I have no shortage of winter projects

Being retired is wonderful. I work as hard as I ever did, but I only take on winter projects that I enjoy. Well, mostly. Toilets and woodstoves still need cleaning 🙂

I’ve just taken on a big new project that you’re going to want to see photos of. Before that starts this afternoon, though, I want to show you what’s been going on the past couple of days.

My project to get my collection digitized will be continuing for years. One of the boxes on the floor behind my desk is full of documents that have been organized and are ready to scan. The other is documents that have been scanned, and are of high enough quality that they’re going back on eBay (where pretty much all of them came from).

Getting documents ready for scanning
The breakfast table right now is my sorting table. The vast majority of that material will be scanned and then will go in the recycling bin. I’ll tell you about the manual in the front in a minute…

Sorting documents for scanning
This is my work station, where I spend several hours every day this time of year. The scanner, an Epson V370 Photo, is getting a lot of use, but will be getting upgraded in the not-too-distant future, as I now need one that can handle large negatives. The big SAD light is on for 20 minutes a day now. With clear skies getting to be more and more rare as the climate changes, dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder becomes more and more important to me. That means vitamins and the light, and getting out as much as is reasonable.

SAD light in my office
The other big project involves driving into Whitehorse. While I was in my comfortable car yesterday, these guys were hard at work at the entrance to my subdivision, making sure that my communications work. Brrr!

NorthwesTel workers up a pole near Whitehorse
It’s been staying fairly mild still, but there are some days like yesterday when the Alaska Highway is just ugly.

A snowy Alaska Highway near Whitehorse
The project lives here, at the Yukon Transportation Museum. Luckily, it lives inside.

Yukon Transportation Museum
This early-1950s Austin A-40 pickup is my project. I’ve offered to finish the restoration of it, to be ready for the Canada Day 2017 parade.

Early-1950s Austin A-40 pickup
It’s a pretty cool little rig. It’s solid, but has been banged around a lot. The mechanical work has been mostly done, but the electrical and body work need a lot of hours.

Early-1950s Austin A-40 pickup
It’s not going to be a show car, and for financial reasons, the interior may not see much more than a cleanup.

Early-1950s Austin A-40 pickup
What a cute little motor! I’m hoping that there’s nothing to do with it other than fix a bad leak from the oil filter that was reported.

Early-1950s Austin A-40 pickup
In the back room, there’s an Austin A-40 panel body as well as spare body and mechanical parts for A-40s.

Early-1950s Austin A-40 panel body
The truck has been on display at the museum, in a partly-restored state. This sign was part of that display. In the 1950s, you could buy a long list of vehicles in Whitehorse, including Ford, Monarch, Chevrolet, GM, International, Chrysler, Renault, Morris, and Austin. The Austin dealership, Tourist Services, was a real “Yukon” business, offering not only cars but a service station, a grocery and meat store, a restaurant, a campground and even a cocktail lounge!

Austin A-40 sign at the Yukon Transportation Museum
An Austin arriving at Skagway in the early 1950s, bound for the Whitehorse dealership.

An Austin arriving at Skagway in the early 1950s

Yesterday was my first long visit with the Austin. I wanted to pick up the manual, and have a thorough look at it so I can develop a work plan for it.

On the way home, I made a quick stop to pick up my mail, and was soon poring through the Austin manual.

I was going to be back to the museum this morning to start work on the Austin, but a call came in yesterday that takes priority for a couple of days. I’ll let you know about the new addition to my list of winter projects tomorrow, and you’re going to want to see the photos! 🙂


I have no shortage of winter projects — 5 Comments

  1. Interesting about the two Austin vehicles show, the tablet explaining their work, your part in restoration of one… in the US, I am familiar with Austin for the Mini, Sprite, etc, but not sure any of their other vehicles were ever sold here, there was certainly more mainstream competition from USA makers.

    • In the ’50s, American cars were getting larger and larger, and more and more flashy. Austin certainly went counter to that, and I can see that Britain, and Canada because it still identified largely as being British, would be better markets. Whitehorse having a dealership did surprise me, though.

      • There is a practicality to the truck and panel van that the American market then would never have recognized. My dad had an Austin Healey at one point in the late ’60s and in CA he melted down wheel bearings and overheated the radiator…steady, hot running conditions that the cars were certainly never designed for. Be looking forward to seeing how the work comes out…when you have time!

  2. Have you seen the new app PhotoScan that Google just released? The idea is to make photo scanning a fast simple process. It may work for your larger photos also, not too sure.

    • Thanks! I guess the quality would depend on your phone – in my case, with an old Galaxy, it would be pretty low. And I can’t think of a way of doing negatives, which is the main thing I’m upgrading for. The scanner I need is several hundred dollars. Or was – Staples doesn’t list one capable of doing it anymore at all (I haven’t checked further yet).