I took the Exocet down to Davenport, CA this morning for DWA’s cars and coffee. TLDR: great event, froze my ass off on the way down, and hit a fricken deer with the Exocet. Pictures at the bottom if you don’t want to read.

I made the decision yesterday to try and go. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I realized yesterday morning that the Exocet had a dead battery. I accidentally let the ignition on when I rolled it in the other day (was on to keep the steering from locking). I tried charging it on my normal charger but no dice. It didn’t detect the battery. So pulled out my AGM/LiOn specific charger - still no dice. I put it in Recovery mode and just waited. It flashed for 6 hours.

In the meantime, I pulled the hood off to check the coolant and oil. I added a little oil (seemed a tiny bit down) and tossed in a little Marvel Mystery Oil since I’ll do an oil change soon. I also removed the stupid windshield wiper that just floats in the wind, added another wire to hold the exhaust better to limit rattle, and made a new shift boot (which came out crappy so no pictures).

Just before I headed to bed, the charger stopped with the error light flashing. I figured it was dead, but just in case, put it in charge mode one last time. BAM! Detected and charging but starting at 0%.

I just left it and set my alarm for 5:50am (ugh) and figured that if it didn’t start at 5:50am, that I would just go back to bed instead of taking a shower and going in a different car.

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Well, it did start so I was off. I put on 3 layers - tshirt, sweater, and then a thick NASA jacket that work had given me as a “goodbye, sorry we axed you” present. I figured with that, jeans, and my gloves, I could handle the 50 degree weather fine.

Or not. It was frigid. 80mph in 50 degrees with wind coming off the pacific ocean was brutal. Coming down highway 1 was torture. The ride was about 1hr 50 minutes (before my stop for gas) and there was sweet delicious hot coffee as a reward when I got there, so that thought kept me going.

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I pulled in about 10 minutes early and there were already a LOT of cars. I grabbed one of the last actual spaces. When I went to stand up, my knees were nearly frozen solid. Weirdest feeling ever. I limped into the cafe and got some of the most relieving coffee I’ve ever had.

The event itself was great. DWA’s followers are good people. Everyone I chatted with was super nice. There are a few elitist folks but you can pick them out a mile away. Even then, the Exocet has a way of melting some of that away. It’s too weird and too intriguing to be judgy about.

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The drive back was better in terms of temperature, but was it’s own nightmare. I decided to go a route that I hadn’t been before and the road was thrashed. Don’t bother ever driving Felton Empire Rd. It’s so degraded that you can’t go over 10mph.

Then fate tried to take the Exocet away. I came around a corner (not too fast, maybe 35mph) and a deer ran out in front of me. I locked up the brakes a little (still getting used to the car) and deer’s foot hit in the driver’s side tire. Didn’t touch a single piece of bodywork and the deer was leeping along just fine - probably wondering WTF kind of car that was.

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I drove through Big Basin state park, which was gorgeous but full of traffic and finally stopped off at Alice’s Restaurant to put a little gas in. It was insanely crowded with millions of dollars parked in the lot as always. A quick glace spotted an F430, Aventador, Cobra, and several racey 911s before I was descended upon by people wanting to talk about the car while I pumped gas.

All in all, a great day, but exhausting. So many things I want to do on the Exocet now. Exhaust is a must. Fenders need to go away. Polycarb windshield - yes. But first - I’m going to go sleep. Getting up early is rarely worth it.

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I didn’t really get enough pictures, but that’s okay. There were a lot more cars than I got photos for. Also, loved the Nissan Figaro and Escort Cosy.

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