Another Studebaker Bonneville race car changed owners and moved from the left to the right coast. David had introduced himself on the Studebaker forum after the purchase and a few of us convinced him it would be more fun to run Studebaker power in it. He started a buying spree to begin collecting the bones of good cache of potential race parts. Some of those parts were from legendary Ted Harbit, who hails from central Indiana. I offered to run up to Ted's and ferry the parts to Georgia.
Around that same time, my friend Jeff was considering having a few friends over for a weekend of Georgia style Studebaker fun. A few phone calls later and it became a full fledged event. Jeff was celebrating what we could only assume was his 100th birthday, because he wouldn't tell us the real number. I was celebrating the one year survival of my accident. The owner of the Racing Studebakers web site, Sonny, Jeff, David, Matthew, Mike and Linda, who are the major partners in a well-known Studebaker shop, all descended on Eastern Georgia. I came in a couple of days earlier to drop my crankshaft off at Precision Engine and discuss the project.
On a personal note, backing up a couple of days, we had noticed my left shoulder was swelling and one of the insertion points looked infected. Knowing I was headed on a week long road trip, I checked with the docs. Yes, MSRA had infected the surgery sites. A prescription for antibiotics and a promise to return the day I got home got me out the door and on my way. But things didn't get better. The shoulder just got larger and stiffer with accompanying increase in pain levels. Not wishing to end up in a distant hospital, I sucked it up, ate pain and antibiotics and carried on. Upon my return home, the doctor checked me into the hospital and went back in to the shoulder. After scraping the reattachment points for the bicep and flushing 16 liters of rinse to clean everything out came a few more days' stay and IV's. When they released me, it was with the commitment to complete a 6 week course of daily IV infusions and weekly blood tests. Very limiting, but better than the alternative. Back to the important stuff, the car.
During the celebratory weekend David told us about his plans for the car and the time crunch to finish the first engine built to check out the chassis and safety systems for the April ECTA event. One of the big time investments was the development of some good cylinders heads. It didn't take long for me to explain to David about the plans I had for my heads. Since they would take much less time than starting from scratch, I offered to loan them out. David quite generously offered to pay the machine shop bill for the titanium valve conversion and the deal was done. My heads will run in at least the April ECTA event known as the Ohio Mile. If he needs them longer, I agreed for the loan to last through the race season. A day or two later I was comfortable enough to offer the loan of my entire engine to David's cause. We didn't close the details out, but there is a reasonably good chance that Rabid Snail Racing prototype engine number RS-R001 will run this year. Very exciting and much more immediate gratification than waiting the 2 to 3 years it will take to build the rest of the car.