Muscle Car

Car Repair: We Have Never Had it So good.

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By Mark Weisseg

When I first saw this picture, it amazed me how different a car workshop then is to now. Look at what they are doing and how they are doing it.

The picture reminds me that back in the day, experimentation was everywhere, like the Wild West of car repair. These hard working guys were trying to figure out what was wrong and how best to fix it. No different than today in some ways but, the shops of yesteryear certainly were a more basic and harsh environment.

I thought the shops I worked in years ago were primitive but, this scene is as basic as you can get.
Check out the one car completely jacked up. It’s one way to fix a car, i guess. It looks like two pieces of wood maybe and a chain from above but I might be wrong.
Today, we have lifts that are electric or hydraulics in our repair shops and even possibly at home. A simple way to do your own oil changes, clean underneath, or the best is to be able to store another car underneath one on the lift.
I just did rear brake rotors and pads on my Caddy SUV in my heated garage but it was still very unpleasant.
It was easy when I was 25 but that was a hundred years ago but, irrespective of age, I still need all the modern tools and conveniences.
I want my tools accessible, great lighting, along with a garage heater. In the summer the garage is hot. This year, no more box fan. Nope, this boy is swinging for a large bad ass fan or a floor mounted round shop fan. I also totally rely on tube lights to getting those inaccessible places.
Without these modern conveniences, working on the car will be so much harder, but the guys in the past work with what they had, bought or made themselves.

Looking at this picture just reminded me of the roots of this hobby.
Most of us cannot have a twenty thousand square foot building with the best of everything but, we all know most of us do our work with what we have, in the conditions we have. Which brings us on to how safety has also been brought along over the years.
The ‘make do’ attitude of yesteryear was a great ethos, but just like the planks of wood holding up the car, potentially dangerous. Better tooling, better standards and everybody being more aware of workplace hazards, means we can all work for longer and more efficiently on our cars, than in the past.

If it wasn’t for the pioneers of the past, we wouldn’t be at the stage we are now with car repair in general.
So, the next time you have to jack up your car, be thankful all the tools are out there to do the job and not just two planks of wood.

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