and hit the road.
First up was to top off the gas as we suspected the gas gauge wasn't working. The plan was to split the trip into three legs as that should work unless it was getting awful mileage. Once on the high way I kept in the right lane till I could feel it out at highway speed. Once I was happy I picked it up and soon found its limit at about 70 mph.
About 30 mile later I found myself going faster and the car was running much smoother. Another 30 miles later I pulled into a rest stop to update my chase car. When we went to leave the car didn't want to start, not even a click. After a little troubleshooting we found a broken wire, once we fixed that we tried again but still nothing, tried jumping the starter relay and it fired up, we were rolling again.
The next couple hours the car drove just fine and was running at a pace with traffic. We pull into Blythe for gas, the one third point. 13 MPG wasn't bad for a 440 going 75 mph, once again we needed to jump the starter relay to start the car, and again off we go. The next 180 miles went just as well, after dinner we get gas, 13 MPG. 60 miles later we were heading through some hills and the car sputtered like it was running out of gas. Once back on the flat it ran fine. That didn't last long, about 40 miles later it started acting up on the flats. For the next 50 miles we managed to keep going at about 55 mph, that was the point in the trip I was concerned about as we had a hefty grade to climb. Pretty quick the car faded to near nothing but it was still rolling.
Inch by inch it crawled up the hill, two miles later we hit the summit and the car starts to gain momentum and we continue on. With a couple minor hills and 25 miles the car was home.