T-Bird REPAIRED: Most of you know that my car was rear ended by a Huge Frito-Lay delivery truck while Ellen & I were attending Thompson 2012. Car totaled and both of us hurt. Retained owenership & got less insurance money. (Hagerty was very good.) Pulled the 409 and 700R4 and sent the car to Hill's Thunderbird in Racine, Ohio. Car came back looking great - I mean GREAT!!! T-Bird UPDATED: This is the best of all: I am one of the extremely fortunate people that Ronnie has built an engine for so now the 409 truck engine that I have been running for the last three years is retired for now. A couple of months ago (seems like much longer) I took the new 409, 700R4 transmission, and everything removed before the car went to Ohio for repair, to the Speed Shop for reassembly into the repaired car. Last Friday the Speed Shop owner called and said car would be ready for pickup Saturday (yesterday). I called Ronnie and told him the good news and I don't know which one of us was the most excited. Yesterday (Saturday) Ellen and I drove the hour and a half drive to the Speed Shop in south St Louis. When we arrived the owner's wife was washing the car before they turned it over to us (they do that for all their completed cars). The owner Dwayne wanted to move the car in to be out of the sun and didn't tell us his son and our grandson had removed to header caps to hear the Ronnie Russell stroker 409 engine run. That engine fired right up and Ellen must have jumped a mile high (conservaitve estimate). The engine sounded really healthy - I mean HEALTHY. After the header caps were installed and I paid the bill, I started on the drive home with Ellen following in case of trouble. There are many unique electrical things that I made back when I installed the first 409 in 1968; convert 6 volt positive ground to 12 volt negative ground, altenator with external voltage regulator to replace the generator, oil and amp gauges,etc. I was so anxious to get the car back I told them just get the car running and I would fix these unique things when I got the car home. The ride home was a thrill - I mean a THRILL. People were giving thumbs up, honking horn, etc. Once I got on highway 40 and headed west I tried to adhere to my intention to break in Ronnie's engine gently. I did pretty good for a while till a semi in front of me would slow down then speed up, repeat repeat. Finally I had had enough and when traffic cleared pulled into the passing lane and let 'er go. Those two carbs were making some awesome sounds. I got pushed back into the seat like never before. Later Ellen told me the way you passed that truck was unbelieveable. The car was running so well that I decided not to go straight home but to go to a little car show in a small town north of where we live. There were about 28 to 30 cars and some motorcycles and I had some fun and the car and the 409 engine attracted lots of attention. The only thing even close to a problem was a person at the show pointed out the heater hose was too close to the header pipe. For a temporary fix I rapped some aluminum foil around the heater hose. Also the fan belt was hitting the radiator hose - must have happened when I passed that semi. I called Ronnie later when I got home and told him that I got home and the fun that I had and thanked him over and over. What a wonderful friend. This is getting kind of long winded - maybe more later. Do I need to say I am sooooo happy?