Fiat Update

Well last weekend Dad and I started in on the Yugo to Fiat engine swap. We powered through until Sunday when we had to get the Fiat rolling so we could get it home and out of the way. Monday I got the water, electrical and gas all hooked up and flowing, but the carburetor is now the hurdle left to clear. Plus a few minor linkages for the accelerator that need fixed before she’ll be drivable. I think tomorrow night I’ve got a pretty good chance of getting all the vacuum lines hooked back up to the right places and she’ll fire right up. Boy that’d be nice. Here’s a couple pictures from the weekend.

Hipster Transformation Complete

I seem to keep slipping more and more into the grandpa fashions of today’s hipsters. It is an odd mix though because it seemed to happen rather naturally. My grandfathers old cardigan sweaters which have been in my closet for 10+ years without ever seeing the light of day were the first piece adopted. They have the ability of taking even the most stifling office work attire and softening it with a certain Mr Rogers appeal. The double upper chucks that I took on my journey’s so long ago still alternate back and forth with a set of Tom’s I have and also an old man pair of just regular, but also very comfy brown shoes. Attach a beard to all of this and you begin playing with fire. Either the self established non-conformist Eli style that is not tied to any one classification or the full on trendy hipster(that works a day job for “the man” and I might add for the most part really enjoys it.) who succumbs to the fashions of a much younger crowd than what should be attempted by this almost senior citizen. I guess the question should be is all this being done as an expression of who I am and what I enjoy or is it the wedging in of a look into my life so that I can be identified as part of a particular sub culture. There is always the lure to stand out from the norm or fit in with a unique set of people. Particularly because the professional office culture that I’m surrounded by each day feels so much the opposite of who I feel that I am on the inside.(skip down later for another note on this) The beard culture is very much this way. Without the outward sign of the beard the camaraderie of sorts between bearded fellows cannot instantly be recognized and shared between strangers. It provides an almost instant connection to a deeper level of understanding between two people. These outwards signs though do nothing but provide a mask and unless there is inner contentment and self-confidence then the expression cannot be genuine. (self-confidence not to be confused with the power of “believing” in yourself as today’s society might say, having us believe in the power of positivity or thinking of ourselves as supermen, but self-confidence that comes from recognizing the great value that is placed on our being by the God of the universe. Who seeing such a great treasure being lost set into action to redeem it.) …so what does my newly fashioned hipster haircut(with sorta mohawk) that I gave myself last night say?…probably mostly that I should find an actual barber.

note:(in reference when I told you to skip down for another note on this) I do suppose though that this could be a part of the living paradox that is my life. Thoughtful and (somewhat)rational behavior within a non-conformist, weird frame. It’s only fitting that my favorite author GKC steeps his writing in seemingly opposite, but at the same time related and complementary thoughts and beliefs. I grew up Pentecostal slowly migrating to progressive Southern Baptists to eventually an interdenominational church, but now most closely associate some of my core beliefs about faith and the world with a man who started his venture to faith as an agnostic before he wound up a devoted catholic. I work in a professional often very rigid financial industry, but would more closely identify with the lives of a gypsy or a nomad. I’ve learned to love button up boring work shirts and khakis right alongside of the various band tees and ridiculously corny shirts that inhabit my closet. I feel myself as an average person with the ability to understand life from multiple points of view, but don’t see very many other average people with the same ability out there.

Yugo Humor

A car this legendary doesn’t require anything to bolster its legacy and fasten its place in history, but so the automotive history books aren’t entirely filled with sorrow and lamentation when they speak about the Yugo, here are a few jokes.

Why is the Yugo’s rear window heated?
To keep your hands warm in the winter while you push it.

How do you double the value of a Yugo?
Put a gallon of milk in the back seat.

What takes up the last six pages of the Yugo users’ manual?
The train and bus timetables.

What do you call a Yugo with a flat tire?

What do you call a Yugo with brakes?

What is the sport package for a Yugo?
A pair of Nike shoes.

What do you call a Yugo with twin exhausts?
A wheelbarrow

Why don’t Yugos sustain much damage in a front-end collision?
The tow truck takes most of the impact.

How do you get a Yugo to accelerate to 60Mph?
Push it off a cliff.

What do you call the shock absorbers inside a Yugo?

The Oakland Police captured two men in their Yugo last night. The men are being held as suspects in the city’s first push-by shooting.

A man walks into an auto parts store and says, “I’ll take a gas cap for a Yugo.”
“Sounds like a fair trade”, says the counter worker.

Definition of an optimist: A Yugo owner with a radar detector.

Why don’t Yugo owners carry a map?
They never get far enough to get lost.

What do you do if your Yugo goes through a swarm of killer bees?
Stop pushing and take refuge in the car.

What is the difference between a golf ball and a Yugo?
You can drive a golf ball 200 yards.

How do you turbocharge a Yugo?
Roll down the window, turn your head towards the rear and sneeze.

A guy driving a Yugo pulled up to a stoplight next to a Rolls Royce. He rolled down his window and shouted to the driver of the Rolls. “Hey, buddy, that’s a nice car. You got a phone in your Rolls? I’ve got a phone in my Yugo!”

The driver of the Rolls looked over and said snobbishly, “Yes, I have a phone.”

The driver of the Yugo said, “That’s great man! Hey, you got a TV in there? You know, I got a TV in the back seat of my Yugo!”

The driver of the Rolls, quite irritated by now, replied, “Of course, I have a television. A Rolls Royce is the finest luxury car in the world!”

The driver of the Yugo said, “Yes, a very cool car! Hey, you got a bed in there? I got a bed in the back of my Yugo!”

The driver of the Rolls, upset that he did not have a bed, sped away and went straight to the dealer, where he promptly ordered a bed to be installed in the back of his Rolls Royce. The next morning, he returned to pick up his car, and the bed looked superb. It came complete with silk sheets and a brass-trimmed headboard. It was clearly a bed fit for a Rolls-Royce. So the driver of the Rolls began searching for the Yugo. He drove around all day and finally found the Yugo late that night. It was parked, with all the windows fogged up from the inside. He got out and knocked on the window of the Yugo. When there wasn’t any answer, he continued knocking and knocking until finally, the owner of the Yugo lowered the window, and stuck his soaking wet head out. “I now have a bed in the back of my Rolls-Royce,” the driver of the Rolls stated arrogantly.

The driver of the Yugo looked at him narrowly and said, “You got me out of the shower to tell me THIS?!?!

I go where Yugo?

Quick update. I just recently acquired an old Yugo in a straight across the board trade for the 99 VW Jetta that I had sitting that could only drive in reverse(long story). A salvage yard in Topeka had posted it up for sale and when it didn’t meet the reserve on Ebay(it was only bid up to $300 and some change) I offered a trade. In my mind I was just ecstatic to be getting rid of this piece of crap VW and it’s frozen bolts around the transmission that have just been laughing at me. So I loaded up dad’s truck and the trailer and during one of the windiest days we’ve had in a while I drove it up to swap it out. Not before accidentally ripping off the bumper entirely on the VW while trying to get it rolled up onto the trailer. On the west bound roads I had to back off the gas to keep the trailer from whipping all over the road, no fun task when driving through 435 in Kansas City, but made it there finally.

They used the fork truck to pick up and lift the Yugo over to the trailer since they couldn’t find the key and the steering column was locked up. I got her tied down and headed back home. The yugo was much easier to to tow on the way home, compared to the VW it was like pulling a bag of feathers. I spent most of the day yesterday extracting the door handle to get take the lock over to a locksmith friend of the family, but after all that work the ignition and door keys of course weren’t the same. Dad convinced me to leave all the crazy hot rod stickers plastered on the windows, but I did go ahead and pull out the junk window tinting that they’d put in. I replaced a couple tires so that we could eventually drive it off the trailer. Then after our key discovery worked for a while trying to remove the ignition lock cylinder with no success. After working for an hour or so trying not to destroy the mechanism and cleanly extract it I gave up, it is just a Yugo, and went the screwdriver driven into the lock assembly route to get the wheel lock to disengage. Then for the first time ever I got to work on hot wiring a car. A short while later she roared to life and I was able to pull it down from the trailer into the garage.

On the way back to my apartment tonight I began mulling over the idea of just pulling this engine and fitting it temporarily until the master rebuild of the Fiat’s engine is done to my satisfaction. So if everything works out Dustin you can have your storage area back and I’ll have my 128 back on the road. Although the Yugo was just begging to be put to use in all manner of rally applications, for now she’s just going to be an organ donor. If she sticks around long enough though I can see some ridiculous fender flares, ground effects and spoilers a la Killer B rally car style being installed and maybe a 1500cc engine being dropped back in along with a roll cage.

Here she is in all her glory.