Thursday, June 3, 2010

Car Parts Road Trip

Sadly, it turned out that the engine in my little 4CV was cracked. While looking for a new engine, the Hubs lucky enough to find a guy in Los Angeles who was getting rid of a rusted out 4CV - the WHOLE CAR for $200. Hubs chatted with the seller and he was willing to ship us the engine and whatever else we might want, but since Los Angeles isn't that far away, we hopped in my little Ford hatchback and drove down over Memorial Day weekend.

We drove down on Saturday and back on Sunday so it was pretty quick trip. We tried to cram in as much thrifting and sightseeing as possible, but there wasn't a lot of time. On our way down we stopped in Paso Robles for lunch and we were able hit one or two thrift/antique shops. Here is our haul.
The tropical print fabric is a duvet cover. There is enough fabric to make a dress with a big poofy skirt, but I am kind of leaning towards a narrow sarong skirt with a halter top. I'm not sure yet. The belt is either 40s or "80s does 40s." Either way, its spectacular. The ashtray has a Napco of Japan sticker on the bottom and is made of the most delicate ceramic. At $1 the red beads were irresistible. We had to buy the bar pourer, even though ($18!) it was the most expensive thing we purchased. We have several of these already, but none with the original box and we are suckers for anything with the original box. Liquor will NOT be flowing through this pourer, but it will look nice on our bar.

Picking up the parts was fun. Gene, the seller, was super nice and let us take everything we wanted. We filled the back of my Focus and made a list of things that Hub's brother (who lives in LA) would pick up later. You would not believe how much we were able to cram into my car. We picked that rusty 4CV's bones clean. Here is a photo of the Focus, in our hotel parking lot, packed to the gills with 4CV parts.

That night we had dinner with Hub's brother at the Formosa Cafe in Hollywood. Its a tiny art deco building surrounded by movie lots and the interior walls are covered with signed photos of actors. Its got a definite "old Hollywood" vibe. I wish I hadn't forgotten to grab my camera before dinner, because I'd love to show you how cute it is. You can see some pictures if you go to the restaurant's Yelp page. The Yelp reviews aren't great, but we had a really good dinner...and some very strong drinks.

After dinner we popped over to Silverlake to meet up with my friend Dave Deluxe who works at a bar called Thirsty Crow. There was a huge line of hipsters all the way down the block waiting to get in. Although Dave offered to "sneak us in" we demurred. Instead, we called it an early night and went back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.

The next morning, after a quick breakfast at Fred 62, we hopped on the freeway for home. We stopped for Lunch at Pea Soup Andersen's. You can read the history of Pea Soup Andersen's here.

If you've ever driven the 5 (or the 101) between Los Angeles and San Francisco, you will have seen billboards, like the one above, with Hap-Pea and Sweet-Pea: two chefs splitting a pea with a wedge and a sledgehammer. The soup is good and its really the only fun vintagey tourist trap kind of place on Interstate 5 south of Fogville. (Please tell me if you know of any others!) The Hubs was REALLY excited to be there.

He insisted that we buy something kitchy from the gift shop. Unfortunately, most of the gift shop stuff was pretty awful: typical truck stop junk like key chains with your name on them and generic coloring books for the kids. BUT! We were able to find a Hap-pea & Sweet-Pea bank. It now occupies a place of honor on our bookshelf.
A few hours later, we were back home in Fogville. I hope that we'll be able to go back to L.A. sometime soon for a real visit. Its an easy (if long) drive from Fogville and I'd like to spend some more time thrifting and sightseeing.

Oh, in case you are curious, this is everything that we were able to squeeze in to the Focus. Amazing!


  1. Holy Toledo! I am impressed at your packing skills: how on earth did you get all of those seats to fit!?! And the engine as well?
    Looks like you had a great time, and score on all the parts for the 4CV!

  2. Kat in LivermoreJune 4, 2010 at 9:13 PM

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  3. the mister sure must love himself some split pea soup!

    you look cute in your retro duds. goes well with the red hair. the head scarf is a nice touch.