Randy C 1967 Ford Galaxie 500 4dr Hardtop Sedan

My Dad's is an Improvising Genius

Start of story: my first car was a 65 Ford Custom, a wonderful car except for the time the wiring caught on fire while I was traveling down the highway. It got retired after the rectangular frame pieces buckled when I put it on jack stands.

So, I bought a 67 Ford from a cousin who didn't have time to fix it.

So my Dad and I drove about 60 miles to see if we could get it home and make it my commuting car. All we could do to get it to run was to hot wire the ignition. Not a problem, there was no steering wheel locking ignition back then. So we took the title from my cousin (but didn't fill it out: more later) and got ready to leave.

Then, and only then, it started to rain. That's when I found out that windshield wipers don't work when there's no power to the dashboard, a minor consequence of hot-wiring the ignition. I might not care about power to the dashboard, but I really did need the wipers.

So my Dad unclipped the wipers from the wiper motor, and ran a small rope from one wiper through the cab and around to the other wiper. I went down the road pulling on the rope, causing one wiper to travel across the windshield and, through the remaining mechanical connection between the wipers, the other blade moved also. Then I pulled on the rope to tug the other wiper back the other way, dragging the first wiper too.

I traveled that way, wiping the rain away manually, driving a hot-wired car with an incompletely filled out title. With plenty of time to realize that I would need a lot of time to explain that to the traffic police, if I were stopped.

But I wasn't, and after three attempts, got the wiring fixed. The first two times it didn't work the way that I thought it should, so I began to suspect that maybe I was wrong. I tried wiring a different way, and son of a gun if that didn't work.

I'll never forget how dumbfounded I was to see the wipers going back and forth when I pulled on the rope, first left, then right, then left, etc. My Dad really was an improvising genius.


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