Some of us are children of the 1970s, and as a result, when we get a salesman-in-matching-white-shoes-and-belt reference, we think of one thing and one thing only: Herb Tarlek from the immortal sitcom WKRP In Cincinnati. Herb pretty much defined the look, that whole golf-course-meets-biz-casual-meets-garish-bachelor vibe. We were treated to memories of it once again, as the commentary flowing from our Question Of The Day developed. Not surprisingly, it was from this commentary that our COTD emerged.
Hardigree asked "What Is The Most Creative Car Repair You've Attempted?" and Smitty scored double points because the winning comment was not just an evocation but actually a true flashback to the 1970s:
Ahhh God, where to begin?
OK, I saw a 1951 Dodge Power Wagon flatbed on a car lot in Torrance, CA .. a beaut, oak bed stakes, 9" PTO winch, military wheels, perfect body and paint, good interior.
It smoked like a destroyer laying down a screen for the Sixth Fleet. Because it "couldn't be driven on Calif. roads" I got it for $200.00. I pullled it into the alley behind El Cheapo's Used Cars, ran across the street to a Super Mercardo and bought a can of Bon Ami and a can of 20WT motor oil.
I mixed about 1/3 of the can of Bon Ami into the oil and while revving the beejeezuz out of that poor flathead six, drizzled the whole can through the carb.
After the smoke cleared I dumped the crankcase and put in fresh oil and filter. Truck $200.00, Bon Ami $0.35, seven quarts of oil, $5.00, oil filter $3.95, (hey, this WAS 1970) the look on the face of the white belt and shoe salesman as I drove off with NO smoke trailing ... priceless.
I drove that old truck to SF, loaded with furniture, then to the Sierras where it was a wood hauler for the next five years that I know of.
By the time I sold it was still getting 500 miles per quart, and never DID get a ring job.
Now, ya wanna hear 'bout the fingernail-file-and-matchbook-cover-tune-up on the '78 Subaru at 02:30 in Truth or Consequences, NM?
Yeah, Smitty, actually we do!