Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This Summer's Road Trip - French Cars and Boats from Detroit to Charleston

When I left Detroit, I left a lot of stuff behind; practically everything ever featured on Beaterblog except the Roo Chaser and E30. Not that I have anywhere to put it but somehow this stuff must be brought south of the Mason-Dixon. Eager to follow up on last year's road trip, Stauffer has again graciously agreed to provide an essential role.

So now the question to be answered: what must I bring back and why? Obviously, this must be a practical and pragmatic decision. Now that I'm living in downtown Charleston, it would be foolishness not to have a small car on hand for the ancient narrow streets containing parking spots oft passed up by gluttonous tanks like Sentras and Corollas. And what good is one small French car when you don't have a backup? Not any good at all, so I've found. And what good are two French cars without a trailer? I don't even need to answer that. Furthermore, it would also be nonsense to not have a boat, being jammed between two rivers on one side and a beach on the other. The Roo Chaser can handle burnouts and laps of King Street, negating the need for a boosted Javelin. Therefore, the choice was made: The Simcas, trailer, and boat must come. But how?

By my logic, here's how it works out. A Simca can not tow a Simca, this is known. A truck can tow a Simca but not (legally) a Simca and a boat together. Simcas were built  from paper thin materials and were never meant  to tow anything heavier than a crepe stand  so I  ask that all supreme beings collectively shed mercy on those who  do not anticipate problems  when ignoring these facts. A truck towing a parts-Simca on a trailer hauling a 2-post hoist solves three problems. A Simca towing a 1955 Alumacraft 14 footer solves another two. Five problems solved in one trip, what could go wrong?

So while in town for the Grand Prix, plans were finalized at The Post in Novi, where much of the Roo Chaser trip was hashed out over pints of Hoplical Illusion. Fuelled by gas station Bud Light Micheladas the following day, a tow bar was welded together featuring a 1" receiver and hooks for chains. Stauffer stood on it and it gave way. Terrifyingly, this was after the initial 60mph gravel test drive. Chains were installed going from the spare tire mount to the tow bar. Tongue weight of the trailer was dialed back to around 35lbs for optimum ride and handling. The ratchet straps were then gingerly removed.

The lift was put up with an old Toyota forklift which now stuck in the mud. In fact, out of 5 forklifts at the shop, zero run so the lift was taken down with more Bud Light and a ratchet strap. Along with the welder, a couple shop benches, tools, and whatever other shit I can throw on to max out Stauffer's GVW, the lift and blue Simca will go down on the trailer.

So now it's off to Detroit in a couple of weeks to pack the trailer and fill the basket rack full of parts that aren't on the car in tow. A ginormous pile of metal will be scrapped as a beer and gas trust fund. I even got a Go-Pro for by birthday. This could be an interesting trip indeed.


  1. I definitely want to see the videos!!!

  2. You're in luck, just put em up! Check the latest posting.