Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Burr Ridge Show

I attended the Burr Ridge car show on Saturday the 21st with approximately sixty cars being shown. Link: http://magnetic.photodeposit.com/ I was happy to see a variety of cars being displayed along the Village Center. Everything from the pre-war classics through present day was on display. The Clenet being positioned alongside a late-20's LaSalle and across from a stunning '35 Packard. Centered on the lane were a brand-spanking-new 200-mile Ford GT in baby blue and a late-model red Ferrari paired with a Lamborghini in canary yellow. I have never been a huge fan of the Italian exotics, but after speaking to the owner of these cars and getting a personal visual tour...my thoughts are shifting.

The morning started with me detailing the Clenet at home in our garage wash-rack. I went back up to my condo to get ready and noticed rain showers moving into the area. I had 4 hours to arrive at the car show, and decided to take my time heading out. Mario entrusted my services to deliver paperwork and documents to a client of his in the far west suburbs, being that the car show was nearby to their home. I decided to leave about 45 minutes after the last rain shower that left the city streets a bit damp yet drivable.

The car was gleaming as I pulled out of my Gold Coast garage in Sandbur Village and drove up Sandburg Terrace towards North Avenue. Heading out on Lake Shore drive tested my patience with other drivers that were oblivious to me and my extra-clean Clenet! I must compliment the driver of the city-driven Dodge Neon who changed lanes ahead of me several times, kicking up copious amounts of standing water from between the lanes. As I headed westward on Interstate 55, the sky cleared and became mostly sunny. Within the hour, I delivered the parcel to Mario's client and could now concentrate on getting the car ready for the show.

While refueling at a nearby BP, I checked all vital fluids and noticed the newly filled transmission was low! Not finding Type-F fluid at the BP, I endured a quick jaunt through a nearby Wal-Mart, safely parking the Clenet far away from the local minivan-driving crowd. I topped off the transmission and then noticed a red glow within the radiator overflow tank, causing my heart to sink! Why would new coolant be deep red when it was yellowish-green going in? The transmission seemed to shift normally without any discernible variations in shift pattern or other quirks. I crawled under the Clenet and noted the underside of the transmission was dry without any leakage present.

Burr Ridge was all of 15 minutes away and I chose to get moving in that direction. I stopped along the Toll way at the newly remodeled oasis to let the car cool down while I enjoyed lunch at the Panda Express. After eating, I went back to the car to bucket-wash the insects and water spray from the fenders and front end. A good hour had passed, giving the car sufficient time to cool. I squeezed the upper radiator hose, checking for pressure with very little resistance. Opening the radiator, to my displeasure I found more transmission fluid floating on the coolant, confirming my suspicion of a problem with the trans-cooler within the radiator.

Spending over 90 minutes at the Toll way oasis, the registration time was quickly approaching. I was there at precisely three o'clock and took my spot as directed. Throughout the next five hours, the Clenet received a great deal of attention from fellow entrants and from the growing crowd. The few times I came back to the car, more and more people asked about the car and its history. I was very happy and eager to answer the many questions and enjoyed the pleasant comments and small talk. The show ended as the sun was fading, I was ready for my 70-mile cruise to return the Clenet. I found my way back to Lakeside utilizing Interstate 94, top down with the cool evening wind surrounding me. As I pulled into the drive, Mario and the gang came out to the car to greet me. It was a long day with the Clenet and it was time for a long-awaited glass of wine while Mario showed the car to his guests.

Knowing the car will now require a new radiator along with other work; we removed the hood assembly and delivered the car to Three Oaks Ford to resolve the newly found mechanical issues...we are sure more will be uncovered...proving that cars are meant to be driven!
-Ron Zarantenello

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