My decision was made. With the green "shoes" there was nothing holding me back from driving the wagon down to Manila to be restored.
I do trust the craftsmanship of the guys with body shops up in Baguio, but with my job in Manila I wanted the car to be close by so that I could check on it often. Piling the tires into a bus, I headed up.
It was 5 a.m. when I arrived and immediately I went about mounting the rims on the wagon.
[caption id="attachment_135" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="As you can see, green is my favorite color"][/caption]
There were some problems removing the old rusted studs. The trick is to use some WD40, and let it soak for a while. Rust is a pain in the ass!
[caption id="attachment_136" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="What a difference!"][/caption]
The right rims really set the car off. Maybe I'm biased, but I think this looks really good. Some guys prefer to use a smaller rim size with low-profile tires, but this "understated" style suits me fine. Plus, staying with this wheel and tire combo keeps the car practical. I do intend to drive this baby a lot.
[caption id="attachment_137" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="It totally works!"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_138" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Sweet. I like this, a lot"][/caption]
It is so satisfying seeing the wheels on, I almost didn't want to take the car to the shop anymore! Even if the body is beaten up and the paint is, uh, falling off, I didn't mind at all.
I was almost set to drive down to Manila, but there were a few things that still needed to be done. We discovered a bit of problem: the cooling system did not hold any water. Damn! And there was the issue of the brakes! In the photos, this was the first time that the wagon has moved in five years. Plenty can fall apart if a car remains static for that long.
[caption id="attachment_139" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Must make sure it's road-worthy "][/caption]
More on making sure that you are safe on the road in my next post!