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OLD CARS -The truth .Owners tales.How they really were.
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I suppose this idea of "seating rings" came from the days when egines had 20 horsepower and enough clearance between ring and bore to stick your finger through.
We didn't save any gas this way but we sure scared the stuffing out of a few folks!
Some cars would make a much louder explosion than others...
The fun ended one night when my buddy didn't notice the car behind up was a cop!
Somehow, he didn't swallow my friend's story that the car had never done that before, there must be a short in the distributor, etc...
6 cylinder 65 Bel Air. So he filled the windshield washer reservoir with gas and ran the hose directly to the carburetor. The only way he could keep it from stalling out was to wind the heck out of it in first gear while running the washer. Of course the gas running through the rubber hose rotted it out in a hurry and the car burned itself to a crisp one night.
With fuel injection, catalytic converters, and steering wheels that lock when the ignition is turned off, it's impossible to "key bang" a car today.
Maybe they didn't build up enough gas fumes or something?
Oh, BTW, an Army Ambulance (like on M*A*S*H) would let out an explosion that could be heard for miles!
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My most embarrassing old car story, however, revolves around the 55 Chevy I had when I was 18.
One of the cables on the wiper system broke. For those who don't know, cables and pulleys were used to operate the wipers instead of the levers we're used to on more modern cars. I went to a local junkyard and got a used part and installed it, not knowing the slightest what I was doing. I turned on the wipers, and they worked. My girlfriend called and said she was on her way to my house, walking. I thought "cool, I'll pick her up and surprise her with my mechanical ability". I headed off to the main street in town, and pretty soon saw her walking toward me. I flipped on the wipers and they went through a couple of cycles normally, then I heard a noise, and instead of going from the parking position, up to the top and then back, they started going from the top, out to the sides, and back to the top! My 55 looked like a seagull trying to take off! I immediately reached for the control to turn them off, then realized I had put my arm right through the center of the huge steering wheel, and I was headed right for the curb, with my arm keeping me from steering away! Needless to say, I ended up with the front of the car on the sidewalk, with the wipers flapping like wings! My girlfriend walked by like she didn't know me (couldn't blame her). It took years to live that one down.
One of the rear leaf springs broke! "Wha Happened" yelled my front seat passenger!
I tried to act cool.."Aw, that wasn't nothing"
BU*****T!!! came a quick reply from the back seat!
Looking in my rear view mirror, I couldn't see him, the car was leaning so bad!!
Ah, the old days...
The last time was probably 15 years ago. It was a HOT day in So. Calif and I felt sorry for the older "gentleman" who was standing in the hot sun with his thumb out. I stopped and let him in.
Two seconds later, I realized I had make a terrible mistake! This old coot had BO so bad, I almost lost my lunch right there! I'm serious, it was unreal! I remember getting rid of him at the first intersection. I had to park the car outside with the doors and windows open for a few days and it still stunk!
I wouldn't have hesitated!
I was interested in buying a 1970 buick gs455. I'm wondering if anyone on the board has driven one of these (as a daily driver/fun car)
As I walked through our shop yesterday, One of the technicians yelled at me, " Hey! Craig, Catch!" As I reached to catch the thrown object, I saw it was a condenser! I let it fall to the ground!
So, he laid it on the desk of a non ex-mechanic Service Advisor instead.
Five minutes later, a loud scream,let the technician (and the rest of us) know that he had found a "mark"!
I thought about you at that point, knowing that you wouldn't have tried to catch the thing either!
I've been there...and done that!
Sorry, it was getting quiet here and I thought I might "charge" things up a bit...
If a person had a weak heart...
I once worked with a guy who would find a miss in an engine by pulling off the plug wires one at a time. "Big John" wasn't bothered by the shocks he would recieve. I'm sure that today, he would fond another way.
As a kid working in a gas station, I once loaded a condenser only to nail myself with it somehow...
At my home during the late 60's it was the style to have your car "jacked up" so that it was some 3-4 inches higher than normal, presumably to accommodate larger tires.
The was a guy at my father's service station who didn't have the money to buy all the shocks and springs to do this right, so he came up with his own "economy" solution. He put the car up on the lift and disconnected one end of his shocks and then extended them all the way. He then put a piece of galvanized pipe from the hardware store around the shock so that the top of the shock couldn't come down but an inch or so and then bolted it all together again.
His car was about 4 inches higher in the air and he was so proud and happy. That was until he hit the first good bump. The pipe rammed up the shock and split the outside like a banana peel. After that the car swayed like a drunk on Saturday night whenever a good gust of wind hit it.
Ahh... the innovation of youth!
You had to put the car on a hoist, take a long prybar, slip the bar through the rear shackle and pull like hell. It usually took the strength of two guys. The Ford would then sit about 2" higher in the back end and ride like hell.
Once, in my youthful gas station days, an old lady left her pristine 58 Ford for an oil change.
You guessed it! We decided to "pop" her rear springs while the car was up in the air.
The next week, she stopped for gas and the owner of the station spotted our prank!
Guess who got to "unpop" her shackles during her next oil change?
THAT is hard to do!!
Good thing we didn't know each other!
Oh, the fun we would have had! We would have made a dangerous duo!
I still crack up when I think of that blue haired old lady driving down the street in her 58 Ford with the rear end up in the air!
A story about my old buddy Skip
He got himself about a 49' ford pickup in high school, one fine winter day he and 2 buddies rolled it and wound up in the ditch. Guy in the middle broke his collar bone everybody else was OK. Well the roll popped the windshield out.
Rememeber the winters in Minnesota have windchill
that can dip to -50F with a stiff wind.
Well the money to put in a new windshield was not there so Skip wouild drive it as it was.
He would put on a hooded parka a hat, and a couple scarves and drive.
He got pulled over one night by a state trooper
on the freeway. Somehow the trooper didn't notice
or couldn't believe anybody would drive with no
windshield in the winter.
The trooper just ignored it.
Would have made a good commercial for glass replacement company.
the following figures are taken from my original bill of sale. this was my demo car.as at the time i was a salesman for chev. dealer.
turquoise &white-model #2403 4 dr. 8cyl. bel air-
Accessories:direct. signals $16.75
base price of car $2280.00
insurance (coll.) 51.75
finance chg. 90.37
Salesman discount 675.64
cash deposit 100.00
total bal.due $2071.68
payable terms:11 payts. @ $41.00-1 payt. (12th) due-$1620.68
this bill of sale is framed and mounted in my den.this figure of $2171.68, was the dealers true cost--!! something in the order of %20+ (twenty)percent-!!!! thought you all might enjoy this trip back in time! oh--the dealer was clay chevrolet-west roxbury-mass.
Also, today's buyers demand EVERYTHING! Back in 1955, if the car had a radio and heater, it was pretty spiffy. This guy even had to pay extra for TURN SIGNALS!! I really thought they were standard equipment by 1955, but I guess not.
Power steering and power windows were REALLY something to have, especially on a Chevy!
You could even get factory A/C on a Chevy in 1955! I've seen two of them and one was, sadly, in a junkyard years ago.
Today we "need" dual airbags, cupholders, cd players, rear spoilers, leather seats, etc...
And we wonder why cars cost more....?
compare to a 1999 Mustang Convertible, at $26,000...so I would be needing to make today about $78,000 a year right out of college to have the same buying power for that Mustang. (1/3 of yearly salary).
Seems to me that's not realistic for most college grads unless they're working as entrepreneurs and hit it big or in dad's law firm.
So I'd say, based on my own numbers, that for 1999 to be just like 1965 for a new college grad, a new Mustang convertible should cost around $10-12K.
That 65 Mustang as pretty primitive compared the the 99. Probably a 289, AM radio, heater, perhaps an automatic, maybe power steering.
No airbags, complicated emission systems, power windows, leather, cupholders, ad nauseum...
It would be interesting to compare as stripped down Mustang as possible with the 1965.
So, I do think that even inflation adjusted that cars probably cost more today. Much of these costs are due to government required emission and safety equipment.
And, no, few college grads fresh out school are making anywhere near that number.
Oh, but not now...! I just can't believe how posh our everyday pickup has become!
It was BOP (Buick, Olds, Pontiac) but the Chevy assembly was probably the same. He worked the AC shop in the mid 50's era, and has told me that they could install AC in about 2 cars per shift, so about 4 cars a day! Besides the high cost of the option, they couldn't possibly equip too many cars with it! I've only seen one with a "factory" unit, but several with aftermarket units. Here's a question for all you mid 50's buffs-could you order factory AC in a wagon? Since the evaporator was in the trunk in the cars, where would it go in a wagon, if you get it at all?
I've seen quite a few Buicks & Oldsmobiles from this era with AC, but mostly the upscale lines (like Super and Roadmaster in Buicks) which were higher priced cars to start with.
However, when maintenance or especially repair is needed, not only is it more complicated than years ago, but normal people can hardly do it anymore because they don't have the special equipment, etc. I see many vehicles running over 100K miles these days, years ago 100K was the practicle limit.