Captainkirk's Duster project
Well, now that Ma had bought all these new school clothes, it was time to try 'em on and send Junior off to school.
After making sure all our tape was down tight and no uncovered seams in the paper, I hosed down the garage floor and the sides of the "tent"with the garden hose, and then rolled the "Navvy Caddy" in. We mixed the primer up, fired up the compressor, and switched on the fan. The prime coat went on unceremoniously, without a hitch; for the first time since I owned it, the car was all one color! We slapped our high-fives and went out to the coffee shop, letting the prime coat set up overnight.
Saturday dawned clear and HOT. We'd decided to shoot the color that evening, after it had cooled off. We spent the afternoon hosing the gray dust off the floor and tacking the car to remove any loose overspray. Darkness fell, but not the mercury...I remember to this day how blistering hot it felt in the garage that night. It was now or never...
Mike mixed the paint, an acrylic enamel, with some sort of gloss hardener in it. We donned respirators and doo-rags, and looking like some freakshow scuba divers, got down to business. My job was to hold the air hose away from Mike and the paint, and fill the gun cups. Mike's job was to shoot color. We laid down a tack coat and right away ran into a problem. The walls of the "tent" wouldn't stay put because the fan was exhausting so much air with the garage door cracked. We looked for small, heavy objects to anchor the plastic, but finding few volunteers, we made prisoners of war of numerous unwilling objects and placed them around the perimeter of the "tent" like some bizarre sentries. All better now, Mike shot the first coat of color.
Even with one coat of color, the car looked stunning. We popped out for a breath of fresh air and high-fived each other at my mom's picnic table. After a brief breather and a couple of ice-cold Special Exports, we went back in for coat number two. Coat two took longer, for some reason, and by the time we emerged, the Special X's and the paint fumes were working together in an Evil Medley of toxic proportions. Our eyes were burning and we might as well have not been wearing any respirators at all. We were blown.......and not from the Exports. We shot the third and final coat in a paint-induced haze. It went on fairly quick, and then we were done! We stood back admiring this lucid, gorgeous, liquid red paint when all of a sudden Mike goes.. "Oh, ****! The flies!"
The flies, indeed. We hadn't counted on visitors. They'd come drifting in under the door and cruised around under the fluorescent lights which were strategically placed on the joists over the car; so we could see, naturally! They were taking in a snootful of paint fumes, then getting higher than we were from the fumes, doin' the Kamikazi into that rather large, red swimming pool of fresh paint! The first one to go was flopping around like a beached walrus and Mike's going, "The tweezers! Get the tweezers!" and I'm rummaging frantically through the tool box like a wino rooting around for his last bottle, and finally I find them.
Mike reaches over the roof and extracts the flapping red walrus, which leaves a tiny little red walrus crater above the passenger side. He flings it to the floor and turns it into a permanent Rally Red streak on the concrete, and then....
The second wave attacks. This is like Pearl Harbor! The Battle of Midway on a Saturday night! Three more Kamikazi's sacrifice themselves for the Emperor, leaving tiny walrus-craters in their wake! Mike and I are frantically trying to pick them out and convert them to Red Streaks before the paint stops flowing and sets up. After the fifth one Mike says; "We'd better stop....let 'em set up and we'll buff 'em out."
BUFF "EM OUT????!!!! RED WALRUSES? ARE YOU NUTS?
That did it. The Evil Medley had us out of our minds....Mike EXPLODED with laughter, and then, so did I. We had to leave the garage. We barely made it to the picnic table outside the garage before we collapsed in gales of hysterics. Mike was laughing so hard I thought he'd pee his pants. (Maybe he did.) He was slapping the picnic table with his hand and laughing so hard he couldn't catch his breath. I was too. I guess it really wasn't that funny, but at the time.......you hadda be there. We had tears streaming down our faces and my stomach hurt so bad from laughing I could barely walk. I went in....er, crawled in, to get us a couple more X's, and as soon as I came out on the stoop Mike started in all over again. Here we are, laughing like a couple of retarded loons at midnight at a picnic table while red walrus Kamikazis were floundering around in our precious paint job. It was too funny. I'm surprised the neighbors didn't call the cops.
We finally got our act together enough to clean up the paint gun and shut down the garage for the night. The red walruses left in the pool had obviously drowned and were no longer flopping. Mike gets an epiphany and says "We should shut the lights off...maybe the flies will go away". Duh! Had we done this half an hour ago, maybe a few of the Kamikazis would've gone back to the carrier in shame. Hindsight is 20/20, however.
I woke the next morning with the worst headache I'd ever had. Not the kind of headache three beers gives you. The Evil Medley had done a number on us. I didn't crawl out of bed 'til noon, and that was because I couldn't stand it any more. I HAD to see what the car looked like, and what damage the Emperor's Finest had done. (I kept hearing John Wayne going "Let's see what our little yellow friends are up to")
Mike showed up, slightly the worse for wear complaining of the worst headache he'd ever had. Funny how I could relate to that.
We rolled it out in the daylight in all it's glory to remove the paper and tape. It was GORGEOUS! (with the exception of the "battle damage"). In the end, Mike was right. The flies just kinda flaked away under your fingernail leaving almost imperceptible bumps. Once we'd flaked them off of there we couldn't even find them. You could, however see the craters from the few we removed with the tweezers if you looked hard; kind of like a tiny fish-eye.
Who cares? The car looked even better than I'd ever dreamed possible. There was one tiny sag in the paint way down low on the passenger door, but the paint in general was like a red pool; no fish-eyes or anything, just this mile-deep, beautiful coat of paint.
We removed all the tape and paper and let it sit in the way-too-bright hot sunlight to cure.
Next: Matching Accessories!