Car guys are notorious for their inflexibility when it comes to putting the pieces of a car back together.

‘We can’t let go of the notion that if you have the correct part and you need to connect it to the other correct part, then the pieces of the puzzle will slide together with machine-like efficiency.’

Once that doesn’t work and you’ve exhausted all the normal options you have to do the next best thing with your automotive problem—you call your dentist.

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Brian Saby has been my dentist for a long time. He’s helped me get through numerous dental issues with his ease and expertise in his profession so he makes it look easy when it really isn’t. He’s also a world-class cosmetic dentist who takes immense pride in his work but there’s one thing he definitely isn’t—a car guy.


Cars are simply functional tools to Brian so old rides hold no charm for him—to him it’s they’re just old cars with outdated technology. In fact, the only car he’d ever get excited about would be a mint ’72 Datsun 510 4-door sedan because he owned one during his misspent youth.


Despite Brian’s extremely lukewarm attitude toward old iron, he is the first guy I called after I’d run out of luck on a door lock issue. I spent so many hours on this simple little problem I thought it was a second job but I never solved it. I consulted like crazy within the car world and came up dry every time. I got a lot of online advice and like most online advice; it sent me down a lot of dead end roads.


Some people might wonder what a dentist could bring to the table to solve a car problem but Brian Saby is the kind of person you’d want on Gilligan’s Island—right after Mary Anne and Ginger. He’s a problem solver because he has logic and critical thinking skills that would humble most people and virtually every politician on the planet. He’s also good with carpentry and he’s become a solid welder. Add in those dentist manual dexterity skills and this guy is a natural to fix a door lock issue.


I wanted to go with the factory clip to the link rod setup because it was supposed to work but Brian looked at it differently. He said this setup clearly won’t work so “quit being a clown and try something else”. He recommended scoring the link rod and using a C-clip to fasten it in place. He’s got a big shop full of nearly every tool you could buy in the free world so he did this precision work with the skill of a dentist and I had the door fixed in under a minute.


Jim dragged him into another project. Jim wanted to use a 60s era old factory AM radio in a ’63 Plymouth but he wanted to add an input for an mp3 player because AM radio has a lot less magic than it did back in 1963. Brian rigged this up with literally no experience in old car radios because he used to do this vintage electronic stuff when he was a kid. He also helped set it back in the car by quarterbacking a few other innovations that solved an inaccessible nut and bolt problem.


The moral to this story is simple. Car guys rely on each other for solutions and in most cases, this is a good strategy but we also live in a goldfish bowl so we tend to follow similar paths for solutions. Guys like Brian Saby aren’t bound by the same goldfish bowl so he looks for the best answer—not the typical answer.


So if you’re up against it with a car project and the car buddies can’t help you, there’s only thing to do.

‘Call your dentist.’

“Yes, this is a shameless plug for Brian because if he’s this good at solving car project problems you can imagine what he’s like as a dentist. Contact him at sabydental because anyone who could solve that door lock problem deserves a shout out”.

Jerry Sutherland

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