Seth, “Gary, Boston is supposed to be getting another blizzard. Should we postpone?”……. Gary, “No”

Posted: February 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

Friday night almost started with a “breaking and entering”. Early in the week, a local craftsman promised me that he would cut a piece of scrap ¾-inch plywood for me to 46”x46” and leave it in his lot. I was traveling for work and didn’t get back home until late Friday night. His workshop was closed. At about 11:30PM (it was only 11 degrees out), I was ready to jump the 10+ foot fence and “find the piece”. A survey of the gated lot with a small flashlight through the fence didn’t show proof that the piece of wood was there, so the fence wasn’t jumped. I asked a few neighbors if they happened to have some plywood. I am certain that they were confused by the late night request for plywood. As such, “Plan B” was enacted. Don’t tell my landlord, but the wooden hatch to the crawlspace in the basement fit nicely in the back of Gary Holmgren’s Honda Odyssey and served as a decent enough platform to keep the model A engine “safely off the carpet” while helping distribute the engine’s weight. Gary Holmgren, by the way, is a friend for 25 years that volunteered his mini-van and time to help.

Loading a Model A engine into a mini-van is actually not as straight forward as one would think. I don’t know if we should have taken the initial advice I received which was “Keep it simple. Put an old tire down in trunk, put the engine on the tire, drive where you are going”. Our plan was to use the perfectly cut plywood as a base, hoist the engine into the car and place it on the previously constructed stand, and tie everything down.  The hoist did make it into the car (barely) and will a little angling the stand was under the engine and the engine was in place.  When we first test drove around the block the engine tilted forward and dented the plywood….. we should have anchored the stand on the base (as Gary suggested and I agreed) but the screw driver needed to be charged and “what the hell, let’s try anyway”. Let’s just say that this was a process that ended just before 1AM. Having the engine strapped to the stand and the stand anchored is the right way to go.  Having the wood base also gives you a surface that makes it easier to slide the engine in/out of the car. If you are not using the tire method and able to toss around engines like they were bowling balls, the mount/base method is the way to go.  A cut sheet for the mount was posted in a prior post.



Valentine’s Day started at 7:00 AM. Wake. Coffee. Finish packing. Anchored the stand into the wood base. We depart the townhouse in Nyack at 8:15/8:30 when we saw the PERFECTLY cut piece of wood in the enclosed shop lot…. which was still locked up. If I saw it last night, I would have climbed the fence.  We waved to it and kept moving.  The roads were EMPTY.  We took the major roads to avoid sharp turns and hills.

At 12:00 noon we arrived at J and M Machine Shop. John and Mike Gulbankian were waiting for us and ready to go.  Their friend Jeff was also there. Unloading the Model A engine from Gary’s mini-van was easy. John pushed a table to the back of the car, we slid the engine stand out of the car onto the table. John rolled the table to the center of the room and then John and his brother go to action.

More to come.,,,,,,

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