I’m a Rat Rod. What are You?

I know…what the heck is he talking about with that title? Well, here goes…I love cars, not so much the new ones, but the old classics. I love the cars from back when you could tell each one from another. Now they all look alike.

I’ve rebuilt several old cars over the years. Most were Fords, but a few were “foreign” cars – built by Chevy, Plymouth, Dodge and American Motors. OK, just kidding about the “foreign” part, with the exception of Chrysler, which sold to Mercedes and then to Fiat in order to stay alive. 

valve springsRecently I discovered that rebuilding cars is a great metaphor for my life today. A few years ago, I discovered I had a heart valve problem.  Being a car guy, I liken my heart valves to the valves in a car engine. Apparently I now have a muscle problem on the lower part of my heart, like a problem in the carburetor-fuel pump-ignition of a car. So now I will be “upgraded” with a pacemaker for my heart along with a valve job!  I’ll be fuel-injected just like the new cars of 2014. How cool is that?

Like a car, as we age, some of our human parts may need rebuilding and we are graced to live in an age in which this can be done.  Less than half century ago, rebuilding was not an option for us. For most people, like cars, you can’t tell who’s had work done on them unless it’s body work – new grill work (teeth and lips), tail lights (behinds), frame work (liposuction), new convertible top (hair implants and toupees) or head lights (breasts).  

I’m not worried about what’s going to be rebuilt under my hood. I’m just grateful I don’t need a new convertible top. My hair is intact. I have a few rust spots. My shocks (knees) need replacing. My exhaust system (you guess) works better than ever, although Imuffler might need a “muffler”. I don’t want to know how a “muffler” would work and I’m not going to worry about it.

I’m an old rat rod getting a few new parts to keep me running for a few more years till I need more new parts. My thought is, if you need work to be done, just find a good “parts dealer” (probably not NAPA) and get it done. You’ll run better, just like me.

My other thought for today is something I’ve heard more than once:  We only use 10% of our brains.  This may be true; but we are learning how to use our smart phones, tablets and computers to fill in for the other 90%.  I’ll write more on smart cars some other time. 

Happy New Year to all you classics!

Gary Ingram

Gary Ingram

I grew up in Golden, CO in the 50’s, the child of a middle class housewife and a lifelong employee of the U.S. Post Office. My professional career spanned 25 years with the U.S. Government and I retired early. Today I am an Aging-in-Place Specialist (which does not mean I just sit in a recliner and watch football), a devoted “Papa” to my grandchildren and partner to my lovely wife. I’m a crusty old fart who appreciates a good cigar, an old car, an occasional game of golf, Blue Collar Radio, NASCAR and my Denver Broncos. At BoomerReviews.com, I hold the title, “Chief of Questions.” Let’s see what you think about my questions and answers. Chime in!

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  1. Fabulous blog, Gary. I’m going to share this with my very own car guy. You write so clean and so honest ~ it’s very refreshing.

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