Saturday, August 15, 2009

Some New Developments

The radiator is still out of the car, but has been repaired and is ready for reinstallation when we find the time to do it.
At the moment, the radiator looks better than the car itself.

We've also sucked all the glass and various other detritus out of the car, and removed the seats. It looks good except for the... you know, the ugly parts.

We've gotten a little more progress in on the fender. The front driver's side quarterpanel has been pounded out into a more or less carlike shape, useful for ugly removal later.

I've also sent the logo medallion off for Del to work his resource-having magic and get one made. I'll post up pictures when we have a physical object to post pictures of.

May the hands of Mechanus always guide your wrench,


Monday, August 3, 2009

Wishlists and vacuum cleaners

As always, there's a lot of things you need in a project like this.
Here's what we need. If anyone knows of a great place to get something on this list, or happens to have one of them just sitting around, please contact us.

[ ] headlights
[ ] left side marker light
[X] radiator
[ ] battery
[ ] shop manual (I'm not sure about this one, as Del has been able to download one, but a physical shop manual would nonetheless be helpful, especially if it's not in Italian)
[ ] tune up kit (I'm working off of a list written by my father, and he's not here right now. I have no idea if such a thing exists)
[ ] distributor cap
[ ] spark plugs
[ ] s.p. wire
[ ] windshield wiper arms
[ ] windshield wiper motor
[ ] windshield
[ ] wing windows
[ ] door windows
[ ] door handles (right and left)
[ ] inner door panels
[ ] right side floor pan
[ ] rear window
[ ] rag top
[ ] car horn switch
[ ] radio antenna
[ ] mirrors
[ ] dashboard
[ ] seatbelts for all seats
[ ] rollbar that fits and is functional

In car related news, our little baby is looking cleaner every day. We've had to rip out the passenger seat, and discovered that there's an enormous rusty hole in the floor under where it was. I suspected this already, but still, it's a bit disappointing. On the other hand, we've gotten the interior cleaned out, for certain dirty values of "clean". Pictures will be forthcoming just as soon as I can find/comandeer a good digital camera. I made a critical water-related error with my old one, and it no longer functions. Not much of a loss: it sucked.

May the light of the Cosmic Lord of Streetlamps shine down upon you,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Howdy-doodles, readereenoes!

I feel I ought to explain for those of you angry at the lack of pentagrams and stories of skillfully summoned demons why you are looking at a beat up sports car instead. I know Del's given you a couple of hints on that, but I feel compelled to be more forthcoming and comprehensive, and also informative and funderlicious.
The reference is to an episode of the wonderful television program from the creator of The Simpsons called Futurama. If you do not know what I am talking about, I'm afraid I'll have to confiscate your television license and all related materials. The episode in question is called "The Honking", and involves the third most awesome robot ever, (Jesta and HK-47 being 1 and 2), becoming a werecar. Hijinks ensue until Bender Bending Rodriguez and his looney friends track down, via Calculon, the original werecar, the US government's Project Satan. Made from the parts of the most evil cars in history, Project Satan is the ultimate mechanevil. Yes, it's a word now.
In any case, yeah. That's why no Shub Zigguraut, Dark Lord of Pyramids™, or whatever.

Here's a link to the wiki page about it. Enjoy getting lost in wiki.

May Mediana always keep you away from oncoming traffic,

Thursday, July 30, 2009


As promised, here's the first round of photographs. Images by Drake's father, comments by me, Del Spaig, Webmaster and Googlist of the Realm.

The heap, in all its dilapidated glory.

The heart. The powerhouse. The engine.

A large pile of crap. Oh, and there's some stuff in it.

Drake, having improper thoughts.

Holy crap, Drake. Your car has leprosy.

It sees into your soul...

Another Introduction

At the moment, I am standing in the garage, my fingers are covered in gross, and my car is completely beat up. None of these conditions are permanent. Despite a lack of windows so severe as to be almost total, my Fiat shows promise. Over the next year, if all goes according to plan, this vehicle will be restored to functionality and eventually to some semblance of beauty. My intention here is to show you, the as yet hypothetical audience, the process. I will regale you with occasional pictures, horror stories, and success stories. Del found this car in a warehouse near downtown Wauwatosa. It was this beat up at that time as well, though from a distance it looked as if it were still presentable. As I got closer, the flaws became more evident. The first thing that was visible was the body damage, extensive denting and chipping of paint. The closer you got, the worse it looked. There are still puncture marks in the front left quarter panel. I later learned that it had been abused by a number of rogue children. At the time, I didn't know this, and had no way of knowing this. All I knew was that it was getting late, and it was time to move on. We took down a bit of information, not expecting to follow through on it. It wasn't until a couple of days later. that I became curious about the car once again and discovered that the owner of the car was also the owner of the warehouse that it was parked behind. He showed us the car, and showed us the engine. We learned the year and model, along with a number of other things, including the extent of the damage. It wasn't just superficial body damage, the engine was hurting too. Smashed distributor cap, battered radiator, parts that I couldn't even identify were broken. Still, the core of the engine was intact. We initially thought that it was a V8 engine. It wasn't. It was a twin overhead cam. Indeed, much of the engine was in better condition than you would expect. The same could not be said for the upholstery. The interior had been brutalized. Not only had a year of outdoor living converted the car into its own little nature preserve, but glass, cigarette butts, and the windshield littered the floor. On that occasion, we weren't ready to buy it yet, but we were ready to pull some stuff out of it, if only out of sympathy. I personally extracted what may have been a bird's nest. We left with the owner's phone number, and promised to return later when we knew whether we would be able to buy it. When I found myself contemplating colors, I had to at least try. A series of phone calls and about a week passed, and the car was mine. This left us with one major hurdle: getting it home. Since we had no engine, we were forced to tow it. Since we had no tow bar, my father took up the role of steering. Since the brake line did not work, we were forced to use the emergency brake. Fortunately, it is not a large car. This meant that we were able to push it into the garage once we had it in the driveway. Despite some odd looks from our neighbors, we managed the task, and got the garage closed behind it. Our battered lady was finally home. In the couple of weeks since then, a few steps have been taken. Driver, passenger, and back seats have been extracted, and are now lying on the garage floor. Radiator and radiator fluid have been taken to parts unknown, and the radiator returned, sans fluid, dents and holes still present. Debris, detritus, and general crap were removed from the interior. Nestled in and among the detritus were several humorous objects. I swear this car has a sense of humor. There was scratch remover in the trunk, an oil filter in the interior, the rear view mirror sat smashed and useless on the passenger seat, several bottles of automotive oil (used) sat in the back, and the glove box cover (in all of its faded wooden glory) sat in the passenger seat foot well. I am determined to keep the funnier of these items in the glove box. Perhaps I shall also keep a rubber duck in here. There's nothing quite like a rubber duck to remind you that we're all pretty ridiculous in the end. In a project like this, it's best to stay humble. Hopefully, this car won't humble me too much. But seeing how temperamental she is, I have my doubts.

May the blessings of Asphalta go with you, and your parking spots always be open.



This is a weblog that will chronicle the development process of Project Satan, the code name given to the restoration and resurrection of Drake's 1974 Fiat 124 Spider. I'm the webmaster and Chief Information Officer. Basically, I look up stuff, Drake figures said stuff out, and helps his father use it to put it together. I also run the blog, of course. Later on, we'll post pictures, but this textual introduction will be it for the time being. And yes, it was named after the car in that Futurama episode. And no, we're not using the windshield wipers from Knight Rider.

May Polygonus give you the green light,