When is a late rental car considered stolen? Jon and I headed out early this morning to return the rental car and found that the brake pedal on the Javelin had gone flat. We tried a quick brake-bleed in the Super 8 parking lot and had no luck. Dejected, we went inside to wake up Marty and discuss our options.
Let's take a step back; before we went out to the car we asked the still-sleeping Marty where he'd put the key as he had helped unload the Javelin the night before. In my exhaust fume "high" I wasn't very observant and Marty had held on to the key. Well, his response as to where to find the key was "on the dash". We questioned him; "On the dash? Really?" and he said; "yes, on the dash". We muttered under our breath about how irresponsible it was to leave the key to our "valuable" chariot on the dash; I mean sure, we can't lock the doors and it isn't valuable to anyone but us but still . . Anyway, we set his phone ringer to high and headed downstairs. Of course the key was no-where to be found so we called him. This must have woken him up as he then stated that the key was in the glove box of the Toyota! When threatened with this information he stated "it's not my fault you can't speak sleep!"
Anyway, back to the Javelin. We headed inside and discussed our options. We really need to be leaving today; mid-day at the latest if possible. We could ship the car back, we could, try to have Chris sell it consignment or . . ? Or I guess we could have someone other than ourselves work on it. I decided to try that angle. We happened to be on a block with a lot of shops and I found a brake shop about 3 blocks away. We had Marty call them and they seemed willing and weren't afraid of our timeline.
I again elected to drive (having no kids etc.) and took my life into my hands again. Getting out of the Super 8 parking lot and on the the side street was no big issue. We then had to turn down hill before turning right on the main drag. Jon was ahead of me and just as he reached the light it turned yellow. He ran through and I hit the brakes. What brakes .. the car was headed downhill and there was no time to stop. The super-soft brakes work when you are costing 15mph below the speed limit and allow 5 times the necessary stopping distance. This wasn't going to happen. The light had turned green before I entered the intersection, sideways.
As soon as that I felt I didn't have room to stop I floored it and was thankful that the two-barrel carb was working well. I flew through the intersection just ahead of the oncoming traffic and then immediately let off to slow to a safe margin in the middle lane. The glares from the traffic coming up on both sides of me made me feel very small; the guy in the little orange S10 really wanted to kick my teeth in; I could see it in his eyes. To make things worse the drift session was a little too much for the flex pipe and muffler Chris had helped us tie on with baler wire and so it was dragging underneath the car as I gingerly pointed my Jalopy down Juan Tabo Blvd. The next few blocks were somewhat of a blur. I do know I cut someone off abruptly (with no turn signals remember) to change lanes but what you can't see won't hurt you (!?).
Of course the Brake Masters #108 employees were standing outside laughing as I pulled up. I quickly untwisted the baler wire, drug the exhaust out and threw it in the trunk. I said "you didn't see that" to the guys and asked who was in charge. There was a small argument with the brake shop about parts etc. but I asked them to just do a bleed and see what they could find. Since we have no leaks and parts that seem to mostly be working I'm hoping they can get it working. So now we are waiting for them to give us an update. If this doesn't go well, the trip may have an abrupt end or change significantly; just due to deadlines. We will keep you in the loop; thanks for following along.
Now about that rental car . . I better call them.