John C 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 2dr SportsRoof

The first date.... with unintended engine trouble!

I got my first car before I could drive - it was a 70 mach1 with a cleveland 4 barrel and a 4 speed with the cool hurst chrome handled shifter and metal T handle. My brother 6 years older was very jealous - but he didn't know one end of a wrench from the other, so he drove Mom's Chevette.

My friend Len (RIP buddy) had helped me a great deal rebuilding the engine and getting the car put back together and running again.

Turns out when I bought it - the seller knew it had a rod knock so he had put some STP or other heavy oil in it to cover up the knocking.

(Remember the Caveot Emptor episode of Brady Bunch with Greg's Jalopy? I lived it!)

I digress.

Len had met a really nice girl at his part time pizza job up the road, and his rusty old Pontiac was in no condition to drive on a first date, but my car was.... how could I say no to the guy who'd helped me so much?

Len picked up his date in my car - I don't think it had ever been so clean while I owned it, he had spent hours cleaning it in preparation for picking up his dream girl.

Things were going great, they went to dinner and were on the way to the movies.....then BOOM and a cloud of steam from under hood.

Len was horrified! He'd borrowed my car and blown the engine! I would kill him when I found out! What would my parents say? How long would be we both be grounded? How many hours would he have to work to pay for the rebuild? Life as he knew it was OVER! How could he fix it in time for me not to know about it? What would this beautiful girl he was trying to impress think of him now? Would she ever date him again?

Turns out - it was a simple fix - once Len got a hold of some friends (long before cell phones) to help fix it.

We had used a short length of heater hose with a bolt jammed into it and a hose clamp to seal it as a plug on one of the engine block coolant passages.... it let loose on Len's first date! I'm not sure he ever forgave me for forgetting to put a brass plug in that hole.... but he got it fixed and those two dated for years - but never did end up getting married.

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