Again, Big Red?
The first time I called for the tow truck, I'd been on my way home from Loyola Interiors. They'd replaced the headliner and carpet. As I was driving home, giddy with excitement about my big red boat, the "HOT" light came on and steam started pouring out from under the hood. One radiator and many hundreds of dollars later . . .
Today, I was driving home from work, giddy with excitement about being in my big red boat, thinking about how happy that car makes me. Then the "ALT" light came on and the car abruptly stopped. In the middle of the street. During rush hour. In the dark. Think about it—it's not like there are any hazard lights on this thing. Push it out of the way? With what? My Superman-like powers of mental telepathy? I think not. I just sat there. I called home. I called Triple A. And then I sat there motioning cars to go around. Finally, two good Samaritans pushed me out of the middle of the street.
My guess? Hmmm, I'll take alternators for $300, Alex.
This is to be expected. The car has just about all of its original parts. This is why the guys at the place where I take my cars to be serviced told me not to drive Big Red too far too soon. As Jonathan said, "We need to see if anything falls out." I would guess he was being figurative, but with a car this old you have to wonder if he was also being literal.
I'm still completely in love with this car. What's funny is that I don't know much about the mechanics of cars, but for the last month or so I'd been thinking it needed a new alternator. It was just a hunch. Bad ass shaper Shawn Ambrose had told me that this is what happens when you own a classic car; you just start to know when something is wrong even if the car doesn't let you know this immediately.
Well, here we go again. I never did mention the car was hit by a drunk driver last month . . . while parked. It's long story. He was drunk. He fled the scene. He had a suspended license. The long and short of it is that he admitted fault and his insurance company cut me a check within a week and a half. The damage to Big Red was actually minimal, but the check was not. Since I hadn't planned on painting it just yet, I'll use some of that money for the new alternator.
Ah, the joys of car ownership. Well, I'm still joyful. This car has yet to be a money pit. It is taking me on quite an adventure though.