Happy 4th of July. Who doesn’t love a parade? I was watching a Parade this 4th of July. Several guys were standing nearby and the talk started on what kind of cars and trucks were in the parade. There were lots of pickup trucks that had the front end lifted. They had loud mufflers and lots of flags on them. I think they call this the Carolina Tilt. There were also a lot of cars with funky paint jobs and big rims. Turns out that three of the guys were auto mechanics. That was their life’s work.
Of course if you have three people in the same job, they all have different opinions. These three guys were no different. One guy had moved to California when he was a junior in high school. In his neighborhood were guys that worked on low rider cars. He learned how to do all sorts of things with hydraulics to make cars jump and tilt and do all manner of things. He said the main objective was to make the car look cool driving slowly. Later his family moved and he got in with some guys that put turbo chargers on little 4 cylinder engines to make them go faster. He learned how to almost double the horsepower on these little Honda and Toyota’s. A few years later he was back on the east coast and had a booming foreign car repair business. He also still does fancy paint jobs just like his low-rider friends had.
Another guy said he learned how to work on cars in high school too. His friends would spend all their time working on big block Fords and Chevys. His only problem was he didn’t have any money to buy the parts to make these engines stronger. He worked with his friends and learned all about fixing these engines. All his friends had these fast cars with powerful engines. His problem was he couldn’t afford all these racing parts. His friends had these slick cars. He only had enough money to afford a new horn. He would go to the junkyard and he could buy a horn for one dollar. By the time he was a senior in high school, he had a car with 10 different horns on it. His friends with the big engine fast cars were mad because the girls thought the car with all the horns was kind of cute. Well, the girls thought his car was cute, everyone else thought he was an idiot. His wife of fifty years still thinks he is an idiot.
The third guy didn’t say where he leaned about working on cars.
The first guy got away from talking about cars and started talking about his sorry 25 year old grandson. His grandson has put on a loud muffler on his little Honda and thinks he is a car mechanic. His grandson’s mother is afraid that the boy is going to leave her house and runaway. “How can a 25 year old runaway from home?” “When I was 25 I had started my own shop.”
The second guy had a similar story. He had gone into the military, served two tours in Vietnam and then gone to work at a car dealership and was an expert at working on big engines.
The third guy said that the grandson should leave and try to do something. The kid was 25 and should be making his way in the world. The third guy let us know that he knew what he was talking about. “When I was 25, I had two ex-wives, crippling child support and a drinking problem.”
He said that caused him to read all the service manuals at the car dealership where he worked.