Readers Rides

The Old Days Of Muscle Car Repair

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By Mark Weiseeg

This picture tells a thousand stories. Are they putting in a starter, a fuel pump or a new exhaust? We will never know for sure but, most of us have done this and can relate.

If you have repaired a few cars in your time, you have probably worked in rain, snow, wind, hot, cold, cramped spaces, on the street, on the side of the road, on the garage floor, in the grass, and so on. Poor lighting, wrong tools, wrong parts and so on. Nothing was worse than pulling a part off like a fuel pump only to realize you bought the wrong replacement part. Back in the day a lot of parts were made to be “universal” which could work at times but usually had flaws in them somewhere.
At the end of the process, we may have felt exhausted, but oh so satisfied. Like an artist who’s just finished a painting.

They were great times back then when we did work like this but,it was never easy. Well, it was easy on tools. No metric crap or torx screws or bolts to worry about. Just good old standard sockets and wrenches. Today, you don’t have a clue what you might need and quite frankly most of us want to choke the genius who decided to have standard and metrics mixed together.

However, back in the day it was more common for the average guy to work on his car. Even if it was basic stuff, like squirt  and goodness into the carburetor, change an air filter, change out the spark plugs. Cars are now more plug and play and low maintenance, but there was something character building about the old days and old cars.
Going through the process of changing an alternator just once in your life, gives you the confidence to try something else. It was a positive feeling. Breaking out the repair manual and following it step-by-step was common practice back in the day.
If you bought a car that was over five years old, you invariably bought a repair manual. A car over five years old today, probably just gets the air freshener replaced.

As car technology progresses, we gain in some areas, but lose in others. Owning a classic muscle car, no matter what shape it’s in, is not just character building, it teaches us so many other skills.
So, next time you pass by an old muscle car for sale, consider all the benefits you will gain from bringing it back to life. You never know what you will learn along the road.

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