No, we didn’t take a day trip to Detroit.  (Although it is a heck of a lot warmer in Detroit than it is in Newport Washington.)

Nope, Randy, Roxy, Otis and I headed to Spokane Valley to pick up the Chevy 454 engine that Randy is going to rebuild for his 1956 Handyman Wagon.

In November of 2012, Randy, Roxy, Little Otis and I traveled to Des Moines Iowa area to pick up the wagon from the Iowa Auto Outlet.

My records indicate that against Randy’s better judgement, a 2-1/2 month old Otis was invited along on the trip.  Randy’s thought was to put Otis up at the local Dog Hotel, thus making the trip easier on all of us.  Me?  Well, I overruled Randy with the somewhat foolish notion of : ‘how hard could it be to take two dogs, one being a small puppy, along on a one-thousand mile (round-trip) over night adventure?

I have never, ever questioned Randy’s judgement since.

For the next couple of years, Randy tinkered with the wagon and the ’56 sedan.

And then … May of 2014 arrived and Randy and I decided to throw a few belongings and the dogs into the motorhome and hit the road.  Both the ’56 sedan and the ’56 wagon went into storage for a few years.

And then … Randy found this wonderful place in Newport that we now call our home.  The wagon arrived from Arkansas last fall and ever since, Randy has been itching to get back to his restoration project.

Late yesterday morning, Randy, Roxy, Otis and I jumped in the truck and braved the stormy spring weather to head to Spokane Valley to pick up the wagon’s new motor.

Randy bought the engine from Spalding Auto Parts.   Spalding is quite the operation.  Started in 1934, the business covers fifty acres in the Spokane Valley and employs just under two hundred people.  Employees, whom I have to say, are very friendly and helpful.

Randy and I walked into their facility and I immediately saw that it is full of every kind of part imaginable for any kind of vehicle.

Need a Corvette chassis?  There is one waiting for you at Spalding Auto Parts.

Roughly 3,500 vehicles a year are taken apart, salvaged and / or recycled at Spalding.  Spalding purchases another 10,000 vehicles a year for their ‘Pull & Save’ lot.  In that lot, customers are able to walk in to search and remove the parts they need.

Spalding has Seats and Snapple … that could be the start of a catchy advertising jingle.  Don Draper … where are you?

I may suggest a trip back when (if?) our weather gets nicer to wander the Pull & Save lot for a picture taking session.

After the engine was loaded up into the truck, we headed off to The Men’s Toy Store (better knows as Harbor Freight Tools) in Coeur d’Alene.  I wish that I could have surreptitiously taken pictures of the gentlemen walking around the store with their mouths gaping open.  But I was hungry, I was getting tired and the store was cold.

I have to say it … that is the best name the owners could come up with for the donut store?  Don Draper … where are you?

Time to head towards home for lunch, a walk and a nap.

I am certainly sure that we will be driving the wagon around Newport in no time.

 

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