I thought I’d given up general idiocy several years ago when it came to adventures of the bone- headed.
Then I wrestled a 1962 Lincoln Continental out of a brutal retirement and took it for a lengthy road test despite very strong evidence that this was a real bad idea.
The car had old fuel, a noticeable miss, and enough lifter noise to make me turn up the radio on a crappy country station with a loud buzz in the background.
It turns out that this was not the best way to solve the problem, but the lifter noise completely disappeared when the sludge from the gas tank blocked off the fuel filter better than a full-on heart attack.
Gliding down a scenic back country road in a noiseless car is only relaxing in a tree-hugging electric car. There is less appeal when you’re in a giant car from the Kennedy era under the same circumstance.
Somehow I managed to limp the Lincoln another 3 miles into a small town with a gas bar and a possible quick solution to my problem. That kind of plucky optimism should have died a horrible death much earlier in my life, because this had bad experience written all over it.
The gas bar had no fuel filters, tools of any kind, or anything remotely connected with cars, unless you include air fresheners. It did have a friendly pump jockey with a limited command of English who said he was a mechanic in his former country. He volunteered to screw around with the carb and timing and seemed genuinely disappointed when I convinced him to leave the old girl alone
I phoned up Stan the answer man’s brother Spud who lived a few miles from the town and he arrived with tools and a sensible solution to the problem. I made it home and one would think that we are never too old to learn a lesson about the right way to handle old cars. In my case, one would think wrong- very wrong.
A few days later I became a Hall of Fame idiot when I pushed the Lincoln out of my garage and straight into my brother’s 1959 Plymouth project car. Somehow basic physics evaded me when I believed that slamming the car into park would stop a 4700 lb. soap box derby car on a slight incline. The next step was the Fred Flintstone foot brake maneuver outside of the car as I skied beside the car in a vain attempt to defy rigid laws of mass and motion.
The whole adventure took place in only about 10 feet of my back yard, but the front fender of the project car will need many more hours of extra body work to repair my blatant act of stupidity. I would like to think it was my last act of car stupidity but nobody’s buying that story.