Anyone remember tune up shops?
Back in the "old days" cars needed "tune ups". Usually around the 12,000-15,000 mile range a "minor" tune up was performed. That normally consisted of new spark plugs, points and condenser and a general look over of the cap, wires, rotor and a carb adjustment.
Every other tune up was usually a "major" tune up that included all of the above plus a carburetor overhaul....I know..." What's a carburetor?"
And every town of any size would have at least one shop that specialized in doing these tune ups. These were known as Tune Up Shops. Of course, independants, gas stations and the dealers did these as well.
In the town were I grew up, I think I can remember three of these shops.
Howard's Tune Up Shop actually had a dynometer and we thought that made a big difference in the quality of the tune up.
Howard was a grumpy, fussy old man (he was probably 50) who loved to lecture us. If you brought in a car with Champion Spark Plugs installed, he would go wild and tell you how lousy they were. He insisted that cars should have the same brand of spark plugs that they had from the factory.
He hated cars that had been modified in any way and refused to work on lowriders.
He was as Politically Incorrect as they came but he did do excellent work.
He loved to charge up the condensors that came out of our cars and say "No wonder your car was running rough...just look at this condenser as he handed it over. Touch the can and the clip at the same time and they would deliver a nasty shock to the uninitiated. He would laugh like hell.
Today, spark plugs last 100,000 miles and more and tune ups are a thing of the past.
Todays cars can have "Driveability Problems" that can take great skills and expensive equipment to repair.
One day my buddy's GTO with wide tires jumped out of his dyno and nearly caused an accident. That event resulted in a tirade of obscenities from Howard who, after that refused to work on any car that deviated from stock.
Today, Howard's old shop is a Taco Stand....another dinosaur from the past.