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This is an idea I had during the week of the Bandit Run '09, in which I decided to take my "week off" and do some catching up on a project I had been thinking about for some time now. This idea was a wall in my garage dedicated to nothing but my favorite car of all time, the Pontiac Trans Am. I had squirreled away posters and signs over the years and just never got around to doing anything with them. There were, after all, frames to be built for the posters, acrylic faces for these posters to be had and I had a whole week off to do it!

Trust me when I tell you, it took a lot of discipline for this individual to take on a task like this while the Bandit Run was happening. It was pretty much all I could think about while creating what I will call "THE WALL"! It is a wonder I didn't cut off a couple fingers during this project while working with a miter saw and daydreaming about rumbling through the countryside with a bunch of fellow Trans Am lovers. I would work a little, sweat a lot, run inside and check Motortopia for pictures sent in by Bandit Runners to satisfy my curiosity on how the Run was going. It made me that much more determined to try and hurry this project along and possibly join the Run in Pigeon Forge, but it just wasn't to be. Not this year anyway. I am so thankful for all the Motortopia folks who attended the Run and did such a great job photographing and taking great videos! I didn't make it there in person, but in mind and spirit, I was right there with you all!

Anyway, this "wall" thing. I finished building my garage a few years ago and to my surprise, my walls were disappearing. By disappearing, I mean the walls were slowly getting obscured by shelving with everything from transmissions, intake manifolds, labeled boxes of Pontiac parts, work benches, etc. I knew if I didn't act quickly, my window of opportunity to display any of my treasured Pontiac artifacts was slowly diminishing. I was desperate. I had to get a plan in motion. Being a draftsman by profession, I started out with laying out the wall to scale in AutoCad and playing with different layouts of the posters I wanted to put on the wall. Once I had the layout I liked, there was just one thing missing. The Pontiac Arrowhead. I spent 10 years in the sign business as a draftsman for a company that produced many high profile re-imaging programs, to include Nationsbank, McDonalds, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Ford, GM, Sunoco and on and on. No project had my interest more than GM. I just love their logos and signage. Well over the years, you accumulate stuff. My Arrowhead sign was some of that stuff. I knew I wanted to incorporate it into my "Wall" but I wasn't sure how. After careful consideration, it found its way into the layout you see in my photo album. I decided to take the lighting portion of the sign out and cut the "can" down, to give it a lower profile, sleek kind of look. A look where it hugged the wall better, not just "jutting out" into the garage. I think the elements of the sign stand on their own merit and don't need all the flashy lights. Just simple, yet stylish. Like a Pontiac.

The stoplight was a last minute thing. A co-worker told me he saw some old stoplights for sale not too far from my work, so I drove out on my lunch break, sorted through the worst stuff, and made my way back to work with my "new" traffic signal stuffed into the back of my 85 CRX workmobile. After testing the light once I got home that evening, I decided to take it apart and give it a good and thorough cleaning. Was it ever nasty! Well, after some elbow grease and a whole lot of Simple Green, my old traffic light was taking shape. The lenses are plastic and looked plenty old and dull. Now you can do one thing that is real easy with plastic lenses that are dull and worn looking. A polish with a very slight abrasive quality did nicely. I used Mother's Aluminum Polish. I love this stuff! I've used it on my clear lenses in my speedo housings to make old scratched lenses look like new again. Just a little rubbing with a nice soft cloth on a nice soft surface is all it takes. The lenses ended up looking better than new! I did notice while testing the lights that they were some kind of super duper, high energy absorbing units only our government would buy. They also put out a lot of heat, maybe enough to heat a sandwich. I replaced these bulbs with ordinary household 40 watt clear bulbs. They put out more than enough light and won't burn down my garage! That feature was important to me at the time.

I currently have the lights wired up so you can look at them by way of a 3 panel switch that will light each light individually, or all at once. The goal is to wire them to my garage doors by way of switches that will sense the door position and light up the "assigned" light for that particular position.

The plan is as follows:

Amber Light (when door is coming up - caution)
Green Light (once door is fully open - ok to back out)
Red Light (when door is closing - stay clear of door)
All Lights Off (once door is fully closed)

After I have some discussion with an electrician I work with, he will advise me of the best way to go about making this light routine a reality. I will keep you all posted, and thanks for all of the comments in my album.