Laugh or Cry, You Decide!


New Member
This is just a true story that happened to me, and decades ago. I was a tech working at a Datsun/Nissan dealer during the 70’s. So I am handed a repair order for general maintenance on a 1976 Datsun 280Z. I drove it into my stall to lift it and service fluids w/5 speed stick. This nice looking gal comes directly toward me and asked if she could get something out of the car. Sure, you look familiar being 5 years my senior. She replied, I am a TV anchor on news 27. Wow, very nice to meet you! Is something wrong? She told me she was going to trade it in and the offer 2K less than I wanted. I asked her, how much would you sell it for, I may be interested. She said I’ll take 4 grand. I said I will buy it for that if it’s ok? We shook hands and the car never left the dealer. Saturday, the shop was closed, she came in, I gave her cash and made room on my bench to count it. I was happy because it was clean & 42k miles and the service records showed every service since day one. Plus, I got a peck on the check. Honestly, I don’t think I could stand up for 10 minutes, well, let’s say wardrobe issue would have been an issue.
After service I put poly glass GT RWL on the turbo-finned wheels she bought. The Michelin radials where worn but squarely at higher speeds durning quick lane changes. So 10 months or so went by and I heard of a outdoor party in the county, called “The Old Tree”. I spent almost 3 hours talking over two beers when my buddy who was in the military came back from Germany, and did a “Dukes-of-Hazards” style slide across the hood and tickled to see me. Well, you can guess what happened to the long skinny hood with the power bulge in it looked like. Man “O” Man. I was happy to see him after two years but pissed about my crumpled hood. Mixed emotions, he gave me $200 cash, I stuck it in my pocket and threw gravel then two more gears of rubber scratch as I hit the pavement. Paint code 301 (Look on the internet) but the 1977 had open louvers that were black, so I got the hood, scuff, 600 grit on the top and front fenders and one door ding. I shot primer with my Binks 7, on a Friday night at the dealer with guidance from the body shop manager. Next weekend, not married and free to do what I wanted, then manager helped me a little each night and told me to park & shoot the base/clear in the middle of the shop with the fans on. I had a 3M half face mask, floors washed, tack rag hung up to dry out then came in Sunday early and watched the temp and time. Everything was perfect as they has a mix station on site. It took hours but the gods of paint where on my side that day. Done, I was looking for defects, Dirt, runs etc., nothing, just perfect. It took two hours to clean up, unmask, clean my gun, put everything back as if I was never there. Over head directly over the floor drain it sit. Dry to the touch and one more inspection as I was dead tired. Perfect, so being the good employee with 10 vehicles on the West wall, 10 vehicles on the East wall the shop was full and I think the booth was as well. With arms full inside this huge building, I was standing at the door looking at 8-10 switches. None of them marked so you could read them, so I started shutting of the lights and fans for the weekend. Well 3 switches shut off the 3 fans in the ceiling that where 4-5 feet across each. The louvers closed and dust came down for ten minutes!!! I was a gasp. What? It was a brief out-of-Body experience as I could not believe me eyes. With 80% of the lights on, I walked over to the dead center spot where my car sit now 4 inch taller in a brown dust. I couldn’t touch it. Come Monday AM, I arrived at 6:30 just a few minutes before the manager. He was shocked and told me they leave the fans on year round, even overnight. I explained about two hours had passed as he washed it off with a commercial shop hose. It was completely fine. My heart re-started at some point. A week in the sun during the day, inside at the building on the hill I worked in. I waited until Saturday and wet sanded old school with a rubber squeegee, compound and polished with a 20 pound Black & Decker I still have today. I will never forget that night as this was the 3rd car I had painted & the first I had blended. I am just glad whatever product I used, what brand of clear it was, or hardener type as 3 coats went on, as a warm spring day, I got lucky. Real lucky!
Laugh or Cry! I did both! Xtech