Well Hooray!! Out of over 900 cars on the 25th Anniversary Route 66 Fun Run my little Red Corvette won me the prestigious "Hard Luck Trophy" and here's how:
-On the way down south in Oregon we stopped for a lunch break and when I tried to leave my little Red "Darling" would not start. Problem - stuck solenoid starter. Solution - simple, whack it with a bar and hammer, gently of course. So I get a new starter at the next Napa store I see (it's still in the back of my little Red Corvette; never had a problem again; , but I do have a new starter just in case.
-In Mojave, California I stopped for gas and could not get the gas cap off. Problem - the heat and pressure in the gas tank was so high I could not turn the cap even with pliers. Solution - all car guys carry vise grips don't they? - with a hissing sound it finally came off, so I could fill up with gas and be off.
-As I went into Seligman Arizona to pick up my registration for the Fun Run the next day, a nice big truck went by me and threw a rock from his rear wheel that cracked my windshield. Problem - out in the middle of nowhere try to get your windshield fixed - epoxied before the chip turns into a crack, or you are looking for a new windshield. Solution- when I get back to my hotel in Williams the nice lady at the desk gives me the business card of O'Brien Auto Glass, I call for an appointment and speak to Patrick O'Brien - nice guy! He says you don't need an appointment I will come to your hotel in one hour and fix it right there - $50.00 - the little Red Corvette is covered by Hagarty Collector car insurance and all they need is a receipt from O'Bren Auto Glass and they will reimburse me.
Are you saying is that all? Of course not!!!
We get up the next day in Kingman Arizona and go for breakfast with the rest of the people in our group from Canada, and my little Red Corvette is making funny rattling noises from under the hood. I take a look and it sounds like the pulley on the Serpinvitine belt. So, after breakfast off to Napa to get a new pulley because it's usually the bearing in the tensIoner pulley.
On the way back to the motel to meet the other cars my sweet little Red Corvette stalls in front of the motel and I coast into the parking lot.
Problem - it's not the tensIoner. The pollution air pump has seized and locked tight as a drum, you can't even move it.
I tell the rest of the group to go ahead while I figure out where I will get another air pump. So on the phone I go to 5 different part stores, and it's Sunday and some aren't even open. Luckily for me my buddy from the Richmond Street Rodders, John Suleatich, says "I am staying with you to help". The closest air pump is at O'Rilleys Auto Parts in Massa, Arizona around 5 1/2 hours away or 2 days by courier or bus. Great, so we figure okay let's just take the pump off and put a shorter belt on, right - back to Napa again.
Two belts later and still no luck, they rub on themselves because the pump is missing, now what?? Along comes the caretaker of the motel and asks, "what's the problem?" We explained and he says "You're hot rodders aren't you?" Easy solution, take the guts out of the pump, put an idler pulley on it, get a new belt and put it back together. It will look like it has a pollution pump and will run better but really no pump. Great, I ask him to phone Napa and tell them what kind of pulley we need. John and I jump back into his little red corvette and go back to Napa, we walk in and I ask for the pulley. We are now getting to know the Napa guys quite well as this is our 4th trip. The guy behind the counter laughs and says 2 things - first, " you bought one this morning do you want another, because that was our last one!" Second question "are you not Canadian?" Yes. "Then why do you not say EH!!", he asks.
Six and half hours later we are back on the road to catch up with the rest of our group.
George Game of the Canadian Route 66 Association pleads our case at the finish line so we would get the Hard Luck Trophy. Thanks George and John. The trophy proudly hangs in the boardroom of my office, Century 21 Prudential Estates in Richmond.