Burkhard’s Model T has now moved from shipping container storage to his garage workshop, on borrowed wheels (his are being rebuilt). Because of course, just borrow Model T wheels. No problem! They’re actually from Francisco, who told him about using rear axle housings to keep the front end level — notice them to the left of the photo. He thought the jacket draped over the back shouldn’t be in the photo, but it struck me as perfectly symbolic: well, at least this thing has value as a…Continue Reading “The rust bucket”

I checked in with Burkhard yesterday, to see the status of the Model T project. He told me that they day before, he had felt like a kid at Christmas after a box full of parts arrived from the United States. Here they are: bushings, suspension and steering bits. And the aftermarket springs. And what of the beast itself? Look at this picture and see if you notice something strange, as I did: His friend friend Francisco, who turns out to be the owner of…Continue Reading “Model T: new parts, old parts, tire changing”

Immediately after I posted yesterday, Burkhard sent me current photos. I think maybe he’s having some fun with me, because the last one is definitely smaller than the next two, and even accounting for perspective, the closest looks bigger. I’m not sure why he feels a need to fix them — it’s just a few bug holes and Model Ts don’t go very fast. But he’s picky. No doubt will insist on new tires as well. I think that’s a front hub below. You can…Continue Reading “It begins: the wheels”

My friend Burkhard, of German descent from Namibia, moved from a rather remote part of the interior of Uruguay to a place not far from our little country property. And immediately started projects. One of which was buying a Ford Model A. To restore. Which meant taking the whole thing apart. No, I mean really apart. And from three engines that looked like this, creating one with the best parts from each. He substituted adjustable valves – a later innovation (i.e., not original) that apparently…Continue Reading “Restoration”

We finally took delivery of our new car, a Renault Duster. Though it’s been wonderful to have a loaner car for two months, it’s fabulous to be sitting high off the road again, and the Duster may replace my 2002 Toyota 4Runner as my all-time favorite car. It’s a sort-of SUV, only two wheel drive, lacks some bells and whistles such as electric mirrors, but by default – YESSSSSSSS! — front running lights turn on when you start the engine. These are required in Uruguay…Continue Reading “Shiny new car, and a bit of strangeness”