Backyard Follies: Fire!
Guys, the term "backyard follies" is great ("Letters," CHP Garage, Apr. '09)! You should make a recurring feature out of it. My own experience came when I was installing a new 770 Holley on my 79 Camaro. No big deal, I've done it all before, right? Not really. Got it all bolted down and the linkage connected and went to install the fuel line. Since I hadn't ordered a fuel line yet, I just used the tee connector, the fuel bowl nipples, and the rubber hose Holley includes with the carb. I must have had a major brain cramp, because even though I got all the hose clamps snugged down just fine, I left the fuel bowl nipples only finger-tight. Naturally, when I twisted the key it only took a blink of an eye for fuel to spray out and another blink for a huge yellow flame to erupt from under the hood.
I sprinted into the house and grabbed a pitcher to fill with water, but it took a couple seconds to realize the car would be totally slagged before I got it filled. I ran back out on the porch, looked to my left, and saw my dog's water tub with about 3 gallons of water in it. So I grabbed it and doused the inferno. By this time my wife had realized something was seriously amiss and came out just in time to see me drown my car. God bless her, she didn't say a word. She just looked at my ghost-white face, grinned, and walked back in the house shaking her head.
Believe it or not, there was no damage beyond a set of toasted plug wires! I had all the wiring in convoluted plastic loom, and the loom melted instead of the wire. It was just a matter of peeling off the melted covering and replacing it. I'm glad the car was outside instead of in the garage!
By the way, wish Kevin McClelland good luck for me. His tech advice has been invaluable to me, especially his knowledge of '80s engines and electronics. Had it not been for his mentioning Tom Woodside at GMCOPO, my son and I would have had serious difficulty with the 305-to-350 swap we did on his '86 Z28. Transferring the carbureted OE induction setup off the old LG4 presented some unexpected obstacles that Tom guided us thru with ease, and Kevin's development experience with GM was very helpful with cam and head selection. Let us know what he's up to when he gets back down to SoCal.
How is it that we all mange to catch our cars on fire at one point or another? As for Kevin, he's already acclimated to SoCal and now working for K&N. He's still handling our PQA column. As far as I'm concerned, he has a permanent home with us.
I enjoy your magazine and read it cover to cover. I also wait for my new one every month. I like it because of the hands-on information I get. Please don't change a thing. I don't need to read about showcars that cost thousands to build and are never driven (another Chevy magazine) and built by anyone except the owner. I am working on my own hot rod, a '65 two-door Impala, but don't want to bore you with the details. Keep up the great work. I am a subscriber for life.
No worries. We don't plan to change our format by any means. If anything, we're only adding to the program. To give you a little insider info, if all goes according to plan, I'll have a big announcement in next month's Shop Talk
Just want to let you know I love your magazine. Articles are great and I read it from cover to cover every month. I have a '72 Chevelle pro-touring project, and I always love to see articles on Chevelles. I know I am nit picking here, but can you guys do some more layouts on'71-72 Chevelles? I know the '70 Chevelle is the favorite of the fourth-gen group, but I personally think that the "big-eyed" Chevelles are cool too. Hey, if you can't find one, mine will be done soon (probably three more years)!