I don't recall where Aaron left off with the Catalina so I'll refresh a bit.
We dropped the land yacht off at Pep boys for a new pair of shoes (tires) and to see why the steering wondered so bad. We got some pretty bad news that it was needing a fair amount of work, which is fine since we were prepared to do work to get this thing road worthy. What we weren't prepared for was waiting 5- 7 working days to get the parts we needed.
To Aaron and Jon's surprise I talked the Pep boys manager into allowing us to do the repairs in the parking lot pending if we could actually get the parts in a timely manner.
Late on Monday afternoon Aaron came up with a brilliant plan, he indicated that there was a 1973 AMC Javelin that we had eyed but couldn't coordinate with the owner to look at it. Aaron suggested we call him and see if he would do an even up trade as the Javelin was running and driving car.
To our surprise Chris, the owner of the Javelin was more than willing to do the trade. He agreed to meet us at the Pep boys to look over the Catalina to see if he was ok with it. Within 15 minutes he invited us out to his Junk Yard he inherited from his father where the Javelin was.
We got there and instantly felt the Javelin was a great substitute for the Catalina. We really didn't want to give up on the Catalina and let Joe down, but we have to be realistic if we want to make it back to Wisconsin in time to be to work.
The Javelin needed some work to be road worthy, but that was to be expected. It needed a front right shock, brake work, carb, brake lights, tie rod end, and an impromptu alignment. Being the owner of the Junk Yard, Chris was more than willing to let us scavenge the other AMC's he had. We found a shock and a tie rod end and set to replacing them... Then the setbacks started. For whatever reason the master cylinder we put on it didn't work well, we ended up tearing it apart to see why it would barely stop. Obviously that would be a problem! While doing the brake work, it stopped idling and starting running really rough. We ended up getting sidetracked (when I say we, I mean Aaron, Jon, and Chris) trying to fix the fuel issue.
To makes things worse, we didn't get cell reception in the mountains at all. Chris' Junk Yard was 20 minute east of Albuquerque and about 3,000 feet higher!
At this point, the Catalina is still at Pep boys, the Javelin is at Chris' Junk Yard, and we are relaxing in the hotel room with neither car!
This trip has been a ton of fun with lots of laughs, it's been stressful with worries of Jon leaving early, overall... I've loved every second and will cherish these memories to the day I die.