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Wainscoting


1994 Honda Pasport


Bought this truck new in '94. For the craigslist pickups I'd be doing for Feydeau I needed a bit more room.

What's unibody construction?

Mr Sawzall was hungry that day.

sides

Inspired by Tom Sepe's motorbike.

Covered the sides with some wood off a pallet and some strapping. I put EPDM underneath to keep out the rain. Not really needed here in Phoenix.

Tied down in the front to keep front tipping out.


Jimmy


24' trusses in the Passport. Better than 12' cantilevered out the back. Going around corners, oh boy, talk about a whip.

I met a scrapper named Jimmy who came around to pick up metal during demolition. He would stack his pickup with metal to awe inspiring heights. Even in Bangladesh they would be impressed. Six foot, seven foot, eight foot, BUNCH! He pushed the limits of what I thought was possible. I've since doubled the amount of stuff I can haul. Still way short of the mass Jimmy could haul in his Dastan pickup. I just don't have the guts.

But Jimmy would be proud of this haul. Me, tooling down the road humming the theme song to Sanford and Son.

Salvaging Trusses

The trusses were free. I knew I couldn't use them as trusses because there's no way to spec them and they'd seen some weather. My plan was to cut them up for the lumber.

Won't do that again. The plates had to be pulled to get useful lengths and that was not easy.

I did end up using all the salvaged lumber. Always a need for non-bearing 2x4's.

Tardis


When the "Cash for Clunkers" program came along the summer of 2009 I was about done gathering materials for Feydeau and the Passport was starting to run a little rough.

Still many miles in it but the President wanted to help the environment and get some cash flowing so I decided to turn it in for the $4500 and get a new car. It had been 15 years since I'd gone car shopping. Boy, things had changed.

Pickups were out. I had one before I don't like them. Light back end meant stopping wasn't great. Most pickups can't lay 4x8 sheets flat, how dumb. You can't keep stuff in the bed less it go missing. Bad gas mileage, poor safety record. I don't see the up side. The one plus back then was being cheaper than a car. I couldn't believe how much they cost now...$30,000 - $40,000...and all tricked out with all kinds of junk. I really don't see the point.

My first choice was a Ford Transit Connect. Reminded me of trucks in Europe. Smaller size made more sense to me. So I'm ready to buy...got my check book on the table...salesman can't find some form he needs. They're in the process of moving. Can I come back on Tuesday? That's four days away, which I won't mind waiting, but if the sales department is this bad I can only imagine what the service department is like.

I called every Ford dealership within 100 miles. Long story short the sales people were the same or worst. I gave up, Ford got crossed off the list. Auto industry having trouble? At this point I'm starting to undertsand why there's a recession. What I don't get is how these companies stayed in business this long.

BMW Mini Cooper is up next. Good salesman, good test drive. Go home to think about it, decide to get it, impluse buy. Call the salesman to arrange the buy, leave a message. Leave another message. And another. Two days later he calls back. BMW...off the list. Cool toy, but I didn't want it that bad.

Not a lot of options left. I start looking at regular cars. Toyota and Honda no problems. Each had excellent salesmen.

I finally run into a new end of year 2008 Toyota Yaris hatch back. These got great reviews. 35 mpg, not bad. Best of all no power locks, no power windows, just what I wanted. Would have liked a manual transmission but you can't have everything. When you plan on keeping a vehicle for 15-20 years the fewer things that can go wrong the better.

With the Cash for Clunkers I was out of there for $12k. Cut my cost for gas in half. Sweet.

First thing I do is take out the back seat and the passenger seat. Now this thing has about as much space as my Passport had. I can get 8' pieces of lumber inside with the hatch closed. The payload weight is the same as the Passport at a little over 800 lbs. Fully loaded I'm not going to win any races...so?

There have been a few things I can no longer carry. 4x8 sheets, 40" width is max. And I couldn't get a couch in there only because it didn't have screw off legs. I'm thinking about rigging up some kind of carrier to handle larger items.

Overall it carrys a lot. When I show up to pickup something off craigslist I often hear "It'll never fit in there." But it does, except for the couch. So I've taken to calling it the Tardis. Bigger on the inside.