The Wages of Sin . . .

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A battleship in service is ready for service, usually. But a battleship on static display may not even float – on account of the unnoticed rust that ate through its sides during all those years when people were just looking at it.

This happens to old cars, too.

Well, it happens when they sit for a long time, just being looked at. It just happened to my ’76 Trans-Am, which I’ve neglected by not doing much more than looking at it lately. I’ve been too busy with work and other things; the usual excuses that make no difference.

Neglect leads to rot, like it or not.

I finally found time to fire it up the other day and right away, it sounded funny. An ugly-sounding tapping emanated while accelerating. I began to ponder the possibilities – among them that the engine was dangerously low on oil, which was possible because I’d neglected to check it for months. I assumed it was full, which is like a pilot assuming there isn’t ice on the wings in winter. As in, not a very smart assumption to make. But the TA has an oil oil pressure gauge and it read a solid 60 psi, so it probably wasn’t a lack-of-oil problem. Gauges are much more informational than lights that come on when it’s already too late. Rather than lighting up “oil,” these idiot lights ought to illuminate “you lose.”

Anyhow, there was probably plenty of oil in the 455’s sump, in spite of my (ruefully) not having checked. So what else could be causing that unhappy-sounding noise? A sticking valve or lifter can make a noise like that – and if you leave an engine just-sitting for a long time, noises like that increase in probability as things inside the engine get . . . sticky. Varnish and crud build up – and not-running the engine doesn’t clean that up.

I pondered all of this as I turned the bird’s nose around to head back to drydock – deciding that it would be smart to be cautious and find out exactly what was making that noise rather than continuing to drive it while it was making that noise.

But as I made the turn, I felt something that didn’t seem right.

Normally, the TA is a crisp-turning, precise-steering car. The second generation (1970-1981) Trans-Ams were esteemed as much for their handling as they were for their acceleration. In fact, their handling was far better than their acceleration – which can be substantiated by taking one out for a drive today. Even though the last second-generation Trans-Am was built almost 43 years ago (in 1981) these cars feel like modern cars and can take a curve at modern car speeds, which is something not many cars made 40-plus years ago (that were designed almost 60 years ago) can do.

The second-generation Trans-Am handled better than the Corvette of the same era and was the first American car other than Corvette to offer 15×8 wheels and four wheel disc brakes. Models with the WS6 ride and handling option were the pick of the litter as they had those features and a “faster” steering box. But even the ones that weren’t WS6-equipped, like my ’76, were superb-handling cars.

But my ’76’s handling was feeling sloppy all-of-a-sudden. The steering felt disconnected. And as it turned out, this was almost literally the case. I got the car home, back in the drydock – and for the first time in a year, at least – I crawled underneath with a flashlight to see what I could see.

And what I saw was the a mouse – or some other beast – had eaten one of the rubber front sway bar end link bushings, such that the sway bar no served more than a decorative purpose. I continued looking – and found the source of the unpleasant noise I’d been hearing. Lucky for me, it wasn’t mechanically caused, per se. A valve wasn’t sticking. But the driver’s side exhaust pipe was just barely clinging to the exhaust manifold. One bolt of the two had worked its way entirely off the stud and was gone; the other was part way down. If it’d kept on driving, the pipe would have dropped off the manifold as I was driving and made another (louder) sound.

Luckily this did not happen – because I was at least smart enough to cut short my drive and find out what was making the sound – and causing the feel. Yet, I still feel like a schlemiel for allowing neglect to progress such that either that sound or that feel cut short my drive.

There is a lesson in this somewhere. I think it has to do with taking care of what you have and not just looking at what you have.

. . .

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55 COMMENTS

  1. When I got my 79 Firebird, I was expecting a handling experience similar to that of my 440 powered 71 Charger, or the slant 6 powered 75 Dart that I learned to drive in. Those 2 cars are my only old car driving experience. Boy was I in for a shock. The Firebird handles more like a modern car than an old musclecar!

    Now I find myself neglecting the old Charger more just because the driving experience of the Firebird is so much more FUN. Sure the power of the 440 is great, in a straight line. But getting out in the twisty back roads, there’s just no comparison. Also, the Charger is an auto, while the Firebird is a 4 speed, so there is that factor.

    I too am getting an exhaust “tick” on the Firebird where the header collector bolts up to the exhaust pipe. The problem is, the collector end (on the header) looks like it may be warped, making a solid seal impossible. I’m not sure if that’s even fixable since it’s welded on the collector. May have to get new headers. 🙁

    • Hi Philo!

      I encourage you to get rid of those headers as they always leak and are always a PITAS to install on the Pontiac V8 in the F car chassis; ground clearance is also often an issue. Instead, try the RA III cast headers. These came originally with RA III 400 and other high-performance engines, such as the 455 HO and SD 455. These are readily available on the aftermarket for both the round and D port engines and they have several big advantages over tube headers: One, they seal better; two, they fit more snugly up against the block and eliminate the need to “dimple” a header tube. Three, they flow nearly as well as headers. Four, they look beautiful – and different. So many muscle cars came with ugly stock manifolds. Not high-performance Pontiacs!

  2. Stopping rust…

    Wire brush off loose rust…paint on Por15 paint…apply bondo over Por15…then paint over that…

    small holes…Wire brush off loose rust…paint on Por15 paint….put fiberglass cloth over Por15…paint more Por15 over the fiberglass cloth…

    Large holes…cut out and weld in new metal….

    Undercoating cars…spray on oily product…has to be done yearly…..in the old days they sprayed on used oil…..

  3. Don’t feel bad Eric. I do all my scheduled maint, but rarely give my vehicles a good once over every month like I used to. they just never have anything wrong, so I let it slide.

    • Another time to check your vehicle…..after you paid someone to work on it….you will probably find bolts loose, etc., or work not even done…

      you will be far more careful working on your own car….more so then someone in a rush…. trying to make their boss or themselves more money

  4. This reminds me, many neglect the most important vehicles we’ll ever posses…our own bodies! Without the proper fuel and maintenance (exercise to get the lymphatic system going) we could end up in rather poor shape as well.

    • Good point. Gotta take care of yourself first. Then do other things. I am betting most of the folks that regularly post here do so. Exercise, stay away from processed food substitutes especially the “fake” foods. Buy local for vegetables, meats, poultry,eggs or raise some of your own. Have a garden even a couple pots on a balcony with tomatoes, lettuce, herbs and really anything. We have a decent sized garden. We can 80-150 (2020 was a big year lots of time to weed etc.) quarts of tomatoes a year and other things. It is work having a garden, but an hour or 2 a day is enough to combat the weeds and predators. It is also great exercise. I would have chickens as Eric does but like to travel and someone has to take care of the livestock.

  5. Eric,

    I was reminded of this on Saturday. For the first time in 2.5-3 months, I took my motorcycle out. I hadn’t ridden it because it’s been too hot and humid to ride. Anyway, my battery was a bit low; it barely turned over the bike, and I LOST my digital clock setting-ugghh! I ran it for about 40 minutes or so, and the battery was up to snuff again. I still have to reset the clock though… 🙁

    • Battery Tender! Although can provide a false positive, pull the Tender, bike starts. Stop for a long lunch, battery isn’t holding that charge. Rare but it’s happened.
      Before a trip I try to pull it two days ahead to ensure the charge “sticks”.

      New battery in five year steps in Harley world, sooner in hot climates.

    • Hi Mark,

      Get thee a battery tender! I second this advice (and heed it, myself). All my bikes are always hooked up when not in use for anything more than a week. Most tenders come with a pigtail easy-couple that eliminates the need to deal with alligator-clamping to the terminals. Batteries (like everything else) are getting very pricey, so the cost of a tender can save you a lot of money – as well as hassle.

  6. People treat cars horribly, which is a shame considering what the car gives you – freedom of mobility.

    Try living without a car, soon you will appreciate the damn things. For a gallon of gas it can get you tens of miles down the road.

    Imagine you have a Prius C. It gets very good fuel economy. Now imagine you drive it slow like a granny.

    https://priuschat.com/attachments/prius-mpg-vs-speed-jpg.48076/

    If you drive 25 mph you can get 100 mpg. That is amazing. And it will be something you’ll be thinking about when the nukes are lit off, and you are driving west, to get upwind.

    • Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death …”

      1. The USA has piled up sins all the way to the heavens, like bombing whole nations into ruin – based on lies of state sponsored false flags. The United States bombed the crap out of Afghanistan and Iraq, neither did 911. Israel did 911, and the whore politicians lied about it.

      That was a very big sin. So far the USA caused the deaths of over 20 million in the Middle East.

      2. The USA has aborted 50+ million babies so far, and some people say abortion is a sin. (I am not religious)

      “Approximately 860,000 abortions were performed in 2017, rising to about 930,000 in 2020.”

      3. To make up the shortfall of workers because of so many abortions, the USA allows tens of millions of illegals to stream in, causing stress to the existing population of legal citizens – who have to pay all their bills, put up with their crimes, and pay higher rent, etc.

      That is a big sin.

      4. The USA put 20 million American kids in jail for pot possession, a plant. That gave them a criminal record, preventing many from getting decent jobs. That was a sin. Then they legalized it in many states, and did not even apologize for their insane policies.

      5. The USA under the Biden regime is funding the Ukraine war, that has caused 500,000 Ukranian soldier deaths thus far
      2,500,000 wounded, 14 million to flee. The entire Congress keeps funding this war. So far they have blown over 200 billion, causing inflation.

      Inflation and war are two great sins of the Beast System.

      6. The Bible condemns homosexuality in the harshest of terms, the USA claims to be a country based on the Holy Bible yet promotes LBGTQ and pedophilia, etc. According to the Bible, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for such degenerate behavior.

      God has not destroyed the USA for way worse crimes than any corrupt nation in the Old Testament. God should apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah for not destroying the United States.

      Genesis 19:28

      “4Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

      6Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.””

      Boston Globe – “Welcome to Tel Aviv, the gayest city on earth”

      Israel is claiming Palestine based on the Bible, yet Israel is the most gay nation on earth. Israel is Sodom, and USA Gomorrah in my estimation.

      ——————

      In related news Russia is fielding the Sarmat-2 super weapon, a huge ICBM that carries over 10 MIRV warheads.

      Wiki – RS-28 Sarmat
      Type Superheavy Intercontinental ballistic missile

      In service 2023

      Designer Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau

      Specifications
      Mass 208.1 tonnes[1]
      Length 35.5 m[2]
      Diameter 3 m[2]
      Warhead Thermonuclear, 10 MIRV and 16 Combine with hyperglide warheads

      range ~18,000 kilometres (11,000 mi)[3]

      The RS-28 Sarmat (Russian: РС-28 Сармат,[4] named after the Sarmatians;[5] NATO reporting name: SS-X-29[6] or SS-X-30[7]), often unofficially called Satan II by some media outlets, is a Russian liquid-fueled, MIRV-equipped super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) produced by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau since 2009.[4][8] It is intended to replace the R-36M ICBM (SS-18 ‘Satan’) in Russia’s arsenal.[9]

      The Sarmat is one of six new Russian strategic weapons unveiled by Russian president Vladimir Putin on 1 March 2018.[10] The RS-28 Sarmat made its first test flight on 20 April 2022.[11] On 16 August 2022, a state contract was signed for the manufacture and supply of the Sarmat strategic missile system.[12] The missile officially entered combat service in September 2023, as the world’s longest range extant ICBM system.[13][14]

      —————–

      In related news, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said:

      “No matter what they (the United States – ed..) say, they are leading this war; they are putting up weapons, ammunition, intelligence data, data from satellites. They are waging war against us,”

      The USA will provide Ukraine with long-range ATACMS missiles.

      “Attack Them” Missiles

      • Yukon, hard to argue with your points, I guess we need to turn our backs to Sodom and Gomorrah (or Mordor in modern nomenclature) and not look back or fight with all our ability and without fear of death, which comes to all of us, courtesy of God.

  7. Eric—is there anything special you recommend for getting bugs/tar off of a vehicle? Also, what product do you recommend for the inside gaskets and plastic trim? Mine are black, used Armor All on it one time and after it dried, was a grayish color? Was not pleased. Normally just wipe with a damp cloth. Anything special for those things or just read the label, close my eyes and grab something? Thanks.

    • Hi Elaine,

      Yes, WD-40 (believe it or not) and it’s not harmful to paint. Meguiars used to make a very good interior conditioner for plastic/leather; I’m not sure whether it’s still available. I will check and report…

    • No automatic car wash! Caustic soap sprayed under pressure into every crevice of the body. My father-in-law had a decent looking Malibu wagon. Every week the auto wash. In 5 years it no longer looked like paint it was a flat finish looked like anodized metal. Plus, the caustics had caused rust under the door seals, window trim, etc.
      They recycle the water who knows what PH level you’re getting rinsed with.

      • This is true!
        I generally only wash my vehicles once or twice (at the most) per year. If they’re not rusty when I buy them, they don’t get rusty, and the paint stays good. Most of the farmers around here too- you rarely see them cleaning/washing their farm machinery, and their stuff lasts far longer than that of the hobby farmers who are always keeping their near-new machinery squeaky clean….and it ends up rusted and falling apart in just a few years.
        Parking in a garage is a no-no too- unless you live in a dry climate where it is hot all year round…otherwise a carport or open equipment shed type deal is ideal to protect from sun and rain…but allow full flow of air.
        Car covers are the ENEMIES of cars!

        • Thanks you three for the help. Will check into those products. Have plenty of WD40 around. I always hand wash my truck. It’s in no danger from being washed too much. I do park in the garage, open door in the summer when gets so hot, may have to start opening door everyday.

        • RE: “Parking in a garage is a no-no too- unless you live in a dry climate”

          WHAT!?

          No way! I mean: No Fucking Way! (Meant in a friendly manner, btw.)

          A dry garage makes ALL the difference in the world here in wet/cold Iowa.

          … My experience. Done both. YMMV,…somehow?

          Anyway, a definitive deep dive into this would be a good read: “My father-in-law had a decent looking Malibu wagon. Every week the auto wash. In 5 years it no longer looked like paint it was a flat finish looked like anodized metal.”

          …My experience is just the opposite.
          Is it the water? Idk.

          [Also,…While this subject of nice shiny cars is a Nice diversion, did ya all catch the many titles on ZeroHedge about Revolution this evening? …Some years, nothing happens,.. then, in a few months, years happen? ~]

          • Yes! Parking in a closed garage in winter (especially a heated garage) or in a humid climate is actually terrible for your car.

            Automotive Engineering had an article about this a long time ago. They studied the effects of winter parking on corrosion. They found the worst thing you could do was to park in a heated garage. The warmth would really get the corrosion going on a car. A cold garage is better to reduce corrosion. The best thing to do was park in a covered car port with one, two, or three sides walled.

            As a former salvage guy/junk car hauler….I concur! Saw countless “well-kept” cars with pristine paint rotted from the inside out…always “the beautiful old car we always kept in the garage”….meanwhile, my cousin’s 71 Mustang (She bought it new in ’71) which has lived parked on the streets of NYC, is still just fine…..

            • All the garages I ever used were drafty & non-heated – “A cold garage is better to reduce corrosion.” so that part makes sense.

              I dunno about parking outside though, most of the cars I’ve owned were parked outside & they faired far far worse than those of others around me who parked inside a garage.

              Perhaps, there are other factors at play? Idk.

          • If it is really cold outside there is a possibility that parking your vehicle outside will deter rodents living in it….in a warm garage rodents might make your car their new home….

      • Also if you live where they use a lot of salt. Michigan, baby the salt capital of the world. Wash especially in the winter, make sure you do under the vehicle as well, use only the rinse, do not use the soap or the wax or any of the other 15 stages. Just get the salt off.

  8. A really good product for rust prevention is CRC Marine Heavy Duty Corrosion Inhibitor, similar to the Amsoil version but less expensive, and fits with the theme of the article. It’s good for newer cars since it dries clear and doesn’t really change the factory look.

    • Ditto on the CRC Inhibitor! Also you newer Acura & Honda owners may want to pull the rear shock mounting bolts and CRC or anti seize treat them. Daughters 09 MDX wouldn’t budge, took it into local shop we trust they almost got the cutting torch to remove them. The way the mount lowers are designed it’s tough to get a a cutter in there. I changed the front struts – that was another battle using the floor jack handle with a 1/2 inch breaker bar to bust loose the lower bolts. Air impact driver didn’t work at all on these.

  9. Don’t blame yourself, Eric. Rot and deterioration on a 50 year-old vehicle are inevitable. You can take steps to minimize them, but ultimately, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t- i.e. keep the car in a climate-controlled environment and never drive it….or daily drive it…it’ still going to deteriorate. Unless you bought the car brand new and kept it in Jay Leno’s garage, and never drove it…but then, what would be the point to having it?
    Some rain got into a nook or cranny over the years- some moisture and some dirt behind a piece of trim or molding; a seed was planted that eventually started a tiny spot of rust that grew unnoticed for years until it spread to the point where it became obvious. Rubber deteriorates with age and weather and friction…….
    This is why I laugh at the idea of everyone pretending that their classic old car with a 5-digit odometer “only has 37000 miles on it”- because even if it really did, it’ll still be in a state of deterioration, and more so than one that had 3000,000 miles on it, but which was driven and maintained and had parts replaced as they wore, and whose flaws were noticed quickly when they occurred because the car was actually used for the purpose for which it was built.
    Heh, I stopped and looked at a Pontiac from the 60’s in someone’s front yard once. It was obvious even from a distance that the car was nothing but scrap metal, but I wanted to see it, because it had been a long time since I’d seen one of them. There literally was not one good part on the entire car- it was rotted all over; all rubber was long gone; paint was a distant memory….oh wait…I think some of the glass may’ve been good….
    The owner comes out as I’m looking at the car and goes into used-car salesman mode- “It’s only got 64000 miles on it!”- I said “Well it must’ve been driven exclusively by the Incredible Hulk in car chases, and then got washed out to sea in hurricane Sandy….”

  10. Oxidize this!

    We need a war on oxygen, just too much of the stuff. Ruins everything!

    Anything -gen, genetics, war that, nitrogen, not so much, Genesis, ban the first book of the Bible, have to, no other choice.

    Next thing you know, there will be rust, a lot of it.

    Ever see some rye grain that has rust? Makes for good LSD! Get your ergot here!

    Time to burn some witches!

    The right side control arm on my ’76 Chevrolet pickup broke in half as I backed out of a driveway on Easter Sunday many years ago. Somebody probably drove it like a mad man before I bought the thing.

    Rust can be blamed on the cracked portion of the control arm, I suspect. Always something that can go wrong. It wasn’t me, I didn’t do it.

    We’re living and dying in 3/4 time.

    • Summer up here was a total bust, rained every other day, still raining today ☹️. The plants love it, never been greener but I’m way behind on some necessary maintenance on the house.

      • Haha same here in Michigan. We get the same weather just a day or 2 different. Been wet for a while, was dryer earlier (when my garden needed rain). Guess it must be that climate change thing either that or weather. (Weather war?). Nah that is a paranoid fantasy? The controllers do try to control the uncontrollable so they default to force (killing). We are so living in interesting times.

  11. A very interesting article today and one that hits me where I live. I own three cars: a 1973 Rolls-Royce Corniche Fixed Head Coupe that I bought from a Roll-Royce mechanic ten years ago for $30K, a 1982 Fiat 2000 Spider and a 2008 Saab 9-3 Sedan.

    My favorite driving car is the Spider and of the three it is the easiest and least expensive to maintain – and the easiest to work on. It has no rust and I have done a lot of restoration on the car including a new bare metal paint job. I use it only in the summer and it lives in a heated garage in the winter.

    My problem child is the Rolls-Royce. It’s engineering is needlessly complex but virtually everything can be taken apart and put back together by hand. And it HAS to be driven to keep everything working properly. I am able to get most parts I need from the UK and they aren’t cheap although there are Rolls ‘graveyards’ and parts cars available which helps. I once had a leak that I thought was an oil leak and neglected. Turned out to be brake fluid which could easily have ignited and caused a serious fire.

    My Saab is becoming the most difficult to keep going as I am having trouble finding service that can connect to the diagnostic computers. Fortunately, the Rolls and the Spider will keep me going long after the Saab becomes obsolescent because they do not need computers or chips to function.

    • Your 1982 Fiat 2000 Spider has …….

      The famous Lampredi 4 cyl twin cam hemi engine

      A Ferrari engine designer designed engine in your Fiat/Lancia, etc

      Fiat (Stellantis) still owns 90% of Ferrari.

      Lampredi (the famous Ferrari engine designer) who later worked for Fiat Lancia designed the twin overhead cam 8 valve hemi (later on 16 valve) 4 cylinder, which powered Fiat, Lancia, Lotus 7, Morgan, Alfa Romeo, etc., He ran Abarth.
      it powered more World Rally championship winners then any other engine.
      One of the best race car engines in history.
      One of the best 4 cyl engines in history.

      The Lampredi engine was in the Lancia 037, Lancia Delta S4 and Lancia Delta Integrale, with turbo and super charger the engine put out up to 1000 hp, in race trim 600 hp.

      The Lancia 037 with the Lampredi two litre engine with a super charger only, made 325 hp.

      A new recreation of the Lancia 037 rally car is being produced by Kimera, (37 only, get your order in), it will have the Lampredi 4 cyl engine with turbo and super charger and will make 500 hp, weigh 2200 lb and cost $700,000. The Lampredi engine lives on. In many ways the best car in the world, better than the new hypercars, they don’t have the style or driving experience of a classic, the hypercars are too big, heavy, over computerized, self driving, boring at legal speeds, expensive. (The new Murray T50 is an exception).

      The Lampredi designed Fiat Lancia 4 cyl twin cam was the most produced engine in history, it was manufactured from 1955 to 1999.

      In 1952 and 1953 the Ferrari 500 F1 race car won the formula 1 championship, it was powered by a Lampredi designed 2 lt. twin cam 4 cyl engine. That F1 car had similar specs to the Lampredi powered super 7: 540 kg, 2.0 lt. Lampredi twin cam 4 cyl., 180 hp, Dedion rear axle (transaxle), 4 speed trans., tube frame chassis.

      I have a 1978 super 7 clone . tube frame, 540 kg, 1230 lb. fibreglass and aluminum body. Triumph Spitfire front suspension, steering, brakes, 1967 Lotus Cortina leaf spring rear suspension, axle, brakes, gas tank. 1980 Fiat 124 spider 2.0 lt. Lampredi engine and 5 spd. trans., was fuel injected, converted to carburation, earlier intake manifold for increased flow, Weber 40 DFI 5 from a 365 Ferrari v12., custom side exhaust with 4-2-1 setup. engine weight 272 lb, pretty light.

  12. ‘Neglect leads to rot, like it or not.’ — eric

    IN its wordless way, the Orange Barchetta is pleading for a road trip.

    Like the one Humbert Humbert and Lolita took in the blue 1940s ‘Melmoth’ inherited from his widow, Charlotte Haze:

    ‘Finally, there was the money question. My income was cracking under the strain of our joy-ride. True, I clung to the cheaper motor courts; but every now and then, there would be a loud hotel de luxe, or a pretentious dude ranch, to mutilate our budget; staggering sums, moreover, were expended on sightseeing and Lo’s clothes, and the old Haze bus, although a still vigorous and very devoted machine, necessitated numerous minor and major repairs.’

    Finally he intentionally wrecked it, appending a final salute:

    ‘With a graceful movement I turned off the road, and after two or three big bounces, rode up a grassy slope, among surprised cows, and there I came to a gentle rocking stop. I was soon to be taken out of the car (Hi, Melmoth, thanks a lot, old fellow) … by the police and the ambulance people.’

    > Game over; play again?

  13. Hey: Like that picture of the USS Texas. Visited her many years ago during a work trip to Houston. It’s a great tour. Followed the article whereby they towed her to the dry dock. Fascinating! Yes, and big bux to do the restoration. Amazing how much rust can come on to the armor just sitting in the water. Once she’s restored it will be worth the trip to see her.

    BTW USS North Carolina is a good ship to visit too. I’ve visited her twice. Need to check out the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk one of these days.

      • I highly recommend the USS Alabama. I got to spend a night on it in Boy Scouts. It’s right off I-10 and is probably in the best shape of any battleship. Well worth the trip.

        • Tha Alabama was in fairly rough shape the last time we stopped in June 2020. I’m hoping that the deferred maintenance was just due to the pandemic and not because of lack of funding.

      • “Space Battleship Yamato” is a Japanese sci-fi franchise which inspired “Battlestar Galactica” among others in the 70s.

        The old cartoon series, aired in the US as “Star Blazers”, was horrifically non-PC, with a pervy robot and continually drunk chief engineer depending on which translation you watched and how early your local station bought the series. Needless to say, the series was and continues to be very popular in Japan and drives interest in the old battleship among the younger generations.

    • The USS Lexington in Corpus Christi is interesting and also worth a stop since the carrier remained in active service as a training ship into the 90s.

  14. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been dealing with various issues on a 2016 VW Jetta which we purchased used from a family member, assuming — incorrectly — that proper maintenance had been performed on the car at least since said relation bought it used about 30,000 miles ago.

    This weekend, the engine really started hesitating and making some odd noises so the first thing I decided to check was the air filter. Original factory filter at 68,000 miles. Grrr.

    Changing the filter was kinda-sorta time consuming, but the filter box on the GLI that year was still a leftover from the GDI engine’s so all I had to do was find a T25 screwdriver.

  15. The problem, of course, is that we try to preserve classic machinery by not using it, as use promotes wear. On the other hand, machinery needs to be run, to keep things lubricated, gaskets and seals pliable, etc.

    There is a happy medium somewhere, anyone who has worked on cars knows that a well-used but well-maintained vehicle can run better than one that has been sitting for an extended period.

    My wife’s daily driver just hit 200,000 miles, and while it is starting to get rusty and show body wear and dings it absolutely runs like a champ. I was in it the other day and it was just a pleasure to drive even though it is starting to look beat.

  16. Sounds a lot like my 1968 Oldsmobile Delta 88: I bought it with 47,000 original miles, but I had to rebuild the engine and transmission, do a front end job, and replace who knows how many rubber gaskets because they dried out—because it spent so much time sitting before I bought it.

    • Hi Mike,

      I have wanted a lift for decades. I hope one day to have one. The home-mechanic models are not super expensive but they’re not cheap, either. And then there are the property taxes I have to pay first, etc.

      • My aunt and uncle had a service pit in one of their garage stalls at the old house (mansion) they once lived in. That was a well built, high end garage, nicer than many houses in fact (built about 1925). The service pit, brick walls (inside and out), brick floor, tile roof, solid wooden garage doors all “top drawer” as my grandpa would say. That was in addition to the original two story carriage house, which was built with the mansion in 1870. I think they could keep about 10 vehicles under roof.

  17. Eric in some ways your lucky the nuts just backed off as usually there rust/ heat seized in position so that you have to resort to torches and prayer to get them to move.

    In some ways that’s the problem with collector cars; we do all that work to them so that even the floor pan has nicer paint than the daily driver but that means you’re not going to rust proof it (oil spray or asphalt coating). I put fuel stabilizer in with the gas so as to minimize fuel breakdown (damn ethanol!!). Luckily mice don’t like my Chev’s wiring harness and ignore it, but I’ve seen Honda’s, VW’s and Dodge’s with nibbled on harnesses. Honda makes a rodent tape but that will spoil the look of your restored toy. Any one have experience with ultrasonic pest devices?

    • Hi Landru,

      Yup!

      No rust on the exhaust because the car hasn’t been driven in the rain since the ’70s! It stays in the garage and I detail it using spray detailer. I also used brass studs when I installed the manifolds – and that helps!

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