Michael C 1983 Honda Accord SE 4dr Sedan

Thinking like MacGyver

I was driving my girlfriend to LAX airport to catch a flight to Utah. Her car was never really serviced well, but it beat driving my old 63 GMC 1/2 ton 3sp van in heavy traffic.

It was 102 degrees and sweltering hot when we hit the ramp from the 5 Freeway to the Airport terminals. Suddenly white steam started billowing out of the hood and the car just stopped dead in traffic and would not move. Horns, hand gestures and screaming immediately followed all directed at me and the Accord.

I stopped a friendly looking family behind us and asked them to take my girl to the terminal. Time was short, she jumped in and I would not see her again for two weeks. She got lucky. I got the baggage.

CELL PHONES were not invented yet! No friends to call nor relatives within 3500 miles.

I diagnosed the problem as a large hole in the radiator. Used my pen knife and carved the road tar out of the seam on the asphalt. Crammed it into the radiator fins and tubes. Next, I went down the embankment to where there was a construction site which was located literally in the middle of no mans land, where I saw a mud puddle.

I strained the muddy water through my t-shirt into a piece of broken plastic cup that was part of the garbage landscape.

It took four trips and an hour, but I filled the radiator and miraculously the car started and drove the 75 miles home in bumper to bumper traffic. The repair held for three years until she dumped it for an MGB. The patch lasted longer than the relationship.

Needless to say I was very proud of my quick ingenuity and smarts!

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