Anyone who restores a car knows how good it feels to see real progress.
Several months ago, we introduced you to the Crazy Chicken Cruisers. They're members of a car club who are always there to help each other get the job done.
Karen Gatlin has been back several times to their favorite hangout to check on progress as the group gets ready to cruise when this year's Back to the Bricks kicks off the third week of August.
Things never look the same in Joe Wright's garage. What car you see where depends on the project of the day. In January, a 1970 Chevelle was on the lift. In February, it was replaced by a 1955 Chevy. Waiting its turn in the corner is a 1970 Olds Cutlass Supreme.
Fast forward to March and there's another shuffle. The last time we saw this '70 Olds Cutlass, it was covered with yellow primer. Now it's painted Storm Gray and it's getting wheeled out for a perfect shine.
It's amazing progress for owner Bob Pichey. "There's always people out here wanting to help out and do things, and it gets done."
The sanding process is evidence of that, as Wright graduates from a 1,000 grit to 1,500 and then to 2,000. "See the little dots. That's what we're taking out. Just gives you a little bit of a ripply effect in the paint if you leave it there," he explained.
It's a big day for Pichey. The paint's looking good and the engine's going in.
"I'm gonna raise it up. We'll put the crossover in it, put headers on it and we'll probably throw the driveshaft in it. (We'll) try to finish a lot of the underside stuff up and then we'll bring it back down to do the wiring on the engine and stuff like that," Wright said.
The calendar now says April and Hank Mozingo had a chance to try out his new engine. "It's funny. The only thing that looks different from the old one is the bigger air cleaner, but it's a whole different motor," he said.
"It was time to have the old one out and put the new one in - all freshly cleaned up and painted, and ready to go."
The Cutlass is still the project of the day, and Bob's wife, Sue, is on hand to check it out. "I'm excited."
This car has a deadline that comes even sooner than Back to the Bricks. It will travel with a Back to the Bricks contingent to New York along the Lincoln Highway to publicize the event in Flint.
With Joe expressing some concern about meeting the deadline, you can imagine my surprise when the Cutlass was ready for the road just two weeks later.
It got a proper sendoff from Joe's garage with other Crazy Chicken Cruisers lining the driveway. Teamwork was the key to getting it done.
"Six months ago it was ready for the junkyard. Now look at it," Pichey said.
"You can see there are a lot of guys behind me. Without them, it would have never happened," Wright said.
The Crazy Chicken Cruisers have a great sense of humor and camaraderie.
We're not done following their exploits because there are more cars to restore before Back to the Bricks.
Karen will travel with the group on the Lincoln Highway in June to promote Back to the Bricks, and you can watch her reports from the road.
Mark your calendar for the third week in August for this year's Back to the Bricks.
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