Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Marriage 301, Lecture 669: Driving me crazy

Not the Corvair. The Corvair is green.

Here's the Monday drama.

You may know that SH owns a 1965 Corvair, aka Something That Takes Up Space In Our Garage, which is better than Something We Have To Pay To Store In Someone Else's Garage, which was its former name.

This car is mostly decorative. SH goes to the garage every now and then to admire it and to make sure I have not gotten any fingerprints on it. I don't want to touch that car, but it is in the way so sometimes my hand comes to rest on it.

Sometimes SH drives it. Maybe once or twice a month. In the summer. Which is not comfortable because he has to run the heater all the time to discharge heat from the engine. It would be a good winter car, but NOOOOO! We cannot take it out in the winter because it might get dirty.

In SH's defense, he is right on that one. A little bit of salt on the bottom of that car and it's rust city.

I want to sell it, but SH says if we sell it, we have to buy a replacement car because how could we function with just one car for two people?

I remind him that in the winter, we do function with one car for just two people because of the rule against taking the Corvair out in bad weather.

He is unconvinced. He must have his freedom. He must.

Plan B, if we are not going to sell this car, is to make it safe to drive.

Which means taking it to a mechanic to have it inspected and repaired where necessary. ("Necessary" would include having the headlights repaired so the car can be driven after dark. See "I have to pick SH up at 1:00 a.m. because the headlights went out.")

You would think, "Mechanic? How hard can that be? Those old cars have simple engines. Why, even CF used to be able to change her own oil and belts on her 1980 Chevette."

Oh no. Nononono. A Corvair requires a Special Corvair Mechanic. Because Corvair engines are special.

The nearest one of which can be found being on the south side of Chicago. One hundred twenty five miles away.

SH's plan was for us to drive 125 miles together - well, him in the Corvair, me in the red car, drop the Corvair off, and then drive back together in the red car.

A nice little 250 mile jaunt.

Through Chicago, which is awful to drive through.

Not awful to be in, but awful to drive in.

I whined because I hate long car trips and I especially hate driving through Chicago. My whining was fruitless. I was stuck.

Then I had a flash of brilliance.

There is a train from Chicago to Milwaukee. SH could take the train!

It even made financial sense:

1. Driving the red car would mean 250 miles on the car, gas (250 miles/30 mpg ~ 8 gallons, 8 gallons x $4/gallon = $32) and tolls.

2. Taking the train would mean $24 for Amtrak plus whatever the commuter train fare is.

It's cheaper to take the train plus I don't have to be in the car for six hours.

SH pointed out that the nearest commuter train station to the mechanic is six miles.

SH has run that far back from the red car mechanic before. We have walked that distance from the mechanic before.

But those are six Chicago miles and everyone knows they are different.

I shrugged. Just take a cab, I said.

Nooooo! No cabs! You can't get a cab there!

Then ask the guy at the shop if he'll give you a ride to the station, I suggested. Honestly, if someone is about to make a few thousand dollars in repairs, he's probably willing to spend 15 minutes driving someone to the station. Not to mention this cannot be the first time this situation has arisen, what with other people coming from all around the midwest to drop off their cars.

Now the real drama started. I had suggested that SH ask someone for a favor, which is even worse than asking someone for advice or directions.

He didn't ask and didn't ask and didn't ask.

I had to nag.

Well, I didn't think it was nagging. "What did the Corvair guy say about getting to the station?" = nagging to SH.

On Thursday, SH emailed the guy.

On Friday, the guy called SH. Oh sure it would be no problem at all for him to take SH to the station. No problem at all.

I was off the hook!

Still not as good as just selling the car as is, but at least I didn't have to participate in the six hour drivefest. SH drove and I sat on the sofa and ate bon-bons.


Fijufic said...

My father has a 1964 Corvair in that weird blue green color. I drove the wheels off of it when I was in High School.

The car is a real mechanical pain in the neck. I was always under the hood of that thing. Mostly messing with the points on that car.

The heater pan blew oil smells into the car with the heat turned to the on position.

We had no trouble running in the summer (with the occasional vapor lock in the carbs).

I do not have any nostalgia for the car in the slightest. It did rust and we did manage to drop firecrackers through the rusty floorboard while we were driving.

Now dad has his restored.

he can keep it...


Class factotum said...

Bobby, does your dad want another one?

Fijufic said...

I hope not. I do know how to work on them somewhat. Not really that hard once you figure out just a few things on the beast...

Even swapping out engines is not that much trouble.

My next door neighbor had a dune buggy with a Corvair engine that rocked the house!