Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ha! Suckers!

We're taking Pujo! to Pacific Raceways in scenic Kent WA for the Northwest Alfa Romeo club track day on the 23rd. While I was signing up I noticed the "tech form" link. This tech form must be filled out by an ASE certified mechanic. Uh-oh, I thought. So, rather than click the "unregister" button, I figured what's to lose?

Last Friday I drove Pujo! to the nearest ASE certified shop and handed over the form with an explanation of what the car was built for.

"Really." said the man behind the counter "An endurance race for $500 cars? You mean like a demolition derby?"

"Well, I hope not." I replied "Anything short of a Caprice Classic is going to get seriously injured if it hits this thing."

"Ooookay..." said the man.

Seriously, this car has been rear ended harder than Elton John. Rolled, dropped, lifted by a giant forklift. There's Bondo on the roof. I personally do body work on it with a sledgehammer because any lesser tool just isn't sufficient. This thing has survived situations that would make Superman squeal with terror. A Honda or VW would just bounce right off and not leave a mark.

But, I digress...

After a short wait a nice young man named Carlos took my keys and headed for the parking lot. It took him a moment to figure out how to get in over the anti-intrusion bars. He even put a nice, clean paper floor mat on the floor. Two other technicians looked on in disbelief as Pujo! rolled into the shop followed by a subtle cloud of blue smoke. Soon Pujo! was up on a lift for all to see, displaying more evidence of past impacts than your average moon.

Carlos looked at the damage and said, "You race this, man?"

"Yes. Yes, I do." I said proudly.

He looked again at the crumpled floor pans and wrinkled frame rails and then looked at me as though I were obviously dangerously insane.

"F--k.... you're crazy, man." He said, shaking his head.

"Yes. Yes, I am." I said proudly.

Rather than argue with me, he signed off on the car and sent me on my way.

I hope the Alfa guys have a sense of humor.


Knight of the Fliff said...

Wow, I honestly didn't know any French cars were built to such a high quality. The only one I'm familiar with is the 2CV with its sheet-metal-thin bodywork, which come to think of it isn't very relevant to an 80's Peugeot...

TriumphRacer said...

High quality isn't the phrase I'd use. More like indestructible. The sheet metal is thick, to be sure, but it's also pliable. And abrasive. It can't be cut with your average hole saw. It's some weird space metal or something. It's resistant to sledgehammers (I had to flare the fenders to fit wider tires). The 505 is know as "the workhorse of Africa" for a reason. It just keeps coming back for more. Well, until the engine blows up. Which they do, with great regularity.