Making repairs.

Hugh, looking all shiny and happy from his bath.  
God, I love this car more than I should be allowed to. 

When Hugh came into my life in the fall of 2011, R and I had BIG plans for him.  He was already 80-90% restored, but since we both love working with our hands and we are both reasonably bright, intelligent, capable people, we were going to do all the work left to be done ourselves.

Our intentions were good.

We did a couple little cosmetic things, then replaced the radio.  We ordered copies of all the service and repair manuals, then... Well, then... Nothing.

Life kept happening and Hugh got pushed to the back burner for a while.  Quite a long while, actually.

I would occasionally drive him out of the garage and maybe around the neighborhood a few times, but that was really all.

Late last fall, I drove him out of the garage and he immediately began spewing bright red liquid all on the ground.

"OH MY GOD HUGH'S BEEN SHOT!  HE'S BLEEDING!  QUICK!  CALL 911!" I screamed, before realizing it was futile.  No one was close enough to hear me.  I was going to have to perform a lifesaving thoracotomy myself.  I've seen every episode of ER.  I could totally do it.

Oh wait.  Hugh is a car.

Well then, what the hell is this red stuff?

A little research combined with a couple texts to R led me to believe I had blown out the power steering pump.

So there he sat, parked.

And then it was Thanksgiving.

And then it was Christmas.

And then it was still winter, and I don't drive him in the winter anyway, so it was fine.

But then it was spring, and I started itching to take him out for a run.

So I began incessantly nagging and pestering asking R about it.  "So this thing that's wrong with Hugh.  Can we fix it ourselves, do you think?"  And he would agree that we probably could, and finally we set out to do just that.  However, neither of us has ANY experience in working on cars and what that might entail.


R gamely crawled under Hugh to see what the exact situation was, and determined that there was a hose that was busted.

A hose!  Just a hose!  We could TOTALLY replace a HOSE!  They're just all round and hose-y and totally easy to replace, right? RIGHT?

So R ordered a replacement hose and left work early one day for the specific purpose of working on Hugh.

The first thing we needed to do was to get him up on ramps.  Since he wasn't really DRIVABLE, we decided to push, where push equals R was steering and I was pushing.

*cue circus music*

No bloggers, bloggers' spouses, or classic 1966 Mustang Convertibles were harmed during this incident.  Not permanently, anyway. 

Finally we decided that maybe we could drive him just long enough to get him up on the ramps, which, by the way? Totally not as easy as it sounds.

The next step involved removing the old hose and replacing it with the new one.  After three rounds of rock, paper, scissors in which I'm SURE he cheated some negotiations, it was determined that R would get under the car and I would be in charge of handing him the appropriate tools.

"Ok," he said, after he had situated himself under the car.  "I need a wrench."

"What size?" I asked.

"Uh, like this."  He handed me the end of the new hose, and I attempted to find a suitable wrench out of our pile of wrenches.  For people who don't really work on our own cars, we have a shit-ton of wrenches.

Half an hour later, I yelled "I FOUND IT!" which woke R up and made him hit his head on the underside of the car.

At this point, one might think that the changeout would proceed smoothly, but, alas, it was not to be.

The old hose, which had probably been on the car since the Nixon era, would not budge.

So it became a parade of tools passing through my hands into R's in an attempt to remove it.

"BRING ME A PIPE WRENCH!" he would yell from under the car, and I would furtively Google "pipe wrench images" on my phone and attempt to match them up with what we have in our tool arsenal.

"You ok?" he would yell when it had been more than 15 minutes or so between tool pass-offs, and I would mumble something vague about "the metric stuff is all in my way" in an attempt to sound reasonably versed in Tools You Need To Pry Off A Rusty Hose 101, then I would hand him a screwdriver, or a mallet, or something else in an attempt to distract him from what he was really waiting for me to find.

Finally, a combination of the mallet (TOTAL WIN FOR ME) and some other wrenchy-pinchy thing did the deed, and the rest was easy, relatively speaking.

So now Hugh is road-worthy once again, and he and I have been out for more than a couple quick trips around the block, but I'm dreaming of a long ride down the road, top down, Willie blaring on the radio, sunglasses on and scarf flapping in the wind, just me and my man.

Oh, and R, too, of course.  If he wants to come along.

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  1. This was too funny! I loved how you googled images of the right wrenches...I probably would have had to do the same thing! That is one beautiful car, by the way!

    1. We really should be on a reality series. I can only imagine how hilarious we would have looked to someone like, say, a real mechanic. :) And thanks - I love my car way, way, way too much!

  2. Hilarious! For future reference, cola dissolves rust. And some WD-40 or other lubricant might help. Hilarity could still ensue, so I don't feel like I'm depriving the world of humor by telling you that.

    1. Oh my goodness - why didn't I think of WD40?!?!?!? I use it on EVERYTHING in my house. I can now imagine doing all the things we were doing before, but being really slippery when we were doing it. THAT would have been perfect.


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