I think it was about 2006 when I bought this ´69 Plymouth Signet for 150 euros. I bought the car so I could scrap it for parts but the car just laid on my buddy's farm for seven more years kinda like fighting it's own destiny.
Meanwhile I was fighting with other issues and I really did not have real plan for the Signet, just that I will scrap the parts and let the junkman melt it with other garbage, let the Chinese make spoons from it, for all I care. I just never had the time, nor the inspiration, to take out the parts that I wanted. I even forgot the Signet a few times and it went couple of years when I did not even see the whole car. But there it was, parked on a roof of a Chevrolet. Waiting. Waiting for it's day to come.
On July 2013 the day finally came. I returned to the lot, but this time with a different plan. I wanted to restore the car. I had to restore the car to it's "former glory" because I had use for it. To be honest, I have to admit that although I had no illusions about the shape of the car, reality bit me. I remembered that the car were to be scrapped because it was so rotten. Almost literally driven until the wheels fallen off...As I was starting the sheet metal work, I realized what kind of project was in my hands this time. But I just could not back off anymore. I had a plan.. And good plans are always worth the trouble...
In 2013 ago i was literally working along the lathe. While working with the CNC-lathe, you have a lot of time to think things and to plan a head. On one January morning i was thinking how great it would be get back on the road again. I have traveled before, with my own car I've been almost all over Europe. Not everywhere but enough. So i thought that i should go further. And definitely with my own car, the ultimate road trip! When you look at the world from Finland, you can see that there is really four directions to go. To the north you can go much as about 1000 kilometers and then you have already reached the Arctic Sea. If you go west, there is only Sweden and Norway. Nice countries but way too close and basically, they are just like Finland. You can go south, few thousand kilometers of interesting Europe. Behind of the Mediterranean sea the culture is starting to be really different comparing to ours. Good choice but in the east...Just think about it, few hundred kilometers and you get completely different culture and enough places to explore. You can drive to China! Or Vladivostok, from there you can take a boat to Japan. If you drive enough, you will get back home again! To the great east!
With money you can run...
Suddenly, ideas just came to me. I found the idea temptating me. I send an SMS to my friend "have you ever been to China? With a car?" Bit crazy friend of my responded " not with a car...when are we leaving?" At this point I didn't know anything, really. Not when, with what car and other minor details. But I knew, I had to go. Unfortunately, reality can slain a beautiful hypothesis or as in this case, an idea. My first fear was the car. There could be a situation, where you just have to leave the car to the destination. An accident, it could be stolen, anything can happen. The further you go, its more likely that if something happens, you have to leave the car. Some people might think the risks involving the driver but my way of thinking is that you have to accept a bit of a risk when going abroad.
The car thing is essential because this far I've used my faithful ´67 Valiant. I've had it for ten years and I drive it everyday. The car has sentimental value as much as a car can. I could not bear the thought of leaving it to somewhere. I know the car would not fail me but anything can happen. So I had to figure out another car. Something fun. Definitely not a new car. I wanted a car with that little extra something. New cars just don't have it. And it's always good if you can fix your car with a hammer and roll of tape...
Of course you can buy stuff but buying lacks a little something too. It's boring. And also, I did not have the stack to just go and buy something cool. Then i remembered. Signet! I've bought it from my brother for 150 euros seven years ago. The car was supposed to be a parts donor for my ´67. I'll repair that! Just a little bit of sheet metal and few parts and it's done. The car was almost scrapped and completely rotten, barely a car anymore. But one detail shed a light to this project. I had almost every part that I needed laying in my garage. Not the parts from Signet but usable parts just waiting for a use. Parts that I've gathered over the years for some use in the future.
Let the project begin...
The idea felt just great. Like a circle closing. This was the reason why the poor thing ended to me. This was the reason why it had been saved from the junk-yard crusher for so many times. Few phone calls to a few friends and i was ready to begin.
It was January. Signet was in a middle of other junk-cars and under of a few feet of snow. There was no way I could get it out of there. So i waited for the spring and kept on planning. I still had no real destination or a schedule. Or the money. In real life, there are many problems you have to solve before doing something like this.
Where the mind wanders on...
Like I told before, the plan was to head east. The ultimate thing would be to stretch the trip so you could drive around the world but the reality is, it's not possible in the manner it should be done. Tempting but no. Now I'm thinking that I should first go to Europe and from there on drive towards the morning sun. I want to see places normal tourist wont see. I wanna see different things and places, something weird or just peculiar. Local people, not tourist attractions. Real people, not something made. And Highway. I will never get tired of driving. I´m not thinking of a two week spin, I wanna be on the road as long as possible.
Tourist-baits cannot be avoided, at least not all of them but it doesn't matter. Some weird and creepy places have big tourist attractions. Like nuclear plant of Chernobyl and the symbol of the destruction, City of Pripyat. A "must see" place.
I think that in areas of former Soviet Union are very many places to see, you just have pick the sites you want see. There are interesting sites in Europe too, like Hitler Eagles nest in the Alps, maybe some concentration-camp site would be "nice" to see. And if you are going in Germany, you just might pop at the Nürburgring racetrack and upset the Porsche and Ferrari drivers a bit. England is in the wrong direction but Ace Cafe in London would be great. It would be cool just to pop up there for coffee...
Further in the east are countries like Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China, if you will. Baikonur space center would be ultimately cool, specially on launch-day, ru-ru rumble. Big time. These are some bigger sites I wanna see but main focus would still be in the root level.
My intetion is to keep up a blog and put pictures of the project, an eventually of the trip to this site. I have no tight plan, just the big picture, so thing will develop on the way. I been thinking that readers could suggest places where to go and i would report about them. That would be great. On the internet, this kind of things are easy to do.
This is the Plan. No details yet, probably there will never be an detailed plan. At this moment, I'm alone with this project. Shotgun-seat is still open...
Finance-politics are open. I will put everything on the line with this and probably even sell some stuff (meaning: everything must go). If my project gets followers, I might sell some topic-related stuff here. Sponsors and advertising might come in later. Time will tell.
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Alea iacta est!
Something like this on coming. Whilst writing this, details remain in the dark so I cannot make any promises about anything except that I will write to this blog and I will keep pushing forward. Travel plans etc. will be shown when I have them. I want leave on this trip as soon as the car is done and when I have money for this. Some countries require a visa and other documents so some planning have to be done. But the dice have been thrown...
I really would want this project to be interactive between me and curious readers. Ideas and suggestions are very welcome. I'm waiting for comments, opinions and questions. Good advises are also always needed! If you have experiences or stories somewhat related to the topic, please send them to me, so we can all enjoy them.