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WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND- PART N+1
Though he's never cared much for the Old Adage, "What goes Around, Comes Around", the Maestro's forever amazed by The Truth of that saying.
He's seen Things Come Around Big Time on that Les Paul Ge-tar of Life, and smack many people upside the head. Hard. Some Fatally.
Sometimes these smacks take twenty years to come around. Other times they happen OVERNIGHT!
Point is, they happen! The Maestro's seen it enough to know it's not just Random. It's an INTENTIONAL hit by the gods. A Lightening Bolt meant for YOU! He's even experienced it himself once or twice, when he put a non-Original fastener on the front side of the Fan Shroud where no one, not even the Concours Judge can see. But the Porsche gods can.
That must explain "Those" Days where EVERYTHING goes wrong, goes wrong, goes wrong, in such weird ways, with such a Vanishingly Low Probability of it being "Random" that you just KNOW it's Personal 'tween your gods and YOU!
A pretty damn long time ago- like FIFTEEN years ago, the Maestro built a Super-90 Engine for a Man from San Fran who had a 1963 356B Cabriolet.
Unfortunately, the Cabriolet was in LA, a long ways away, and the Maestro didn't intended to see LA anytime soon.
But the Owner insisted that the Maestro install the engine himself- down in LA- and after much discussion of the subject, the Maestro most reluctantly agreed, but with the proviso that the guy PAY him in FULL in Green & Crispy when the job was done.
So the Maestro wasted a VERY long day driving to LA, (and back), to a very BAD part of LA, busted his tail putting the engine in and firing it up, and then driving back home again, loaded with Green & Crispy.
And that was the last time the Maestro heard from the Man From San Francisco. Just as well, thought the Maestro. It wasn't a happy deal.
Then, 15 years later, Out of the Blue, the Man from San Francisco called and asked ifin the Maestro remembered him.
The somewhat distant and not-too-pleasant memories were accessed and downloaded within 3.56 milliseconds. (Bad Memories are always stored longer and recalled faster than Good Memories. Evolution requires this.)
"Oh yes," said the Maestro. "How could I ever forget YOU?!"
The Man from San Francisco now wanted to sell the car, and the Maestro having a World Wide Buy/Sell List was the man to contact.
"It hasn't been run in over 14 years," said the Man From San Fran. "and in all that time, I only put a thousand miles on your engine."
Only a thousand miles in over 15 years? thought the Maestro. Too bad- they like to be DRIVEN! Hell, they NEED to be driven!
Stored for 15 years? That means the gas has probably turned to Black Goo.
The Maestro had only a vague recollection of the car itself- in LA Fifteen years ago, and clearly wanted to inspect it again now. Who knows- maybe it was a Diamond in the Rust. So an appointment was made- for the Friday before Tax Day.
On that day, the Maestro looked and felt his Very Best as he always does at Tax Time and motivated up 101 to That Gay City By The Bay.
Fortunately, he had timed his charge up the 101 "Freeway" to be at Minimum Traffic Density (his Actual departure Time is a State Secret) and luckily there were no overturned Big Rigs and only a few car fires from the deadly Toxic, California gasoline, so a nice even 80mph could be maintained.
The Maestro found the address in the City By The Bay, and much more amazing, easily found a PARKING PLACE! A Parking place in San Francisco? You expect me to believe that???
The last time the Maestro was at the guy's apartment was over 15 years ago. At the time, the guy had a Monstrous Dog from Africa that hunted Lions for sport. Or so he claimed.
The guy even made a Big Deal of going into the apartment first to calm the Killer Dog, because he was afraid the animal might go wild, attack the Maestro and eat him.
The Maestro wasn't worried- he likes dogs, and at the time had Midnight, a very smart female Black Lab/Terrier mix, who happened to be in heat at the time.
The Vicious Killer African dog took one whiff of the Maestro and thought- "Hey, this guy smells GOOD!", jumped into his lap and begged to be petted.
The Maestro obliged.
The guy was blown away. His dog had never done anything like that before, preferring instead to take the leg of any visitor back to its den for dinner.
This time, the guy from San Fran had no dog no mo'. He had died a few years before at the ripe old age of 18. Instead the guy had a Guatemalan Maid. And a much older apartment.
The 356 was down below in the garage, partly hidden by mucho debris of Life and obviously unused for a long time.
With Flashlight and Sony Mavica Camera in hand, the Maestro began the Inspection.
And what a SHOCK he got when he turned the light on! For the poor 356 was the Color of what could only be described as "Baby Poo-Poo Brown"!
Man, what a BAD Color Choice thought the Maestro. Baby Poo-Poo Brown. It and Monkey Vomit Green are the only two colors that DON'T look good on a 356!
He opened the Driver's Door to see just what Contrasting Color the Interior would be with a Baby Poo-Poo Brown Exterior.
Inside, he found: A Baby Poo-Poo brown Interior! (And Porsches are supposed to have Complementary Colors between outside and inside!)
So what's "Complimentary" to Poo-Poo Brown?
Why, MORE Poo-Poo Brown! Of course!
Even the CARPETS were Poo-Poo Brown! And they were GLUED to Poo-Poo Brown foam rubber that was then GLUED to the floor.
An when he eyeballed the wiring under the Dash, most of the Color Coded wires were Poo-Poo Brown too!
This car is getting more difficult to sell every minute, thought the Maestro. Well, maybe it'll be rust-free underneath.
Hummh, he though as he eyeballed the underneath- the jack point on the driver's side was beginning to pull loose from its Longitudinal. Not a good sign.
Then he eyeballed the bottom of the Driver's Door. Uh Oh, what all this, noticing the obvious grafting of metal pieces and Bondo to the door bottom. This was no Virgin Door Bottom. Again, not good.
He popped the Front Hood to find it filled with car covers. That's a great place for a car cover- INSIDE the trunk rather that OUTSIDE, ON the car, protecting it from dust & kids.
He removed all the trunk detritus and eyeballed the Battery Box. Oops- there was evidence of previous repair/replacement, with much weld bead up the inside of the fender area.
"How many miles on this puppy? Asked the Maestro casually.
"The speedo says 62,000" said the guy. "Are you sure that it isn't 162,000 or 262,000 miles? "Oh, I'm sure- I got it back in the 70's. It only has 62,000 miles."
Although it was more work, the Maestro decided to get a handle on the Real Mileage by eyeballing the Front suspension parts through the Steering Box access cover.
He unscrewed the 4 rusty screws holding the access cover in place and popped it off for the first time in a Looooong Time.
Underneath the access cover was a study in Archaeology. From the thick, heavy deposits of crud on everything Steering or Suspension, clearly this car had a lot more than 62,000 miles on it!
Then he eyeballed the metal can that's the Brake Cylinder Reservoir.
And noticed something usual about it.
The Brake cylinder Can had "Teats" sticking out of it!
Well, how else could you describe them- They were about 1/4" long, Round, Red and about 6 of them.
What WERE these "Teats" on the side of the Master Cylinder Reservoir and were they as useless as "Teats on a Boar"?
The Maestro investigated further, and stuck his hand- with its attached Magic Fingers- down inside the Access Hole, probing for the Master Cylinder Reservoir.
His hand reached the Top of the Master Cylinder reservoir and a delectable digit dove inside for evidence of Brake Fluid.
It emerged, with no trace of Brake Fluid on it.
But with a fingerful of Sludge and Sediment!
Sediment from the Brake fluid having long since turned from useable liquid to useless crud!
And the "Teats" Sticking out of the Master Cylinder Reservoir- WHAT WERE THEY?
They were Horizontal Stalagmites formed when the Hygroscopic Brake Fluid picked up enough Water from the San Francisco Fog to rust out the SIDE of the metal reservoir and simultaneously turn the brake fluid to Jell-O.
Eventually, the water/brake fluid/Jell-O corroded through the Brake Reservoir, and the semi-solid mass oozed out- to harden into the red "Teats" on the side of the can.
(See- everything has a Explanation, no matter how weird! Except for the Kennedy Assassination.)
Finally, the Maestro got around to the one known GOOD part of the car- the Super-90 engine the Maestro had done 15 years before.
He popped the Rear deck lid and began eyeballing.
Well, there it was, still with the nicely-Cad Plated fasteners and all, but almost covered in dirt and oil- something that takes a lot more than a thousand miles to form.
He pulled out the dip stick and was appalled at the condition of the oil thereon. It was deeply BLACK! Blacker than it could possibly get in a Thousand miles!
The Maestro got that Foreboding Feeling- that this was NOT going to be a "simple" deal. This car needed a LOT of work to fix up to even be a "Driver" let alone a true $35,000 Cabriolet.
The Maestro explained it to the guy.
"Well, the first thing you gotta do is FIX THE BRAKES."
"Oh, NO said he. "The brakes were just fine when I parked it .... Fourteen years ago."
Well, said the Maestro- pointing to the six Teats on the Reservoir- the brakes aren't fine anymore!"
"Well, how much will that cost to fix?" cheaped the guy. "I don't know," said the Maestro. "I don't have X-Ray vision and can't inspect the entire brake system without taking it apart. Probably at least a Grand. Maybe 2."
"Oh, nooooo," cried the guy. "I CAN'T AFFORD THAT!"
But the yell fell on deaf ears.
Well, said the Maestro. "If you want to sell the car for a good price, it helps to get it running. With the Brake work, the Gas Tank cleaning maybe some engine work, and all the other stuff wrong, you're probably looking at least 5 grand.
"FIVE GRAND! I REALLY CAN'T AFFORD THAT!"
"Well," said the Maestro. "Then you'll have to sell it for less." "But I have too much money tied up in it. I CAN'T sell it for less!" Well, then I guess you've got a problem, thought the Maestro. But he didn't say that. He figured the best way to deal with this particular problem car was to ignore it.
"Don't you know anyone who can do this work CHEAP?" cried the guy.
"Frankly- NO!" said the Maestro. "All the guys I would recommend for the work are GOOD, they know they're Good and they charge accordingly.
And believe me, you DON'T want someone working on this car who ISN'T good. You've had too many of those already!
The guy continued to pressure the Maestro into taking on the project, insisting that "we" could make out very well. Right "we " could make out very well with the Maestro doing all the work and the guy talking all the profit.
The Maestro didn't think so.
Sooner or later the guy would realize that 1.) He ain't a-gonna sell it for what he thought he could. and 2.) he'll have to pony up the money to fix it. Right now though, he was in Deep Denial.
The Maestro could only tell the Potential Buyer on his Buy/Sell list The Truth about what he saw. The Horrible Color. The lousy paint job. The Teats on the Master Cylinder Reservoir.
And let the buyer decide.
The Buyer decided to Beware, and passed on the car.
The Maestro felt The Wheel of Life roll on. And over the Man from San Fran.
It was the Irony the gods so love.
Poetic Justice. Keeps the 356 Faith!!
P.S. The really Ironic part of all this is that had the Man from San Fran Done It Right on the Paint & Interior instead of cheaping out, he could have gotten Top Dollar for the Car- after all, it WAS a Super-90 Cabriolet with the Black & Yellow plates! From California.
In fact, it might have made all the work done on the car highly PROFITABLE!
Such are the Wages of Cheapness. Do it wrong and not only do you get to do it over again, but you always get Lower Dollar at selling time.
Throughout Life, You pays your money and you Takes your Chances.
But you'd better:
KEEP THE 356 FAITH!!!
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