Monday, April 19, 2010

A bit of a situation, opinions sought

I really don't have the funds to paint 17 red right now. I could possibly go further into debt to get it done, but that is not fiscally responsible. Still, my fellow firefighting friend Art seems ready to do the job and give me a pretty reasonable deal on it. For sure, I can and will do everything I can to bring the costs down, by removing trim and attachments, masking, etc.

But here's the deal. I have discovered that a former Tacoma firefighter who will for now remain un-named, but with a long history at Tacoma Station 8 when I was a kid, still engages in his old moonlighting job and hobby, doing pinstriping and vehicle lettering, with real paint, by hand, the old-fashioned way. It would be sweet poetry to get 17's original markings restored by him, but getting 17 red has to come first. At least the outer cab and body. The cab interior, jumpseat interior and hosebed can wait if necessary for this to happen.

I don't know how much longer he'll be doing this. I don't want to wait years to get it done and miss this opportunity. Certainly I can probably find someone else to do the job if he can't or doesn't want to. Still... it is a neat situation - with an expiration date.

So... looking for opinions. Do I go into further into debt and get it done? Ignore the sentimental side, and stay fiscally smart? Is it pretentious of me to consider allowing donations (I've pointedly avoided this so far), in order to move this along?

I'm glad you're all along with me for the ride. If you could share your thoughts with me now, I would appreciate it very much.


  1. If you want to stay happily married, never get yourself into debt beyond your means with your antique. Believe me, there are three or four other trucks out there that I "must" have, but it will have to wait until I hit the powerball. As for the markings, as long as you have pictures of what she looked like when she was red with the markings you want, you are OK. There are plenty of outfits out there that reproduce graphics packages on vinyl lay-ups. Look at the pictures of the 1958 FWD's hood and doors?- see that gold leaf? That's REAL gold leaf, with a vinyl overlay, that was ordered from an outfit in Texas (google "Leo's gold lion products) shipped to me, and applied by my father with nothing more than a plastic kitchen spatula.

    Same company also reproduces graphics on clear vinyl and scotchlite. Then there are the multitude of other companies out there that can reproduce "painted" graphics on vinyl, ship them to you, and again you lay them up with nothing more than soapy water and a plastic kitchen spatula.

    Sure it would be nice for sentimentality to have your buddy from Tacoma do it. But if you can't afford it, 'Nuff said.

  2. Ouch! Cold, hard, common sense.

    I don't suppose anyone will be issuing an effective rebuttal to that, LOL.

    I'd like to hold out for real paint markings (one day down the road), but have to nod to the severe cost difference versus decals that convincingly mimic real paint.

  3. Hire a compresser and teach yourself to spray on the drive way youll be glad you did when you get a parking ding in the engine or a car.