Classic American

Plymouth problems solved


Dear Classic American,

In 1962 I bought a 1951 Plymouth for 150 Swiss Francs because I didn’t have the 450 for a Buick convertibl­e like the one featured in the film Rain Man. A friend of my father was so impressed, he gave me the money. I set off with two friends to Spain. In the south of France I noticed the water temperatur­e was always in the red. Checking the water pump was okay, I took the cylinder head off. I noticed all the water holes were nearly closed by chalk, nothing I could do. But the gasket was ruined. So, we bought some leather from a shoemaker and cut out a new gasket. Then a screw broke and I had to put a French screw into an American thread.

Another problem was that whenever we came back from the beach, it would not start. The petrol pump was okay, so I took the carburetto­r apart to discover that the problem was that in the heat the petrol evaporated and the float went down, leaving the needle in the hole. So, coming back from the beach, we’d open the bonnet and whack the carburetto­r with a hammer – problem solved! Then along the Côte d’Azur the exhaust pipe broke. Luckily, I found a beer can, cut it open, wrapped it round the pipe, put some wire round it and some Gungum, problem solved. We made it to Spain and back over the Gotthard. The car made it to Spain and back, constantly overheatin­g. It was literally indestruct­ible. I sold it for 80 Swiss Francs and have regretted it ever since. Give me simple mechanics you can fix yourself any day.

The photo shows me in the south of France removing the cylinder head!

U Ging

Lowestoft, Suffolk

Amen to simple mechanics and technology you can fix yourself with a hammer or an old beer can!

 ?? ?? Hammer and old beer can technology.
Hammer and old beer can technology.

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