The last three years have been spent building another engine, rebuilding the transmission, and collecting detail items for the engine compartment and interior.
In 2003, after working 14-hour days the entire week preceding the Carlisle show, the car was ready. Finally getting it to the show field was a huge thrill for our whole family. At the show, the Yellow Peril managed to place second in the '70 Dodge E-Body stock class, and it received Mr. Norm's (Norman Krause) celebrity choice award.
I guess the lesson in all this would be that perseverance and determination do pay off. Many times I was tempted to quit, like when the steering column had to be rebuilt three times. But we got it done, and I was proud our efforts had been recognized.
After returning home from Carlisle, I had an issue with the engine overheating in the Challenger. On August 2, 2004, I replaced the stock water pump with a Mopar Performance high-flow piece and a new thermostat. After I was done, I took the car out for a short test run. Then I planned to cruise over to a local festival, which had parade spots for vintage and classic cars. But suddenly some idiot turned left in front of me, and, after skidding about 100 feet, I ended up pasted to the front end of another car. The South Carolina Highway Patrol showed up and saw this bright yellow musclecar, and immediately I was on the defensive. Luckily, the driver of the car I collided with confirmed my story and told the trooper that the other guy caused the accident.
Since then it's been five months with slow progress on the repair work. Galeana Auto body of Pomeria, South Carolina, has worked hard at hunting down repair parts. It's a busy shop, and collision repair takes priority over fixing musclecars. Since this odyssey began in 1989, I've driven the car less than 100 miles. I guess it's a good thing I'm a patient man.