Old Ford's Never Die

By Marc B.

My brother, on his way to Viet Nam, gave my mother his 1958 Fairlane that he paid $20.00 for in an Alabama Junk Yard. The car had a 292 V-8 and an automatic transmission.

This car would be come affectionately known as the "Galloper." We called it that because the front end would bounce a lot since the shocks were worn out and the shock mounts were rusted out. Needless to say that some of my girlfriend's parents requested that I did not date their daughters in that car. The car was blue, except for the front fenders, which had fallen off and were replaced with pale green fenders, and rust. Lots of rust! Rust caused us to carry the gas tank in the trunk because it would no longer stay on the frame.

On hot Juy day I was running errands for my mother when I found ouot that the gas gauge no longer worked. I ran out of gas in front of a new Chrsyler Showroom on San Pedro Avenue in San Antonio exas. I went into the dealership and told the sales who cautiously approached me that the car had run out of gas and I was off to get some gas and move the car.

I went across the intersection to a gas station, bought about 3 gallons of gas, in a borrowed gas can. I asked the attendent how do you start a car that has run out of gas. Explained that I would have to prime the carburator. I asked ow do I do that? He said I would have to pour some gas down into the carburator. A feat I would quickly learn is not for the uneducated.

So armed with the can I proceeded to put gas in the tank, opened the hood, removed the air cleaner and poured gas into the carburator. I reached in the driver's window and turned the starter to start the car, the car promptly backfired through the carburator, setting fire to the entire engine bay. The saleman in the Chrysler Showroom promptly fainted dead away.

After the fire was put out, I reached into the window again and started the car, it started promptly and stayed running. We kept te car in the family for another 2 years, before it was entered in a destruction derby.
James Branaum 01/30/2012
Yeah, one of the gas tank strap mount points finally rusted through as I went down the freeway while home on leave. Oh, good times! There are lots of stories around that car, some I will even tell. I actually only paid $5 for the car and the '53 I won in a poker game as a trade. The older car had nicer body and interior but wouldn't stay in second gear. After that I stopped buying cars in junk yards but buy my Fords everywhere else.