Under the Hood

When was the last time you looked under the hood of your car?

For most people, I’d gather a full 80% would say never past the day they bought it.  After all, what reason is there for you to do so.  That’s not where you put the gas. The auto shop people take care of everything else.  Oil changes by your self? Yeah, beyond having the dealership or Jiffy Lube sticker to remind you to swing by, those are a an endangered species too.

Saturday was spent exploring the world of “old” cars.  I got to go to the Mecum Muscle Car auction at Bartle Hall in Kansas City.  With more than 388,800 square feet of column-less exhibit area, you could put several football fields full of cars, chrome, and horsepower and still not cover the entire space.  When you walk in and smell the Black Magic tire treatment and fuel, you can’t think of anything else that “la Daaaaaaaa”  I have reached car mecca.

Rows upon rows of cars ranging from 1918 Cadillac, complete with the crystal flower holder to “The Real McCoy”, the 1956 Chevrolet SR prototype, line the floor.  Each car’s hood is up and open for display.  The owners hoping to entice you in closer with the pristine clean engines replete with chrome polish and air hoses without an ounce of soot.

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These engines are things of beauty.  Simple.  Clear.  You can see everything from the air filter down to the spark plugs.  Carburetors gleam waiting patiently for their master to turn the key, step on the accelerator pedal and push fuel into their combustion chambers.

IMG_3246Minus a large ring or watch, a person can actually reach each and every part in the engine.  The levers, lines and hoses are all visible and identifiable.  They scream, shut the hood and let’s ride!!!

Old men were giddy to take pictures of “their first car”.  Sons and daughters tagged along behind their dad watching in awe and asking how many “ponies” were under that hood.  Me?  I felt like a kid in the candy story.  At lunch, Rob asked which one was my favorite.  I honestly couldn’t tell him.  1) there were just too many.  It honestly was overwhelming how many trucks and muscle cars there were, but like your kids 2) how do you pick your favorite one?    You Can’t!

Instead, I found myself marveling at the ingenuity of the designers.  Wanting to put the spare tire dead center, but making it lever to side and get it out of the way.

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Fans on the front of the radiator to push more air in to cool the engine.

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The simple poetic lines of a Corvette.  Elegant, yet nimble and oh so fast.

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Even the station wagons look more fun than the 1969 Ford Fairlane that our family drove. A Woody and a Chevy Nomad were just two of many “cool” family vans.

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Such fun.  I must go wipe the drool from my lip.

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Can’t wait for next year!!!!

 

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