Filed under: 1987 Pontiac Firebird (RAIF)
He and I were friends from 2001 to about October of 2007. We dated from 2001 to 2003. During that time he and I took the car to a whole new level. Honestly I just needed someone to believe in my ideas and show me they could happen with alot of work and time. He brought the mechanical know how and I brought the electrical extras, interior, and body mod ideas. As a fellow f-body enthusiast, I assumed he was helping because he wanted to and shared my vision for the car. I never thought it was only because we were dating, as I later began to feel.
Before my car he was a hard core v-8 guy, but I only had the v-6. As a daily driver, the car could not toss the v-6. I had asked alot of shops to help me with my ideas from body to mechanical, only to be told my car was not worth the money it would cost to bring those ideas to light. I was a firm believer in the little v-6 engine that could, and I would not give up. I decided I wanted to do it regardless of what the shops said. Joe decided to back me up. Alot of my crazy ideas were right on track mechanically. He knew how to make them happen.
So on we went to tackle the unknown and undone. Hie Dad had done quite alot of bady work in the past and even he helped with the extreme body mods, like the shaving. We actually had great sucess and built up quite a rep through the f-body community. The car showed wonderfully. This was because of a combination of our combined hard work to make the mods good quality and the desire to clean the car to a near perfect state. People might not have liked the style, but no one could say the mods were not done well and that the car was not clean.
We made the car what it was. Anything he did I watched and learned and helped. He gave me a good eye for what was good and not good work. Together we would walk through shows to learn more and pick out where things went wrong for other to not duplicate the mistake. It actually made the 2 of us bump up our work ethic and standards. And it definately paid off. (check out the wins in the about section)
As time went on, we took on alot of projects besides the bird. He got a 85 TA with no engine that were were going to make a serious beast. We heard about a 82TA going to the boneyard. He wanted a few parts off it, but I decided to save the whole car since it was a TA. It was engineless as well. I also got a 76 Scout (engineless), an inop Pulsar, and my Dually that ran till the engine was stolen.
All these were our projects. He even encouraged me to get mine so I could learn. We got 2 Cadillac eldorados from the boneyard for the Scout and Dually. Got a new head for the Pulsar. The 82's engine solution came when Joe had a title stolen on a 94 Camaro. He had to part it out and I was gifted for Chrismas with the drivetrain for my 82TA. Things were looking well.
I learned enough that I could have done about any of it alone, except build an engine... that was where the Scout and dually came in... We broke up in 2003, but remained friends and continued to work on the cars till 2006. Though in the end, he became less and less motivated to do any work on the cars. Though the dreams and big talk was still there.
The last project was after the World of Wheels show in 2006. I knew it was finally time to go further. The car was not running right. It was horriblely out of tune and needed that next step to get more power. We set out to further port the intake and heads, only to find I had a crack in my heads. So I set out ot report a new set and go further. Joe set out on my idea to clean up the wiring in the engine bay. There was just too much running all over. We needed to route it cleaning to show case the engine.
Well things took a while and the idea was then to paint the engine bay gloss black and repaint the engine and accessories. So the car go towed to his dad's shop. The 2 week project became 2 monthes. I missed my emission test deadline and registration in May. Still it was in pieces. The paint was not going well in the bay. From bad paint that dry sprayed to good paint that ran. We had a mess. I was being called too picky and the like and the whole thing got bad.
Things seemed patched, but there were still cat fights where work he had done was throw up in my face like I owed him for it. Not what friends do in my opinion. Might I say he was renting a place in my house, but not paying since he was working on the car with me. The car got towed back home to have things finished up. Well the panit was really too bad and we needed a pro to fix it. Well it sat not worked on from June of 06 till we moved in March of 07. Still he was living free.
Now in March he had to pay in the new place. Well that was it got bad. The car was not touched and he felt he did not have to now unless I reciprocated somehow. I felt he still owed me from all the time nothing was done.
I told him if he would get his camaro going I would help with it. He never wanted to work on it either. How can one reciprocate. Well in the end the Camaro's engine blew so he took the LT1 he gave me for Christmas 2 years earlier for my 82 TA. He took al the goodies and all I had back. He promised to get me something better in the end. Then he wanted to charge me for the time and parts he put into the bird while it was at his dad's. (He was between jobs and short on cash)
Now the worth of the engine he took back came up and things got ugly. In the end I feel I got robbed, mostly because my baby still sat in pieces. Then he got a job and then he was back to promising to work on it since he was the one who took it apart and promised to make it right. I won't hold it over you or charge you since I owe you for living in 06. Well the promises never happened. He was working the night shift and conviently his and my time never worked out.
Then he did not have money for rent and was behind. Now the picking and blaming me again started. Wasting his time on my car when he could be charging people for working on theirs. But He was still not even working on it. Finally out of money and no way to catch up, he moved out in August. But left alot of stuff till October. Now more fights as I could not rent with his stufff there. Still the car sat. Nothing done to it.
So the final verdict, the car sat from Aug of 2006 to Jan of 2008 waiting on the one painter. Well in Jan I had enough and got another guy who were are again waiting on. Once its painted I'm not sure what mess im gonna find. He swore to come back when the car was painted. Funny I ahve not heard from him since October of 2007. What do you think? i'm thinking the help it gone.
From there I guess it will all fall on me to figure out what Joe did to the wiring. There is nothing like stepping in after someone when you have no idea what they were doing. The engine is only half assembled and the brake lines have been cut out and ruined as the plan was to make new ones and reoute them a cleaner way. I hope there is some order when he took the engine apart and stored the hardware.
Will he decide to come back and help fix his mess after the car has paint??? I have no idea. Do I want him to come back and help??? I have no idea. Pride says no, but concidering he was the one to take the car apart and make the mess, I may have no choice!
Not to mention I ahve a dually that is enigneless that we were in the process of building a caddy 500 for. Now it built and I ahve no clue how to get it in the dually... UGH!
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