Digging through one of my many (too many) boxes of old car parts, in search of a coulda-sworn-I-had-one Ford V8 emblem for the race car, I dug up this greasy relic from my past. Back in the days when I didn't let lack of cash prevent me from keeping an alarmingly large stable of wretched hoopties, I'd frequently obtain a particularly decrepit heap with a fuel system completely gummed up with rusty varnishy ick, from tank filler pipe to carburetor. How do you get such a vehicle from the vacant lot or half-collapsed garage where you bought it to the last remaining street parking space in your neighborhood, without paying for a tow truck? What the cash-strapped hooptiephile must rig up at that point is the extremely safe Field Expedient Fuel System…

That's right, we're talking about a gallon gas can zip-tied somewhere under the hood, with a junkyard electric fuel pump hooked directly to the battery (or, if you're doing a really sanitary job, off a jumper wire plugged into a switched circuit on the fusebox) and feeding the carburetor, which you might even disassemble on the car's hood and hose off some off the more egregious crap deposits with carb cleaner spray (and, much like one of my other Really Dumb Ideas, we suggest very strongly that you don't try this at home). Thing is, it's not easy to find a fuel pump suitable for carburetor use; most carbureted cars have mechanical fuel pumps, and a fuel-injected car's pump cranks out too much pressure for a carburetor to handle- we're talking 60 PSI instead of the 5 or so you want. Adding to the fun, those junkyard vehicles that do have carb-friendly electric pumps generally keep them buried beneath many layers of inaccessible parts or- worse- in the gas tank, ensuring a knuckle-shredding, gas-stinking three-hour adventure to pull one. However, back in those days you could count on being able to find two vehicles with easy-access, reliable electric fuel pumps that would work just fine with your Q-jet or Solex or whatever: the Chevy Luv pickup truck and the mid-70s Honda Civic. The Luv- actually an Isuzu TF- had an easy-to-reach cylindrical pump located on the frame rail, while the Civic's was behind a panel under the rear seat. I preferred the Civic pump, even though it was slightly harder to extract from the donor vehicle, because it was easier to mount on a crude homemade bracket (see above) and attach under the hood of your Buick Apollo with a couple of sheetmetal screws. These days, sadly, you usually can't find either one of these vehicles in the self-service junkyards, mid-70s machinery now having mostly been crushed. I try to not to get burdened beneath a big load of old car parts, but I'm going to keep this Civic pump!