The Beginnings of the Busted Knuckle Garage - Chapter 8

  So the Triumph TR4 didn't work out too well.  This is from the "What was I thinking..." department as a 19 year old.  Hey, I'll just drive this car 2700 miles from Santa Barbara, CA to Rochester, NY for my sister's wedding and then turn around and come back (did I mention never to buy a car that was parked on a lawn).  The first two hours of the forty hour drive went well.  The remainder didn't.  Pulled over and cited for "excessive smoke" just east of San Bernadino the writing was on the wall and this car was about to suffer death by one-thousand cuts.  But oil was cheap back then and I figured some Castrol straight 40W might keep those pistons from letting oil leak out the tailpipe.  That got me another two + hours to Halloran Springs, CA.  Halloran Springs lies halfway between Barstow, CA and Baker, CA in the midst of the Mojave Desert.  This was May and temperatures were what you might call "temperate" for that time of year.  This was 1977.  In 2014, Halloran Springs had a population of 1.  In 2017, it was officially declared a ghost town.  My home for 7 days was my TR4's front seat as I continually hitchiked back and forth to Baker to recieve miscellanous parts to repair/replace the head gasket on this miserable British roller.  Sleeping in the Greyhound Bus Station was a relief.   My car was parked in a junkyard adjacent to the only service station in town run by a guy who was birthed by Frankestein & his bride.  No tools loaned, get your car off the lot, you're not welcome here etc.  Perhaps my hair was too long?   No matter, after a week of playing junkyard mechanic and camper it was time to button up that cylinder head and get out of "town (?)".  I had a 3/8" Husky ratchet / socket set and needed to the tighten that doggone cylinder head down.  A bit of a problem,eh.  Did I mention the surly proprietor of the service station and his billboard sized sign in his office that read "NO TOOLS LOANED"?   More to come....

 

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