Salt in the Wound – Dave’s Garage

Now that Spring has finally gotten a foothold on our Vermont weather, it is time to wash the salt off our cars. Salt is much more corrosive when the temperature is above freezing. The salty, sandy mixture of road treatment debris, combined with the protective layer of mud from mud season is a perfect recipe for corrosion.

It is really important to thoroughly wash the mud, sand and salt off before it can do any more damage. Washing out the wheel wells, rocker panels, door bottoms, joints where panels meet, floor pans and any other place where debris can collect is a tedious job, but one that will avoid costly rust damage.

rustKeep an eye out for cars similar to the car you drive. Look for rusty areas. These are the areas of your car that you need to pay particular attention to. Make sure drain holes in quarter panels, rocker panels, hoods and doors are open and able to drain correctly.

My Subaru is a 2002 with 205,000 miles on it. It has never had any body work done to it. This spring, a patch of rust appeared where the rear quarter panel and the bumper meet. There is a pin hole now, and the corrosion has taken off over the last few weeks. I plan on sand blasting the area, welding new metal in any holes, and epoxy priming the bare metal before painting. Epoxy primer does a excellent job of both adhering to the metal, and preventing further rust.

Rust prevention and repair are both time consuming and expensive, but with the cost of new cars today, it is money well spent.


Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

Out of the mouths of babes!

On the 29th of April, Gary and I will have been married 41 years. We probably should have “big” plans to celebrate but have found that, like so many couples, we have settled into a fairly quiet and comfortable existence. I bring this up because sometimes something happens to make you at least take a step back and reflect.

What happened in our case was a comment made to Gary from a 12 year boy who was doing a history project on ‘How automobiles had changed’ and he interviewed Gary, here at the house with his teacher. Gary gave them the ‘grand’ tour and thankfully he could get the 29 Chevy started and gave them a ride around Derby Line. As you can imagine, Gary has plenty of interesting ‘stuff’, especially to interest a 12 year old boy! Of course, Ryan invited Gary to the History Expo to see how he put his project together. Fast forward a few weeks and it is Expo day. Gary takes his camera and heads to Derby to meet Ryan. When he saw Gary, he was so excited and asked Gary not to move while he went and got his mother so he could introduce her. When Gary went to leave, Ryan said, “Mr. Olney, you are the most awesome man I’ve ever met”!! Gary got home and told me what had been said and I, of course, laughed! This is where the ‘reflection’ part comes in. I asked myself if this 12 year old was seeing something that I saw over 40 years ago but after raising 2 boys, preparing approximately 30,750 meals, about 1000 batches of chocolate chip cookies, and over 10,000 loads of laundry, not to mention all the cars, motors, fenders, etc., that I have helped move from one place to another, had kind of forgotten. Had I gotten to the place his mother was, when Gary, after having a full beard for years (I had never known him without one) shaved it off? His mother looked at him and said ‘have you gotten new glasses?’ Knowing something was different but hadn’t really looked at him. Is the term ‘taken for granted’? When I met Gary, he had traveled over the world, been in the Air Force with 2 years in Turkey and 2 years in Japan, been to college, had a great interest in cars, parts, post cards, signs, and many other things too numerous to mention. After we married, he graduated from Vermont Technical College with a degree in Land Surveying, which he worked at and loved for many years. What I’m getting at is, that this is Gary today with all his interests. Back then I thought all this was awesome and have to admit, I guess I lost sight of it all but thanks to a wonderful, articulate, and interesting 12 year old, I’m reminded- maybe I will plan something big for the awesomeist man in the world for our anniversary. I’ll start right after I get supper, get the cookies out of the oven and – hang on, Gary is calling me from the warehouse, he’s in the ‘31 Plymouth and needs a push!

Bringing a 1965 ROVER P5 from Scotland

A schematic of the modifications for ROVER
A small group of us in the VAE fell in love with English cars in our youths. One car, that never sold in volume in this country, was the ROVER P5. In 2011, I made a trip to Scotland to acquire the car shown on the cover. Before I tell about that trip, I want to tell you what is planned for the car. It will end up as a fully equipped rally car with a 13 inch Mac computer in the instrument panel and a PATHFINDER infrared driving light system, just to make sure I can see 700 feet ahead at night.

Modifications for ROVER include a 3.0 liter BMW N55 engine with turbocharger, tuned to achieve 384 horsepower at 5,700 RPM. Power will be transferred to the rear wheels through a 6-speed manual BMW transmission with a “Guibo”, a flex disc, at the output shaft. The drive shaft is from an extended cab FORD F150. An adapter plate, machined by Paul Gosselin of HYDRO PRECISION in Colchester, fits on the front SPICER U-joint yoke and bolts directly to the Guibo.

The back of the drive shaft is connected to the differential with a especially made SPICER 1330 to 1350 U-joint adapter. The differential is a stainless steel and chrome plated FORD 9”, 39/13 ratio. Jaguar inboard brakes are also stainless steel, as are the swing axles. The entire unit, made by Kugel Komponents of La Habra, CA, is being installed in the ROVER unitized body by MARK’S AUTO in Monkton. This is the first time that a Kugel unit has been placed in a unitized body.

The trip to Scotland to buy the car was fraught with missteps, coincidence, and incredible luck. I rode a CONTINENTAL flight from Newark to Edinburgh, where I left my shaving kit in the airport men’s room. After retrieving it from lost and found, I took a train to Berwickshire, where the exit door jammed and wouldn’t let me off. Ten (10) miles further, I got off in a strange place that had no station agent and a phone that required a British credit card. Fortunately, a landscaper working on a yard close by had a brother in Philadelphia. He called out……“What kin I doo fur ya, Yank?”

A cell phone call summoned the antique car dealer and the whole thing turned around. The dealer drove ROVER and I rode in it for the first time. I was treated to lunch at a café in North Berwick. Over lunch, I discovered that a Scottish lady at the ta-ble was good friends with a couple in Essex Center that she has known for 45 years!
“My husband, Lyle, plays in the Berwickshire pipe band. Our American friends come every August so that he and Lyle can play bag-pipes at the Edinburgh Tattoo,” she said. “When we come to Vermont, we stay with them in Essex Center.”

Author’s note: It’s a good thing I didn’t go over there to meet another woman! By noon, 3200 miles away, my cover would have been blown…..
Having had lunch, the dealer and I went out to find a crowd around ROVER, admiring it. A little Scottish boy approached and put his hand on the right-front fender. His father, horrified, yelled: “Dinna touch the car, lad ! Dinna touch the car” !

At that point, I realized that I had to have ROVER.