Thomas T '76 Mercury Montego

I Loved This Car

I know it's not the first car that comes to mind when thinking of sporty cars, but this was truly a sharp car, and I miss it.

Anyway, I had just moved from a small town in southern Minnesota to Minneapolis. My plans on this particular day were to fill up with gas, go to a job interview, then drive home to spend the weekend with my mom. As I left the interview, I was driving across I-494 on France Avenue in Bloomington when I suddenly realized the gas peddle had become non-operational. So I coasted over to the shoulder, popped the hood, and stared blankly at an engine that was running but would not make the car move. As little as I know about cars now, I knew even less back 30 or so years ago. But I did know where the throttle was, and upon inspection, found the accelerator cable had broke at the gas peddle. I also found that if I pushed the throttle towards the passenger compartment, the engine would rev. That, as it turned out, was rather important; otherwise what I'm about to tell you wouldn't have worked. I popped the trunk and found a pair of jumper cables. One end of the jumper cables I clamped onto the throttle and ran the other end through the driver side window. Since pushing the throttle towards the passenger compartment made the engine rev, I could pull on the jumper cable from behind the wheel to get the same result. But since the jumper cables were so thick, I couldn't close the hood. Luckily, I wasn't but 3/4 of a mile Or so from my apartment. So I left the hood open and drove to my apartment looking through the gap left by the open hood, and pulling on the jumper cables to accelerate. I made it to the apartment and realized it wouldn't be a good idea to drive 100 miles pulling on jumper cables with the hood 1/4 of the way up. So I looked in the trunk again and in my rusty toolbox I found wire. I wrapped one end of the wire around the throttle and ran it under the hood and through the driver's side window. Now I could close the hood all the way, but it didn't take long to realize that hanging onto that wire for the two hours would get uncomfortable quickly. So back to my rusty toolbox I went and this time I found a vice grip. I clamped the vice grip onto the wire and off I went, pulling on the vice grip to make me go and letting it go loose to slow me down. Now I don't recommend anyone do what I did next. Once I got free of the traffic, I realized that I could get to the speed I wanted to go and clamp the vice grip onto the wire right next to the rolled-up window, and I would have cruise control. I'm just very lucky I didn't need to stop, or even slow down, in a hurry. But I made it to my destination, bought an accelerator cable for a dollar at the junk yard, and watched a friend put it on for me.

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