Saturday, February 06, 2010

What's the Big Deal?

Back in the day I bought a 1947 Ford that was just like this.  It was my first car.  Dad said I couldn't have a car of my own and like every other interaction that we had, I didn't agree with his point of view.  So I went out and bought one anyway.  In his younger days . . . the wet behind the ears period of his life,  Bob would never take no for an answer.  Years later some things never change.

Couldn't drive the car home so had an arrangement with the owner of a gas station just down the hill from the house to keep it there.  I'd drive it after school, on weekends and even drove it to places like San Francisco (an hour from where we lived).  There was one roadtrip in the car with three friends to a Mexican border town.

This thing about Toyota's gas peddle getting stuck.  What's the big deal, anyway?  Back in the day that always happened to every car I owned and with every friend who had a car.  It just happened.  A stuck gas peddle or linkage to the carburator was just one of those things you had to deal with.  When it got stuck and the car started to go a lot faster than you wanted there were a couple of things to do:

#1  Open the doors and drag your feet to stop the car (not always the best or safest thing to do).

#2  Hang on and enjoy the ride.

#3  Turn off the ignition.

#4  Brake like hell and hope the throttle linkage stops getting hung up on whatever it was that was making it stick.

When this happened I'd pull over, pop the hood, adjust the throttle linkage or fuss with the brake pedal and everything was okay . . . at least for a couple of miles.

Back in the day there was no such things as recalls.  Everyone understood that when something went wrong it was just the way it was.  So you cussed at your car:  Damn Chevy.  Stinking Ford.  While that made you feel better it didn't change anything about how it operated.  You just learned to take care of it.  No big deal.  No bitching and moaning.  Just do it. 

Back in the day you had to think of those things that could go wrong with the car you owned.  Being prepared was important.   You had to know a little something about auto mechanics.  Not a lot.  Just a little. Today, car owners rarely check their tires, oil level, radiator water and so on.  Get in the car, drive down the road, get on the freeway only to discover you left home with a flat tire.  Thump, thump, thump.  Should have checked the tires before you drove out of the driveway.  Ya think?

So when I hear car owners today pissing and moaning about things going wrong with their cars it's laughable.  People must love to bitch and moan.  Dudes, get over it.  Everything mechanical is bound to fail now and then.  Think we live in a perfect world?  Shut up, fix it yourself and drive on.  Okay?

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1 comment:

La Roo said...

My brake pedal in my 1959 VW Bug broke off. I did a 360 and my car jumped up on the curb and onto somebodys newly planted front lawn. Scared the crap out of me and my friends. We were on a beer run, just coming from a party. Wheww, we hadn't started drinking yet. Stupid girls.

You were quite the rebel Bob, I want to hear more.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States