So I went to this thing called the World of Wheels at the Atlanta Congress Center, a convention center. I don't totally know the basis of it. It's like a traveling show, except 80% of the cars were from Georgia. Other than winning the lottery, this was the best thing that could have happened to me. I was able to talk to people about where they got their work done, get numbers and business cards from vendors,and see some new ideas in person.
First gigantic score of the day was when I first got there. My girlfriend and I were standing in line waiting to buy tickets when a guy who could have been a distant cousin of Willy Nelson, came up and asked if I was buying tickets. Forgetting how nice people are in Georgia, I interrupted him and pulled on my no-pandering hat and said that I didn't have any cash on me so I had to use my credit card tobuy them from the booth(which was true, I only had $7 on me and figured I'd need it for snacks). He just smiled and said "I'm gonna give you tickets for free, if you want them." I waited for the catch, but there wasn't one. He and a buddy were actually part of the show. They were in a car club and had 5-6 cars on the floor. They had 2 extra passes because their wives didn't come. We said sure and followed them in. I talked to the guy a bit and he told me where his cars were and to stop by as he raced ahead to catch up with his friend.
***Side note: Since I've been in Atlanta, I've made a lot of trips home to LA to visit my friends and family. Doing this has let me rack up a lot of points that I can turn into upgrades. Because of this, I usually fly business class and I don't have to pay baggage fees. I joke about being spoiled and whether or not I can ever fly in coach with the common folk again (which I can and still do when the upgrades aren't available. I'm no Jenny from the block...).
So here I was, again, with a free upgrade. We didn't even have to wait in the regular line to get in. With our "All-Access" passes hanging around our necks with O'reilly Autoparts sponsored lanyards, we just went in through the owners section. Boo-ya!!
We went in and started in the direction of our benefactor's car section. Again we were lucky that his cars were basically at the first corner of the room, so we had a starting point without having to back track all-over the place. We found Jim Haynie surrounded by a bunch of Chevys. He had 2 cars there that day. A 57' Belair and a 64' Vette. Great looking cars. Best part about them? They were all drivers. Not daily driver(like mine is going to be), but unlike the other show cars that probably had odometers of 150 miles or less and sat in a garage like Cameron Frye's dad, Jim drove his around. A lot. Which to me, is even cooler especially on how great of shape they were in.
I touched on this earlier, but with most of the cars being from Georgia, probably meant that most of them had the work done in Georgia too. This leads to the Second score of the day. I asked Jim where he had his engine work done. If he had done it himself, or just had it machined, or just plain rebuilt by someone else. He gave me the name of the guy who did all his machine work. Said the guy really knew his stuff and made his engine work perfectly. I'd been calling places for 2 weeks trying to find a good machinist, but the Internet doesn't work when it comes to engine repair. All I got were collision shops that didn't really do the kind of work I was looking for. Or automotive shops that wouldn't work on something so rare or old.So this was my golden ticket to finally finding someone with not only a name and number, but a recommendation that I was actually able to see proof that the guy was good.
We walked around some more and met up with some friends from work. Ziggy, who owns my shop, was there with his family and the rock star couple of my UPM and Location Manager were there with their newborn daughter. It's always nice to see people outside of the office that you actually like, and I felt like I was part of the cool crowd.
We hung out for a bit and then went on our way checking out the rest of the cars.
Score #3 was when we walked by a 65' Mustang. The interior was awesome. I've been debating on whether I should post a pic of it, making it a surprise, but I figured I'd be showing you pictures of the process and not just wait for the finished car, so why not. This is really cool. I love how the mesh allows you to make the inner part of the seat 2-toned, while letting the whole seat be more than just light on the outside and dark in the middle. Not only might this be my color
scheme, but the pattern and mesh will definitely be the inspiration for what my seats are going to look like. I can't describe how cool I think it is. When I get frustrated about trying to figure out what I'm going to do with every-little-thing about my car,I'm totally at peace when I think of those seats.
I got some business cards and advertisements for some custom upholstery guys, chrome plating guys, and powder coating guys. All great stuff that I might be using, especially since the prices aren't as outrageous as I thought they would be. Still expensive enough for me to really have to pick and chooses what gets what, but it's nice to have affordable options.
I saw one car that had a similar green that my engine compartment has, but the pics just don't do it justice. I didn't really see any of the colors of blue that I was hoping to see in person, so still can't make a decision on that (more of that later). There was one, but it was a little too dark for me. If you look at the door just below the window, the lighted part is close to the light blue I'm looking for.
So we left with my treasured phone number and websites to look at and went to eat. My mind about to explode with all the possibilities, and possible decisions one day I will HAVE to make....