Sunny Boy wrote:
Found my station wagon
yesterday. Luckily it was still attached to that tiny piece of side mirror that was all that was sticking out of the windward side of a 7 foot high snow mound/drift. Took an hour to shovel it out and clear it off.
Station wagon!? I thought those practical pieces of automotive history were as extinct as the Brontosaurus. In this world of cheap, throw away electronic front wheel drive SUVs, and mini-vans, the perimeter framed heavy duty, long lasting, powerful big V8 rear wheel drive utilitarian vehicle, has been condemned to the scrap heaps along with the type writers, phone booths, base burning coal stoves, and so many more efficiently designed and effective apparatuses. I surely do miss the station wagons I grew up with as a kid, and owned as a family man, and was very disappointed when my kids were growing older, the mini-vans got popular, and the Mrs. wouldn't allow the tradition to continue. I still haven't degraded my driveway to polluting it with any such vehicle as a mini- or suv, but the daily drivers that have been forced upon us, aren't much better.
Years ago, my last wagon was an 84 Olds 9 passenger full size that served us well, until it got up in age, and I needed to repair the alternator. I wanted to rebuild the original unit that the diodes went bad in, but NAPA didn't have the parts in stock for it, seeing it was 15-20 yrs old at the time. I needed the vehicle for a road trip in a couple days, so I opted out for the "re-manufactured" alternator, that they had in their inventory. It was labeled in BIG
letters, "made in USA
". After I purchased it, and got it home, when out of the box I saw a sticker on the housing stating, "Made in USA, China!" They now must have a city in China called USA, so they can promote it in such a way. Anyway, because I needed it that weekend, I installed it, and it worked fine for about 6 weeks, till one day, after some home repairs, and cleaning some brushes in the back yard, I heard a noise coming from my drive-way. This is what I was greeted with.
Long story short, after the fire dept put it out, the fire chief and I were looking under the hood, and I figured it caught fire from the electronic Q-jet carburetor I had been playing with for months, and finally had straightened out. But after investigating, the fire marshal pointed at the alternator, and said, "that's where your problem began". The rear of the aluminum housing was melted and blown rearward, which caused the plastic wheel well to burn, moved on to the underhood insulation, and the rest was history.
So what does this have to do with "snow storms"? Nothing, I was just impressed with Pauls comment on owning a station wagon. I would love to find a late 60s, or early 70s Vista cruiser, and restore it, but now that the kids are older, the practicality of it isn't as needed as the days of mega shopping, soccer games, and tossing a dog in the back for a quick run over to the airport, to chase the ground hogs. "Those were the days".