Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2013 is winding down...

There's not much left to the 2013 show season and I've yet to make a single show.  My unemployment issues that began in July 2012 continued until May 2013 however that position was short-lived and, due to no fault of my own, I left that position on September 5, 2013.  The job itself was $20K **less** per year than what I was used to making so obviously car shows and changes to the Stampede for 2013 were again moved to the bottom of the priority list.  (Housing, Food, Bills and Gas being more important of course)

The only thing on my "What I'd love to change in 2013 (cash flow permitting)" list from the 12/21/12 post that I did accomplish was:

  • Door leather inserts - repair/replaceThis was accomplished with a bit of creative thinking and desperation on my part.  I gave up on the 3M adhesive spray and just glued it all down with super-glue.  :) Amazingly enough, I think it worked better, faster, and nicer than some of the more expensive alternatives I've seen out on the net.

Of the things that were completed for the 2012 season I've made these changes:

  • Fixed passenger front quarter panel damage This needs to be repaired again. I was hit by a rock on the highway on my way to a job site.
  • Replaced Pony-Package ponies with Chrome ones I've painted the center stripe (normally white if Red/White/Blue) with Vista Blue leaving the others chrome.
  • Added 1/4 inch chrome "C Stripe - Removed in June/July 2013.
  • Blue lug nutsNot yet removed but the "blue" is about all gone.  These need to be taken off and the originals put back on.
  • Blue valve stem coversThe original ones faded so new ones were put on.

Other minor changes/issues:

  • I did not remove the old CAI but the AiRaid filter was replaced with a Blue filter (Thanks Sarah Vidrine!)
  • Trunk LED lights are not functioning... Probably something easy but I haven't looked for the problem yet. 
  • I did remove the larger iPad PadHoldr mounting bracket and using just the universal adapter and some Velcro I was able to easily mount my iPad Mini in its place.  Like the previous install, it is easily removed when exiting the car. Unlike the previous setup, there're no obvious bracket there to suggest there 'might' be an iPad hidden in the car. Win-Win... Did I mention the velcro? Cost was nominal so that was a Win-Win-Win!

Standing back and looking at this Mustang it is hard to believe that she is now 7 years old. The driver seat is showing some wear but there are no rips/tears, sagging leather or etc.   The carpet has minor items that wouldn't take me but an hour or less to clean with the proper cleaner. Everything else is perfect.  She is on the 3rd set of tires - first were on it when I bought it 6/19/2006. 2nd set went on 6/19/2010 and the 3rd set on 6/19/2013.  Oil changes and maintenance have been done on time at the dealership and records are kept.  

The only external things I want to fix are: 1) the damaged front quarter-panel, 2) some hail damage (small), 3) rock chips in the paint and 4) the stripes. Back when the car was covered in paint overspray and we buffed it off the process obviously damaged the clear over the stripes. The stripes need to be removed and replaced or, preferably, painted on.  Other than those items, you'd never know the car has never been garaged.   

So obviously I still have a laundry list of things to add, fix, and tweak so I guess I'm no where close to being "done" with this Mustang.  In truth, I hope I never really am.  I've enjoyed every single day that I have owned, driven and shown this Mustang.  Recently she rolled over to 47K miles... I keep saying I will retire her to "Occasional Driver" status before 50K but I don't see that happening financially but more importantly, I can't imagine NOT driving her. 

I can only hope that at this time next year I'll be writing about the changes I've made to the Stampede, my improved financial stability and whatever new job I have.  Surely 2014 will bring a bit more success my way, right?  :) 

Until next time. 
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