The New Plan Begins To Take Shape...
January 16th, 2011
I've been looking around hard for area shops that will clean and box Cornelia's frame for the new build. While both Susan and I still plan to take welding at the local tech school either this spring or summer, there are certain things that are best left to professionals, and getting a frame boxed and set up with a new suspension system is one of them. After spending the last several weeks calling around and exploring websites, I came across Steve Schmidt and Midnight Hot Rods in Milwaukee, WI, which is slightly over an hour away from us. Not too bad of a drive. I had talked to Steve just before Christmas, at which time they were in the midst of moving their shop to a larger building (a good sign). After a LONG conversation about the truck, Steve sounded excited about the project and said he'd call back in mid-January to schedule a time to come out and have a look at it.
True to his word, Steve called last Thursday evening and showed up on Friday with two of his employees, Ian and Zach, which both Susan and I thought was pretty cool. We all talked for close to two hours while crawling around Cornelia and exploring every nook and cranny. Steve genuinely seems to love the truck and the prospect of making it streetable (with some umph) while keeping the exterior and interior stock (like I say - except for the possibility of a wood bed conversion...).
Overall, Steve felt the frame was in wonderful condition compared to what he normally sees on old pickups (he has over 25 years of experience) and the entire crew loved Cornelia. Our next step will be for Susan and I to visit their shop and to talk to some of their references, but I have a feeling we've found our man, and our starting point for this project :-) You can check them out by clicking on the image at the top of this post.
In the meantime, I'm working on a planning list of parts and sources - when complete, I will post it for both educational purposes as well as to obtain feedback. The planning stage is the most important part of a build - the research for the proper parts is critical. Since this isn't a Ford or Chevy, it will take a little more effort and time, but as you all know, I'm willing to put the time in (Susan has been working on my patience...).